Category Archives: shows

Run For Cover

On Tuesday, I greeted my new students by leading them through a variety of activities all around the school building.  Then, if that was not enough, I drove 45 minutes to pick my niece before driving another hour to Milwaukee to see the Killers perform along with the Violent Femmes.  Then, I had to drive over an hour to get home before getting about two hours of sleep to actually teach the new students the next day.  To say that I’m tired now would be an understatement.  The first week of school is always rough.  I’m out of practice as I forgot how much I’m on my feet and how much I have to talk in class.  And I definitely added to my exhaustion by going to this show.  That said, I don’t regret it.

I have to admit that it was a hoot to go to the show with my niece.  Before this, there is little opportunity to go to show with her (or her sister).  She grew up in a completely different region of the country.  So I felt like I could not let this opportunity pass me by despite the crappy timing.  When I asked my niece if she wanted to join me, she enthusiastically answered with a yes.  I knew that she was a fan of the Killers even if her fan status might not be as serious as my fan status with them.  As for the Violent Femmes, I doubt she had any clue about them.  No matter.  She is someone (unlike her aunt) who goes in with a positive attitude and works hard to always enjoy herself.  The show just confirmed this as she sang, danced and clapped throughout both bands.  It was fun to see as she reminded me just to let go and take in each and every moment.  My favorite moment with her was at the very end, when both bands played a song that represented Milwaukee.  What did they choose?  You might imagine…Needless to say, my niece did not have a clue what the song was!

The show was great!  I had seen both bands before but this was a brand new venue that holds 17,000 seats.  Needless to say, I was thrilled that we could get actual seats as I might have died in general admission.  Violent Femmes impressed my niece to no end.  I think she appreciated the variety of what they played.  They performed many/most of their classics but also busted out a polka and a bluegrass song.  She laughed a lot as she texted the rest of the family to declare that they were “awesome”!

The Killers, as always, put on a tremendous show.  That said, I could not help but to compare the show and my experiences to what I’m more used to–Duran shows.  I noticed I was doing this right away, from the very first song.  They started with a bang by playing Mr. Brightside.  I found this fascinating.  Some might argue that this is their biggest, most well-known hit.  If that is so, is that a good strategy?  I started to think about Duran’s opening song.  I have seen a few different ones.  Typically, it is a track on the latest album like Paper Gods or Before the Rain.  I have seen them play a hit to start the show like Wild Boys.  But I don’t think I would say Wild Boys is their biggest hit.  After thinking about this, I paid attention to the rest of the set list, which actually turned out to be pretty routine from there.

Then, there were a few really explicit moments during the show that screamed Duran to me as they, too, used confetti and asked the crowd to use their cell phone lights as you can see in this video:

Now, I suspect that there are lots of bands/artists who use these concert extras.  Nonetheless, when they were used, I immediately thought of Duran and all of my various concert memories flooded my mind.  That said, on one hand,  I welcomed this show in its ease.  It didn’t take long to plan and didn’t need a lot of special travel arrangements.  There was no drama at all (other than the one scary moment on the way home in which we were passed on the road by a high speed chase).  I didn’t ponder what I was going to wear much and didn’t plan on partying hard.  That said, there was a part of me that found myself almost aching with missing Duran and everything that goes along with a Duran show.

As I continued to ponder that emotion for the rest of the week, I think about the song, Run for Cover, from the most recent Killers’ album.  The concept of running for cover, or hiding from something, for whatever reason feels fitting.  Attending this show felt a little bit like running away from the reality that summer was ending and more.  Unfortunately, as memories of other concerts washed over me at the show and as sleep deprivation became real, I acknowledge the fact that I cannot really run or seek out cover.  Reality is reality.

-A

And Sum Up the Year(s)

I had a plan for my day that included a detail, thought-provoking blog before I headed out to see some teachers at a get together.  Then, I had a couple of phone calls about some family obligations, which detoured me from my plan.  So what now?  Do I continue with the part of the plan that I could still follow?  Do I go with a topic that is worthy of deep thought or do I now shift to something else?  What do I feel like doing?  You know what I want to do?  Watch some clips from the shows that I attended on these dates (San Francisco in 2017 and Chicago in 2016).  Anyone else game for watching some live Duran?  I figure that if I couldn’t be at a show this year then I should, at least, enjoy the band as I can.

San Francisco 2017:

I figured it might be good to start off with Wild Boys as it is one of the first songs played!  Holy JoSi in the beginning, too.  Dang.

Next should definitely be a song that I was thrilled to hear live one more time, which is Sunrise with a bit of New Moon on Monday thrown in!

Oh, how I miss Simon’s dancing and his shoes and so much more.  A truly awesome version of Hold Back the Rain!

Chicago 2016:

I had to include my favorite song, didn’t I?  If the song wasn’t fabulous enough, it has both JoSi and DoJo.  sigh

When I think about the summer of 2016, I cannot help but think about being in the spit zone at most of our shows.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the following clip:

Ah, man, here’s a great clip of Rio with those freaking beach balls that I cannot stand.  Yet, as I sit here, I’m finding myself missing them.  What the heck is wrong with me?

Now, I just feel like a big ole sap missing the band, missing my friends, missing good times.  Days like these, when I let myself remember, when I allow the waves of memory to take over, must keep me going until the next time.

-A

Duran Duran Take Over BBC4 and More!

I am going to blog as quickly as I can here.  I apologize that this blog post is pretty late.  While I had good intentions on getting this done earlier or even last night, it didn’t happen.  I suck.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a great reason for that.  Life is both busy and not and I’m struggling to find a good rhythm during the summer.  That said, two things I wanted to address here.  First, I know that I’m typing this a few minutes before Duran Duran “takes over” BBC Four.  Second, it appears that Duran has been busy playing a gig!  Let’s talk about these one at a time.

In case you have been busy, away from all social media, living under a rock, on vacation, abducted by aliens, or anything else that equals missing out on Duran news, BBC Four in the UK is the channel to tune into (if you can!) as the night is all about Duran Duran on film!  The official press releases describes the event in the following way:

In Boys on Film – A Night with Duran Duran, iconic British rock band, Duran Duran, are set to take over BBC Four on Friday 29 June from 9pm. With exclusive access to the band, the night features two newly-filmed documentaries which showcase incredible insights, previously unseen archive footage and rare demo tapes, as well as the group’s thoughts and inspirations across the decades since they first formed in 1978 in Birmingham.

In Duran Duran: There’s Something You Should Know (9-10pm) Back2back Productions has been granted exclusive access to the legendary group. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor open up about their extraordinary career, talking more candidly than ever before about the highs and lows they have endured together over the years.

Duran Duran: A Night In (10-11pm) sees the group talking about their early inspirations, as they look back together at the television programmes, music and film that they grew up on from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I were in the UK, I would probably have some friends over, pour some drinks and enjoy these two little programs together.  I suspect that there might be squeeing along with various commentary and an overall sense of excitement and joy.  I could use a little bit of that now.  That said, many of us are not there.  As an optimist, I’m hopeful that it might be available outside of the UK sooner rather than later.  (Please and thank you.)

On a different note, yesterday, I was trying to organize and clean my bathroom when I noticed Duran’s official twitter become pretty active.  I stopped and pondered…what the heck is that all about?  The tweets feature pictures and videos with the hashtags #wildpop, #bulgari, and states “when in Rome.”  Huh?  According to an article on WWD, which you can read here, Duran played at this Rome based company’s celebration of their jewelry collection.  Apparently, this jewelry is inspired by the 80s, which is cool.  If you are missing Duran live as much as I am or want to see some of the videos from this private party, I recommend flocking over to the band’s official social media!

Watching the clips from this show/party reminds me that last year at this time I was counting down the days to see Duran in Oakland and San Francisco.  It amazes me how different things feel in just a year.  Yet, Duran is a constant, a positive constant.  While I always appreciate them, I suspect that that feeling will only grow from here.

-A

“Special” Shows: Yay or Nay?

Every year on this date, June 17th, I think about the “Fan-Only” show that was held in New York City in 2007.  I cannot help it.  It always pops into my mind because it was such a memorable show/experience.  In the past, I have talked about it in relation to Red Carpet Massacre as it was the fans’ introduction to much of the album.  It took place during a time in which the fan community was split between those excited by the album that would feature Timbaland producing along with Justin Timberlake and those nervous about not feeling like a Duran album.  I mentioned about how the fan events surrounding the show were much more fun than the show itself.  Yet, I have never really zoned in on the idea of a special show itself.

At the time of this fan only show and years following, I couldn’t get passed the show as it was plagued with problems with sound, mistakes with lyrics, a seemingly unenthusiastic band, etc.  Now, though, I am ready to put all of that behind me.  It happened.  It wasn’t pretty but the intention behind it was good.  I’m not sure that I ever acknowledged that before.  Let me back track, in case you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about.  In the spring of 2007, DuranDuranMusic announced that the band would play a show for members of the band’s paid fan community only in New York City on June 17th.  As part of this show, tickets would be assigned via a lottery after fans requested what type of tickets they would be interested in.  Likewise, the fans could vote on an extra song from a list of five or so songs.

At the time, I remember just being excited about the whole thing as a fan.  Who wouldn’t want a show just for fans?!  I figured that the crowd there would be into every song, every word.  Did I hope that the band would play more obscure tunes since the crowd would just be “die-hards”.  Sure.  Did I stop and think about what they would need to do to mix up their setlist?  Nope.  Of course, the idea of fans only became a bit more problematic when it came to assigning tickets.  A lot of fans wanted VIP tickets.  A lot more wanted them than were available.  This meant that someone or lots of someones would be disappointed.  Yet, what was the alternative?  Not give out VIP tickets?  Just have general admission?  Again, the idea behind this show was great, but…nothing can be perfect.

Back in 2007, those little pesky details frustrated me.  They bothered me so much that I stopped thinking about the purpose of the show.  The band and the powers that be wanted to do something nice for the fans, to show appreciation for us.  I don’t know that I ever really acknowledged that idea before.  I appreciate that they cared enough about us to want to do something special for us.  Of course, the details on top of a less-than-stellar show clouded that fact for me and others.

This leads me to think about the fact that the band’s 40th anniversary is coming up.  Will they attempt to do something like a fan only show again?  Should they?  If someone had asked me this question a couple years ago, I would have firmly said no.  I would have mentioned all of the details that frustrated fans like me on top of a show that left something to be desired.  Now, though, I think I could separate the intent from the execution.  No event, no matter how well thought out or how well planned will be perfect.  They cannot be.  I realized that when planning our convention or meet-ups.  No organizer can make an event flawless.  It is impossible.  Yet, now, I can applaud the attempt, the meaning behind the show.  Maybe a special show isn’t the way to thank fans.  Perhaps, there are lots of other ways to show gratitude towards those people who have been supporting the band over the years.  If the band and their people do decide to do something special for the fans, I promise to not focus on any of the imperfections but instead appreciate the sentiment.  It’s the least I could do.

-A

I’m Lost in a Crowd

In this discussion I had with one of our readers regarding buying tickets, the question, “Does it really matter who buys the tickets?” came up.  I gave an answer that I thought captured my thoughts and feelings well, but is one that I realized that I wanted to explore further.

The commenter asked, “Would it matter to Duran Duran who bought the tickets to their shows?” or something to that affect.  On one hand, do they know who buys the tickets?  No.  Does any band?  Any artist?  No.  They can see how many tickets were sold, what percentage of capacity that is and what the bottom dollar was.  Heck, let’s be real.  The band might not get that information at all.  They have people to watch that kind of information for them.  If I was a member of a band or someone involved with setting up tours, would it matter who buys the tickets as long as someone does?  Probably not, at least not before a show.  I would want as many tickets sold as possible.  That is what matters most.  I think about when Rhonda and I were selling our own tickets to our convention.  Did it matter to us who bought the tickets before the convention?  No.  We were far more concerned with whether or not we had sold enough to cover our costs.  I’m sure touring acts feel the same way.

That said, I do believe in the power of fans and fan communities.  Does it matter who is in the audience at a show?  I cannot help it.  I feel like it does matter, to both the band and their fans.  First, does an audience affect a band’s performance?  My response–how can it not?  Let me give some examples to explain what I mean.  If the crowd is filled with record label executives and the band is trying to get a deal, does it matter to them?  Absolutely.  They might be more nervous in that setting.  Perhaps, they also practice more or put more into it than they would have otherwise.  What if the crowd consists of people who had never heard of the band or doesn’t like their music?  Could that impact the performance?  Again, why wouldn’t it?  The band might play harder to try and win people over, but a band might also feel deflated if the response is lame.  (By the way, I’m speaking in generalities.  On top of that, that is not a criticism.  I recognize that people are human, even people in bands.) So, what about a regular show?  Does the crowd matter?

I have been to shows in which the audience is made of a lot of people that I wouldn’t describe as the typical fan.  At those shows, I have seen bands lose their excitement when they realized that they aren’t getting any sort of positive response.  On the other hand, I have also seen crowds lift up a band by sending them more energy.

What about the fans?  Does it matter to fans who is in the crowd?  I can only speak for myself when I say that it does.  When I’m at a Duran show, for instance, and I know a lot of people there who are as excited as I am, my enthusiasm grows exponentially.  Of course, the opposite is true when I have people near me at shows who don’t care who is playing.  I find myself having to expend some energy to ignore the lame crowd to enjoy the performance.  As much as I logically know that it shouldn’t affect my enjoyment, it does to some extent.  If I have a less than stellar experience, I’m less excited to go back.  The opposite is true, obviously.  This, in turn, could affect the bottom dollar for the next show or the next tour.

Having a lot of fans in the crowd makes me have a better show.  To me, fans can make a good show, a great one.

-A

Ten Years Ago Tomorrow

Ten years ago tomorrow, I saw Duran Duran play in Chicago.  This show was part of the Red Carpet Massacre Tour and the only one of that leg that I saw.  They played at the Rosemont Theater, which I really enjoyed.  The size of the venue was great with an amazing view from any seat or so it seemed.  While that show was weird in some ways, it also sticks out as one I always want to remember.

I didn’t go to the show with Rhonda, which always feels weird.  I went to the show with another friend and tried my best to make the show feel as normal as possible.  A group of us went out to eat before hand, which always works to get people excited.  Then, the show featured a few highlights that I would like to acknowledge here.

First, this show featured the Electro Set.  Does anyone else remember the Electro Set from 2007-2008?  When I first heard about it, I believed that it was going to suck.  I mean…really…the band was going to stand together in the front of the stage all playing electronic instruments?!  It seemed…boring, at least on paper.  Then, I went to one of the Red Carpet Massacre shows on Broadway and I saw the Electro Set in person.  To say that I was wrong would be an understatement.  I was in awe.  It blew my mind.  Seriously.  Needless to say, then, I was super excited to be able to see it again in Chicago.

While I couldn’t find a video of the electro set from this particular show, I did find one from another show.  If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it.  If you have seen it, you should watch again and remember how cool the Electro Set was.  I am probably not alone in saying that I would love for the band to bring this back.  Everyone I know who saw it loved it and everyone who didn’t see it in person wants to.

The other highlight is not the fact that Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins appeared to perform The Chauffeur.  While I’m sure that many people loved that, it didn’t excite me all that much.  I had really liked Smashing Pumpkins then I saw them live.  I was unimpressed.  In fact, I was so unimpressed that I left before they finished, which I never, ever do.  So, his appearance didn’t cut for me.  No, the other personal highlight was the fact that John Taylor came out for the encore in an Obama t-shirt.

To refresh people’s memories, the spring of 2008 meant that the United States was deep into presidential primary season.  The political parties were busy trying to figure out who the nominee was going to be.  Not only had I decided whom I would be voting for, but I started volunteering for the Obama campaign a few months prior in February.  By May, I was starting to work pretty seriously for the campaign.  My friends at the show knew this so when John Taylor came on stage in the t-shirt all of them turned towards me, all excited for me.  Clearly, I wasn’t expecting this at all.  I would have been fine if John did not support my favorite or didn’t agree with me, politically.  Yet, it made me feel…proud in my decision to work for the Obama campaign.  I loved having these two very different worlds of politics and fandom come together.

Most of the time I try to keep my worlds separate.  Usually, I say the reason for this is that I don’t want to alienate others, which is true. More than that, though, I worry that I would be rejected.  When I’m with my political people, I avoid the discussion of fandom.  I worry that they wouldn’t get it or that they would think I was weird for loving a band so much.  I definitely try to tone down the politics when I’m focused on fandom because I truly believe that some people that I call my friends in the fan community would hate me because of my activism.  At that moment when John Taylor showed his support of Obama for the first time, I felt safe.  I could be completely me and still be liked and accepted.

I liked that feeling.  I hope that by remembering that show and those memories that I feel that way again, at least for a day or two.

-A

You can fight it, or invite it

OK, so I obviously didn’t make the trip to Dubai for yesterday’s show. I know a few people who did, and I saw plenty of others who commented to Duran Duran on social media. The comments were by far positive. For the few songs I did see (thanks to the magic and power of the internet!) – I would wholeheartedly agree.

One surprise in particular was The Chauffeur. First of all, I applaud that it was put in the set.  The Chauffeur is one of those songs that gets circulated in and out of their set every so often. I’ve seen it live several times, but it isn’t in every set list.  Seeing it on occasion is  special. That said, last night’s rendition seemed different. I’m not sure if it was truly that way or because of how it was recorded. The end was the most noticeably different, but I could hear the guitar loud and clear, and it even sounded a bit different from I remember.  Granted, I like the hard edge of a guitar, and last night – the sound really delivered! I don’t know what it was, but I loved the juxtaposition of the guitar against the synthesizers at the end of the song. In the past I can’t say I picked up on it quite as much.  Anyway, I loved it. He didn’t overpower the song or anything, it was just that I could hear the guitar slice right through the music, and I felt it was just what the song needed. Others might disagree, to be expected.

In addition to some great footage from the show, I’ve seen quite a few snippets of video from some sort of an after party. The only band member I’ve seen has been Simon in short snippets. This brings me to reason #567,983 why I am thankful I’m not famous.

First of all, I don’t know why the person taking the videos feels the need to do so. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my Kodak moment with Simon too, and of course I posted it. I just don’t know why you’d take video and pictures of Simon doing whatever it is he’s doing during his own downtime and then broadcast them to all of humanity. To me, it’s a fine line that I don’t want to cross, and yet I know other people have no problem. I just don’t get it.

He’s with a group of women in a couple of the short videos, he’s playing bartender in a couple of others, and while all of them seem  innocuous, I don’t think that’s the point. I mean, it isn’t that I’m not amused. Part of my hobby here is teasing the hell out of the guy and that’s not going to stop. (He gives it right back at times, and I’d expect no less) That said, it will be a very cold day in hell before I start taking video of him and post it online. (outside of when he’s onstage, of course…in which case, game on!)

I know what many will say. “He should be used to it” , “I’m sure he doesn’t mind”, “it’s funny”.  “You’re the one with the problem.” Yep.  All of those things, I’m sure. I’ve had numerous conversations with various people about this over the years, and if we’re going to treat him like you would anybody else, why on earth are we still jumping over cocktail tables to get to him? It’s one thing to ask them for a picture. Lots of fans do that, and by all means – it’s part of the deal of being a fan, right? No one, least of all me, is saying that’s wrong. Don’t send me hate mail – take all the photos you want and post them.

But here’s another scenario:

Let’s say you’re at a show, and some friends invite you to a bar afterward, mentioning that the band “might” show. For most of us, we’d probably go along willingly. We’d have that nervous feeling of excitement welling in our bellies, only to tell ourselves that they probably won’t show. We get to the bar, grab a seat and settle in. Before long, a friend nudges you under the table and you look up to see Simon walk in. You grin, because well – of course you do! I haven’t met a fan that wouldn’t, even if we’re trying to cover it with a mock sense of coolness.

It takes a while, but Simon has this way of working the room when he wants. He eventually makes his way to your table. Inside, you’re screaming because again – of course you are!  He strikes up a good conversation. The next thing you know, he’s sitting down with your group and you’re having fun. Are you really going to film the entire thing? Are you really going to take out your phone, pretend you’re taking video of something else, and get him instead?

I guess if you’re nodding your head yes, I’m responding that I wouldn’t. I definitely haven’t. That moment, or evening, or whatever, is yours. It was mine. I don’t need the video to remember it all.  I also wouldn’t want to ruin the moment by reminding him that I’m one of those teenagers that had his posters on my wall. Not that I think he’d forget, but wouldn’t it nice to have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around the elephant in the room?? Yep, inside, I’d be freaking out for a bit, and sure – afterward I might have a good case of the squeals (who wouldn’t?), but that’s for later!

Perhaps I just don’t get it. That’s very possible. Maybe it’s just ME, and I don’t realize that since he’s been a rock star for seemingly forever, he doesn’t mind being treated like a circus animal even when he’s trying to wind down for the evening. I kinda think he does mind – but that’s just my opinion, take it for what it may be worth.

I wouldn’t want to be treated that way, so I’m not going to do that to him, or anyone else. Based on my limited experience, I suspect Simon prefers having a drink, making a toast to a good night or whatever, and not having people stick their camera phones up to video every last second to post online later. He might act like he doesn’t care, but I’ll bet it’s annoying. Maybe as you’re reading you believe I’m wrong about that, and hey – that’s fine. You all can do what you want to do. But, if you’ve ever wondered why there’s no video of us with Simon, or anyone in the band for that matter – what I’ve written is exactly why.

-R

Niavete falls from our eyes

Prospective is an amazing, wondrous thing. Sometimes, a little time and distance shines just the right kind of light on things. Today, I drove my oldest – Heather – to the airport. She flew out to see my sister for about a week. I remember the last time Heather flew anywhere alone. It was also to go see my sister, and it was the first time she’d ever gone anywhere alone. I was a nervous wreck that day. Heather has changed a lot in the past several years. She’s dangerously close to turning 21. “It’s twenty days away, Mom…but who is counting?”  She is a junior in college, lives pretty much on her own, and is anxious to discover where she’s going after she graduates. When I think back on that first trip on her own now, I realize that she really was young then, but she still managed. I can remember her excitement about being with my sister, away from home, and feeling just a little more grown up when she got home. This time, she’s looking for the place she’s going to live after college. She’s wondering what is going to come next. She’s excited, but in a very different way this time. She knows what Chicago is like (Although I cannot wait to hear about how freaking cold my California kid thinks it is when she gets there!), and her entire perspective might change a bit.

As I drove home from the airport, thinking about all of that, I did something I haven’t done in probably eight or nine years. I put in the CD from the very first time the reunited Duran Duran played at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa. The year was of course 2003, and I was in the audience. It was not only the first time they played the Pacific Amphitheater, it was also the first time I ever saw all five original members.

The first thought that went through my head as I listened was that I wish I could bottle up the enthusiasm of the crowd from that night. The roar of fans up on their feet, cheering their hearts out for this band that most, if not everyone in the audience that night, grew up listening to, was like a tidal wave of sound. There was no way not to get caught up in it, and I did as I listened and relived that night.

So much has changed for me since that night. If memory serves, I was in the 16th row. I can remember that (oddly) because I stood there before the show began, watching all of the people in front of me as they would rush up to other fans, hugging, laughing, and yes, even some were crying and cheering as they bounced in the revelry. There was so much excitement and pure joy in the air, and yet I didn’t know a single soul in the amphitheater besides my husband. I wanted to know how they all knew one another, and most of all, I wanted in. I wanted to be a part of whatever group that was. Even though I had already found duranduran.com by then, I wasn’t a vocal member of the message board community. No one knew me, and I hadn’t quite found my place yet.

I thought about how excited I was to see Andy on stage that night. I haven’t allowed myself to even really think about his absence in the years since. I listened to his guitar as the sound washed over me in the car. All I can really say is that there was something certainly very special about the fab five. It was like this shining, perfect, moment that wasn’t ever really meant to last. I’d forgotten how differently he plays, the solo in White Lines coming to mind, but even Hungry Like the Wolf has a different feel in parts. It isn’t necessarily better, just different, and I’d forgotten.

Then there were the songs that we don’t hear much anymore. Friends of Mine, Nightboat, New Religion, What Happens Tomorrow, Virus… I know the band likes the backbone of their set list the way it is, but to hear some of those songs again just made me sit back and really listen. The way the crowd responded to every song blew me away, and yet I was a part of that audience.

In a lot of ways, I wish it could all be like it was then. I screamed and cheered no matter what they played because at the time, everything I heard was brand new, as though I’d never heard it live before.  I can remember feeling out of breath after every single song because I danced like crazy. I jumped, I screamed, I nearly felt faint, and when the concert was over, I felt completely spent. I have seen Duran Duran about fifty times since that fateful show in 2003. Sometimes, even I want to slap myself when I think about that. But, the one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for this band, and even the community that surrounds it.

I am so grateful, and moreover, my heart feels gratitude that I’ve experienced 95% of it as an adult. Sure, I was a petulant ten or eleven year old when I discovered the band. My walls were painted in a beautiful coat of Duran Duran posters and pinups, and I bled Seven and the Ragged Tiger just like most of the rest of you reading. But, it wasn’t until adulthood that I really began traveling, seeing the band, meeting friends, and of course—starting Daily Duranie. I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Sometimes though, I do have moments where I wish I could go back to the beginning, forgetting what I’ve seen and what I know.  Instead,  draping myself with the innocent infatuation I once felt for them,  and allowing the music to fully wash over and consume me.  I want to feel that same wild abandon I once had, not a care in the world beyond that very note or measure.  Listening to this Encore CD in the car reminded me of both how wonderful, and how lonely that time was for me. I still wouldn’t want to go back.

-R

 

 

Gig Review: The DB3 at The Barley Mow

In full disclosure, I was able to see Dom play last Friday. One of my friends from Facebook decided to stream the DB3 set live, and as it so happened, I came across her post just in time! As I baked gingerbread at home in Southern California, I watched Dom and DB3 play live in the UK.  I love technology. 

At the time, I didn’t really think about reviewing his show. Admittedly, I was enjoying the rock and blues, as well as appreciating his OWN music for a change. I know this changes the narrative for a lot of Duran fans who insist otherwise, but Dom can play. DD’s music does not highlight his talent nearly enough and a lot of people make assumptions based purely on how he plays music that other people wrote. It is an impossible task at best, and as I always say – he does a fantastic job, but it is nothing like how he plays the music he is most comfortable performing. But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Go check DB3 out the next time they play and see for yourselves. I sure wish I could! 

Much to my surprise, a Daily Duranie reader was in attendance that night  who was willing to take up the challenge and write a review.  A hearty thank you to Laura, whose review is below! -R 


 

By Laura

No sooner had Dom Brown tweeted a couple of weeks ago that he would be playing The Barley Mow, a lovely country pub in the quiet village of Tandridge in Surrey with his new Blues-Rock combo The DB3, we had our motorhome(RV) packed up and headed the 140 miles from our home in Bristol.

We had brought along our little Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Rio, and she was able to stay for the pre-gig food and drinks, although she had to retire to the motorhome during the sound check as it was VERY LOUD, as one of the waitresses had indeed warned us it would be.

The audience was made up mainly of Duranies, all of whom seemed to know each other and the affection between them was clear to see. It amused my husband, who has himself been to quite a few DD shows over the years, to overhear one lady mention that her own husband had been subjected to so much Duran Duran over the years that he could probably answer questions on the band on Mastermind (British TV quiz programme) himself. Like him, my husband is glad that I have other friends to “spread the love with” so he doesn’t have to go to all the DD concerts with me!

As we were eating our meal there were two chaps discussing the vagaries of the music business on the next table. They turned out to be Ian Thomas and Phil Spalding, respectively the drummer and bass player of The DB3, and Dom Brown greeted them like long-lost friends when he arrived – very appropriate as it turned out, as they had apparently not been in the same room together for 6 months-not that you would have known it from the tight, extremely enjoyable set they played. 

The band played two sets of about 45 minutes and featured storming versions of songs by Cream, The James Gang, Jimi Hendrix, The Average White Band, and B.B.King amongst others, finishing with a couple of Rolling Stones’ classics. The audience clearly knew this would not be a night for Duran Duran songs and responded enthusiastically to the bluesy rock music served up by the band, demanding two encores at the end.

For Dom Brown the gig could hardly have been more of a contrast to the big, recent arena shows with Duran Duran  – no roadies to unload the van and set up the equipment here! Dom put as much into this show in front of the thirty or forty of us there as he does in front of the thousands who fill some of the world’s largest arenas. The gig gave him a real opportunity to showcase his exceptional all-round guitar skills. In addition, Dom shared vocal duties with Phil Spalding and, despite their quip that the band had “two non-singers”, they both produced authentically bluesy vocal performances that fully complemented their playing.

Dom was in no rush to get away after the gig and happily chatted with the audience, posing for photographs and signing the CD’s which had been sold by his niece (obviously something of a family affair!) He came across as a thoroughly lovely chap—genuine, authentic and someone who really cared for the fans and who wanted them to have as great a night as he clearly had.

High praise should be given to Dom’s amazing band mates who gave him great support and who were clearly similarly enjoying themselves. Special mention to Phil Spalding who, despite clearly suffering from a heavy cold, gave it his all on vocal duties.

I hadn’t known what to expect from the show but I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had in a long while. It seemed that the rest of the audience did too and the band clearly had a ball. 

Many thanks to The DB3 and to Nicky of the Barley Mow for letting us camp out in the car park !

 

Laura has been a Duranie since 1982 when she was in the second year of secondary school and her friend Claire introduced this amazing new band to her that she had discovered. She’s lost count of the number of times she has seen them in concert over the years, but she’s guessing it’s been about thirty, including those abroad. She’s been lucky enough to have various friends come with her too, giving her husband Alan a night off now and again. Although he too enjoys DD, just not night after night! Her favourite concerts were the small fan club gigs which the band played after Simon’s recovery.  She never believed she’d see them in such small intimate venues and certainly not within walking distance of her home! In between tours she loves reading Daily Duranie (we didn’t even pay her to say that! – R)  and travelling. She teaches French at a secondary school in Bristol in the UK.

Miami Live Stream Reactions

Wow.  Today has gotten away from me.  After finishing up grading papers, ordering Christmas presents and doing some household chores, I realized how late it was!  On to bigger and better things…did you get a chance to tune into the Duran show in Miami for SiriusXM last night?  I did!  I have to admit that it increased my productivity significantly, which is probably why I was able to get through all my grading!  That’s the solution to my problem!  Let’s have Duran play live every night with a live stream in order to get through everything I need to do. I love it!  On top of my efficiency, what other reactions did I have?  Here are my very random thoughts, in no particular order.

Super Small Show:

Based on the pictures of the venue and the pre-show with Lori Majewski and Richard Blade, it is clear that the venue was ridiculously small.  I think they said something about how the capacity was around 250 before they added the mixing board.  Wow.  Lori commented about how she had never seen them in such a small place and how Simon would be able to see and touch each member of the audience.  I am right there with her.  I, too, have never seen them in such a small place.  The smallest place I ever saw them  probably held around 1500-2000 people.  Obviously, I, for one, would love, love, love to see them in a venue this size.  I haven’t had a chance to see/hear from anyone who was there, but I have to wonder.  Was it amazing?  Was it everything you thought it would be?

Live Stream:

As I stated earlier, I loved that the show was live streamed for all of us to enjoy.  That said, it only made me want to see them live more.  It felt like a giant tease to me.  I could sense the performance, the crowd, etc but it felt removed, through a filter of some kind, something.  As someone who knows the power of Duran’s live show, it left me aching for the real thing.  Sometimes, I could hear the crowd and sometimes I couldn’t so I couldn’t get a proper read of how the show went.  For example, Simon encouraged the crowd to chant, “play the f’ing bass, John,” during the intros and I didn’t hear anything.  I assume that some fans there were chanting but I don’t know.  Likewise, I kept wanting to turn up the volume to get that all encompassing feeling that I get at a live show but couldn’t get there.  Needless to say, I suspect that I will really let it go with excitement in Vegas.

Set List:

I have heard that some fans were annoyed by the lack of set list changes as they played pretty much what they had been playing in the summer/fall with the exception of having Mark Ronson join them for Pressure Off (with a little extra of Uptown Funk.  How cool!).  I have two thoughts on that.  First, this show, like the ones coming up in Vegas and Dubai, are not officially part of the Paper Gods Tour from what I understand.  They are not part of something new either.  I wouldn’t want something brand new to be attached at the end of a big tour.  I would want something new as part of a new cycle or as part of some anniversary celebration.  These shows are not that.  Second, and probably more importantly, I could complain about the set list until the cows come home, but I won’t..  (For the record, people, when I left a note about Planet Earth, that was a joke.  A joke.  I was not really mad or upset.  I just wanted to give a little grief.  For fun.)  It just isn’t worth getting upset over.  Right now, at the end of 2017, I have WAY bigger issues to worry about.  I go to Duran to have fun, to escape from real life, etc.  I no longer want to ruin that fun with complaining about the set list.

3 Week Countdown:

Speaking of that escape from real life, I leave for Vegas in less than 3 weeks.  I’m not ready.  At all.  I have some idea of what I will be wearing but not totally.  My travel plans are generally set.  But the tour binder has not been started and won’t be until the Christmas to do list is done or until winter break starts.  Needless to say, I’m not feeling very ready.  On the other hand, as my friend, Suzie, said last night, she is starting to get that Duran feeling.  Last night, I felt that, too.  My excitement level increased dramatically!  I have started a countdown!  I cannot wait to see my friends, to exchange gifts with Rhonda, to forget about reality for a few days.  Our Late Bar party should be a blast, too, for those coming to the area for the show.  Details can be found at our event page here!  All in all, it should be an amazingly fun time!  I cannot wait!!!  I hope the city and the band are ready for us!!!

-A