Category Archives: shows

You Had Plans All Along

If someone asked you what your greatest strength or talent was, what would you say?  I’m not talking about the skill or quality for a job interview, even though it could be used at work as well.  No, I’m thinking about the essential element of who you are and when you are using this, it feels good and right.  Would Simon say that he is an entertainer?  What about Nick?  Or John?  Would they say artist?  Multi-media specialist?  The past week has made me think a lot about what mine is.  This skill or quality I am thinking of is used here with fandom, at work and during political actions or campaigns.

Some of you have guessed that it is organization.  I thrive in situations which require organization.  To me, there is nothing better than when I have worked hard to organize something and it goes well.  I feel that way at work when I plan a great lesson.  I definitely feel that way when political campaigns result in a win for my candidates.  Likewise, I love when I am able to organize surrounding my fandom.  Over the last eight years or so, Rhonda and I have found ourselves organizing various fan events from simple meet ups to online parties to a full-blown weekend convention.  Each time those events went well, I felt successful.  Sometimes, like with the convention, Durandemonium, successful doesn’t adequately describe how I felt afterwards.  I was on top of the world, ready to do more.  I mean, who doesn’t like it when the core of who they are helps to create something fun?

As you all know, Rhonda and I have been thinking about doing something like a mini-convention in Las Vegas during the weekend that the band is playing there in February 2019.  We have brainstormed some ideas and have sought out information.  Hopefully, we will be able to figure out something definite soon so that we can share and start signing people up!  Here is what I can tell you.  Right now, we are thinking about doing something Thursday night as a welcome party of sorts.  Then, we would have activities during the day on both Friday and Saturday.  Obviously, Friday and Saturday nights would be taken up with the shows themselves.

For those of you who were not at the convention in 2013, some of the activities we had included get to know you games (Duran style), other Duran related games, video viewing, book talks and a party.  If you were at Durandemonium, what did you think of those activities?  Which did you like best?  If you weren’t at that convention, what sounds good to you?  What are some other suggestions you might have?

We would like to get the ball rolling for whatever we do in Vegas as quickly as we can for various reasons, including to reserve a space, start planning the activities and make sure that everyone knows that they should come in on Thursday to party with us!  Nothing is obviously definite as there are lots of factors that we need to consider before we totally commit to it, but I am feeling optimistic.  Maybe, it is just my desire to use those organizational skills but I don’t think so.  Is there anything much better than a bunch of Duranies hanging out together and having fun?  I don’t think so!

-A

No Time for Worry

So maybe you have heard that Rhonda and I have shows coming up in 2019.  Yes, I admit that we are very fortunate.  I acknowledge the fact that there are many, many, many fans that are nowhere near as lucky.  I wish that every Duran fan had shows to look forward to.  In thinking about this, I’m going to take a minute or two here to simply be grateful that, at least right now, when it comes to Duran, I’m lucky.  Lately, I have been feeling like anything but in the rest of my life.  Life has been hard.  I have spent much of my energy just working my way back from holes of unhappiness just to “okay” status.  Happiness is not a word I use or have used for a long time.  Needless to say, I need some joy.

When the three shows (one in New Orleans and two in Vegas) were announced, I did not hesitate to pass that information on to Rhonda in an “official Duranie alert” capacity.  When the information popped up, I didn’t stop and think about any potential negatives.  For example, I wouldn’t say that we had a great time at the last show at the Chelsea in December of 2017 due to a giant standing in front of us blocking our view and a number of potential fights almost breaking out.  I chose not to even think about a repeat of that show.  Likewise, I didn’t stop and complain that these shows were once again in Vegas.  While I’m able to get there, I admit that it would be nice for me to not have to fly.  The Midwest, I hear, is lovely!  (Hint!)  Just sayin’.  I heard that some fans questioned whether or not the setlist and performance would be much different from the Paper Gods Tour.  Nope, that thought did not really enter my mind.  Why is that?  I suspect a lot of it is my need for joy but also just being grateful that I will get another show, another weekend with friends.

I have been thinking about how life was ten or even a few years ago.  I have to admit that I remember myself complaining about various things, including work, politics, parents, etc.  Looking back, I clearly didn’t realize how lucky I had it.  Sure, there are always things that can be improved, made better, fixed but I wish I understood then that things could also be a lot worse.  In hindsight, I don’t think I appreciated how good life was then.  Things felt easier.  No, they were not perfect but better than they are now as so many aspects of my life have just gotten tougher, harder, more challenging.

Funny enough, when thinking about Duran, I am willing to bet that I did the exact same thing.  When I look back to different eras like Astronaut and All You Need Is Now, I have a lot of fondness.  Some of the best memories and moments took place during those album cycles.  Yet, if you read this blog in 2011 and 2012 or even 2013, you probably didn’t see me being super grateful.  In all honesty, I suspect that there might have been some criticism.  While I still think that there can be room for improvement when it comes to Duranland, I no longer am or want to be the person that picks out all of the band’s flaws.  No, they are not perfect.  Yes, they could grow in multiple ways.  But I have a choice.  Do I want to just complain or enjoy what I have?

Sure, I could vent some frustration over Ticketmaster because it truly does suck or spew continued annoyance by the lack of setlist changes.  Those would be valid criticisms.  Yet, I have so many other things to worry about than every little crappy aspect of being a fan of this band.  Instead, I would rather embrace the joy, the fun, the friendship, the escape that Duran shows and tours brings.  So, you won’t hear me complain about the setlist or the venue in February.  No, I’m just going to be dang happy to be there.

-A

As the Planet Turns Into the Light

I had a good day yesterday.

Before I dive into that statement, I want to acknowledge that I am lucky to live in the US. While I know why the band plays here, I can’t help but feel badly for the rest of the fans throughout the world. One can reasonably understand why things are the way they are, and still not like it. I am very lucky to live here, and I’m very sorry that business for the band is such that economically – they play here because they need to.  I wish it were different.

The crazy thing is, the real joy I felt yesterday wasn’t from scoring tickets to a show. Quite honestly, I didn’t get anything myself from the pre-sale but an empty basket. Over and over and over again! However, it is true that my friend Lori is a guru when it comes to getting tickets on Ticketmaster (and before her, it was Suzie that came to the rescue for last year’s show), and without them I’d be scrolling Stub Hub or even the reseller’s marketplace on Ticketmaster.  It definitely wasn’t the ticket buying that made me smile yesterday.

I actually spoke to Amanda for the first time since July! What was so strange, yet comforting, was that we dove back in without really even skipping a beat. It was as if no time had passed. We talked about the band. We talked about a possible meet-up/welcome party/mini-convention for the weekend. We talked about politics (we are more alike than different), we even talked about sexual assault and feminism. I think what made me smile most yesterday was how normal everything felt, particularly after nearly a year of life feeling everything but. I am lucky to have a friend like her.

We planned. We talked about what we’d like to do that weekend. Yesterday, we focused on something other than campaigning and moving. For me, that was glorious. It’s weird, because for the past eleven months, I haven’t thought too much about Duran Duran. Yes, I write the blog on the days I need to write it, but once I’m done composing a post, I really have to move on with my day. I’ve had to focus on my family’s needs and put my hobbies aside. Secretly, I’ve wondered if I was just over Duran Duran.

That’s the silver lining of hiatus, or quiet times when it comes to this band. For two straight years (if not more), I think both Amanda and I felt like we were “all in”. We lived, ate, and slept Duran Duran! Once the tour ended (and I mean the real tour – not these one-off, two off dates), we went back to our regular lives. We picked up on other things. Maybe that’s our idea of balance. I don’t know. We don’t even work for Duran Duran, yet sometimes I really wonder if it’s not some strange sort of indentured servitude going on here!

I think I’d forgotten the joy I get from just being a fan and doing my thing. Sure, we can talk about how the set list never seems to change these days, or take up bets on whether the set and costuming will remain. There are real discussions to be had about Ticketmaster, and ticketing in general, and how it ruins the experience for fans. I’m not sorry I’m going to see Duran Duran in Las Vegas though.

I’m excited to see my friends. It will be great to be with my people again, strolling around with our to-go cups and lids. Again, I feel so lucky to count these women within my small circle friends. I am eager to be in the audience for the gigs. My adrenaline will kick in, and I’m hoping the memory of my past year will be put to rest. I can’t wait to see Simon, John, Roger, Nick, Anna, and of course Dom. I’ve missed them. We’re definitely doing parties of some kind at the Hard Rock. Watch this space for details. If you’re not already coming for the shows, maybe a mini-Duranie convention will entice you to make the trip.

Yesterday was the most joyful I’ve been since last December. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I have real hope that things are beginning to look up.

-R

 

Feel Like Going to Shows????

Sometimes, you have an idea in your head about what to write about and before you can type it, something changes it.  Today is one of those days.  I have been so busy that Duran has been placed on the back burner in my life.  (Just to give an example–yesterday, my day started at 6 am.  I worked until midnight.  No joke.)  Thus, my plan for today’s blog was simple.  I was going to write about how I have been feeling like a bad fan.  While I acknowledge that I still do this blog and the question of the day, I feel like I have been I have been barely paying attention.  I have not been giving as much love as I would like. Then, I would have asked for forgiveness before promising that I would jump in and pay attention if something happened.  Well…something happened.  It is kinda funny, really.

Today finds me at a campaign office of sorts, running multiple canvasses.  My phone has been buzzing with text messages, emails and more asking questions, seeking information, etc.  So, when a notification popped up, I didn’t think much of it.  I figured it was campaign related so I glanced at the phone.  Was it campaign related?  Nope!  Not at all.  It was a Duranie alert!  An actual Duranie alert!  Anyone want some shows?!  I know I do!

The three shows are:

New Orleans — February 19

Las Vegas — February 22 and 23

 

Want details?!  I know you do!

MEMBERS ONLY PRE-SALE AND VIP PACKAGES
Members are the first to know! NEW pre-sales announced for New Orleans and Las Vegas in 2019!

Our pre-sale will begin on Tuesday, October, 16th at 10am local venue time

**The links will become active shortly before the start of the pre-sale, and the password will also be revealed.**

As these are relatively small venues, members will only be able to purchase up to two (2) tickets/packages per order. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you log into the pre-sale and tickets are sold out we recommend that you keep refreshing your browser as often community members put them in their carts and release them after 5-15 minutes.

There is no meet and greet, VIP parking or experience at the venue (other than early entry in New Orleans). All merchandise associated with the packages will be mailed no later than 2 weeks before the shows. You must be a member in good standing to purchase.

DETAILS:

February 19th, 2019: Fillmore New Orleans, LA at Harrah’s Casino:

PASSWORD: (revealed before pre-sale begins)

The Early Entry VIP Package is the only one being offered for this show:

Cost: $165 plus ticket price

– One general admission ticket to the show
– Early Entry to the show before general ticket purchasers
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

There will also be regular pre-sale tickets available in the General Admission floor section and in the Stadium Seating Section

February 22nd and February 23rd, 2019: The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas, NV

PASSWORD: (for both Las Vegas shows revealed before pre-sale begins)

There are three VIP packages available for these shows:

The Ultimate Front Row package:

Cost: $300 plus ticket price

– One front row ticket
– A limited edition postcard personally autographed by the band
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

The Gold Package:

Cost: $150 plus ticket price

– A ticket in rows 2-7
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

The Bronze Package:

Cost: $65 plus ticket price

– A premium ticket (typically in rows 8-15)
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

There will also be regular pre-sale tickets for both shows available in all sections while supplies last.

Ticket prices in Vegas range from $79 to $199 depending on location.

We look forward to seeing you online on October 16th! If you have any questions, please email ddvip@magusentertainment.com.

DD

So, anyone thinking about going to shows now?!  I know what we are thinking about going to Vegas, assuming that Rhonda and I can figure out who can do the presale on Tuesday.  Wish us luck!!!  If we can make it work, maybe we will do something meet up wise!

-A

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