Category Archives: shows

The Importance of a Fan Community: Shows!

I have been involved in an interesting discussion throughout the day on Twitter.  One of our friends on Twitter suggested that we talk about our fans who don’t participate in the online fan community.  This lead to a discussion on bringing non-fans or non-Duranies with you to shows.  For some people, this has been a positive experience and for others, it hasn’t been.  I can speculate about why some experiences went well and others didn’t. 

Why do Duranies go with non-Duranies to shows?  Well, the answer is obvious, isn’t it?  People go to shows with non-Duranies because either they don’t have any Duranies to go with or because they want to share their fandom with others.  No matter the reason it seems to me that things can either go well or go very badly.  I have to admit that I have gone to shows with a variety of different people.  An ideal show, for me, would obviously be to go with Rhonda.  Why?  On top of being my best friend, we both have the same philosophy about the band, shows, and activities surrounding the shows.  For me, all three elements are essential for the best time.  The first element is clear and was basically what the conversation surrounded on twitter.  I prefer to go with other fans.  I will be even more clear.  I want to go to shows with Duranies and not just people who liked Rio back in the day or can sing the Reflex.  They have to be fans and I think we all know the difference.  There has to be a passion for the band.  They don’t have to know everything I know about the band but they have to have strong feeling for the band and their music.  Perhaps, then, a spark will take place which results in them finding out more about the band.  To me, anything less results in disappointment.  The second element revolves the show itself and how to behave at a show.  I won’t lie here.  I sing (badly) at a show.  I don’t sit down.  I might scream once or twice, particularly after a JoSi moment.  I move around.  I watch the band closely, especially that bass player guy.  Again, ideally, I would love to be close as the experience is enhanced and, generally, I’m willing to pay to be close.  So, what if the person or people you go with, don’t want to pay.  What if they don’t sing or dance?  What if they would be horrified by your behavior?  Again, I think this could end in disappointment even if you go with Duranies.  Lastly, the activities surrounding a show are also important.  I like to meet up with people before and after a show, for dinner and/or drinks.  My post show nights are, generally, not early as I like to go out.  I like to have a good time and a Duran show is the perfect time to do it.  Again, if the person or people you are with, don’t like to do that, it isn’t going to be as fun.  It is quite possible that everyone involved won’t be happy as some compromise to make the others happy but the happy ones aren’t that happy because their companion(s) aren’t really excited.  Thus, to me, all three elements are important.

Of course, there have been times that Rhonda and I can’t go to shows together.  It is one of the not fun parts of living so far away from each other.  During those times, I have sought out different people to go with.  In many, if not most, cases, the night has gone badly.  Sometimes, it has gone so badly that I know it as it is happening.  For example, once, I was unable to watch the show when the person I went with couldn’t handle being among the masses in a GA show.  Other times, it takes a while to really understand what went wrong.  Usually, those are the shows that I have gone with people who like Duran but aren’t Duranies.  In those cases, I have usually had to listen to them complain about Duran did or didn’t do.  For example, one person complained that Duran wasn’t spontaneous enough and actually compared them to Depeche Mode.  For the record, I like Depeche but their setlists, at times, don’t vary at all.  Literally, it is the same songs in the same order every night.  Anyway, I didn’t want to argue with this friend.  Sometimes, the person I have gone with may appear to be a Duranie or a could be Duranie.  Those experiences are the ones that really disappoint when it turns out that the person isn’t and never will be.  Now, of course, not all of my show going experiences with non-Duranies have been bad.  The ones that haven’t been have, at least, 2 out of the 3 elements, though.  My friend, Robyn, has gone with me a couple of times.  She likes Duran but isn’t a Duranie.  At the shows we have been to, though, Duranie friends have been present.  On top of that, she goes to shows like I do.  She will sing and dance, too.  She also likes to go out before and/or after. Yes, perhaps, my expectations play a significant role.  Maybe, others don’t have as high of expectation as I do, which is why things have gone well for them. 

Despite good experiences with Robyn, I truly hope that the people I go to the rest of my shows with me are on the same page with me.  I wish that everyone had people to go with who are on the same page as they are.  This leads me to the fan community.  Isn’t part of the reason fans talk to other fans to make friends in order to have people to go to shows or fan events with?  I know that was the exact reason that I went to the Duran Convention in New Orleans in 2004.  I knew that there was a tour coming up and wanted to have people to go with.  I would love for every Duranie to go to shows with other Duranies.  Perhaps, the fan community can work to have that happen! 

-A

   

Pictures, rules and nostalgia

Lately I’ve been reading books about MTV.  I already finished one, and I’m starting a couple more this week, all of which will likely be used as some sort of research for the blog and book writing.  I must admit, the reading has been wonderfully nostalgic thus far.  I love reading the tidbits about various videos I haven’t seen in years (and then looking them up on YouTube to refresh my memory!), and I suppose that reading has gotten me in a bit of a mood to think back a bit.

As I was getting ready for the day this morning, for some reason I thought about pictures, or rather, my lack of pictures with the members of Duran Duran.  I have a dear friend here in California who “obsession” (so to speak) is to go to the various award shows – Golden Globes, Oscars, etc.  Yesterday were the SAG awards, and I’m sure I’m due an email with her photo file from the night.  She’s attended several awards now, gone to the after parties and things, and has pictures with everyone from Brad Pitt to John Stamos.  I’m always astonished when she sends me her latest photos from the award shows, and I’m pretty sure every single time I see them (and giggle over them with her) I yelp “I can’t even believe you have a photo with _____________, I’ve been a fan of Duran Duran for 30 years now and don’t have a single one with ANY of them!!!”  To which she always says, “I know.  What IS your problem, Rhonda?”  (good question.  I’ve no single answer to that.)   She was highly disappointed with me after my return from the UK, as she had put me on notice that I wasn’t to return to the US without at least one photo.  I failed miserably.

As I thought about that lack of pictures, I remembered that for me – it was only just after the reunion that I’d ever gotten a picture (that I had taken on my own camera) of ANY of them.  Back in the 80’s & 90’s, I couldn’t really attend many concerts – just one in 1989 and then another in 1993, and in those days – cameras weren’t really allowed into the venues.  Sure, people probably snuck them in, but I never did.  I took “no cameras” to be gospel, and followed the rules.  I’m a good kid, but being well-behaved never got anyone anywhere, did it?  I still have a hard time “breaking” rules to this day, which explains why I still do not have pictures with the band.  I don’t go hanging out waiting for them outside of theater doors, I refuse to intrude on their privacy after the shows….and as a result tons of my friends have photos with them that I do not.  You’d think I’d learn.

It wasn’t until after the reunion at a show in San Diego at 4th and B theater that I ever took pictures at a concert.  I remember that night, being SO thrilled that my husband snuck a disposable camera into the theater (actually, I’m not even sure if he had to sneak it…but he kept it tucked into his jacket all the same), and just before the show, presented it to me.  I think I genuinely squealed when I saw it.  When the band came on stage, I couldn’t get very good shots, so my husband started taking the pictures for me – and that practice of his being the photographer while I’m enjoy the show continues to this very day.  I was so excited to see those pictures – I remember taking the camera to have the pictures developed, and when we got the photos back, I was shocked at how lousy they were.  A disposable camera just didn’t do the band justice.  That said, I proudly scrapbooked the pictures, and still have the doubles somewhere.  After that, it became standard to take a camera to the show, and I worked harder and harder at getting good pictures.  For a while I took my good Canon Rebel (both the film and the digital SLR’s…at different times of course) to the shows, but then security started to tighten up on cameras, and I was told a couple of times that it was a professional camera.  I laugh about that, because if they saw my pictures – they’d no I’m no professional.  In any way. At. All.  That said, I stopped bringing the big Canon after the Voodoo show because I got tired of carrying it around.  I use a small Canon point and shoot now, and I’ve learned to take pictures during my “less than favorite” songs.  I’ll let you all guess which ones those might include…

Speaking of nostalgia, one of the things I’ve always wondered about nearly constantly since I was ten or eleven and first discovered the band was what it must be like (or been like) to actually live in England and have more access to the band.  Here in the states, we had relatively little unless they were touring or were here doing press.  We didn’t live near them on a daily basis, and so naturally we didn’t have quite the same familiarity with them as other fans might in England.  No matter how often I talk to fans from the UK, I just think it’s nearly impossible to really get a good sense of what it must have been like to be able to hop on the tube and get to their studios or homes. (even though we all know that the information might have been difficult to come by unless you knew whom to talk with…)  Well, my friend Michelle kept a diary of her Duran Duran adventures back in the 80’s.  She’s used this diary to begin her own blog, and I encourage everyone to go visit and read!  I found myself giggling away while reading this morning…and as soon as I’m finished blogging, I’m going back for more.

You can find The Duran Diaries here.  Read away!!

I know that often times, there’s a sort of rivalry…implied or otherwise…between the US and UK fans.  The fact is, we have had very different experiences from one another.  There is plenty of joy, exasperation, excitement and even moments of disappointment, to be shared amongst all of us.  It’s my hope that those who read Daily Duranie and the Duran Diaries can embrace all of what is offered without judgement.

Happy Monday everyone!  
-R

The Importance of Seeing Duran Live?

In the last couple of days, the Daily Duranie 30 Day Challenge has focused on live songs.  Yesterday, we asked what people’s favorite song was that they have not heard live.  Today, the question was the least favorite song you have seen live.  Basically, what song have you not seen performed but really want to and which song that you have seen, could you live without.  Yesterday’s results varied quite a bit.  33 different songs were given as answers.  The most popular choices were Shadows On Your Side and Late Bar.  Other popular choices were Land, None of the Above, the Chauffeur, Last Chance on the Stairway, Lonely in Your Nightmare, To the Shore, and Hold Back the Rain.  I have to admit that some of the answers surprised me as I have seen a number of these songs live.  What surprised me even more is that a number of fans haven’t seen them live.  This really got me thinking.

It seems to me that most fandoms have some way of celebrating what they are interested in.  They all have some event to really look forward to.  It may be the Superbowl for football fans or the convention for Star Trek fans.  I have always felt like tours were ours.  It is what we all seem to look forward to, what keeps us going as fans.  Now, that I know that a number of people haven’t been to shows, I have to wonder if my assumption was wrong.  Are tours not as important to the fandom as I thought?  Could it be that tours are the big party for some fans but not others?  Could it be that our fandom wasn’t united with this common element of fandom?

I am pretty open about the fact that tours are a big deal in my life.  I look forward to them and definitely countdown to the next one once I have tickets in hand.  Tours represent fun, travel, friends and more.  Yet, even more importantly, they represent shows.  Concerts.  Gigs.  They are filled with seeing the band perform live.  Let’s face it.  Duran is a band.  They play music.  The two ways they provide us with the music are the live shows and the albums.  While I love, love, love the albums, I don’t know that they are enough for me.  If you look at Duran’s history, they actually don’t happen all that often.  How many studio albums have there been?  13?  That isn’t very many for a band that has been around 30 years.  Are those albums enough to sustain interest?  Enough to keep fans?  I don’t think they would be for me.  While I love the music and can listen to the albums over and over again, I know that my fandom is reinforced at most shows.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that a great show actually increases my love for Duran.  Shows makes the music more powerful, more meaningful.  Then, of course, when I see their reactions to the music and their interactions with the crowd, this pushes my interest as well.  Yet, obviously, there are other fans who don’t share this outlook with me.

I wonder why people haven’t been to shows.  Yes, obviously, I realize that many fans probably have wanted to but haven’t been able for a variety of reasons (financial, health, other responsibilities, no shows near them, etc.).  I wonder if there are some fans who don’t want to see them live, who don’t think it is important.  Is it that their fandom needs are met through the albums?  Maybe they get enough through videos or dvds.  Perhaps, social interactions with other fans give them what they need.  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, it seems to me that my initial assumption about tours being essential isn’t totally right.  Tours might be key for some of us but not all of us. 

-A

Lesson: Duran Duran Live

A topic that seems to be coming up again and again lately is going to shows with people who aren’t quite as…obsessed as you are.  One of our readers talked about how she gave her companions a little “tutorial” about Duran before they went to the show.  (How did everything go, Amanda?)  This got me thinking that I, too, should provide not only my show companions with a little lesson but also give it here so that others may use it, if they are in a similar situation.  I apologize in advance, if I give away too many secrets and if I forget something!

The first thing to know about seeing Duran live is the current touring line-up.  It includes four familiar faces of Simon, John, Roger and Nick.  People you might not be as familiar with are Dom Brown (guitar-he’s totally great, by the way), Anna Ross (back-up singer) and Simon Willescroft (saxophone).  Obviously, Andy Taylor is no longer in the band as he left in 2006.  The second most important is to know the songs.  Based on the setlists so far in 2011, here are the songs you must know as they have played them every time:  Being Followed, All You Need Is Now, Notorious, Girl Panic, Sunrise, and Girls on Film.  Other songs that you really, really should know since they have played them at almost all of the shows are Hungry Like the Wolf, Ordinary World, and Safe.  Then, you really should know these, too, as they have been played frequently:  A View to a Kill, Rio, Leave a Light on, The Reflex, Friends of Mine and Careless Memories.  Now, if you have a bit more time on your hands, I would also recommend Runway Runaway, Come Undone, Wild Boys and Planet Earth.

After you know the songs, it is important to know what to look for and what other people in the audience will be looking for.  Some of those moments are connected to specific songs and others are not.  The first general thing to look for is JoSi.  What is JoSi exactly?  Well, literally, it is a combination between John and Simon.  On stage, this might mean a moment when the two of them are singing together using the same microphone.  It may mean a look exchanged between them.  It might also mean an arm over the other’s person shoulder (usually Simon’s arm over John) and, if you are really lucky, it might mean more body contact.  This is a warning, though.  If something like that were to happen, many, many, many people in the audience would NOT be okay.  There will be massive amounts of screaming.  Many people will attempt to take pictures and videos quickly.  Some may faint.  It would not be pretty.  My understanding is that some fans who saw the kiss in Vegas in 2005 did not make it out in one piece.  Now, fans will also appreciate another interaction between members and that is DoJo.  This is the combination between Dom and John.  In this case, it is more musical as it is when the two of them meet and seem to battle of sorts with their instruments.  Good stuff.  Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to individual band members because they do can be entertaining all on their own (Reminder here:  Roger and John are on the left and Nick and Dom are on the right side of the stage).  Roger, for example, likes to twirl his stick, which will induce screaming.  The other member in the back, Nick, isn’t as flashy but it is possible to catch him snapping pictures as the show moves along.  John fans will be watching for his famous pouts and smiles.  I, for one, always loves when he sings along with the song, microphone near or not.  Then, there is Simon.  Some love him and some are entertained by him.  The one thing you can say about Simon is that he is never boring.  He can keep us all laughing by his silly dance moves, for instance.  Pay attention to the end of Notorious when he squats down and begins to punch the air (click on the title to see a clip!).  It is highly possible that Simon will forget the words at some point and probably the order of the songs on the setlist as well despite the fact that there are many copies of the setlist taped on the stage.  If you are at a special show, you may witness a fall like at this show:  Simon falling in Paris in ’05

There are many moments to look for that are connected to songs and many of these songs are being played on this current tour.  First, they have consistently playing Girls on Film, which has featured band introductions for years.  Here is the song from Foxwoods of this year:  Girls on Films with introductions.  If you notice John’s introduction included a little chant, which many of us love and goes something like this:  “Play the f***ing bass, John.”  Be prepared to join in.  Another song that has been consistently played is Sunrise.  Again, here you should be prepared to reach up for the sunrise by raising your hands up in the air.  Notice that this song also features a JoSi moment.  Another fairly common song is Rio.  There is more audience participation in this one as the audience claps at the end.  Planet Earth is my personal favorite and features all of my favorite things.  This clip shows JoSi moments and audience participation.  The crowd screams out “switch it off” after the line about “the tv sound”.  John also encourages everyone to clap during his little solo.  Now, Nick fans might appreciate the Reflex more as he often gives a reason why he does not “use it”.  This clip shows us that Nick left it about 3 and a half minutes into the song.  Simon girls tend to love Come Undone where Simon licks his fingers about 1 minute into the clip.  These Simon girls will scream in delight while the rest of us hide!  While we are on the subject of specific songs and Simon, be aware if they bust out White Lines as they have been doing once in awhile.  This clip shows the best and worst of Mr. LeBon.  First, he does a lovely kick then proceeds to forget the lyric.  Then, he spits out his water while tilting his head back.  Oh boy.  I couldn’t make this stuff up!

Now, while waiting and watching for these moments and more, fans are also hoping to interact with their favorite band member.  Perhaps, they will be watching for a smile from John or Dom.  Maybe, they will be waiting to sing with John.  Some might be watching for Simon to get close enough to flirt with while others are looking at the best way to get Roger’s attention in the hopes that he will throw a drumstick to them (which happens at the very end of the show).  They watch and wait while they are standing, dancing, singing and screaming.  Typically, the only people sitting down are not Duranies.  Be prepared to be on your feet for the two hours of the show and more.  Many people will also be taking pictures.  This is all very normal and expected.  Another common occurrence at a Duran show is the feeling that you have just stepped into a weird reunion as Duranies know each other.  Thus, it isn’t uncommon to see women run up to each other, exchange hugs, and take pictures together.  Perhaps, the pictures also explain why many people like to look nice at the show.  Now, that doesn’t mean that people are wearing formal dresses but nice tops with nice jeans or pants is common.  Some women will wear heels. 

Beyond the other fans, the songs and the band members, you should really expect the following to happen.  You should know that you will lust after the band members by the end of the show.  You will also want to go to more shows.  This will happen.  It happened to me for the first time in 1993 and I suspect that it will happen again after each show this year.  Good luck and have fun!

-A

Longevity

One of the major themes for our book is longevity, both for the band AND for the fan community. Interestingly enough, you can’t really have one without the other to some extent.  Sure, The Beatles still have fans, and I would assume that somewhere out there there’s a fan community….but I don’t think it’s quite the same as a fan community for a band that is still very much in existence.  Perhaps you might disagree, and that’s OK. (leave a comment below as I’m sure this would be an interesting discussion comment!)  I don’t really know of many bands that have the longevity of Duran Duran, yet there’s no fan base.  If you can name one, let me know.  I’ll check it out!

The goal of our book is two fold: Why does a fan community exist, and how does it thrive for so long.  For a lot of us, we’ve been fans since we were in that wonderfully awkward adolescent period of our lives.  Yes, there are fans that may have been older, a lot that are younger – but the one thing that I feel makes our own fan community or fandom unique is that most of us literally grew up with the band in our lives.  Many of us are now entering that also delightfully awkward “middle” age period (you’re welcome for the reminder – I know of what I speak, every morning MY back and knees remind me too!), and yet we’re still huge fans of the band. At times, we even forget that we’re not still 12!   The point of our book is to answer why.  I’m not sure that Amanda and I will ever be able to say we have the definitive answer – I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are fans, but we really hope to encourage fans to embrace their fandom and celebrate what brought us all here, and why we stay.

Last week I blogged about a thread I’d read on a board about aging fans.  Naturally, this hit home with me because I am one of those fans.  I won’t lie, it hit a raw nerve – and perhaps I shouldn’t have let it bother me so much.  I’m human as it turns out, so it did – and I blogged about it.  Many agreed with me, but there were a few dissenting opinions as well.   Over the weekend, my husband and I had a date night, and in the discussion over what we should do and where we should go, my husband wanted to go bar hopping in an area that we used to go when we were younger.  Much younger, as in I think the last time we were over there – I had just one little one at home.  That “little one” is now 14, and she’s got a younger brother that is two years younger, and a little sister that is 11 years younger.  So yes, it’s been quite a while.  I can remember the days when I would jump at such an offer – but this time, I stopped, looked at my dear husband and laughed.  Admittedly, I was tired that night.  He’s been traveling quite a bit which means my days are very long, and with three kids – it’s tough.  The real truth is though, I had zero interest in going clubbing.  I remember when clubbing was fun, but nowadays, I go into those places and feel extremely over dressed (I have on far more clothes than anyone else), very old (self-explanatory here), and I’m typically shocked at the crap (aka really bad music) they’re playing.  If those aren’t signs of impending old age, I’d be surprised.  We ended up deciding to go to dinner (sushi, one of my favorites) and a movie (Adjustment Bureau – very interesting but nothing like what I thought it would be).  It was a fun night, and when I woke up the next morning, I didn’t feel like I was about to die, which is always a bonus!

When I first really got back involved with Duran Duran, and by that I mean joining the message boards and getting to know others in the fan community, going to shows and that sort of thing, I was about 33.  When I went to the convention in New Orleans, I had no trouble staying out very late (as in seeing the sunrise), having many beverages on Bourbon Street, and pretending I was in my 20’s.  In 2005 when the band toured for Astronaut, I was still feeling good.  I didn’t look like I was about to turn 35, and I pretty much ignored the threat of middle age.  Somewhere in 2006 though, life decided to toy with me.  I had major surgery in October of that year, and I swear to you – it aged me a good 5 years.  It was insulting, rude, and uncalled for, in my opinion.  Every time I went out with friends, rather than taking a few hours to undo the damage – it was taking days.  Then in 2008, I did the craziest thing ever – I had a baby at the age of 37.  If that didn’t almost kill me (and it really did), going through the grief after my father died two weeks later didn’t help matters.  It took me forever to really get back to myself after all of that, and it wasn’t until September of that year when I attempted to party it up like I was still in my 20’s again.  As it turns out, I’m not!  The hangover from that trip (it was to see what I thought I would never see – my good friend Jessica getting married!) lasted about two weeks, I swear.  The stitches I received from getting smart with the ceramic soap dish in the shower took a little longer to heal. *sigh*   Later that year, I went with Jessica, Amanda and our good friend Mac to see some DD shows on the east coast.  Between the time difference, the driving every day (I believe we did 800 miles in what – 4 days or so -because we’re clearly insane), and the shows – there was a moment as we were watching the band at the House of Blues in Atlantic City where I thought I was really going to hell, hard and fast.  I had to go and sit down – which has NEVER happened at a DD concert before, and I realized then that as much as I might try, I am not 18 or even 25 anymore.  I went to bed fairly early that night (2am really IS early when I’m with the girls on a weekend trip!), and prayed to any god who would listen to give me some energy to finish the trip.  I mentioned some of this to my friends, who naturally looked at me as though I’d grown three heads, and they seemed to laugh it off, telling me to grow a pair and get on with it.  I would have laughed with them, except that my body hurt too much!   I finished out the weekend, and have even been to a show or two since then, but I have to admit – I’m much more careful now.  I recognize the differences in my body between the ages of 35 and 40 – and for those of you who haven’t had the joy of looking into the mirror and wondering why you STILL have bags under your eyes even though you’ve had a full night’s sleep for the past 3 months, enjoy.  The bags come quickly and they don’t have the decency to leave!  Never mind the grey hair or the aches and pains.  Seriously, turning 35 sucked and 40 isn’t being much kinder!

All of this begs the question – when will I be done?  I’d love to say never, and that they’ll have to pry my cold dead hands off of my Duran Duran albums at some point, but I’m not so sure anymore.  Well, they’ll probably still have to pry my cold dead hands off of my DD albums, but as far as going to shows…I really am not sure.  Is it cool to keep going to concerts into my 50’s?  I’ve asked these questions on the boards before, and I’ve had fans remind me that the band is in their 50’s now and that I have to stop aging myself and the band.  I guess the thought is that if they can still do it, so can we.

Could someone just tell my BODY that?  😀

Types of Venues

It seems that Duran Duran has announced a special show in London on March 7th.  I’m not really sure what is special about it beyond the fact that it is for a BBC Radio 2.  Maybe I was the only one hoping that they would play the entire album at one of their upcoming shows and thought something like that might be considered “special”.  Anyway, another thing that I have been seeing and hearing about over and over again is opinions about the venues.  Some people seem to be more excited by this special show simply because of the venue, which is fascinating to me.  Likewise, I have seen people complain about the choice of large venues for the UK tour.  This is interesting to me because I don’t really have a venue preference.  Is that weird?

I have seen Duran Duran in all sorts of venues.  I have seen them at large outdoor venues, at arenas, at smaller theatres, at places like House of Blues, and more.  I don’t really have a preference other than the fact that I like seats.  I know that I have mentioned that a million times before but I’m not a fan of general admission.  I hate standing for hours and having to fight to keep my spot.  I’m sure that a lot of people have a preference for a specific type of venue because they have seen better shows there, especially if they were better Duran shows.  I can get that.  Yet, I have seen really great shows at all types of venues.  For example, I loved the Chicago show in the spring of 2005, which was at a large venue.  I also really liked the Broadway show that I went to in 2007, which was at a small theatre. 

What I find particularly fascinating by this preference isn’t that it is there, but that it has been a factor in some people’s decision to go to a show or not.  Obviously, I can understand other fans wanting to go to the best Duran show possible.  For me, though, I think all Duran shows have the chance to be really great–no matter the type of venue.  A show is more than a venue or even the sound quality that comes from the right type of venue.  A good show for me depends on the crowd, the band’s energy, interactions with the band and other fans.  Yes, bad sound quality could definitely have an impact on a show (I won’t ever forget the 2007 fan show…).  Yet, I haven’t seen much of that.  Of course, I have seen not great performances and some problems with the sound but, typically, they haven’t been that bad and they don’t usually last long.  I don’t know.  Generally, I guess I feel pretty lucky to be at a Duran show at all. 

-A

Setlist Wishes

Last night, I showed Songbook to a friend of mine.  For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, it was a show that aired in the UK, in January of 2009, in which the band discussed making certain songs and performed those same songs live.  Well, the second song happened to be Late Bar, which is one of the Daily Duranie’s favorites.  Both Rhonda and I LOVE the song and would absolutely love, love, love, love to hear it live.  We thought we might have a chance during the summer of 2009 as they played it once during the US’s mini tour, but not at the shows we were at.  Huge disappointment.  Anyway, this got me thinking about the songs I have seen live, the songs I hope to see live and the songs I hope never to see live again (or at least for a few years or more!). 

I openly admit that I’m a big Duranie dork.  I am.  I am such a dork that I have a list of every single song I have seen Duran perform live.  This list not only includes which songs but how many times I have seen the songs performed.  The songs I have seen the most, which are probably not hard to guess, are:  Ordinary World, Girls on Film, Rio, Sunrise and Wild Boys.  Now, I’m fortunate in that I generally like those songs.  Unfortunately, there are a ton of songs that come close to those top 5 and some of them I am sick of.  These songs are:  Hungry Like the Wolf, A View to a Kill, and Come Undone.  I can just imagine that some of you will instantly disagree with me as one or more of these songs might be your favorites.  I get that.  I know that I would be bummed if they stopped playing Planet Earth.  This brings me to a larger argument.  How in the world do they come up with the setlist?  How can they please all of us diehard fans with our different favorites and please those people who have come to the shows just to hear the hits?  I don’t think there is an easy answer there.  I hear many fans complain about how the setlists are always the same and are always the greatest hits.  I understand that, but I know that I have been at many shows where it seems like only half of the people there know non-singles and songs from 1988 or later.  It is a problem.

One thing Duran can do is simply include more and more hidden gems from their back catalog.  I know that some of the songs that I have loved the most live are songs like Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, Serious, Is There Something I Should Know? and more.  These are songs that they have played live but not to the same amount as the previously mentioned songs above (at least at the shows I have been to).  I have also loved more obscure choices like hearing Election Day live for the first time a couple of years ago.  (Can I put in a plug for Late Bar again????)  I have been lucky enough to hear two albums (Rio and Red Carpet Massacre) entirely and would love to finish other albums.  Now, of course, Duran has to also balance the new songs as well.  Like many Duranies out there, I want to hear them all!  I know that I will be incredibly disappointed if I don’t get to hear The Man Who Stole a Leopard or Girl Panic.  What about the songs from the last couple of albums?  Will we hear anything from Astronaut and Red Carpet Massacre?  I suspect that we won’t hear many, but if I could choose a couple, I would choose Sunrise and Red Carpet Massacre (the song). 

What about the rest of you?  How do you think Duran could make everyone happy at a show with the setlist?  What songs would you love to hear that you haven’t?   

-A

It’s Next Week Already!

It is Sunday.  According to my calendar, this means that it is a new week and, as many of us know, it isn’t a “normal” week as both John and Simon indicated that tour dates will be officially announced on dd.com this week.  Most people, of course, are assuming that they are only the UK dates based on Simon’s tweet where he specifically mentioned the UK and based on Simon’s recent interview where he spilled the beans about the 14 UK dates during the month of May.  Now, many people in the fan community anxiously await this announcement, including the authors of this blog!  How in the world will we survive until the dates are known?  What are you going to do to get through this painful wait?  I’m not sure what I will do as I have used up many of my tricks so far.

One of the things I typically do while waiting on tour dates is to speculate.  I like to have an idea of what they might look like.  Where will they go?  How long will they be there?  How many shows will that include?  I try to take all of the rumors and organize them.  Then, I also look at past touring history then I combine the rumors and the history to make my best guess.  Sad, isn’t it?  I want to be prepared, though, as best as possible.  Of course, saying this, I know that I will be surprised or shocked by something.  I suppose then it is a false preparedness.  It also helps make the time go faster and increase my excitement.  So, what is known about the upcoming tour?  What are the rumors?  What is the recent touring history?

Here is what I know:
Coachella Festival in California on Sunday, April 17th
14 dates in the UK in May
ITunes Festival in London on Saturday, July 16th

Some of the rumors:
Italy show on Monday, July 11th
Original rumors listed the US from March 31st and the UK/Europe starting in June
Special show in New York City based on a tweet from Wendy Laister, their manager

Touring history for the US and Europe (yes, I realize that I have left out a HUGE chunk of the world but I had to focus on what I might be able to do!)
2003: Random shows through the summer and fall in the US to equal about 4 weeks worth
2004: About 3 weeks in the UK (could this be similar to 2011?)
2005: About 11 weeks in the US (6 at one time and 3 at the other) and 8 weeks in Europe (6 at one time and 2 at the other)
2006: About 1 week in Europe and 3 weeks in the US
2007: About 2 weeks on Broadway
2008: About 6 weeks in US (4 at one time and 2 at the other) and about 7 weeks in Europe

This leads me to wonder when exactly they will be touring the US.  Will they do US around Coachella since they and their equipment will already be here?  If so, then, they better announce those dates as well.  Will they squeeze in the US dates in between the UK and the ITunes festival?  Maybe later in the summer?  Your guess is as good as mine.  (Although, if you do know something more and would like to share it with Rhonda and I, feel free to email us at dailyduranie@gmail.com.  Thanks!) 

Beyond speculating about what the tour might actually look like, I have been talking to my friends, specifically my touring buddies.  Part of those conservations have included developing an ideal plan.  What does your ultimate tour look like?  Do you want to do a show in your city or one nearby?  Do you want to travel?  If so, where specifically do you want to go?  How many shows do you want to do?  Obviously, in these discussions, we are all aware that the ideal probably won’t happen as we are not financially independent and do have other responsibilities but it is fun to think about!

Now that I have used up both of these methods of distraction, I’m forced to rely on the usual methods, which include frequent check-ins on the band’s official site, other message boards, and social networking sites to try and learn the latest info!  I will also make myself available to receive phone calls, emails or text messages as it is quite possible that I won’t be the first one to get the “Official Duranie Alert”.  So, readers, how do you plan on making it through this most anxious time?  What are your secrets? 

-A

Are you going to live in the moment for this one?

We’re really coming down to release day on the new album. (Once again in case you didn’t read yesterday: All You Need Is Now, available December 21 on iTunes.  The single, also named All You Need Is Now is available December 14 – also on iTunes!  Duran Duran needs to pay me for my plugs, don’t you think?  Kidding boys, no worries. :D)  Just last night some very excited and enterprising Duranies found that for a very short time – one could download Mediterranea from iTunes UK (not sure if that’s still the case – I’m in the US so I couldn’t do it), and for an even shorter time – All You Need Is Now (the single) was up and available for purchase.  I never heard if anyone actually got that downloaded.  I’m assuming yes, but don’t send it to me – I’m waiting until I can buy it legally on December 14th.

Since the last concert that I attended in support of Red Carpet Massacre, my friend and writing partner Amanda and I have been talking about our dreams and game plan for the next tour.  We really want to live life to the fullest on this one, because as I’ve touched on before – you just never know when is going to be the last time.  I’ve always had to hold back on shows, whether it’s by only doing a show or two, or not trying to get front row – and the fact is, seeing Duran Duran in the front row is on my “bucket” list. (things I want to do before I kick said bucket!)  Another major item on my list – seeing Duran Duran in the UK.

Truth be told, just 10 short years ago, I never thought I’d be seeing Duran Duran anywhere but near my home in LA – much less even considering the idea of seeing them on their home soil. I thought it was odd to go to more than one show on a tour! (and my delightful husband still thinks it’s weird – “Don’t they just play the same songs every night?”)  Well, I don’t think it was as much that I felt it was odd, as much as it was that I figured it was beyond the scope of what I could ever do.  Now I’m talking seriously about flying to the UK and doing my own “tour” there if there’s an opportunity.

I just don’t want to look back in 5, 10 or even 3 years from now and say “I wish I’d done…..”  I want to live in the moment and enjoy the band at what I really believe will be their best.  I don’t care about the charts, I don’t worry about whether the band is going to be a commercial success because I believe all of that will take care of itself.  I just want to ride out the moment with them and I hope that you all will do that for yourselves as well, regardless of whether it’s going on tour with the band, or in other aspects of your lives.  Enjoy the moment!

-R

South Africa and Rio

I am not a news writer.  I take that statement very seriously, because I have almost zero interest in being the first to print a story, or the first to uncover juicy information about the band.  I’m also not a music critic.  I love music, and while you will read my opinion on songs here from time to time (as well as shows that I’ve been to), I know that I’m no expert.  My interest is in pop culture and the fan base – and I try my best to stick to that format here at Daily Duranie.  That said, from time to time, a news byte will come up that seems to cross over from news, and I’ll cover it as I see fit.

Last night, Duran Duran announced that they are having to cancel their South Africa shows in December.  By my count – they had little more than a week to go before performing, and in their press release, the band cited that the promoter defaulted on the contract, forcing them to cancel their shows.  You can read the official announcement here.

As the night wore on, speculation – Duranies L.O.V.E. to speculate – rose. (including this one. Hence the blog…)  Announcements were released from the South African promoter that the ticket sales were low.  They wanted the band to do fewer shows, and they could not come to an agreement.  Interestingly enough, I had just read that the shows were selling well, but of course, I am not in South Africa, and I have no idea what “well” really meant.   Naturally Duranies all over the globe wonder what this has in store for the band.  Does it mean the band will play elsewhere?  How does this affect the promotion for the new album?  Is this a sign of what is to come?  The speculation goes on…

My take is simply that while it’s unfortunate that the band had to cancel shows – this this a touring band by all means – it is not the end of the world.  I don’t know how large their audience really is in South Africa, and I don’t mean to diminish their worth – but the fact is, if they had a huge audience there, I have to think that they’d have made it a point to perform there far more often than they have.  From the time they announced their shows in South Africa, I questioned the value in choosing to perform there and possibly perform new music there first – but it was more a question rising from lack of knowledge about the South African fan base than anything else.   I do feel for the fans who are not going to have the opportunity to see them in December, because ultimately it is those fans who will come away as the victims in this business.

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The question of Rio has come up on the boards once again – perhaps it never really left – and I find it necessary to address it on the blog.  Just this morning I read a thread  where a fan mentioned that the newer music (the very few snippets we have heard so far) sound nothing like the classic sound from Rio and that the band is still trying to play the modern sound – and that it won’t work.

Of course, for every fan that feels that way, there are several others that will take that fan down in flames.  The replies varied from those who tried to prove that the snippets did in fact sound classic, to those who questioned why someone would want a recreation of Rio to begin with.  Interestingly enough, I myself have wondered that same thing from time to time, and I’ve done some very unscientific research, which I’ll share.

It seems as though the younger the fan, the less likely they are to want an album that sounds like it should have been the follow up to Rio (or even less likely – a recreation thereof).  That alone speaks volumes to me.  My assertion is that it’s not really just the music that the fans want recreated.  I would suggest that for all of you out there who look back to Rio with a certain fondness, that perhaps it’s the spirit of the time you’re looking for.  The fans want to experience that moment again – the newness of the music, the fact that the band was sitting on top of the world, the youthfulness of 1985 (because most of us were in our early to mid-teens at that time)….it’s the spirit of the time as much as it is the music.   Music is very much about sentimentality.  When we identify with a song as deeply as some us did with the Rio album, or the first album, it truly seems to take on a life of it’s own.  It becomes part of the soundtrack to our lives, so to speak.  We each carry memories that go along with that music, and for some of us – it’s a moment in time that we want to live over again, even if we don’t necessarily cognitively acknowledge it.  I would guess that most who read the blog are saying “No way.  I want that classic sound because it’s what is Duran Duran.   I don’t need Rio over again, I just want the band to sound like Duran Duran.”   I would agree.  However, I would also say that for many, the Rio album = Duran Duran.  They can’t separate the two, and their feelings for one blend into the other.  I would go so far as to say that’s why Mark was so set on having the band embrace that and own it as opposed to trying to recreate the wheel to a certain extent, which truthfully – I think the band has tried to do over the years, even if they themselves don’t recognize that in themselves.

Ultimately, it will never been 1983, 1984 or 1985 again.  While those moments were fun, and I will never forget the glee I would experience when watching the band on MTV or sitting through the American Music Awards or the Grammy’s just to get a glimpse of the band if they were there, it’s far past time to move on from there.  Rio was a wonderful moment in time that I never hope to recreate.  Some things are just too perfect to mess with.

-R