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!