Category Archives: touring

Visuals matter: a kaleidoscope of light and color with Coldplay

I went to see Coldplay at the Rose Bowl on Friday. It might seem strange for me to write about that concert, but bear with me. In full-disclosure, Coldplay is not one of my favorite bands. My husband wanted to go to the concert, and given that I spend a lot of my own time (and his money….) on Duran Duran, I agreed.

First, I have to admit that I was pretty freaked out by going. I’m not going to use flowery language—that Las Vegas shooting scared me. I still have a little girl here at home, and both Walt and I were going to this concert. I went so far as to tell my mother-in-law that if something happened to us, to call my oldest right away and have her come.  In some ways, I felt stupid for saying that, but by the same token, none of those 58 people murdered a week ago probably thought twice about going to their festival.  During the two weeks prior to the show, I’d gotten no less than six separate emails from the Rose Bowl, first alerting me to the potential traffic and security measures already in place, and then after the Vegas shooting I received updates and more directions. So when Friday arrived, we left very early and anticipated something akin to airport security. While the line to go through security formed quickly and was lengthy, we had entertainment. A very large screen was set up with a security video playing so that we’d know what to expect and how to handle ourselves as we entered the venue. Once the line started moving, it was very quick and painless. Kudos to the Rose Bowl for that.

I should mention that I had never gone to a stadium show before, unless you count seeing The Beach Boys play following a USC football game a few times. I had no idea of what to expect. My preconceptions were simply that any band playing a stadium show would have to be able to do things BIG, and that most bands simply cannot afford those types of shows.

I don’t think I was wrong. Coldplay had a fairly large stage set-up with a long catwalk ending in a circular stage towards the middle of the field (surrounded by floor seats), and then another small stage in one corner of the field.  There were gigantic lights set up all around the field, and they had three video screens as well. Nothing about the show or its staging was small.

When we first walked in through the gates, were handed a wristband. Once seated, there were instructions onscreen as to how to wear the wristband along with instructions on downloading an app that would work with one of their songs. Walt and I were geeking out over the wristband and how it might work. Neither of us had been to a show that had the potential to be so interactive, so we were anxious for the show to begin.

I loved the colors and how they continued to change with every beat.

The lights went down, and our wristbands lit up! The overall visuals are difficult to describe, but imagine being teeny-tiny and standing on a branch in the middle of a Christmas tree filled with twinkling light, and then having mirrors all around you so that you feel like you’re a part of a kaleidoscope. The lights interacted with the music, changing color with the songs. It was like being a small part of a gigantic party, and that was only the beginning. There were fireworks, not just one time, but several times throughout the show. There was confetti, probably seven times – and I have to say, seeing the confetti shower in something the size of that stadium was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Oh, and then there were the pyrotechnics. Yes, fire!  And beach balls!  It was outrageous!

Loved the brightly colored beach balls (or balloons?)…it was the first time I could stand back and look at them without being worrying about being assaulted by one!

Everything felt huge. From the largest of visuals down to the smallest of details, everything made me feel as though I was one tiny chip of a colored tile in a kaleidoscope. The screens were high-definition, and although we were so far from the stage that I could barely see Chris Martin, if I looked at the screens I felt like I was right there. He was all over the stage, and I appreciated that the band, drum sets and all, actually moved to the circular stage out at the end of the catwalk AND to the other stage in the corner of the field. Talk about using all the room they were given – it was crazy. They had a way of making the largest audience I’d ever been a part of somehow feel intimate, and I probably only knew six or seven of the songs they played.

Then there were the hardcore fans in the front. The cameras were pointed their way many times throughout the show, and they weren’t just happy to be there, they were exuberant. While smiles are not hard to come by at a Duran show, this was different. It was like seeing myself amplified and illuminated by 10,000 watts. Not that there aren’t Duran Duran fans like that, but maybe I need to up my own game.

Visually, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it. The intensity of the interactivity made the show for me that night. The one word I would use to describe the concert? Happy. I needed happy. I came away feeling uplifted, light, and carefree. After the week I’d had, or the week that any one of us might have had, it was welcome respite. I’m still smiling, and it isn’t because I suddenly became a hard-core Coldplay fan.

I don’t think there’s necessarily a moral or message here. I just know that prior to this show, I’d always shied away from stadium shows. I don’t like crowds. I hate sitting far from the stage. I felt like maybe I’d be bored. I was none of those things, and I sat up in the stands, away from the floor,  far from the stage. In this case, I think the visuals for me were FAR better than those who sat on the floor or close to the stage because I was able to see the full effect of the wristbands working or the beach balls bouncing throughout the crowd, or the fireworks spraying like fountains of light far above the stadium. I’m not at all sorry I went.

I can’t even begin to think about how much this must have cost Coldplay, but if my experience is worth anything to the band – it must have paid off in spades. Definitely the most uplifting show I have been to in a while, particularly because I didn’t know every word to every song (or any song for that matter). Their set had plenty of quieter moments, but the visuals –  participating as part of a giant kaleidoscope of color and light kept the crowd going. Not an experience I will soon forget.

-R

Remember TOKiMONSTA? Here’s why she is a miracle.

I love the internet. I was set to write a simple blog about how two years ago, I was driving north on Interstate 5 in California, headed to Berkeley. Paper Gods was still new, the touring cycle had just begun, and I was freaking excited to be on the road. I knew what I was going to write, the words were readily available in my head, and then I opened my browser to get to Daily Duranie.

Lately, I’ve noticed Daily Duranie has been taking longer to load (on my laptop at home). This is not a site problem, it is a “my laptop is nearly eight years old now and that means it is a complete DINOSAUR” problem. Impatient as usual, I opened Tweetdeck to see if it load properly, which it did. I scanned my timeline and saw something that caught my eye, which led me to an article on Pitchfork about TOKiMONSTA.

For those who don’t recognize the name, TOKiMONSTA was the opening act who toured with Duran Duran last summer in the US. Her real name is Jennifer Lee. Amanda and I sat and watched her a few times at the shows we attended, and while her music is very different from Duran Duran, we liked it. I can remember one show where MNDR came out onstage and sang one of her songs, which I thought was really cool.  I didn’t mind sitting and listening when she came out on stage, and I can remember making a mental note to buy some of her music when I got home. I never did, mainly because life smacked me directly in the face once I got home last summer and I completely forgot about all else in the process. Sound familiar?

So what drove me to click on the Pitchfork article then? Well, it turns out that not long before she toured with Duran last year, Jennifer had brain surgery for a very rare brain disease called Moyamoya. After her surgery, she lost the abilities to walk and talk, and couldn’t even hear music (to her it sounded like noise). So the young woman I saw on stage last summer was a walking, talking, miracle of a DJ.

Somehow, reading the article made me think back on last summer a bit.

I remember how Amanda and I watched her last summer and agreed that she was very quiet. Her music was fine, but she just didn’t address the audience too much beyond that. Reading that article today reflected a completely different side to her sets that I didn’t know existed. Those shows were a triumph for her in every way, which in turn reminds me that we never know for sure what’s really going on backstage.  Amanda and I comment all the time that we fans tend to forget that John, Roger, Nick and Simon are human. They’re not circus animals, they’re people. Turns out, that sentiment might be widespread.

“I think people sometimes forget that artists are human. We all go through really terrible things and face hardships. Being able to play Coachella three months after having the surgery was very significant to me. If I can do something like this, anyone can.” – Jennifer Lee (TOKiMONSTA)

Lune Rouge, the soon-to-be-released third album by TOKiMONSTA, is filled with songs written after her recovery. It is one I am making a note to purchase.

-R

On This Date: The Evolution of my Fandom

For the last few years, I have created a Duran Duran related calendar for myself and Rhonda.  In our calendar, I have listed album release dates as well when singles came out.  I also have included dates that we have seen them in concert together.  On this date, October 1st, there are multiple entries on our calendar.  First, we saw Duran perform 4 songs at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children event in Vegas in 2005.  Then, we saw the band perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015.  When I look back at those two events, I realize that there is much about my fandom that has changed and, yet, some things have remained consistent.

2005 featured the reunion album of Astronaut as well as the tour.  For me, personally, fandom really felt like a utopia.  Everyone seemed excited about the band and their future.  Message boards were busy with activity and everyone was either planning or sharing concert plans.  Any negatives between fans were easily pushed aside in my head.  By October, I had seen the band a bunch of times in concert both in spring and in the summer.  Yet, I didn’t hesitate when my friends suggested that we get together in Vegas.  Interestingly enough, that trip represented only the second time I had traveled by plane for something fandom related.  I have never flown in a plane to see Duran (or any band, for that matter) play before that.

That night in 2005, my friends and I attended a pre-show meet-up at a bar there at the MGM Grand where the concert was held.  I was one of many fans there who had traveled to see the band play.  The funny part is that Duran only performed 4 songs that night and we had seats way in the back.  Despite that, I still felt like I was on top of the world that night.  I screamed and sang those 4 songs with all the passion I could muster.  After that, I went and drink and danced my ass off until the clubs closed and breakfast was served.  I look back at that night as an eye-opening experience.  While it was beyond fun, I also saw some of the darker elements of our fan community night.  Some of those less-than-kind features I was a part of and others I just witnessed.  In many ways, that night marked the end of the utopia.

Then, of course, a lot has happened since that night, leading up to that Hollywood Bowl show.  Instead of attending a pre-show meet-up, I planned one.  In both nights, I met a bunch of people and the love for Duran was strong.  When I went to the Hollywood Bowl show, I knew that this could be one of the best nights ever like the Vegas one was, but I no longer denied the reality that fandom isn’t a utopia.  It still gives me the greatest amount of fun that I could ever hope for and it has provided me the opportunity to meet my best friend and other amazing people.  Most importantly, I have learned that my true happy place is being at a Duran Duran concert.  However, it isn’t perfect.  People are not always nice and nights do not always go as planned or cannot always be the most fun ever.

The Hollywood Bowl was a great show and I’m glad to have attended it.  Yet, it didn’t equal the fun of that Vegas show.  It couldn’t.  For the Vegas show, we had the time to go out and party without any care in the world.  For the Hollywood Bowl show, we had to start our drive up to Berkeley for the next show.  By 2015, a priority for us was going to as many shows as we could.  Maybe this is another sign of how my fandom has changed.  In 2005, I was more than content to see just 4 songs, way in the back of the arena.  By 2015, I wanted to get to as many shows as I could and I really wanted good seats.  Does that mean that 2005 was better?  In some ways, maybe, it was.  That said, 2015 was pretty sweet, too, but in different ways.  In 2005, it was all new and fun.  In 2015, I was involved in the fandom in a different way and was ready to do as many shows as I could.  I also had the opportunity to see amazing shows from really great seats.  That makes me pretty lucky!

I cannot regret the decisions that I have made in regards to either time period.  Both have led me to where I am today.  I have learned a lot and have had amazing experiences and a tremendous amount of fun.  What would be cool would be to go to another show on October 1st in 2025.  Then, I might be able to see how my fandom has evolved in 10 years and in 20 years.  I could get a real historical perspective.

-A

Before We Write the End: New Territory

Today, I am charting new territory. It is the first full day I’m here at home with only one child. I won’t lie, there have been various moments over the years that I’ve fantasized about how it would be with just one. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it has been 19 years since I have only had one child, since my kids are so far apart in age. The first two are only 2 and a half years apart, but the youngest came along about nine years later. Yes, I’m aware that had we stopped at two, I’d be an empty nester right now. I’m so glad we didn’t. I’m not ready.

I recognize that this has nothing to do with Duran Duran as far as you’re concerned. The funny thing is that for me, it does. When we first began writing about Paper Gods, I was moving my oldest to college. I distinctly remember that the day we moved Heather to the dorms. It was a very hard day for me, I remember driving home alone, and crying in the car on the way. I knew my life as a mom would change after that, and it did. I’m still learning where the line is drawn, so to speak. It is very hard to be unceremoniously made redundant, which is kind of what happens when your children leave the nest. I will forever equate the release of Paper Gods with that moment in time.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to pack Gavin up for his move to UC Riverside, right as the Paper Gods tour has wound to a close. I half-paid attention to the band’s last dates in Japan, getting confused as to where they were and when.  Sunday morning arrived here, and I saw a tweet from Dom saying he was back home in London. The finality of it all hit me, particularly since yesterday was our move-in day. We packed up the bins that we’d used for Gavin’s things, and drove him out to his new home away from home.

His move was FAR easier than Heather’s. We were done with his room in less than an hour, and none of us felt like we were going to collapse from heat exhaustion. (props to the air conditioning in the dorms at UCR!)  Unlike my oldest, after he dutifully went to lunch with us and we came back to his room, he was ready for us to go. No tears, no anxiety. He hugged us all and sent us on our way, with no mention of how he wouldn’t see us again until November at the earliest. Gavin was never much for socializing, but not hearing movement upstairs from him is strange, and late November feels like a very long time from now.

We piled into the truck and headed for home. I thought about how weird it is that now I’ll probably always remember that the Paper Gods era ended with Gavin’s move to college. I also thought about how I really hoped I prepared my son for this new territory, and how once again, I’m also in uncharted land myself.

My house is quiet. I can’t hear Gavin in his bedroom. I don’t hear the clicks from his typing on the mechanical keyboard he loves so much. I don’t hear him talking on the professional microphone he uses for his video streams, and I don’t hear his chair banging into his desk. I also don’t see his dishes piled in my kitchen sink or his clothes waiting to be washed this morning. I have one child at home now, who is both looking forward to being the only child for a while, and missing her brother and sister. It’s all new territory for her, too.

The internet is quiet too. The band is probably readjusting back into whatever lives they lead when they’re not rockstars on stage. I don’t know when we’ll hear from them again, although there’s plenty of “real life” going on to fill my twitter timeline, that is for sure. Even so, there’s that feeling of uncertainty that comes with the end of the tour and album cycle. I know they’ve got some sort of idea of where they’re headed, but it will be months, if not years, before the fans have any sort of clue. It’s new territory for all of us.

-R

I’ll See You in Some Other Lifetime

Yesterday marked the final show for Duran Duran’s Paper Gods Tour as the band finished the tour in Osaka, Japan.  The Paper Gods Tour began in the fall of 2015 and carried through until September 2017.  Of course, there were plenty of breaks but still.  The band played quite a few shows.  As I looked at the pictures and setlist, I thought back to 2008 when I saw the final show of the Red Carpet Massacre Tour.  I remember Simon commenting about how it would be the final time for the outfits, the setlist and more.  This made me wonder what will never be seen again, what made the Paper Gods Tour a unique one.

Planet Earth with Bowie Tribute

For a long while, the band interjected David Bowie’s song, Space Oddity, into their classic hit, Planet Earth, in order to honor one of their heroes and a musical legend.

Sunrise with New Moon on Monday

Another mash-up was New Moon on Monday in the middle of Sunrise.  I know that I loved this each and every time I saw it!

Rio with beach balls and confetti

While I loved the festive confetti at the end of Rio, I cannot say that I was ever a big fan of those beach balls that distracted me and hurt when they landed on my head!  Nonetheless, when I think of Paper Gods, I cannot think of Rio in any other way.

Too Much Information

I remember the first time I heard the 2015 version of Too Much Information live.  I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  It seemed so fast!  After hearing it a couple of time, I liked it.

Love Voodoo

Another song that the band pulled out from the Wedding Album for this tour was Love Voodoo.  I never had the chance to hear it myself but others seemed to enjoy it.

Hold Back the Rain

Duran definitely pleased a lot of fans when they busted out Hold Back the Rain in 2017.  Obviously, it is a definite fan favorite!  I noticed that the Japan shows had screens showing old footage of the band, which I think is super cool!

Paper Gods:

Of course, the band featured quite a few numbers from their latest album.  As is their tradition, they opened up the show with Paper Gods, which featured smoke, lyrics flashing through a forest of sorts on the video screen.

The other songs that the band included from this album were Last Night in the City, You Kill Me with Silence, Pressure Off, Face for Today, Danceophobia, What are the Chances, Only in Dreams and the Universe Alone.  Some of these stick out to me more than others for various reasons.

Last Night in the City

To me, this song represented touring and all that it means to me.  I loved the use of the fabulous backing vocals of Anna and Erin and/or Jessie.  It was always fun live!

Pressure Off

Pressure Off is such an incredibly fun song!  Seeing it performed live with Nile Rodgers and confetti almost made the song too fun to stand it!!!

Danceophobia

I cannot say that this is a favorite from the album, but seeing it live definitely made me think fondly of it.  After all, John Taylor’s dancing made the song worth it each and every time.

What Are the Chances

I simply adore this song.  It’s not usually the type of song that I’m drawn to but this one is something special.  One element that enhanced the song to me was the beautiful visuals that accompanied this song live.

The Universe Alone

This is one song that I never expected the band to play live.  It is an intense one and one that screams emotionality.  Yet, they put it together with Save a Prayer this year to give quite an emotional punch at the end of the show.

Now, as we move on to the other side of Paper Gods, none of us know what will happen from here.  I suspect that it will be different from the Paper Gods era or any of the previous eras.  Will any of these Paper Gods songs continue in a set list?  I don’t know.  Will the band’s outfits remain as they have been?  I don’t know.  (I couldn’t resist one final comment about the clothes!  They have provided us with quite a few smiles and laughs in the last few years—all with love, I assure you!)  On a personal level, I had so much fun and loved so much of this era.  I will miss it.

What about the rest of you?  What sticks out to you when it comes to the Paper Gods era?

-A

Too Much is Never Enough

So last night, Duran Duran played Budokan in Tokyo. For a place that the band seems to really enjoy visiting, like so many other areas of the world, they do not seem to visit Japan very often. I think the last appearance there was in 2010 for a conference (I believe this may have been a private gig, but I’m not positive), and before then they played Tokyo in 2009. (Yes, I looked this up because there is absolutely no way I would ever remember this kind of thing. My brain is full.)  The band seems happy to be in Japan again, with Dom commenting last night that it was a dream of his to play Budokan.

During their time there, I’ve seen a few comments here and there from some of our Australian fellow fans. Suffice to say no one is happy that the band is not making the trek to Australia and/or New Zealand while in that area of the world. What boggles my mind though, is the anger towards America, and American fans as a result. In fact, I’ve seen other fans comment in response that the band must be tired ending the tour as a direct result of how much time they’ve spent in America.

That’s right. It’s America’s fault for continuing to line their pockets and fill whatever venues they need filled for shows. It is absolutely the fault of the U.S. for being just over 1 million square miles, or about 2.6 million square km larger than Australia, not to mention Japan and even Europe, with dozens of large cities that are not closely connected. It is also America’s fault that the worldwide media/entertainment industry is headquartered there, and the US dollar seems to still matter on a global level. Naturally, there are also comments about how DDHQ is located in New York, of all places. Surely that must be the reason for the obvious favoritism, on top of everything else. Those damn Americans!

Of course I’m being facetious, but I’m also frustrated. We hear about how terrible we are, and how unfair it is that the band  chooses to be here after every single tour is announced. It is to the point where I nearly wince when the band announces U.S. shows.

If we’re going to point fingers, look at the promoters in whatever country we’re talking about. Simon and John, for instance, do not sit down, spin a globe and decide where to go based on where it stops. There’s no grand scheme here to leave out entire continents. It comes down to dollars, timing, and the willingness of promoters to book them. I can’t answer why promoters aren’t knocking down their doors to book them in places like Australia, or most of Europe. I think the markets in those places of the world must be very different. Bottom line is that it is not 1985. The world has changed, the music industry has changed, and, like it or not—the band has changed too. While we still think they’re the biggest and best band in the world, it would seem that concert and tour promoters do not. Right or wrong, it is the way it is.

I’m sorry that Duran Duran didn’t tour everywhere.I am very empathetic to other Duranies, and yes, it IS unfair. While I’m frustrated at the moment, I also care about fans in general. On the other hand, I can’t help but be thankful that the band comes here so often because yes, I love them too.  In some ways, I feel as though I should apologize for their frequent visits here, which is ridiculous because I have no control over what they do. Sometimes I think people would appreciate it if Amanda and I came out and told the band that they shouldn’t visit the U.S and spend the time elsewhere.

First of all, the band isn’t going to listen to us because—and I’m thankful for this—I am not a tour promoter or a band manager. I’m a mom, blogger, and fan. Secondly, it isn’t because they toured  America more than once that they didn’t visit Europe, or Australia, or even why they didn’t do more dedicated shows in South America.  I know it is convenient to just blame those “damn Americans” but let’s get real for just a minute before everyone goes back to hating. The band is able to book a plethora of shows here and have them well attended enough to pay their bills AND make a profit.  They can play a variety of different places over an extended period of time, and since the U.S. is one large country, I suspect the logistics with paperwork and so forth is a bit easier, too. All of it adds up to money and turning a profit. Like it or not, the band makes their living that way, as do the hundreds of people who work for them in one way or another.

I get it. America is the scapegoat, and if fans really feel like they need to blame someone or somewhere, we’re an easy target. I just wish fans spent a little more time thinking about why Duran Duran might continue touring here, rather than just blaming America for all the places the band has missed.

-R

 

Time for Temptation

It is back to work for Amanda and I (and anyone else who works in education) for the school year, which is painful enough, but this year we’ve the added bonus of the band starting back on the road again for a few more dates.  I laugh a little ruefully because while I really do love my job, I love the band too – and Croatia looks lovely this time of year! Alas….

So this is the annual announcement that from now until June, half of my blogs will be written ahead of time, meaning that every now and then, I may miss a worthy news item due to timing. Please be patient. Also, if there is no news, there may be days where there is no blog. We do our best to make this a rarity, but it does happen.

Coming up in September, our little blog turns SEVEN.  Can you believe we’ve been doing this for seven years now? We are going to celebrate this moment by looking back at our blog a bit, but in the meantime, I’m just going to sit back and marvel a teensy bit. I can’t speak for Amanda, but aside from motherhood and marriage – I don’t think I’ve ever held one job for that long!  The good news is that we plan to keep going. Our mantra is that we’re not done yet, so the band had better keep going too!

I’ll leave you with one final thought.  On this date in 2003, Duran Duran received the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. Instead of showing the clip of them getting the award (which I post every year), I found a clip of the backstage interview after it was presented by Justin Timberlake.

Can you believe this was fourteen years ago?? Time goes by so fast now. I hate to blink in case I miss something!

Makes me wonder what the next fourteen will bring.

-R

Rise Above the Sorrow

Five years ago today, Duran Duran played in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of the final leg of the All You Need Is Now tour.  This show was pretty monumental for Rhonda and myself as it was the first time we ever had front row.  We had traveled to the city the night before so that we could hang out with Duranies and have a chance to line up early on the day of the show.  We arrived around 7 and were, indeed, able to secure a spot in front.  Anyone who read the blogs from then saw that our first front row did not go as planned.  No, we kinda stood there, shell-shocked, unable to really respond.  I remember attempting to process the show afterwards over drinks.  I had a lot of reasons that night for why I was so lame during the show but I suspect that I left out the real reason.

The summer of 2012 was a tough one for me.  I had spent months busting my ass to try and get my state’s governor to lose a special, recall election.  I’m sure that some of you stopped reading at that line.  After all, that is only politics and this blog about being a Duran fan.  Humor me, though, and keep reading.  Yes, it was about politics, but it was personal to me.  I won’t go into all the reasons for this but I think that anyone who has ever failed at something that really meant something to them understands my distress that summer.  On top of that, I already had experienced much stress related to this governor and feared the future.  Yet, I had hope that Duran and our little tour around the Southeast would help with my mood.  In fact, I was so determined in this that I pushed for having pre-show meet ups before each concert.  I wanted to dive into some other task.  Then, I could forget my fear and failure.

Did my plan work?  I have already mentioned that the Biloxi show was a failure, in terms of how we responded at the show.  We did better for the rest of our shows, but I never really felt it.  My distraction didn’t work.  I couldn’t shake it.  I remember after our final show in Virginia about how ready I was to go visit my sister and to have the tour be done.  That is not normal.  Rhonda itched to add a show and I didn’t even consider it.  Again, that is not normal.

Now, in 2017, I feel like I’m in a similar headspace due to the political climate.  Again, I was involved in a campaign that lost.  Like five years ago, I fear.  I feel like I get to a spot where I can shake it and then it comes roaring back.  I recognize that this makes me weird.  I get that.  I know that most people don’t feel politics that deeply.  I do.  Maybe it is that history teacher in me that recognizes the drama of current events.  Maybe it is because I have been active in politics.  Perhaps, I worry about my students and their futures.  Whatever the cause, it is a thing with me.

In 2012, I tried to get over the lost by going on tour and failed in my quest.  Looking back, I know that Durham was a great show on paper and that my partner-in-crime loved it but when I think of it I feel an emptiness that I couldn’t get beyond.  This time, in 2017, I have also gone to shows.  I’m sure that part of the reason was exactly as it was in 2012.  I wanted to get over what was bothering me.  I wanted to forget about it.  I needed to experience some joy.  Interestingly enough, the shows I have attended have all been fabulous this year.  I loved each and every one of them.  What was the difference?  I’m not sure.  I guess that is part of the reason that I’m blogging about it today, to try and figure it out.

Were the shows better?  Maybe.  Was I responding differently?  I’m sure.  If I had to determine the difference, I think this time I dove into the shows in a way that I couldn’t let my mind wander.  I also feel like there is more interaction between the band and the crowd.  Maybe that has helped me keep in the game more.  Fandom has been a sanctuary this time for whatever reason.  Perhaps, I just need my fandom differently now.  No matter the reason, I’m thankful that the shows in 2017 that I attended gave me as much joy as they have.  Certainly, Duran Duran has been the sun through a very cloudy world.

-A

San Diego State University 1993

Well friends, I’m sad (in some ways) to say it, but it is the end of summer for me. As you are reading this, I am sitting in my first of two staff meetings in San Diego this week. I was up and out the door before dawn this morning, which is certainly not my favorite way to begin the day.

As a result, this blog was written earlier than normal, and since it is August with little real band news to speak of, I’m taking a quick look back in history. On this date in 1993, Duran Duran played at San Diego State University in California as part of their No Ordinary Tour.

I don’t mind mentioning that this date was four days before they played in Irvine at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater.  I went to see Duran Duran in Irvine with my childhood and college friend Stacy-Ann, and my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) went with a friend of his – each of us had bought seats before we started dating. It was the one (and ONLY) time that he had better seats than I had to a Duran show. Good times, and he never lets me forget it! I was back on the lawn while he proudly sat a couple of sections closer to the stage!!

Another tidbit since I’m thinking about it – last summer Duran Duran  played at Irvine Meadows just before it was demolished in October.  Those of us who live in the Irvine area (I live about 7 miles from where it once stood) fought very hard to get the Irvine city council to consider putting in another amphitheater at the Great Park of Irvine. It’s the perfect place for such a venue, and quite frankly – we need something for adults in this area!  The council agreed, and we can see heavy-duty construction taking place, which is wonderful. Never know, maybe someday I’ll be seeing a Duran Duran show there!

Have a great week, everyone!

-R

 

For Rumours in the Wake of Such a Lonely Crowd

About those rumors

Wild tales of tour dates, returning band members, and new albums have surfaced from the dank, dark depths of the internet.  I’m already exhausted, and I’ve been back from my own vacation for less than a week.

The new album thing came up today in my twitter feed, actually. Based purely on my past experience as a Duran Duran fan, I feel pretty certain that there’s no “new album” coming next month.  No, I don’t have an official word – are you kidding me? I just know that in all the years I’ve been a fan of this band, they’ve never been on tour and written/recorded an album at the same time and put it out while still technically ON tour. (They’re just taking a break and still have dates to do!) I kind of think that’s almost humanly impossible, and while I have admittedly had high expectations in the past, this is even over my limit. I think it’s really obvious that the original poster is confused with Paper Gods, which by the way, was already released. TWO YEARS AGO.

Amanda already addressed one of the other more rampant rumors – the return of Andy Taylor for the 40th Anniversary.  Everybody loves chatting about Andy and Warren, and about what guitar player is their personal favorite.  That debate will never go away, and as someone reminded me the other day – you know you’ve made your mark on the world when you can be out of a band for a decade and still be the talk of the fan community.  I’m not sure if that’s a win, but I suppose if you’re in the PR industry, maybe so!

The one thing that boggles my mind, is that no one seems to pay any attention to the fact that the guitar player we already DO have can and does read social media, as can the other two. Sure, say what you will about his being a hired gun, or that the other two don’t care and it comes with the territory. The brunt of rumor and discussion doesn’t just affect fans. These guitar players are real people, and this “job” is their career.  Sometimes, I think we fans forget that. I know that I do. Many fans feel that the band should have a thick skin by now, and it’s not a problem if they read that you think they suck, or that they completely destroy a guitar solo, or that you think there is only one guitar player for Duran Duran and that’s Andy….or even that the only guy we want onstage is Dom, or that we can’t stand Warren’s ego and refuse to have him back. I’m just not sure that any of that is right or fair to be saying, even when I’ve been the one to say it. So I’m trying my best to be fair. It isn’t easy. I have opinions and a favorite person like everyone else, but I also have to respect those that came before. It took all three: Andy, Warren and Dom, to keep Duran Duran afloat. I’m going to try not to forget that as we move forward. I don’t mind the discussion because we’re a blog and it is what we do, but I’m also a little surprised that the rumors (and that’s all they are at this point) have taken off so quickly. Out of all the debates in the community, this is truly the firestorm. I’m kind of glad I’m not one of the past or present guitar players for this band, that’s all I’m saying.

About that post-tour depression thing

I saw the band last on July 8th. On one hand, It feels like it could have been last week, and on another it feels like it has already been six months. Amanda and I have been tweeting with another friend of ours saying that this post-Duran Duran tour depression (it is a real thing!) has been much harder than normal. I’m in a funk, and naturally it’s because I don’t know that any other dates or new music or anything like that is coming….soon.  Sure, the 40th anniversary is coming up, but we don’t know when/how/why/what, and that makes it all sort of enigmatic and ambiguous rather than having a certain something to calendar and look forward to. I’m not suggesting the band fix that by making announcements they’re not ready to make, but life as a fan is just hard sometimes. The waiting is not always fun. Social media helps to make me feel a little less disconnected. I’ve enjoyed being around more to tweet and be a general pain in the ass when necessary. You’re welcome. Bet you all are wondering when I go back to my real job… (the answer is soon)

I suppose on another hand…or foot…that a deep post-Duran tour depression is a sign of a very successful tour. I can’t disagree. I had a blast from start to finish. I’m still thinking about how it started for me at the Jimmy Kimmel show in Hollywood and how it ended at the Masonic in San Francisco for me, and I still smile.  I still feel so damn lucky. I mean, I wasn’t even supposed to GO to shows this year. (At least, that is what my husband keeps saying. I don’t really understand his words. Obviously.)  I went to four with my best friend. I saw my favorite person several times. I hung out with dear friends. We went to nightclubs. We drank enough vodka to wake up with Russian accents. We teased Simon and John pretty relentlessly. I heard fantastic music. I cried at least once during a show.  I fell more in love with the band. AND…I was only spit on three out of the four times I was at a show this year. That’s success!!

Simon spitting in SF, the one time he didn't quite douse me.
Can’t hit me, Simon!!! You’re gonna have to really bring it next time!

I’m gonna miss teasing him until they come back….although I will try my best through social media whenever possible, because you know…it’s what I do. Besides, something has to stave off the sadness, dammit!

I’ve really enjoyed seeing pictures from John, Roger, and Simon on the band’s Instagram and Twitter. Simon never ceases to make me laugh, and I smile whenever I see something from John and Roger, too. Even Dom tweets sometimes. I almost think they’ve found a way to engage, and they may have hit on something that just might work for them, which is great. It makes sense too, because Duran Duran has always enjoyed creating a visual experience.  Why not engage through pictures?

So yeah, those rumors drive me crazy sometimes, and other times get me thinking about how I respond. They can be a double-edged sword. The depression, on the other hand, makes me realize that I’m still not “cured” of this fandom. I still care, which is good since Daily Duranie turns seven next month.

Seriously, we’ve been doing this for seven years now? What??? We really are certifiable, Amanda!

-R