I’m sitting in a hotel room, half way from Hollywood to Berkeley with my touring partners still trying to process everything that was last night. I think it could really take days to do it. Unfortunately (or fortunately–depending on how you look it), we have another show to go to and more processing will be needed! So, where should I start? I must make this fast, though, as we need to hit the road soon!
Rhonda and I hosted a little pre-show meet up at the Hard Rock Cafe at the Hollywood and Highland Center. We had a great turnout as about 40 or so people came! Lots of fun conversations along with the sharing of pictures and stories could be heard throughout the stage area where the restaurant had put our party! It is always so nice to see Duranies meet each other and start making new friends while others greeted friends who they haven’t seen in awhile! Friendship and connection is truly at the heart of fandom and events like this always remind me of this fact! Not to mention, that they often pump fans up for a show as well! We did take some pictures and will post some on the site soon!
Rhonda and I purchased one of the VIP packages that included a VIP reception with appetizers and wine/beer for this show. The process of checking in went smooth and the area in which the party was held was nice. The appetizers included some sort of grilled vegetables, vegetable spring rolls and sliders. While the caterers seemed to struggle initially with keeping up with the demand for food, they ended up doing well with keeping people fed. Likewise, the bartender did a nice job of serving decent beer and wine to attendees. That said, I have to admit that the reception seemed a little stiff in comparison to our party at the Hard Rock. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe the setting was too formal? Maybe the Hard Rock seemed more fun, especially when Duran videos were shown? While I enjoyed the grilled vegetables and wine, I almost wished that I was back at the Hard Rock!
Nile Rodgers and Chic
Last night was the first time that I saw Nile perform and I would have to say that he and the rest of the Chic organization lived up to my expectations! It was obvious to anyone there that he absolutely LOVES what he does, which makes it very hard not to get super excited, too! He played a good setlist with some Chic classics to a medley of the some of the work that he has done with others, including Get Lucky and Let’s Dance. The one moment that really stood out for me was when he told the story of being diagnosed with cancer and how he is now 4.5 years being cancer free. As I have said on here before, my mom has been battling breast cancer and is currently receiving radiation. I hope to one day say that my mom has been 4.5 years of being cancer free, too. So, I won’t lie. There was a little tear in my eye at that moment. Nile might have felt very lucky to have gotten the call from Daft Punk but I felt very lucky to have seen him perform.
This is the part of the blog that I’m sure most people have been wanting me to get to since the blog started. I feel like I have so much to say that I don’t even know where or how to start. While I should probably discuss in a chronological order, it will be more of what pops into my mind to mention.
The Hollywood Bowl is quite a venue! It is obviously HUGE, both in meaning and in size (17000) and Duran filled each and every seat, which truly is something to be proud of! Every aspect of the Bowl experience seemed more intense than a “normal” venue right from the beginning. Parking is such a problem that there are shuttles to get there and back. There was a security check to get into the venue then an additional check to get into the area where our seats were. I have to admit that all of this intensity didn’t relax me or put me in a party mood. It just felt almost too much. I have to say that I wonder if the band felt this, too. Did they feel like the Bowl was so massive, in all aspects to affect their performance? If so, how?
I have to admit that this didn’t feel like a normal Duran show to me. I wish I knew exactly how to describe it. It felt more pressured to me and I was just in the audience. I can’t imagine what it felt like to the band with so many watching, including the press, families and everyone in between. Could the massiveness of the show change it? I think it could have and probably did. I won’t totally know until tonight’s show, whether the subtle changes I noticed were due to the scale of the show or due to the new tour. What were some of those changes? There was a lot less JoSi (John and Simon) than normal. I would even say there was less DoJo (Dom and John). I would say that the interactions with the crowd was a lot less than what I was used to. Yes, of course, there was some but, for the most part, John, Simon and Dom spent a lot of time looking out over the massive crowd as a whole rather than at individual people in the crowd. The band didn’t even come out to the edge of the stage as much as they could have. I have to admit that I missed a lot of that interaction.
I have a lot more to say but I will have to finish when we get to the next stop but we got to get on the road…When I get to the next place, I’ll comment on the setlist.