Guest Blog: Duran Duran’s NYC Show with Aoki, Cynical Version, Take One

 By Jonee Howell

What follows is a completely fictional account of the recent, much talked about Duran Duran/DJ Aoki show. Like all fiction, there may be a kernel or two of truth somewhere. Case in point: there was, in fact, a ticketless pigeon waiting in line to see the band. Alas, she could not take the heat and
flew away well before doors opened.

There have been tons of comments made since the show: on twitter, the ‘See What Unfolds Live’ Facebook site…

This one is just for fun.

Act One – Whose Nutball Idea Was THIS?

DD Official Person:
Hey Durans! (ooo, nice shoes, Simon!) We’ve been approached by Trident (yes, THAT Trident) to participate in a show with DJ Steve Aoki as a superduper-secret surprise guest! It’ll be great!

Random Band Member: Well, that’s sort of a different fanbase than ours, don’t you think? How will we be received? I wouldn’t want the crowd to leave as soon as we got onstage…I don’t look good wearing embarrassment…

DDOP: Don’t worry! We’ve been given eleventy-umpteen tickets. For FREE! We’ll give them out to your superfans!

RBM: Umm…I don’t know…I don’t think they’d really be hip to an Aoki-style rave, ya know? Our fans are older…Some of them are actually mature…Well, a couple are…

DDOP:
Got that covered! Check it–we have a contest for VIP members to win free tickets to a secret Duran Duran show. We won’t actually TELL them what it is. They’ll eat it up!

RBM: Errrr…I’ve heard he throws cake on people and spews champagne outta his mouth…I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in an audience with that staring at me…

DDOP: Oh, lighten up! A little cake never hurt anyone! You LOVE cake! And I’ve got it all planned out–
We’ll announce the winners (everyone who enters), but we won’t exactly tell them what they’ve won! And we’ll require an official rsvp BEFORE we tell them the actual details!  It’ll be a surprise–yeah, a surprise!–performance! We’ll give details ‘as soon as we know them’ (wink wink)…Let ’em think whatever they wanna think…a surprise can be ANYTHING.

RBM: But how will we plan our wardrobe if we don’t know what the show is? You know we have trouble planning what to–

DDOP: Stop! YOU’LL know what it is, but THEY won’t. Not until they’ve been sucked into the Duran fan vortex…and once the especially dumb ones have bought their plane tickets, they’re IN. There’ll be no turning back! (muahahaa!)

RBM: Hmm, I dunno…sounds sorta shady…

DDOP: Relax! You’ll have plausible deniability! No one will ever have to know this is how it went down! You DO want to broaden your fan base don’t you? You don’t wanna encounter a bunch of rave kids giving you blank, acid-trip stares when you walk onstage do you? You want DURANIES there–your superfans–screaming for you…You know, in case the youngsters don’t quite get it on their own.

RBM: I sure hope this goes off like you plan…if it gets screwed up, I’m gonna play dumb, got it?

DDOP:
(that’ll be a real stretch.)

RBM:
What was that?

DDOP: Nothing, nothing…Listen-it’ll be FINE. What could go wrong? It’s TRIDENT, for God sakes. The kings of gum! They’ll put on a class show. At least you’ll be ON the stage instead of BELOW it.

Act Two: Fast Forward to Show Day–Wheeee!


Duranies Who Queue:
Man! It’s hot out here! Anybody got a portable air con?

DWQ: Nope! But at least we can sit down. (I’ve really got to pee! Is that car dealership open?) Only four more hours to go! Here–have a piece of cardboard–take a load off.


Watch out for that pigeon!!

DWQ: How long you been here? Since 9? Like, in the morning? Dayuuumm. And I thought I was die hard…Props.

DWQ: Anyone know who this Aoki fella is?

DWQ:
I hear he’s a DJ…Couldn’t check for sure, though, cause my google was down all week.

DWQ:
What’s a DJ? (Can you pass me my knitting? Thanks.)

DWQ: It’s newfangled. It’s a person who plays records on a turntable onstage. Should be nice! I like records.

DWQ: Me too, me too…but I LOOOVVE me some Duran Duran!

DWQ: (all together now) Wooohooooo!!!

***Hours pass (la la laaa)

DWQ: Hey! The door peeps are finally here! Let’s make sure they know we’re back here in the alley waiting patiently to get in!

DWQ: What? They’re gonna WHAT? Just let everybody go in however? Willy Nilly? But, but…We’ve been here ALL DAY! Waiting! Patiently! In the HEAT!

DWQ: I’ll poke ’em with my knitting needle if they don’t get their silly little act together! I swear! These venues never know what to do with us Duranies. Jaysis. Will you pass me some of that 90-degree water? Thanks, doll.

DWQ: Ok, ok…I think we’ve gotten THAT cleared up…We should be cool now…Just get through the door and RUN! (Sure hope I don’t break one of my 6-inch heels! I don’t look good in lopsided…)

DWQ:
Here we are! In our inalienable front row spots! Whew! That was close, huh?  Ahhh, front row, front row, I love you front row…Say whaaah? You want us to move back two feet to let Aoki’s fans be in the front? You’re joking, right? Where were THEY when we were sweatin’ large outside? What’s that? They’ll leave as soon as his set is done?  You sure? Well, ok…We don’t really need to be in front to see a guy play records…

***Push em back, push em back, waaaaaay back!

DWQ: Wow, it’s sorta crowded in here, yeah? I need my required three feet of dance
space, so skooch. I am a diva. STOP. SWEATING. ON. ME! 

***Enter Aoki

***And cake…

***And champagne…

***And a big-ass raft…with PEOPLE in it…floating on hands outstretched to their DJ Jesus…

DWQ: Aaagghhh! What have Duran Duran gotten us INTO? No one told us about THIS!  What were they thinking? They HATE us! And isn’t that JT? Up there in the balcony?  He’s laughing at us! See him? What a D*CK!

Random DD Fan Who Did Not Queue: Aaagghhh! What have Duran Duran gotten us INTO? No one told us about THIS! What were they thinking? They HATE us! And isn’t that JT? Up there in the balcony? He’s laughing at us! See him? What a D*CK!

DWQ: My goodness, these youngsters are STRONG! They’ve knocked quite a few people down with their juvenile rave antics! Where IS that blasted security guy? The one who made us move at the beginning? Is that him? Over there at the side having a beverage? Yooohooo? Could you (ugh) please come over here and (ouch) get this pesky child off my HEAD, please and thank you?? *waves old lady hanky*

DWQ: And I thought WE were bad! My stars, the youth of today…Wait! Is that NICK?  Behind the screen? Yeah!! They’re coming onstage!  GET THE F**K OUTTA MY WAAAAY, B**CHEZZZ!!!

—The End—

(Ha!)
Okay…Little serious moment now.
I find myself laughing a lot about this loony experience. No, none of it went down the way I’ve presented it (well, SOME of it did), but it gives me a chuckle nevertheless. In all honesty, I don’t know why Duran chose to pair up crowds with Aoki’s – to ‘See What Unfolded’ perhaps? Good idea? Bad Idea? It’s their little red wagon at the end of the day I suppose. I do think some things could’ve been handled better though (Umm,
guys? Serious up…next time you rely on someone else’s planning of an event–even if you are a mere guest–please check on the deets just a wee bit, a’yite? Security at a rave is sort of important.) And fully disclosing what we are ‘winning’ before people make unchangeable travel arrangements can only show that you respect us as fans and as people. I know, I know… It was our decision to do this. Yep, it was. Still, the feeling that
we were somehow purposely duped remains for some. Just sayin’.

This was an unforgettable Duran experience for sure, and truthfully, I had a complete BLAST until some guys started to go nucking futs and use themselves as human wrecking balls. Most of the people there were just other fans trying to have fun, dance, jump around, not a care in the world. I dig that. But having to expend the majority of my energy to simply remain upright is not my idea of a good time: impedes dancing–trust me on this. I’m SO not whining about being caught up in a sweaty mess of crazy, I’m talking about the actual seriously mean, violent guys who did their best to ruin the show for everyone: Duranie and Aokian alike. I’ve since heard stories of people getting choked, punched, kicked, stomped on…That is not ‘normal’ rave behavior (so sayeth the bonafide ravers on Facebook, anyway). It is not ‘kids having fun’. It is beyond what my exhaustive google-pre-researching of Aoki and of Terminal 5 led me to believe was in store. I’m just glad nothing worse broke out. Got reeaallll close at times though, cause bruthas and sistas, there was no security to be found ANYWHERE, and that is my gripe with this gig. Once Duran started playing, a guy looked at me with an incredulous, wild eyed look on his face and screamed at the top of his lungs that a fan had bitten him (Uh huh. BITTEN). What could I do? (Must’ve been that old, Duran-fan ‘mom’ look I werk.)  He was screaming for security, and every camera guy in the pit just shrugged and walked away.

It was mos def enjoyable to see the band again–it really was (Love you guys! Mwah!).
Even if I WAS completely flattened against the barricade. ;D

Rock on Duran Duran! Looking forward to the next show like crazy!

Jonee has been a fan of Duran Duran ever since she saw John Taylor running down the streets of Sri Lanka bare chested in Hungry Like the Wolf when it came on Friday Night Videos (she was 12). She missed a great deal of touring since her first show in ’84 (life, college, grad school, family, yadda yadda), but has since come back into the Duranie fold just in time for this whirlwind All You Need Is Now tour. She loves the band and all the ridiculously cool friends she’s made through them. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the mom of two kids, 7 and 4, and is currently trying to convince her sweet husband that she needs to see Duran Duran just one more time…

16 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Duran Duran’s NYC Show with Aoki, Cynical Version, Take One”

  1. Great blog Jonee! When I think of that crazy night the song “If you don't know me by now you will never never never know me ooo whooo whooo” pops into my head. How old do DD and their management think we are? And do they have any idea how we behave at concerts, esp GA? We tend to be a bit territorial esp after waiting in the 90 degree heat all day. Plus many of us like to dress up nicely. We aren't exactly mosh pit types. I know they wish they had a younger hipper audience but I'd be willing to bet the majority of the fans that buy VIP and travel to see them are over 40, myself included. I did have a good time over all but like you I've heard some real horror stories and I think it could all have been avoided with a little heads up as to what we were in for. I'd have approached this concert totally differently (rain poncho and track shoes LOL) and probably had even more fun.

  2. The song that comes to MY mind is “R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me…” The band and their management need to show us more respect than they did or risk losing us. Many of us are very upset about this show. We traveled far and spent a lot of money to be there to show our support, and we were repaid with cake in our faces. Who ever heard of a DJ throwing cake at people–insane!!! OK calming down now, had to get that off my chest! Still love the guys, really hoping they didn't know about the cake.

  3. I was one of the winners to the Steve Aoki/Duran Duran show as well. I did NOT like Steve Aoki one bit, and most of the people there were in my age group (I am 20). I was there donning a Duran Duran shirt and messenger bag filled with Duran Duran memorabilia in hopes of getting them signed. I was waiting by the entrance to backstage hoping they'd walk by, they did and it took me a bit to register what was going on. I started calling out their names, but most of them were too far to hear. Then Roger went by and he stopped for me. At this point I was shaking. I asked him if he could sign my AYNIN record and he did and I asked if the rest of the band could sign it. He said that he'd see what he could do. A while later, someone walks out and comes up to me asking if I have anything for the band. I sent her back with a thank you card/happy birthday card from my mom and my record and everyone else (except Dom) signed my record. At the end of the show I waited at the back entrance hoping to get something signed for my mom. John (her favorite) stopped and signed Sugar Town for me and gave me a hug when I asked. It was an unforgettable experience.

  4. That is super cool! They seem to be genuinely sweet to fans most of the time…Good goin' with the sigs…and the HUG! ��

  5. Great blog….hilarious recount of the “secret” contest! I am glad you brought out the feelings of being “duped” or “tricked” by DD's management with this VIP contest. I won and didn't go & am very glad I passed on it. I almost got sucked into the “fan vortex” & almost booked airline tix and hotel to go to this show. I do feel that their management knew all the details when they sent the winner emails out and you highlighted well why they kept it such a secret. I almost kicked myself when I sent the email saying I wouldn't attend but literally a day or 2 later DD posted on FB the hint about Trident so they did know the details but for fear that fans would bail didn't tell everyone. I think DDVIP owes their VIP community a real contest….for example a show that they organize themselves just for their VIP community, small like 500 people can win, all get a meet n greet and can bring something to be signed. Now that's a show that if I won I would book airline tix & hotel to attend.

  6. “Duran fan vortex” hahahaha yes, I know it quite well! This guest blog made me LOL for real =) Thanks for putting a humerous spin on this….erm, *interesting* concert experience!

  7. I'm not understanding how people feel 'duped' or how anyone can sincerely feel that DDM purposely withheld 'secret' info for fear that no one would come. Steve Aoki wasn't a secret guest, a 1-minute Internet search on him is all people needed to do & they would have all of the info they needed regarding his performance and thensome.

  8. I don't know that people felt duped about Steve Aoki but about what DDM members could expect in terms of getting into the show, how close to the stage they would be, etc. There is a lot more to a show than the performers.

    -A

  9. Yeah, I don't think that Steve Aoki himself was the source of the contention, nor do I think that DDM withheld info about Steve thinking that otherwise no one would come. You've got to read just a LITTLE bit further than that. This was about the security, or lack thereof…about lining up for hours only to be pushed back, etc.

    Truth be told, this is a situation that I really can't judge properly one way or another because I wasn't there. Even as I sit and watch videos from that evening that have popped up on youtube – it doesn't look horrible because I wasn't IN that crowd, you know?

    I guess the point is that while you and I might say “What's the big deal, nobody died?”, there are other people who WERE there that night that have just as much of a right to express their feelings. All I know is that there were a lot of fans that I know personally who walked away that night feeling pretty crummy (no cake pun whatsoever…) about the show. That doesn't typically happen after a Duran performance. Sure, there are your chronic complainers out there, definitely. I also think there's a difference between those that complain constantly and people with real, genuine concerns, and if *I* can see the difference, I'd like to believe that maybe, just maybe…others can and will as well. Take it with a grain of salt if you want, but at least take the time to take notice. Arrogant ignorance isn't an attractive trait. -R

  10. And before someone busts me for saying that last statement, it was NOT meant for any commenters or fellow fans, but rather for band members/management. It's often commented that the band doesn't care or that management couldn't care less whether fans are happy or not. While I can't imagine that to be the WHOLE truth, I know it appears that way much of the time – and so my comment was in regard to that. It's not attractive. -R

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