I love this time of year. I’m not talking about Christmas or the holiday season. (Although, I do love the holidays.) No, I’m referring to a little trip to the UK that Rhonda and I took seven years ago now to see a few Duran Duran shows. This time of the year allows me to remember that tour, that All You Need Is Now time and more. Seven years ago, on this day, we were traveling from Bournemouth to Birmingham to see Duran Duran in their hometown. We were only half way done with the tour and yet, I would have called it magical already. It wasn’t perfect tour but it still ranks as one of my very favorites as it is a special one. Therefore, I thought I would like to take the time to share some of the best parts in no particular order.
Making it to the Brighton Show:
We were so stressed about this show as there was a large public union strike that was due to take place on the day of our arrival, the day of the show. We figured that it would cause major delays at the airport and with the train from London to Brighton. Yet, somehow, someway, we had no problems at all as we breezed through customs and got easily on the train to Brighton. We were even able to make dinner plans with some friends.
As the show in Brighton started, my jet lag was so bad that I worried that I might actually be dreaming. There was no way that I was actually seeing Duran Duran play in the UK, right? I resisted the urge to pitch myself with every song. Then, the band started playing a few notes that sounded so familiar and, yet, so unexpected. My brain struggled to comprehend what I was actually hearing. I turned to the right to look at Rhonda. Our eyes met in confusion for a nanosecond before excitement burst forth! We never thought we would actually see the band play Secret Oktober. So, we responded as anyone else would have–we hugged like we just found out that we had won the lottery. As we turned back to the stage, I remember seeing Nick chuckling. Apparently, our reaction was amusing.
Do You Know Where We Are?
The next night’s show in Bournemouth provided one of the funniest moments ever at a Duran show. One of my favorite things about Duran is how much I laugh because of them. They are genuinely funny and amusing as heck. Usually, when Rhonda and I are together, the amusement factor somehow seems to multiply as we encourage the other to laugh at and with the band. (All from love, people!). Well, on this night, we cracked ourselves up. Simon began singing the lyrics to The Man Who Stole a Leopard when I dared to respond to one of the lyrical questions. He asked, “Do you know where we are?” My answer had everything to do with being in a different country, confused by a new timezone and lack of UK geography when I said in all seriousness, “No.” Rhonda lost it. I feared that she might never stop laughing. Needless to say, I cannot hear the song in the same way now.
Everything surrounding the Birmingham show was fun. For example, we met up with UK friends before the show for drinks. That crowd traveled to the venue together, increasing our excitement for the show. I remember how we all packed into train D to head over. Photos were taken at every opportunity. It was beautiful. This, of course, was also the tour in which tweets using the hashtag #duranlive were projected on the screen. (I still love that, by the way!) Fans in the audience could share their excitement and other fans not present could give little shoutouts to the band or people in the audience. I remember swelling with pride as our tweet about having a dream fulfilled flashed on the screen. It truly felt monumental.
The next day featured a long train ride north to Scotland. Some people might not consider that a highlight but I loved it. I enjoyed watching the beautiful scenery while listening to Duran music. If that wasn’t enough, Rhonda and I spent time brainstorming ideas and more for the blog. I loved that we had concentrated time to work on something we were building together.
The Floor Shook:
Glasgow felt like the perfect final show, not that we wanted the tour to end. We didn’t. (We never do.) I remember freezing as we sat in our best seats for the tour, waiting for the show to start. Then, the show was amazing with a fabulous Careless Memories with new anime and more. Yet, again, Leopard stood out because I swear the floor shook as the entire crowd clapped along. I believed at that moment that I belonged. That isn’t a feeling I get all that often so I treasured it then and treasure it now. After the show, Rhonda and I convinced ourselves that going to sleep would be dangerous because of our early departure time. In reality, I don’t think we wanted the night to end. We spent the few hours we had left trying to find videos of various songs from the shows, trying to stay with the music.
As I traveled home, I knew that it was a “tour of a lifetime.” Seven years later and I still think that. That doesn’t mean that Paper Gods wasn’t amazing because it totally was, more than I could have hoped for. Rhonda and I keep talking about going back to the UK. I know that I would love it because if it was half as good as the tour seven years ago, it would be awesome.