It Just Goes On and On and On

Yesterday, one of our readers sent us a link to a review of the Durham show. He thought that we would be interested in reading, and maybe commenting on the link. Perhaps, other people would like to do the same thing. The link is here:  Durham review

Obviously, this review has prompted a number of people to chime in on the website where it was posted.  Many of the comments were extremely good and brought up various points that needed to be mentioned.  That said, I, too, felt it necessary to comment on the review here and to put it in a larger context.  I suggest you go read the review first before reading my comments but, if not, I’ll do my best to explain what I’m referring to. 

The review doesn’t begin well for Duranies.  I don’t even have to start reading to get annoyed since the title of the review is, “Reunited Duran Duran Swoon the DPAC Crowd.”  First, the band reunited about 10 years ago.  Once again, this is evidence to poor or no research on the part of the writer.  In my opinion, it is amazing how often “journalists” are allowed to publish material that simply isn’t true and this is an example of that.  Then, the author chooses to use the word, “swoon”.  According to dictionary.com, the meaning is “to enter a state of hysterical rapture or ecstasy”.  Oh boy.  Obviously, this person felt it necessary to apply stereotypes about fans, about Duranies right before the get go.  Yes, fans enjoy themselves at concerts.  Yes, Duranies might experience a kind of high at a show but seriously…”hysterical rapture” implies that we are out of control with our emotions.  It is also a word often used to describe someone fainting due to extreme emotion.  Please.  Duranies aren’t 12 and we are well aware that it isn’t 1984.  We actually do want to hear the music.  

The review doesn’t get better from there.  The opening paragraph describes big hair, high heels, satin jackets, and the use of Aqua Net as the scene at the DPAC.  Wow.  I have to admit that I didn’t see ANY of that.  Yes, some of us wore heels but I also wear heels to work.  I didn’t see any big hair or satin jackets.  I would love to see photographic evidence of that, but I suspect that this person couldn’t supply that.  Maybe, the author should check out the audience pictures of the show on dd.com to see that this simply wasn’t true.  As soon as I read that, I began to think that this author had this paragraph in place before he even went to the show.  He ASSUMED that is what it was going to be like.  Again, another example of poor reporting and the use of stereotypes about Duranies.  

After discussing MNDR for a couple of paragraphs, the author chooses to dive into the band’s physical appearance.  Huh?  I thought this was a review of the MUSIC, the SHOW.  The author begins by saying, “Having seen my fair share of sad reunion bands up close, I have to say that Duran Duran has physically kept it together pretty well since their heyday in the early 80s”  Again, using the word “sad” in a sentence to describe Duran is not okay.  Then, again, to describe them as a reunion band makes me crazy!  He goes on to describe Simon, John and Nick, individually in which case he describes John as resembling a 1968 Keith Richards.  Wow.  There are no words I could use to describe my reaction to that statement.  Nick’s description isn’t much better by saying that he appears to be “put-out by having to perform for a living, barely moving during the entire concert and wearing a perma-scowl.”  Again, I’m so glad that he chose to include any of this because it tells me NOTHING about the show itself.  Obviously, he is more guilty of being concerned about their looks then say we were in our review of the same show.

The remaining three paragraphs barely touch on the show at all.  He mentions Before the Rain, The Reflex and Rio.  There isn’t much of a description used other than to say that people swayed during Before the Rain, an audience member started the Reflex and that Rio reminded the audience of good times of the past.  No, most of those paragraphs were filled with descriptions of the crowd or band in less than flattering terms by talking about how “the crowd was moving in ways that it appeared they haven’t in year”.  How rude!  He described Duran’s jackets as have been recycled Member’s Only jackets.  Even the last line is left with a bad taste in my mouth about how the audience would have left behind antacid wrappers and bottles of headache medications.

Truly, I haven’t seen a review this bad, this filled with stereotypes about the bands and the fans in a while.  If I was this person’s editor, I would definitely question both the lack of research and the lack of substance.  The task was to review a show.  There was very little of that in the article.  That said, it isn’t like reviews like this one is new.  They aren’t new to the band and they aren’t new to the fans.  It is really just more evidence, current evidence that the stereotypes about the band and the fans are alive and well.  It seems to me that the stereotypes about the band and their fans have always been there.  They might have changed since the first ones appeared in the early 80s, but they still exist.  Once the stereotypes were about how the band was just a bunch of pretty boys who couldn’t really play and now they are a bunch of has-beens who have “reunited” just to make a living.  There is very little acknowledgment of the fact that they were supporting music that wasn’t released decades ago.  The stereotypes of the fans have altered in some ways and, in other ways, they have remained.  In the 80s, all we cared about were their good looks and we would scream, cry and faint in response.  Now, we just embrace the fashion, the good times that Duran reminds of, or so says the stereotype.  Ugh. 

Stereotypes of the past and the present are annoying.  I’m sure that I’ll get comments telling me to just ignore them or to not let them bother me.  I would say this.  First, I don’t want to, nor can I ignore them as they are a part of the story.  They are a part of what it is like to be a Duranie in 2012.  As someone writing about stigma in the book we are writing, I must be aware of them.  As for letting them bother me, I was actually excited that I reacted like I did.  After all, a couple of days ago, I asked how to return to my normal Duranie self.  It seems to me that defending Duran and Duranies fits that description.  So, in a weird way, I thank this poor reporting writer for bringing me back home with the band and fellow fans that I love.

-A

28 thoughts on “It Just Goes On and On and On”

  1. I have to say that having read quite a few poor gig reviews of the band in the past (I live in Orange County, CA – and the main reviewer for our local paper – the OC Register, is NOT a Duran Duran fan), I haven't read one THIS bad, so completely chock-full of stereotypes and flat out lies – in a long time. It was THAT bad.

    I wonder if this person was standing beside me at the show?!? 😀 I mean…you DID say you were worried I was going to need oxygen during Sunrise… 😉 LOL

    In all seriousness though, it's pretty clear that the reviewer didn't bother to pay attention to the music. I don't think they included much of anything about the show itself, just their outdated opinions of the audience, which were pathetic.

    No, we shouldn't let bad reviews bother us as fans, but on the same token – this particular article isn't even really a review of the show. It's a review of what he/she thought of the audience…it's really not about the band at all, and that's what is sad.

    -R

  2. Normally, a simple bad review should not totally bother us as fans, but this shit was PERSONAL! He INSULTED US AS FANS. I mean how rude he was to imply that we are all old, out of shape and unable to get out because of kids, so that we go apeshit when we do! Sorry for the language, but this guy REALLY pissed me off.

  3. Wow, what a douchebag that reviewer is. I wonder if he was at the same show as the rest of us????Clearly his bitterness at never getting lucky in high school still rears its angry head. Probably the only way he could get a date was to bribe the girls with concert tickets….sad, sad man….

  4. I can't even begin to express my anger at this review! Clearly, this is a pseudo journalist's biased opinion of the fans, without regard for the talent of the band he was suppose to review! If I had to guess, this is a sports reporter who begrudgingly had to fill in for the music reviewer, because a true music enthusiast would not have been so focused on the fans, and would have paid more attention to the musical talent he was there to review! I would also guess this twit is too young to even KNOW anything about the 80's, except what he has seen in reruns of Brat pack movies ! If I was the editor, I would seriously recommend a staffing change !

  5. I read your piece, and thought, “nah, how bad can that review really be?” It was worse. It was insulting, and snarky, and cheesy. It reeked of a writer who is cutting his teeth on over-stylized glib narrative (just like that last sentence). I question his motives. Is he trying to get a book deal? The tone of the review was not in the same vein of other reviews. I call bullshit on that guy. I left a comment for them, too. Douchecanoe. Thanks for letting us know ladies! Happy weekend.

  6. I keep thinking about this stupid review. Truth be told, I'd rather think about that than some of the other things that are going on in my regular home life right now….but I thought about this more, and here's the thing: this band isn't perfect. There have been many, many shows that I stood there at the end and said “Eh”. It just didn't HIT me. Then there was that fan show in NYC, when I actually SAT DOWN during the show. That was my rock bottom with this band, and I'm not afraid or ashamed to say so. That's the point though. Amanda and I don't go singing their praises all the time. We try VERY HARD to be objective, and sometimes, we're probably way too tough on them as a result.

    This show though? It was outstanding. The band was on fire. WE were on fire. We brought the enthusiasm of at least 100 Duranies, and that band matched it. Anyone could and should have seen that, so I don't get it. I just know a fair and impartial review when I read it – and this wasn't it. I'm not sure it was even a review. -R

  7. I, honestly, wondered if it wasn't written before the show with some blank spaces to add a few details from the show. It didn't fit what we saw, heard or experienced. That's for sure.

    -A

  8. I read the review and it totally reeks of BS! Even though I've yet to attend a DD concert, I clearly recall the energy and showmanship they brought in Sing Blue Silver. So I know that energy & enthusiasm is magnified x's 1000 when seeing the band in person. And I can't wait until I get to see them live! That so-called journalist clearly didn't attend this show and probably based it on hearsay and old concert reviews. Hell, he could have given me his comp tickets and I would have given an honest IN PERSON review of the show. This jackhole makes me ashamed to know we live in the same state!

  9. Well, the review is crap but your correction that the band “reunited 10 years ago” is pretty bad too. DD has never reunited because they never broke up. The original drummer, guitarist and bassist returning in 2001 was a big deal and had the feel of a reunion but…it wasn't. For that matter, this lineup could never be considered “reunited” since it's only 4/5 of the original. The so-called reunited lineup ended in 2006.

    Not trying to be difficult but for those of us who followed the band in the 90s it's a little tough to hear that they “reunited” when Andy, Roger and John came back (he after only being gone for one full album-he is credited on Medazzaland).

  10. Yes, I should have been more clear by stating that the reunion of the original band was about 10 years ago. I can understand why that might bother some people. Correct me if I am wrong but didn't the band advertise it as a reunion in like 2003?

    -A

  11. I read the review and the comments made after it and all I can say is…..I'm not surprised by either.

    All music fans are passionate about their favorite bands, and Duran Duran is no exception. We are passionate, guaranteed. The article did have some informational errors and could have discussed more of the show, but it seems the reviewer isn't a Duran fan. I'm okay with it. They don't have to love or even like them. In the hands of Duran fans, a poor review can be all out war, no matter what the author's musical tastes.

    Now, if it had been a stellar review, the fans would have been praising this author as the second coming….but alas, it was not to be. Those who went to the show and enjoyed it would have been better served by describing that experience instead of firing back in the same manner they felt they were being fired upon.

    The media and Duran have ALWAYS had this relationship…it's nothing new. As passionate as I can be about subjects related to the band, it is all still just 1 person's opinion. Love it or hate it. I understand that people aren't happy about a bad review but Duran has a mouth of their own and they can defend themselves if they feel they've been wronged. They also have their own legal team if necessary but I think what NEEDS to be remembered, especially us fans, is that WE enjoy having them around and WE enjoy having the opportunity to enjoy what they do regardless of how others may or may not agree.

    Cheers!!!!

    Shawn

  12. Okay, time for this irked fan to chime in. Good grief. Aside from an obvious lack of journalistic integrity and objectivity, what is with all the insults directed at the attendees and the band? Simon a fitter form of Zack Galifanakis? WTF? The bigger irony is Nick. Of all the band–he's a founding member and has been part of the band for 3/4 his life. I am sure he could have left at any time if he so chose, and we are all grateful for his perseverance and commitment. Apart from the cheap insults at the band…the ones directed to the fans are worse, in my opinion. Is there something wrong with finally getting to see an act that our 14 yr old selves would have donated organs to see live? (Still in that position…but I'll keep my parts thank-you.) Can Gen-Xers (the teens of the 80s) have any fun without being looked down upon by a hipster music snob? Gah. You did a great job pointing out the foibles, I'm just going to sit back and rage. (PS I'm aka @EasternViolet on twitter in case it isn't obvious. Waves!)

  13. I think that for me, this has far more to do with the stereotypical point of view from which this review was written than anything else. I've read plenty of bad reviews over the years, but I don't believe Amanda was out of line for calling them out on the use of ridiculous stereotypes.

    As far as your additional comments, I guess I am one of those people that has to wonder – if you can't even defend the band without another fan having a problem with it – what exactly is the point then?? I don't get it. Why be a fan??

    -R

  14. Such a shame. I tried to post a comment over there and I kept getting a message saying it didn't pass the Low Spam API…something. It didn't have any naughty words or anything so I have no idea what it was going on about.

    In any case, at least for the MOST part, the reviews for the tour supporting AYNIN have been quite positive. This one really takes the cake though in terms of stereotypes. I don't think he even went to the show, what silver vests? What aqua net big hair? Did he sit there in the bar listening to his iPod and just walk out there 2 or 3 times(at the beginning, middle and end maybe?)?

    I have to give props to the band not acting like there was something wrong with having US as fans. By “us” I mean first girls and young women and now often “slightly” older women.;) As a real band(as opposed to a prefab band put together by a management company for the purpose of attracting young girls) they could easily have tried to disown us to be cooler but for the most part they managed to act like we, and our opinions, mattered and they still do.

    I'm sure they are very happy to have more men in the crowds. I don't know what they may say in private and I'm sure there is a comment here and there that could be taken “the wrong way” but by and large they haven't acted like they wished they could have other, better(aka male) fans. In fact there are even some comments where they clearly think it's those who find something wrong with supposedly making “music for girls” who have the problem. Maybe in individual situations meeting members of the band there have been some less than positive experiences here and there, but people get in bad moods, don't always think actions through, don't always make the best choices on how to handle something, etc but taken as a whole, towards fans as a whole group, I think they've been quite good, when they could have turned bitter about it(as some performers have, while still being willing to make money off the same fans).

  15. IMO the problem isn't that he made a bad review, it's that it doesn't even sound like he was paying attention to either the show itself or the audience. He blatantly made stuff up. And he barely even talks about the music. That's not the same thing as something just not being his cup of tea. He lied about the band and he lied about the fans in that review.

  16. I think Isaac Weeks sounds like a 20's something wanna be hipster writer. He probably has no appreciation for Duran Duran's music and approached this concert review with a lazy, closed mind – full of stereo typical comments. Frankly, I could care less about these type of reviewers. I mean, he writes for New Raleigh (enough said, really! I think Daily Duranie is giving him what he wants (and doesn’t deserve ) – attention! Crappy reviewers who don’t love music, don’t deserve the time of day in my opinion. I don’t let myself get all riled up over insignificant “writers”.
    If he wants to pen his opinion of 2012 Duranies as being middle aged with children, then go for it. It’s mostly accurate anyway. But who the hell cares? I say don’t give any more attention to this lousy concert reviewer. It’s not like he writes for Rolling Stone or Spin Magazine. He’s a nobody. And with reviews as inaccurate and lazy as this one, his career will go nowhere.

  17. I live in the Raleigh/Durham area and have never heard of New Raleigh until my friend sent me the link for this review. As someone who has blogged before on some low traffic websites, I'm sure the guy gets $10-$20 per blog and doesn't really put much effort into it.

    As others have stated before, I think it's more likely than not that the author didn't even attend the show and just wrote a generic review.

    I laughed when he said that “it soon became apparent that both the band and audience were ready to call it a night.” Really? Someone who went to the show would obviously know this is not true.

  18. I firmly believe that perception is the issue here between male and female fans. Girls love the goods, men love the mechanics…..Mars Meets (headbutts) Venus in this case….LOL.

  19. “I firmly believe that perception is the issue here between male and female fans. Girls love the goods, men love the mechanics…..Mars Meets (headbutts) Venus in this case….LOL.”

    There is no issue of perception, in my opinion. The reviewer was personally insulting and didn't pay any attention to so-called “mechanics”. He didn't write about how the music sounded, he wrote about how the band looked, how the fans looks and how they acted and most of what he wrote did not remotely match to the reality.

    Just look at the Durham audience pictures on Duran Duran's website, there was no abundance of hair spray or 80's outfits, just very normal, and often attractive, people dressed in a normal fashion, like you might dress for a lunch or dinner out with friends.

    And I'm pretty sure most male fans would actually agree with us.

  20. AMEN, Anonymous. It's DISGUSTING to me that a male fan would come here and simply assume that all female fandom is about is just the look of the guys involved.

    Perception my ass. The guy didn't say a damn thing about the freaking show. Period. What's really funny is that I think the assumption is that Amanda was at home ranting and raving about this review, when in fact all she was doing was showing how some of the stigma behind being a Duranie is still alive and well in 2012.

    -R

  21. Male 'fans' who accuse female fans as being soccer moms and only into the band for their looks are fools. They are in fact making themselves look like fools – are they saying that this band can't be good enough for people to actually like them for their music? Or are they making sweeping sexist generalizations that female music taste is not as valid as male taste?

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.