If you haven’t listened to the Kafe yourself, I have to tell you all – it’s worth the close listen. I gleaned so much from the 15 minute session, and I can’t possibly convey all of my thoughts and feelings here, and definitely not within the self-imposed time frame of about 15 minutes. John jumps right into what it has been like to restart the proverbial “touring engine” for Duran Duran – and while I haven’t been to the shows yet (my turn is Saturday), I felt as though I had a general sense of what the shows have been like for the fans. John comments that the shows have been great so far, and that he feels like they are “where they really should be” for the present. He also comments that they have a “long way to go”. It would appear as though that is the case – at the time the Kafe was recorded, it was the 25th, and they’ve since done the Mountain Winery show in Saratoga. They are only 3 shows into a very lengthy tour, especially when, much later in the Kafe, Katy mentions that the plan is to tour throughout 2012. That’s a LONG time for any band, much less a band that has experienced severe vocal trouble with their lead singer…which brings me of course to Simon.
According to John, the band felt that Simon sounded as good or better than he ever has at the shows in Everett Washington and in Portland Oregon. When they came offstage before the encore, however, Simon could barely speak. He immediately requested that the band shorten the encore to just Rio, which of course they did. The show was about 90 minutes in length with that revision. While walking back after the show was over, Nick and John mentioned to one another that they didn’t see that coming. To me, Miss Rhonda-Fan, that’s concerning. It should be concerning to any fan, but to be fair and realistic – these guys are not 30 years old anymore. As John said, anything is going to be conditional going forward. They must take care of themselves, and even then, there are going to be times when the engine just isn’t running the way they might like. A good example of this would be their performance last night at Mountain Winery, where Simon apparently missed several (3 or 4) of his vocal cues, and was just clearly off his game (no matter the reason). Reports from the show (again I was not there to hear it myself, I’m only reporting what was told to me) were that his voice sounded very gravely at times – “rough” probably being the best way to describe it. As I understand it, once again the show was shortened to an hour and a half, and according to John – that’s about the perfect length for them….right now. I think, given his discussion with Katy, that the hope is that eventually they may make it to the 2 hour mark in the last week or so of this tour, but I think it’s also appropriate for the fans to recognize that the days of the two or two and a half hour show may very well be over. I know not everyone will be thrilled by that, nor am I, but I would prefer any show over no show. Food for thought.
John speaks freely about the audience vibe throughout the year. He feels as though the fans want to be there, they are there for them, and “not just for the nostalgia”. He goes on to say how important that is for them, and that he doesn’t know if it’s the social networking or what the difference is between now and a few years back. I would like to direct this part of the blog to John specifically:
1. The reunion ended when Andy left. It took a lot of people a while to come to terms, and others left altogether, but what you’ve got now are people who truly WANT to be here.
2. I think that overall, the fan community seems to be behind AYNIN much more than RCM. Take that for what you will.
3. Your fans desperately wanted to feel connected to the band beyond the stage. You answered that need with getting involved on Twitter and so forth. While it might feel like therapy for you – it is that way for the fans as well. A fan community that is connected to their band (aka Duran Duran or it’s members in this case) is a fan community that truly has a bond to their band. It works!
4. I think most everyone realizes this isn’t going to last forever, and while going through Simon’s vocal trouble has somehow bonded the 4 or 5 of you (if Dom is included) more closely – it is clear that the same has been done for the fans. We’re making the most of the time we’ve got. Living in the now. Loving the moment. All You Need is Now. 😀
5. I could go on…but I think you get it.
It sounds like the band has quite a lengthy road ahead of them, and not all of it will be smooth. We fans may need to adjust our perception of what makes a good show (meaning that an hour and a half of awesome music beats out a two hour rocking show followed by a 4 month absence), and I still say the band can do without playing so many “hits”. John said they play about 8 a night. Why not do 6 and get in a couple more songs off of the new album or even sneak in Shadows on Your Side?!? Secret Oktober???
What if I beg?!?
Tonight is LA, followed by Friday in Vegas and Saturday in Valley Center. Let’s see how this goes!