It has been quite a week, hasn’t it? I definitely feel like I can’t keep up. I know that this feeling has a lot to do with working so much this month (131 hours and counting!), but it also has to do with how much Duran Duran has been doing. I love that I can’t really keep up. It means that all is well in Duranland! Despite all that excitement, I still find myself feeling…a bit saddened that I haven’t been able to sit back and enjoy it more (or talk it about it more on social media. Heck, even my personal twitter was quiet!). In fact, I found myself hitting a wall. (I usually call this the “Honeymoon is Over” wall, which means that the school year is truly well underway.) I started pondering big issues like, “How in the world can I make more hours in the day?” or “Should I still be doing this fandom thing? I have plenty to keep me busy without Duran Duran.” Then…I started to remember.
In 11 days, I will be leaving the lonely Midwest (Seriously, can I petition the band to remember the Midwest in 2016?!) to head to the west coast where I will meet up with my probably super excited, just at the Jimmy Kimmel show, partner-in-crime. From there, we will attend a few shows (Hollywood, Berkeley and Agua Caliente) along with a few good friends of ours. That sounds fun, right? Oh, but touring is so much more than that. Just today at work, I was telling my friend that I don’t know how I’m going to get prepared to be gone. She nodded in understanding and then said sadly, “Maybe it would be better not to go.” My heart broke a little at that statement. She just doesn’t get it. How to explain it to her or to anyone else?
Touring a LOT more than seeing shows. It is about friendship. It is about connection. It is about escape. It is about fun. It is about being immersed in intense emotion. It is about celebration.
First, as I’m sure you all know, Rhonda and I don’t live near each other. We try to ignore that fact and shrink the world as much as we can through every form of communication possible. Still, there is nothing like being in the same room with someone. It always feels like we learn more about each other and ourselves with every trip. When we drive like 1000 miles in a weekend, we have plenty of time to get beyond the news of the day to more substantial issues and experiences. Perhaps, even more importantly than that, we have lots of opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other (which is probably dangerous and will result in more work for ourselves) and make the other laugh like you would not believe. Goodness, I still remember moments over the last ten years when we have started laughing and couldn’t stop whether that was in a restaurant booth at 5 in the morning in Chicago, driving through huge puddles in New Jersey or even during The Man Who Stole a Leopard in Bournemouth. Then, on this tour, we have the chance to also get to know our friend, Heather, better and to add her voice to our laughter! What could be better!
All tours are about connections. They really are. For Rhonda and I, it has always been about connecting with each other and other friends. After all, each Duran show is a chance to run into friends whom you haven’t seen in a long time or friends whom you have never met before but have talked to lots online. Someone once said that Duran shows are like high school reunions. I would argue that they are generally better than high school reunions! Rhonda and I always joke that you can feel the energy and the excitement when Duranies are around. Those connections make the shows a lot more fun! Beyond connections with other fans, tours always make me feel a bit more connected with the band, too. That might sound silly but I think it is true. We are there together to enjoy the music. At the best shows, I think both band and audience feed off each other to enhance the performance and experience! I want to see them perform music from Paper Gods–not just to hear them live, but also to get a sense of how the band FEELS about their new music.
The beauty of the shows and even tours, in general, is that they are all encompassing. I have never found my mind wandering during Planet Earth or All You Need Is Now or Careless Memories. Oh no, I’m right there. Completely present and in the moment. I can’t think about work. I can’t worry about my parents’ health. My to-do list is far away at those moments. Tours are a complete break from reality. While I feel this is always needed and welcomed, this year, I think I need it even more with the long, rough start to the school year as well as the months of taking care of my parents. I don’t frequently have a chance to really take a break. Thus, when I am able to do so, I will embrace the opportunity. I will squeeze it and every moment within. These escapes fortify me for whatever comes next.
While the escape gives me strength, the sense of fun renews the spirit. Just today, I was talking about how much fun I had in college. I started to say that I have had the most fun there before I stopped myself and thought about tours. To say that touring is fun is an understatement. It is where I really let my hair down and just worry about having fun. I can enjoy a drink or two or five. I can stay up late. I can go to clubs and go dancing. I only think about having a good time. I’m not worried about what I’m supposed to do the next day. How often can you say that? Personally, I know that I work hard. I deserve a little fun. I think everyone deserves that. Besides, wouldn’t the world be a better place if people had a chance to let go and have fun?!? I think so!
While every tour is amazing, this one feels really special. Is it because the last tour was 2012?! Is it because we (Rhonda and I) have turned 5 as a blog and are truly proud of what we have created?! Is it because there is a new album?! Could it be all of the above and more?! I think so! It feels like celebration. It will be a celebration of the album and the band. It will a celebration of fandom and friendship. It will be a celebration of really living. I simply cannot wait!!