I’ve Been Now Sauntering

Hey, do you remember that time in 1984 when New Moon on Monday reached #10 on the US charts?? Believe it or not, that happened on today’s date, just a mere 35 years ago.

It takes me nowhere

Well, that should start your Monday off on the right footing of nostalgia along with the ever-familiar feeling of “How in the hell can that have been 35 years ago? I’m barely 30.” Yep!

I feel you, readers. Me and my back totally get you this morning. Oh boy, do I. My Advil bottle is within reach today. (For my out-of-US peeps – it’s ibuprofen. Think Paracetamol.)

I need a reason

I see people beginning to fantasize about set lists. Usually the band asks a question about songs off of a specific album, as they did this morning. Today they asked about favorite songs off of Big Thing, and tweeters responded. I saw more than a couple musing about whether or not they might be thinking about including something from the album on the list.

Some veteran fans and/or concert goers may scoff, saying that the set list isn’t going to change. Still others chastise, suggesting that everyone should be thankful that they’re playing at all.

It is actually possible to be thrilled and thankful that the band is playing a show somewhere you can attend, and still have hopes over what one may hear and see while in the audience. Nobody is slighting anyone else simply because they’re hoping to hear New Moon on Monday, or Planet Roaring, or whatever else happens to be on someone’s wish list.

Call it treason

For the most part, I don’t worry about the set list these days. I go to a lot of shows – as many as I’m able budget-wise, and willing to travel to attend. I had to get used to the idea that the set list doesn’t change that much.

However, it is also 100% true that at one time, I’d openly complain and lament over the song choices. I guess I learned that for me, in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter that much. I thoroughly enjoy the concerts regardless of what they play. By the same token, I also accept that for other people, it matters more. I have friends who only go to a few shows each tour because in their opinion, it isn’t worth it to go to more than that. They don’t need to see the same stage, same costuming, same set more than a few times. I totally respect that.

However thrilled I am to see the band, I will still occasionally ponder what songs might be switched out for other. The February shows are between albums, and even if I weren’t going, I’d still be curious. Isn’t it part of the fun?

Too many things, too much to know

On the safe side, I don’t think anyone should expect more than maybe a couple of songs to be different between the shows during the Paper Gods tour and now. The band tends to favor their hits, and there are plenty of them. I think they like to cater to the portion of the audience that comes to an occasional show every once in a while, than those of us who are diehard attendees. I can’t really blame them for that.

Duran Duran wants people up and dancing, not bored because they’ve never heard “You Kill Me with Silence”, or “Skin Divers”. That leaves precious little time for songs that the vast majority of the audience doesn’t know that well. I think that is the main reason why we only hear a new song or two thrown in over the course of a tour, like it or not.

Songs like “Hold Back the Rain”, “Friends of Mine”, “Careless Memories”, and even “New Religion” are fan-favorites. Maybe they’d include them in the right spots. Yet, they’re not so obscure that people would sit down, sucking the energy right out of the venue. There’s nothing worse than losing that type of momentum during a show, and it is difficult to get back on track when it happens. So I think they stick with these types of songs when they want to throw in something. Many, if not most fans, know the words and are so exuberant when they begin playing them that their vitality makes up for those who might not be as familiar.

Sometimes, they break out something from a newer album that they haven’t given a ton of playing time. Out of seemingly nowhere, they played “Only in Dreams” a few times during the Paper Gods tour, for example. So maybe they play their standards (read: hits), a couple of fan-favorites, and then one newer one or so. That’s three, maybe four songs out of the 16-18 songs they’ve been doing. I’ll let you all debate whether that’s enough or not, and see my own way out.

It’s us who make the noise

Amanda and I absolutely love to screw with the band by tweeting out our own hastily thrown together set list (sometimes even on paper napkins written with a marker!). We cackle and laugh the entire time as we tweet it out, full-well knowing there’s nary a song on the list that has a chance of being included. In turn, we also know that we’d have a far better chance of actually being accurate by just guessing a song or two. Even so, what fun is there in that?!?

I don’t know if I have a dream set-list these days as much as there are songs that I’d love to hear them play again. I’d really like to hear “Land” or Palomino” from Big Thing, but I know they’re not really songs that people can dance to, so I don’t expect them. “Red Carpet Massacre”, “All You Need is Now”, or “Planet Roaring” fit the bill for a live show far better, but who knows what they’ll choose. Hearing and seeing them play a song live that I haven’t for a while will be exciting. I’m not sure if it really matters to me what they play – I’ll be happy to see them throw in something new, no matter what it is.

-R

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