The Slow But Hungry Wolf

On this day in 1982, Duran Duran performed Hungry Like the Wolf on Top Of the Pops. Shortly thereafter, the single peaked at #5 in the UK. It would be almost a year before the wolf had reached its peak in North America (February 1983). That gap in time is one of the most crucial periods in the Duran Duran story and one that would never happen in today’s industry.

The single initially flopped in the U.S. when it was released there in June of 1982 and Rio‘s success was in dire straits internationally. Everyone knows the impact MTV ultimately had on the single and the album. Without a show like Top of the Pops, MTV was a new lifeline for bands trying to break America and Duran Duran played their cards perfectly in that regard. However, the remixed version of Hungry Like the Wolf by David Kershenbaum might have been just as critical in breaking Duran Duran in a massive scale.

As a whole, I don’t love the Kershenbaum remixes but in the case of Hungry Like the Wolf, I think the remix (basically, a night version) that appears on my US pressing of the album is better than the original. For one, I love the longer intro which helps build the energy coming out of Lonely In Your Nightmare. Secondly, and headphones really bring this out, the Kershenbaum remix has a lot more of Roger’s hi-hat work in the mix which adds to the excitement of the track.

In essence, this remix takes a New Romantic pop single that rocketed up the UK charts and makes it more radio friendly based on what US audiences were expecting to hear in late 1982. However, within the context of the Rio album, I think the remix ends up working better in that regard as well. Like I said earlier, I do not always think that with re-worked albums. I much prefer the debut with To The Shore and the night version of My Own Way is the better version to my ears. But in this case, Kershenbaum delivered a perfect remix that helped break the band beyond MTV in America. Do you agree?

We (Will) Carry On

Do you miss live music? Small, intimate gatherings at a local pub, watching a local artist perform? Nights at a theatre in the city, walking down the carpeted aisle to your cushioned seats near the front as you wait anxiously for a band to take the stage and transport you for an evening of fun? How about festivals, where the gates open and you rush to the field, press yourself up against the cold, metal rails. The adrenaline coursing through your veins, sweat pouring down the middle of your back while you throw yourself into the show with abandon?

Turns out, we’re not the only ones. Dave Grohl wrote a startlingly honest and open piece for The Atlantic that circulated yesterday. He wrote of the same thrills that we all hold dear, and admitted that yes – THEY SEE US. With any luck, they see us at our most free, joyous, abandoned, without an ounce of shy self-consciousness to be found. (I’ve had to work on that last one, particularly while in front row)

This isn’t a huge surprise, of course. I’ve been close enough to the front to know that of course they can see. Sometimes, they can see startlingly far into the crowd. Amanda and I experienced that for ourselves on more than one occasion, most recently in San Francisco when Duran Duran played at the Masonic. We were stuck way, way back in the standing room crowd, making lemonade out of lemons, doing our damndest to enjoy the last set we’d hear for a while even though we were smooshed behind one of the tallest men I’ve ever run into, and next to semi-drunk and sloppy dancers on either side. Out of nowhere, Simon caught sight of Amanda in the crowd and grinned a grin that lit up the room. Sure, anyone can say that and there’s question whether it was meant for them or not, I guess…but I saw it, and it was. The point is, as I think we’ve all noticed and experienced over the times, it isn’t only about the music. The energy in the room, the knowledge that the encounter between artists and fans is happening in person, in real time, and that give and take between band and audience explodes like nuclear fusion. Concerts are a moment in time, like lighting in a bottle.

The sense of “we’re in this together” is never more powerful than at a concert. When this is over, and yes – I have to keep reminding myself and believing the words – we will come together again, and that moment will be incredible. After all, we’ll be able to say we went through hell and back, and came out stronger than ever before. We can do this. We have to. It is what I think about every day as I write my blog, and it is what I dream about before falling into slumber each night.

I miss the live show. I wasn’t planning to go see Duran Duran in Vegas last weekend – truthfully, I couldn’t afford the tickets this time, and having had the luxury of seeing them a few times in the same venue, I felt like I could miss the weekend of festivities and be okay. I didn’t have much of a choice, so I just resigned myself and went on with life.

Funny how things work out. I’ll be buying the ticket next time, even if it means not being in the front. It isn’t just about where you sit or stand, the venue, or even the town. I think it is about communing with people who love the band as much as I do, coming together, celebrating life, love, and yes, music. I’ll be there.

-R

We Walk the Mile

I have really been enjoying the extra content lately. The bass tutorials, the instagram chats, lengthy interviews, and of course Duran Duran radio, have all been fantastic. I want to make sure to yell that out to the world, and to thank all those involved. All of it has helped to keep me entertained, engaged, and interested, and I’m positive I’m not the only one feeling that way.

This pandemic has kind of forced all of us to see things differently, and I’m not just talking about the issues at hand. Specifically, I mean life. Friendship. Family. Learning. The list goes on and on. We have all had to find our way. Some of us are better about it than others, and that’s not really a surprise. I’ve chatted with family via text and email, Zoomed with a couple of friends, and spent more time with my three kids at home than I have in years. My husband and I have grown closer, and we’ve learned to rely on one another. I’ve cooked more at home meals over the past eight weeks than I have in YEARS. (I can’t say I’m loving that, but I’ve grown used to it, albeit begrudgingly. I even prepared food yesterday for Mother’s Day!)

We’ve slowed down a little. I think my family spends a little more time talking, a little less time rushing about. As a household, we’ve agreed to become even more self-reliant, pushing forward with our plans to become more of a homestead where we grow our own food and start our own cidery. (Think winery but with hard cider and mead. Mead is essentially wine made from honey.) We’re seeing how the world is changing and trying to adapt so that we can be happy, fulfilled, along with exercising some control over our own destiny.

I don’t think we’re all that different from Duran Duran, or anybody else really. None of us asked for this set of circumstances to be dropped like a lead weight in the middle of our lives. It is doubtful anyone really knows how long this is likely to go on. I’ve sat in on a lot of webinars lately, both those inside and outside of the entertainment industry. Concerts aren’t coming back as soon as we might hope, and even if they do – it’s hard to guess how they’ll look. It appears that the band recognizes that too. I mean, how could they not? They’ve decided to wait on releasing the album until 2021, which isn’t a surprise. I can be sad, but I don’t blame them. In the meantime, they’re doing what we’re all hopefully trying to do: exploring alternatives!

Simon discovered that he doesn’t mind doing a recorded radio show, or podcast. Katy seems to like that too, which I think is great! Nick took time to do a lengthy interview that I can’t imagine he’d have done normally. I mean, two and a half hours is a long time! John seemed to really enjoy his bass tutorial last week, along with the chat he had with Dave from Chromeo. (A band that I am going to check out this week. I know, I know…I’m slow, but I’m trying!!) While Duran Duran might not be a band that performs to an empty audience, or films a song during zoom calls, editing and then sharing it with fans, they are finding ways to engage and share parts of themselves in ways that many of us have wanted for years.

Personally, I love what they’re doing. I don’t need another Twitter Q&A, circa 2012 to remind me that there are 50,000 other fans out there, each vying for their two and a half seconds of attention with <insert band member name here>. What I do appreciate though, is getting past that nonsense, and hearing real discussions about music, their experience, or whatever they’re willing to share about themselves and Duran Duran. I feel far more connected to them now than I have in, well, a very long time, and I haven’t even left my house. Maybe it’s just me, and I can accept that some might disagree, but I think the content they’ve been creating has been golden. I look forward to whatever comes next.

As I said weeks ago, it is going to be the bands who figure out how to continue engaging their fan bases in some way that make it through this crisis, particularly if the lack of live shows continues into 2021. It is the people who find some way to make lemonade from lemons that will thrive in the future. Sure, my life looks different in 2020, as I’m sure yours does, dear reader, but it isn’t all bad. While I have my bad days and I worry about things from time to time, as does everyone, I also see that the only way through this is to keep evolving and finding the good. I’m going to keep working on that.

-R

Our time before and would it be so wrong

Before I dive into today’s blog post, I wanted to take a second or two to wish all mothers (people and pets) out there a very Happy Mother’s Day! Your work, care and dedication is too often taken for granted and I hope today you feel at least a little appreciation and love! Now, onto today’s blog post!

This week, as I flipped through social media, I saw some clips from Nick Rhodes being online with Red Ronnie. In some cases, nothing hit me as super interesting or surprising but one clip definitely caught my attention. It is a clip that I saw on Facebook and I’m going to attempt to link it here but I’ll try to transcribe as well, in case it does not work.

Question: “Everyone asks. Andy Taylor…will he come again or is it so difficult?”

Response: “Um..I don’t think, to be quite honest that it would make things any better, in any way. Um…Andy is a great guitarist. Yes, he’s difficult to be around. Um…when Andy was no longer with us, peace broke out and um..and we all got along much more easily. I don’t think he fits in, personality wise, with the band, really. No one would take away anything from his musicianship and I wish him well, but I don’t think it’s with us. You know, Dom has been with us playing the live shows for a long time and maybe we will have some other people come and guest as well. Nile comes and plays with us sometimes, Mark Ronson occasionally, maybe Graham will come and do some things. Who knows? We haven’t got that far yet, but very much looking forward to playing some shows and I wish I could tell you when it will be.” (I think I got it all but any errors are mine.)

What was the reaction to this and what do I think about it? Some people focused on the music and recognized that the push/pull, two musical sides vying for attention worked really well in those early days to create some of the best Duran albums and songs. Others expressed sadness about what that means for Duran, musically, moving forward. Yet, Andy fans expressed a great deal of disappointment and anger towards Nick, believing him to be unkind towards Andy. Many assumed that Nick does not like Andy because he stood in the way of Nick’s controlling the band. As I read through comments and reactions, I was not surprised. I am well-aware of how the tension between the two did help to create some of the best material of the band’s career. Likewise, I’m not shocked that many fans, especially ones who love Andy, view Nick as controlling and mean. I cannot fault anyone for having their own perspective and feeling about this. After all, everyone is passionate about Duran Duran and the guitarist debate has been one that runs deep.

So what do I think of it? I have mixed feelings about it. My Duran fan self can definitely see and appreciate the creativeness that exploded with the tension between Andy and Nick. I would love to have another album like the first one or Rio. Who wouldn’t? That said, I also really enjoy Dom Brown during the shows and love how there is great chemistry there between him and the other band members. Would I want to change that? Would I want to risk the current status for Andy to be back? It could obviously be beyond amazing. But it could be a disaster. The whole thing just makes me want to scream a little bit in that there does not seem to be the perfect choice here.

Beyond the musical aspect of this, I think about the working conditions part. As a teacher and as an organizer I have worked with and on countless different teams over the course of my career. Do the people I’m working with matter? Absolutely. One hundred percent. I think back to my first real team in teaching in which I was part of a team of three. The two women I worked with had opposite philosophies and approaches to teaching. They were both super strong-willed people who did not hide how they felt or what they thought. This meant that I walked into a bit of a mine-field with a push for me to take sides. Things literally got so bad that my principal had to come into our office, divide up the space and assign us areas. From there, my principal worked hard to get the team to be able to work together. Eventually, the team came together and we probably did our best work. That said, it was exhausting and felt like it could fall apart at any point. I don’t think I would want that type of work environment now even if it helped me then be the best teacher I could be.

Of course, I have also been on teams that have been fun and trusting with minimal tension. Those teams have been able to get things done and done well. Was the work as good as if someone was there questioning us more? Pushing us to see a different side to a certain lesson plan or educational strategy? Maybe. But at what cost? How would that play out long term? I know that it would affect my desire to go to work. It would make me more and more unhappy and as I get older and older, I don’t want tension in my work place. I don’t think that makes me a terrible person so I can see where Nick is coming from.

As I walked the clip, I was surprised that Nick was as forthright as he was. I appreciate that he shared with us his perspective even if it wasn’t exactly what many wanted to hear.

-A

Question of the Week: Which Song Represents the THank You Promo/Radio Festival Tours?

This week we are moving back in time to 1995 and trying to determine which song best represents the tours that Duran Duran participated in during that year. Interestingly enough, they did two shorter tours during that year to promote their album of covers, Thank You. They did one tour called the Thank You Promo Tour and one connected to radio stations called Radio Festival Tour. Since they played both tours during the year, I looked at the setlists for both in order to do this week’s poll. Before I describe the poll themselves, I’ll recap the songs that have been chosen so far to represent more recent tours.

  • The Ultra Chrome, Latex and Steel Tour: Electric Barbarella
  • The Pop Trash Tour: Hallucinating Elvis
  • Astronaut: Sunrise
  • Red Carpet Massacre: Night Runner
  • All You Need Is Now: All You Need Is Now
  • Paper Gods: Pressure Off

This poll below includes all the songs Duran Duran played live in 1995. They are listed in the frequency in which they were played. Songs that were played more are at the top. If they are covers, I have indicated that unless they appeared on the Thank You album. On that note, happy voting!

-A

Coming Soon
Which Song Best Represents the Thank You Promo Tour/Radio Station Festival Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Thank You Promo Tour/Radio Station Festival Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Thank You Promo Tour/Radio Station Festival Tour?

It’ll Take a Little Time

I have decided that there are some perks to working from home. For example, I have been able to sleep in longer. After all, I don’t have to make a lunch, get my bag together, drive to school, etc. I also get to take naps more frequently. One other big benefit is that I get to check into social media more regularly. Social media, for me, helps me feel less alone. I can quickly respond to friends, check in with the news and more. I am lucky in that I don’t have a lot of arguments or see a lot of fighting. Instead, I get the message that I’m not alone in thinking and feeling as I do. That helps me to keep going, to keep my head up, etc. As an added perk, I also get to see what Duran Duran is up to. When school was in session, I could and did check out social media in between classes, at lunch, etc. but it was always super fast, often not allowing me to watch or listen to what was posted. Now, though, I can check into things more immediately or participate as events happen! I could follow along on Twitter when each band member showed up to do a “chat,” instead of having to read the transcript later. Likewise, yesterday, I was able to watch John’s little bass lesson that he is calling “Stone Love Bass Odyssey.” I was able to listen in on his live chat with Dave from Chromeo, too.

As I watched John’s tutorial, I could not help but to smile and not just because he was educating all of us on Planet Earth (my favorite) but because he was playing teacher. Now, I will be the first one to admit that I don’t know anything about how to teach music but I do know education. Overall, I would say that he did a pretty impressive job in breaking tasks down, not going too fast, explaining each step well. Obviously, this is not a perfect learning situation. As someone who has been trying to do “virtual teaching” for awhile now, it is definitely not the same as being there in person. It isn’t like we could ask John questions or get immediate feedback. A lot of teaching is an instinct. You either have it or you don’t. Then, of course, education classes can take that instinct and add practices and strategies that take it to the next level, to reach all learners. If John wants to learn some of those, I am sure that I could offer some ideas to him. 😉

Of course, after the lesson, we got another treat, which was watching/listening/responding to John and Dave from Chromeo have a nice chat about music. As I watched, I could not help but think of John as a talk show host especially as he signed off by thanking everyone who tuned in. It made me smile.

One statement that was made that caught my attention was when John said that they had hoped that the album would be coming out this fall but have decided that it won’t happen now. Hearing that reminded me when I heard that I would not be going back to school this year. It didn’t surprise me as I was expecting it. Yet, it still made me stop in my tracks and made me feel deeply sad even though it is the absolutely right move. I’m not surprised that the band is not able to finish it right now. After all, they are separated from each other and it cannot be easy to try to work on music from afar. So, while I understand and totally get it, it still makes me sad. I would love to have new music to hear and digest it all. It would have been a welcome distraction. Heck, at this point, I love all forms of entertainment that can distract, help me escape from this dystopian world.

That said, my plan now, though, is to turn this piece of information from something sad to something else to look forward to when things return to “normal”. I know…easier said than done.

-A

Learn Bass From The Master!

The past 16 hours or so have been a bit of a blur. I’m suffering from vertigo as I type, which may or may not have been self-induced. I’m also struggling to get and keep food down at the moment, but more on all of that in a few months. (yes, I did mean months and no, I’m not having a baby. In fact, smack yourself for me if you actually thought that. ) Meanwhile, I have a blog to write!

Calling all bass players (brand new, experienced…or potential!) out there! Has it always been your dream to have John, yes that one, teach you bass? Well you are in luck!

Yesterday, DDHQ announced that John would be taking to Instagram today at 11am PDT to post the first in a series of bass tutorials. How cool is that?!? Following the tutorial at noon PDT, he’ll be doing a LIVE Q&A, and yes, this is all on Duran Duran’s Instagram page.

I’ve never so much as even held a bass guitar in my hand, but I’ll take the time to watch today, just out of pure curiosity. I can’t imagine I’ll be alone. I wonder if Instagram can be broken by the amount of viewers….let’s hope not!

Don’t forget about Fade to Grey on Saturday! Our very own DJ Velvet Rebel takes to his Twitch channel once again and spins our favorite tunes from the 80s. This time, he’s partnering with Punkmasters and is giving away a t-shirt during the US party (9pm EDT), so tune in! Maybe I’ll see you in the chat room!

Stay safe, have a great weekend!

-R

Want a Track Title?

I’ve been listening to Nick’s interview with Red Ronnie from yesterday. At over 2 and a half hours, it’s a long one. I didn’t get that far through it in one sitting, but I did get far enough to hear Nick shamelessly give out the title to one of the tracks they recorded for this next project: “Give It All Up”.

Just sets the mind in motion a bit, doesn’t it? Makes the new album that, according to Nick, they were about two weeks away from finishing before they stopped working, sound all that much more of a real thing. John flew home to Los Angeles, and the rest of the band is now sheltering-in-place at their respective homes in England. The album of course, sits…waiting ever so patiently. Along with the rest of us, am I right?

I have to say, he gave the title EASILY and without any sort of fanfare whatsoever. No bravado, no insistence that he really shouldn’t give out the details, or even that things could change. Nope. Ronnie asked him if he could give out even just one title from the new album, making sure to reiterate he didn’t want the name of the album itself, but a single track. Nick immediately said “Sure”, and came out with “Give it All Up” as though it was no big deal. Perhaps at this stage, it really wasn’t…which is fine. Except that to me and my Covid-19, very bored, anxiety-ridden ears, it was almost like Pavlov’s Bell.

I couldn’t decide if Ronnie was shocked it was that simple to get it out of him, or if he was thinking about what else he could ask (if anything). Meanwhile, I scrambled for paper, thinking that I’d better write it down, lest I forget.

Forget? Who am I kidding? The title is now burned into my long term memory. It’s right up there with “King of Nowhere”…the album title that ended up not really being an album title after all. (the rumored title for what we know as All You Need is Now) I wrote an entire blog about that damn title and look what happened…

…and here I am again. Writing another blog about a title that may or may not end up on an album. You’d think I’d learn.

Sure, there were other things I learned. The band was going to release a special white vinyl edition of their debut album for Record Store Day, they were working on a behind-the-scenes documentary of the Apollo gig at Kennedy Space Center last year, they had Italian dates on their schedule for later in the year, and now a lot of that will be rescheduled and moved out. But none of those things got me as excited as these four little words: Give. It. All. Up.

What is it about hearing an album title for a song I’ve never heard one note from yet? I suppose to some degree, it makes the album real. Instead of just being a “project”…which is kind of vague and indicates that sure, they’re tinkering around but nothing concrete is there yet, it’s an actual thing. Some thing that will actually come to fruition and be released, even. Not that I didn’t think they had anything before…but now at least something from it has a name.

Little things make all the difference.

-R

It’s As If I Don’t Recall

Is fandom dead?

Well, maybe not dead…but different from when I was a kid? Last night, as I was cooking dinner, I skipped around the channels on the television, looking for something to…well, completely distract me from the task at hand. (I still hate cooking) As I scrolled along, I saw that Breaking Dawn, Part 1 & 2 were on Freeform channel.

Now, while you chuckle at that disastrous movie series, for me, they bring back memories of trading Twilight books with my oldest, talking and giggling over Edward and Bella, Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, and going to see the movies on the first night of their release. These were the books my oldest grew up with (she wasn’t a huge Harry Potter fan), and she came upon them right around the same age I was when I found Duran Duran.

I can remember the first time Heather asked me if she could read Twilight. I was skeptical because the content seemed a bit mature for her, but agreed, as long as I read the books first. She didn’t love that she’d have to wait for me to read and absorb the content before I passed them on to her, but luckily for Heather – I was a super quick reader, finishing the first book in a matter of hours, not days. Sure, it was a little mature, but I was able to use the subject matter as a way to broach issues that I knew would be eventually on the horizon. Say what you will about the content, the writing, or even the implications of controlling relationships as described in the novels – for us, Twilight was a bonding experience that I will always appreciate.

For one, I understood what it meant to be a fan. Lifelong Duranie, right? I not only understood, but encouraged Heather to enjoy the ride. I jumped on the merchandise train, buying her posters, t-shirts, books, and anything else that seemed worthy. Her bedroom started to look a little like mine had in the 80s, sans the big, bold colors and Nick Rhodes eyeliner. For another, it was the last chance I really had to bond with Heather before the teen years began in earnest. Those moments mattered.

I remember going to see the first movie on opening night. We stood in line with a gaggle of other girls her age, parents in tow. The other moms peered at one another over the heads of the excited throng of pre-teens, commiserating and smiling ruefully as we listened to their chatter. Once we were seated in the crowded theater, a security guard actually came down to the front, and stood on the small stage in front of the screen, while he explained to the kids that they absolutely needed to stay in their seats, and there was to be no screaming.

Let me reiterate: the kids weren’t supposed to scream…in delight, mind you…at a screen. It wasn’t even as though the actual celebrities were in our theater. No, kids were screaming at a movie screen as though they were at a rock concert. I was thoroughly amused.

Sadly, it all ended as quickly as it began. By the time Breaking Dawn part 2 was out, Heather hardly seemed interested in going. I talked her into it purely because it was the final movie – the others had turned out so dismal that she said it was difficult be excited. I understood the disappointment, but told her we owed it to ourselves to see it through anyway. Not long after the movie, Heather took down her posters and grew out of her t-shirts. We didn’t talk too much about Twilight after that, until last night when I turned to her and suggested watching.

To my utter disappointment, Heather wasn’t interested. “Nahh….” she said, as she headed into the office with her boyfriend.

“What? Really??” I marveled out loud. “You don’t want to watch with me? Oh, come on…it’d be like old times!”

Heather laughed. “No thanks, Mom. Those movies were the worst!” She walked into the office, sliding the door shut behind her. I sighed heavily. Out of sympathy, my husband decided to sit with me and watch. Not quite the same, but better than being alone!

We watched both parts to Breaking Dawn on my own, enjoying each one despite marveling at how awful the acting and special effects were (Part 2 is still the best one out of all the Twilight movies, though). I also reflected back on how, for a very short time, I saw how much fun fandom could be for a young pre-teen. That period of parenting was a gift for me, softening me for some tougher times ahead.

Reflecting a bit more today, I can’t help but wonder if fandom is just different now altogether. None of my kids ever got into something with the same sort of gusto I did with Duran Duran, and definitely not music. Both of my girls have had their favorite book series, and Gavin was a huge Starcraft II fan (and player) for quite a while, but nothing like the lifelong, hardcore fandom I have in Duran Duran.

I think they missed out, actually!

-R

The 2020 Version of My Favorites

If you are anything like me, you have some songs and videos that you love all the time. Then, there are others that you weren’t into last week, last month, last year or last decade that all of a sudden got under your skin. If I had to come up with a Top 10 on any given day, it would be different than the previous time or the next time, even with some standards. I don’t think I’m alone with this. Why do they change? Sometimes, I think it is life circumstances or what is going on that changes things. I don’t think I gave a song or video the chance that it needed, at times. Anyway, I started thinking about this because of my recent birthday. I think those days are always good ones to take stock in one’s life, acknowledge what has changed, what remains the same and more. As I was spending time in my office that day, surrounded by Duran Duran posters, vinyl, memorabilia, etc., I recognized that being a Duranie has been a constant, not just over a year or decade but decades. Long term. While that has not changed, my favorites have. For instances, when I was a kid, I loved the Reflex. I still credit it as having made me a Duranie for life, but it does not excite like it once did. (I think that is due to me overplaying it by about a million or ten.) So, I thought it might be fun to start a new tradition to track this. What would I put on my current top 10 list?

Planet Earth

This one remains at the very top of my list and has for quite awhile. I definitely prefer an amazing live version like this one!

Sunrise/New Moon on Monday

Speaking of amazing live performances, I adored each and every time the band played Sunrise with a little New Moon on Monday added in. New Moon is one of the songs that I dismissed as a kid. I would have said that I liked it but I didn’t love it. Now, it is a definite favorite. As for Sunrise, that song reminds me of such good times that I especially treasure now.

Careless Memories

Clearly, I’m on a “that song sounds great live” pattern. I suspect that part of it is that I’m missing Duran Duran live. That said, isn’t Careless Memories always awesome live? I think so! I particularly loved it each and every time I saw it with anime!

Hold Back the Rain

This song is similar to New Moon on Monday. I liked it as a kid but now I love it! I remember when they busted this one out in the summer of 2017 and how excited everyone was around me. So fun!

Pressure Off

Of course, not every favorite makes me think of a live version. While I love Pressure Off live (especially with the confetti!), the video always makes me smile!

What Are the Chances

This is another new favorite of mine. I especially love this particular performance. There is just something about this song and the lyrics that really grab me.

Before the Rain

I think I will always believe that this song is a masterpiece. I loved when the band decided to start their shows with this song. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

Secret Oktober

This is definitely my favorite b-side. I will never forget seeing this one live in Brighton, England in November of 2011. I never thought I would see it and it made a monumental trip all the more fabulous.

Finest Hour

I’m quite possibly the only one who would put this song on my Top 10 list but I adore it. I love that this song’s lyrics can be used to represent so many different things. Everyone could probably relate. I have used it many times to motivate me during political campaigns and one that I will be listening to lots as November gets closer.

The Seventh Stranger

As a kid, I totally overlooked this song. As an adult, I grew to appreciate it. Then, I saw it live and the performance, especially with the video that accompanied it, is one that has stuck with me ever since.

So, there are my top 10 as of right now, in 2020. Ask me tomorrow, next week or next month and I might give a different list. What is on your list right now?

-A

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!