The thread topic in question was a basic review of last night’s show – Shepherds Bush Empire. I think that for most of us, this kind of marks the beginning of the shows ahead. It was the first real all-encompassing chance the band had to play some new material, mix it with some older material, and get a feel for how the crowd would take it. The setlist was pretty mixed in that there were quite a few “old standby” songs NOT on the list, but also plenty that were, and some new songs that were played, as well as many that were not. As is typical, for every fan or two you find that loved the set, there are two others that hated it. (for the record, I must again state that I would HATE to be the band. They can’t win with us. Ever.) I don’t think there was anything truly surprising about the show or the setlist, or even the review…until they got to the part about the audience.
To be fair, I was not at the show, and I have never attended a show outside of the US. I’m actually looking forward to going to the UK in May, in part because I really want to be able to see the differences between the audience and fans there vs. here. Maybe there really aren’t any differences – maybe there are plenty, I don’t know – but I’m looking forward to finding out. That said, the one comment I read that is the topic for this blog is that according to the reviewer, the band needs younger fans. I believe the topic of the thread is “All The Band Needs….is a better Audience!”, and the board is www.duranduranboard.proboards.com (you must be a member of the board to read the thread) In the thread, the reviewer says that most of the audience was “older” – in that they were in their 40’s. After about 30 minutes, much of the audience stopped clapping and dancing. Of course, a few other posters refuted that claim – but having not been there, I have no idea. I did see video clips from others though, and I saw NOTHING of the sort. It looked to me like the audience was dancing, screaming, singing right along with the band. I don’t know what else they were looking for – a mosh pit?? I will say though that I’ve been to many shows here in the states, and there have been some shows where the audience seemed dead on their feet. Still many others where I could feel the excitement reverberating in the floor, and see the effects all around me. I also think it has everything to do with where you’re standing, whom you’re around, and your own attitude. This particular reviewer feels that the fans from the 80’s are just too old to be of any real help to the band….and still a few others on the board apparently agree. I’m just not sure I understand that logic. My take on this is that if it weren’t for long time fans….of ANY age…the band wouldn’t have a fanbase. Period. To try and purposefully turn people off is not the way to go. I would wholeheartedly agree that doing festivals and trying to show younger audiences what the band is doing nowadays is a great idea – and I hope it works for them.
I guess that my big problem with this line of thinking is that – weren’t we here before? Like maybe during the last album? I know I read many, many times on the boards that the “old” fans needed to just go away if we didn’t like the new material. Many of us did leave, and many of us stuck around – figuring that we’d been fans for so long that we didn’t know who else we’d be without the band in our lives. Still others loved Red Carpet Massacre, and yet it took each one of us to make this community what it was during Red Carpet Massacre, and what it IS right now. Now the old fans need to go away if we can’t dance like we’re 15, and we’re apparently scaring the young kids away from being interested in Duran Duran. I’m sorry, but if it weren’t for each and every single one of us – regardless of how old you are or when you became a fan (I don’t care if it was yesterday – welcome to the club, here’s your card, and good luck – you’re gonna need therapy.), the band NEEDS US, because without their fans – they wouldn’t have a damn job!
If you can’t tell, I’ve definitely got my ire up today. – R