I don’t know about the rest of you Duranies out there, but I am one exhausted fan. It’s noon, and I’m ready for a nightcap and my bed already! It was a busy morning for most fans, at least until the reality hit that the big “announcement(s)” for the day were the dates for more US shows during the last part of September through October. At that point, I would venture to guess that there were at least a few disappointed fans (and likely many, many more) in Europe and the rest of the world. We’ll talk about that more later.
Instead of just merely putting up a list of concert dates, venues and presale dates on dd.com and the various networking sites for DD, the band had something far more creative in store for us today. Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Second Life – the band did cute little announcements for each date. At first, there was a fit of madness as we all searched in vain for the most recent “announcements”, but as time wore on it grew easier to see the next concert announcement. Personally, I thought the announcements were a lot of fun to see, and I even laughed at a few of the more creative ones. (BTW Roger – could you have looked just a little more annoyed at having to hold up those pieces of paper with the info on them?? Baby still not sleeping through the night for ya yet??) I found that John still has an amazing sense of fashion (loved the yellow headband – reminded me of something straight out of the movie Dodgeball), Nick can still take a polaroid better than I can – and has time for being a vampire in Second Life, and that someone (has GOT to be Katy) is reading our posts and laughing at the “husband” videos right along with the rest of us! Yes, the dates were rolled out slowly – but you know, there’s something to be said for having a chance to comment, complain and even find the little announcement videos. I have to applaud their efforts to amuse us, because it certainly worked today!
As always, not everyone was pleased with what was announced. John himself said that it’s not exhausting to try and please everyone, it’s just impossible, and obviously he’s right. I can’t tell you how many times I saw people complain about the choices in city, or the fact that the band continues to visit the same cities on each tour. Now, let’s be fair here. The band goes to the same basic cities because they are usually relatively large cities, or the venues serve a generally large area. For example, on this tour they are coming to Valley Center, CA. This is a very, VERY small suburb inland from San Diego in Southern California. It’s actually Indian owned land, and there are casinos out in that area. Duran Duran is playing at Harrah’s, and while yes – the city is small, it’s expected to serve as the concert for the very southern part of California. The band plays in the same basic places because there is a proven market for ticket sales in those places, and if you have somehow not been paying attention – the band just cancelled an entire European tour. My guess is that money might very well be needed, and now is not the time to try and tap into a new market, should they be so lucky as to find one! Our economy is not good, and those folks who are complaining about rising ticket prices aren’t necessarily alone – many out there can’t afford the luxury of an “extra”. The band has to weigh the cost of moving equipment across the US, the cost of touring and putting on shows, with the probable income, and it’s a delicate balancing act. If I were in charge (a game I LOVE to play while I lie awake at night contemplating the future of the universe for my children…), I would do exactly as Duran has done. I’d go where I knew I could sell tickets. While the promise that Ms. so-and-so Superfan would totally come to a show if they’d play in Timbuktoo is intriguing, it doesn’t pay bills that more than likely desperately need paying. Sure, it’s “easy” for me to say that given that I live in Southern California – a place that the band typically plays. True. I also recognize, and even said that I was surprised that they’d agree to come back here on this leg, given they were just here in May. I’m not sure that I would have chosen to do that……wait for it…….if *I* were in charge. But, as I said myself, bills need paying, and as it turns out, I live in a populated area. (too damn populated if you ask me!) I count myself lucky and plan my move to the middle of Montana or even Wyoming where I can own my own hill or mountain once my kids are out of the house! (a slight exaggeration, perhaps)
Invariably people complain about how many shows the US gets at a time, not thinking that while Europe is fairly small and easily traveled – the US is probably what, 2 or 3 times it’s size, and not quite as easily accessible. For most of the shows they are playing here in the states, I would venture to guess that there’s at least a 4 hour travel-time by car between most of the shows. Those shows that have less than that are few. Ultimately though, I know what has the UK people, and probably even Europe, the most worried. It’s Simon.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We’re gun shy. We’re nervous. We don’t necessarily believe that management always has the best interests of the band at heart. We sometimes think that management rushes things in terms of making a business decision rather than a good-for-the-band decision. I’d be completely lying if I said I didn’t agree. I currently have tickets to UK shows in late November and December. This will be my second trip over there this year in hopes of seeing them. I would be completely crushed, and likely furious to a reasonable extent, if for some reason those shows fall through again, and yet I know there’s at least a chance it could happen – and not purely because of Simon’s voice. Anything can happen. I’m one of thousands that are waiting for those shows to happen, and hearing that the band is coming back to the US first is both a relief and a worry. On one hand it’s good for Simon to try out the voice and see how it goes…and on the other, if he blows his voice here, well, the UK shows might be out of luck again. I can’t think like that, though. It’s worrying about things I have no control over, and sometimes you have to just sit back and let the chips fall where they may. I know I’m not the only one wishing Simon the best and looking forward to seeing him up on stage again where he belongs. Besides, he can only work on that motorcycle of his for so long….right??
So that leaves me with what I think of the dates. Personally, I think that for the most part, it’s a good mix. I’m pleased that they are going to the Southeast with as much vigor as they seem. It’s great that they’re playing Alabama and Florida and even Atlanta and Louisiana. Those states deserve to see them, and given the fact that during the second leg of the Red Carpet Massacre tour there were dates cancelled due to Nick’s inner ear problem, this seems to be the band reaching out to those people. I applaud that. I think conversely, that the midwest was too sparsely covered. Yes, there’s a show in Chicago and one in Ohio, and I suppose one might even be able to count the show in Windsor Canada in that same area – but I was surprised that St. Louis was left off the list. It’s impossible to hit everywhere though. Of course I’m curious to hear what the big surprise for NYC is going to be – but the date being on a Tuesday makes the possibility for travelers a little more remote. I know that for myself, I would love to go to a NYC show, but for me it almost has to be over a weekend for it to work. Those are the breaks of living on the other coast. 😉 If they’re planning to play the album in it’s entirety I’ll cry myself to sleep…and hope they can do the same in the UK at some point.(Brighton, Bournemouth or even Birmingham would be fabulous!)
My husband will likely be thrilled because with the way the cities and dates tend to fall, it appears that I will not be traveling for shows this time around. I kicked around the idea of going to Chicago (which is over the same weekend as my husband’s birthday, and while I rather enjoy the thought of hanging out with Dom Brown, Roger Taylor and the rest of those band members…I’m thinking that my husband might want me here for his birthday….*sigh* High maintenance husbands, you know….;D), and then I thought briefly about Boston and Atlantic City, but I just don’t know if that would work, and I won’t be able to get plans together before DDM presales for Atlantic City tomorrow. So, that leaves me with some Southern California shows. I will likely go to the LA and Valley Center shows, and I’m still kicking around the idea of Vegas, although it’s a trek to go all the way out there and back within a less-than-24 hour period. I’m liable to sit that one out, which is a shame because I love a Vegas show, but not when they’re off and running somewhere else the next day.
What about the rest of you? Did you like the announcements?
Off to the dentist with the oldest….ciao for now! – R