Poker Face Made Me Hurl

No really – I did!

My plan was simple:  get home from a day out with the family in time to catch DD’s set at Coachella.  I was thrilled they were broadcasting their show on Youtube because it saved me the pain and suffering of having to be at the Festival in person.  (Please see my previous blog: The Top 10 Reasons I Won’t be at Coachella )  The plan worked well, I was home from a fantastic Earth Day hike around Newport’s Back Bay in plenty of time to rest up, put aloe on my sunburn and get myself a glass of wine for the show.  Then just as Duran took the stage – my stomach announced that the day was going to end badly:  FOOD POISONING.

As I clutched my belly and hunched over in my chair in pain, I watched the band take the stage at Coachella.  At first, I felt that they all appeared rather tentative.  Well, all except perhaps Nick Rhodes, who was barely recognizable behind the facemask – or hat – he wore on his face.  (Daily Duranie secret: I am still trying to understand the purpose.  I’m all about art.  My gosh I’ve taken enough art classes to count it as at LEAST a minor degree, but I still don’t get it.  I am positive that Nick Rhodes is going to show up here some day and revoke my Duranie card – if it weren’t due to my lack of fashion sense, it’s definitely going to be this!)  They just seemed a bit nervous and not quite at ease, but that feeling dissipated quickly as they blew through Planet Earth and on to HLTW.  The setlist didn’t really surprise me, since I had a fairly good idea of what they’d play from the Pomona show last week.  I still feel that it was smart for the band to intersperse the new music with “oldies” that the crowd might have heard over the years.   I think one can take the setlist in one of two ways and in many ways it IS a double edged sword to have such a great back catalog:  by playing the oldies such as Rio or GOF – perhaps kids in the audience said “Oh, that band plays this song?  My parents listen to that!”  therefore being turned off….or….the band won them over with the songs they’ve learned to sing along to in the car, and then snuck some new songs in to give them a taste of what they’ve been doing all these years.   Judging from what I saw in crowd reaction – this crowd was happy to hear whatever Duran Duran was playing.  I wouldn’t say the crowd was ridiculously with them, but on the same token – I saw a variety of reactions going from the Duranie who was likely both thrilled to see them as well as thrilled they’d made it through the weekend alive (props to those of you brave souls out there!!!); to those Coachella attendees that were thinking the band was OK but still not quite their favorite – so they stood there and watched; to those who might have started out thinking that the band was just OK but as the set wore on, they began to bob their head and clap their hands in spite of themselves.  At a festival, what more can you really ask for?

A few standout moments for me were during the Chauffeur – the band sounded as tight as ever, and definitely a whole lot better from some of the other acts appearing that weekend.  Safe – I am a HUGE fan of Ana Matronic after her appearance with them last night.  I wholeheartedly think she should just be on tour with the band so that they can play Safe the way it was meant to sound from here on out (I’m sorry but Anna Ross just doesn’t cut it on Safe)  and the AVTAK medley.  Simon sounded perfect, and that string section makes that entire song just work.  It was gorgeous, lush and all of the things that it should have been, and everything that shouldn’t really work at a festival, yet they did.  To perfection.

I’ve seen comments from fans saying that this was the tightest they’ve sounded yet.  Well, I can’t really agree with that – Pomona, overall, was the best show I’ve seen from them recently with regard to the bands performance, both musically and otherwise….but I might be a bit biased, since of course I was there in person and LOVED IT!  I just didn’t see quite the same amount of connection to the audience at this show, but again – it was a festival.  It’s a different crowd.  You’re not necessarily playing to a group of FANS as much as you’re playing to a group of interested bystanders who you need/want to win over.  Regardless, it was a great show for them, and if they didn’t earn any new fans from that festival – well, I’d be surprised.

By midway through the show, I was really convinced I was going to die, painfully. The show kept my mind off of the stabbing pain up until their Girls on Film encore though, in which case it was clear that my body wasn’t going to be keeping my lunch.  Or dinner.  I ran from the table just as Simon insisted on the sing-a-long that led to Anna and Simon’s version of Poker Face. Not my favorite moment of the show for a myriad of reasons as I look back on last night with a sense of infamy.  I still miss the intros – but even if we couldn’t have those, I just don’t think Duran pulls off Gaga.  (and before anyone asks, I actually like Lady Gaga)  Surely there’s got to be something else out there that could be done for a fun encore moment.

I’m much better today, thank goodness (2 of my kids are off school for spring break and they wait for NO illness!), and I look forward to my next review – which will be from Birmingham!!!

If you’re a reader of the blog and plan to be at any of the UK shows that Amanda and I will be at: Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London – let us know!  Let’s get some meetups organized – we’d love to meet you!!

-R

The Music’s Between Us

I wish that I was in San Francisco this weekend.  Yes, I absolutely wish that I was there to see Duran live, but I have two shows coming out next weekend (Minneapolis and Chicago).  Really, I wish that I had been there for the meetup on Friday.  I know that Gimme a Wristband planned a fantastic get together for the fans complete with merchandise and entertainment.  I haven’t heard much about it but I’m sure that it was beyond fun.  I love meetups like that!

Sometimes, the meetups end up being more fun than the shows themselves and other times, they just make the shows more fun and more memorable.  I’m not sure how many of you went to the “fan show” in New York City in June of 2007, but that was a situation in which the meetup was WAY more fun than the show.  Like the meetup in San Francisco, it took place the night before the show.  It was in a club that had an 80s night.  The club wasn’t that big and wasn’t that expensive.  It allowed us to meet each other in a fun, relaxed atmosphere with good music and cheap drinks!  Then, of course, the next day we all witnessed a show in which Duran was not at their best.  I know that I was thankful that the meetup had happened because it made me feel like the trip there was worthwhile then!  Of course, I have been to many shows in which the meetup took place a few hours before the show.  In those cases, they are usually somewhere where people can get drinks and dinner.  I know that I have met many Duranies that way and have stayed in contact with some of the people I have met.  In most cases, I truly enjoy meeting other fans.  I love hearing about their experiences, including the shows that they have gone to and the times they have been lucky enough to see the band in person.  I also enjoy sharing my stories.  Sometimes, you get to see people you have met before, which is cool, too.  We can then spend some time catching up!  No matter the specific circumstance, the meetups, for me, often get me more and more excited about the upcoming show!  I feed off of the energy from the other fans!

This little mini-tour will not include meetups for me.  People haven’t been planning them much.  My guess is that people aren’t interested because the shows here in the US have been GA.  Fans don’t have time to meetup with each other because they are busy standing in line in order to get a decent spot.  In this case, the meetup would not be relaxed in any way as people would be concerned about the growing line outside, even if the meetup took place at a close venue.  Perhaps, this is part of the reason that I hate GA.  I find it sad that I don’t have time to meet other people.  I don’t like that I don’t get a chance to see people I know or to meet new people.

I’m hoping that things will be different for our UK tour.  I am hoping that meetups can and do take place as those shows are all seated.  I know that Rhonda and I are both interested in meeting other fans.  We want to meet new people but we also want to get energized by other people’s excitement!  Right now, we don’t know of anything specific planned for our four shows.  I’m hoping that as those shows get closer something will be planned.  We know that it will be difficult for us to do anything before the Birmingham show as we will be just getting into town right before the show, but we will have time before Nottingham, Liverpool and London.  If meetups don’t work for those specific nights, we will also be in Birmingham for one other night and will be in London for a few leading up to the show at the O2.  I feel like if we can meet other fans, our tour will feel good and complete!

-A

YouTube Live with Duran Duran

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time watching Duran Duran on YouTube live.  For those of you who did not see it, it was an almost hour long live program on YouTube where the band members were interviewed and received questions from both a live audience and via youtube.  In my opinion, these types of things can either be really fun or really annoying depending on both the interviewer and the questions received.  In this case, initially, I was concerned that this would be one of the annoying ones but was pleased to find out that it was enjoyable instead!

The program began with a young female interviewer (why are they always female???) who tried to introduce the band.  This one seemed to not know very much about them and relied on typical Duran questions regarding the new album, working with Mark Ronson, videos, fashion, etc.  Unfortunately, she didn’t always know how to respond to their answers and even when she did, they seemed off.  For example, she asked them to explain their writing process and she didn’t have anything to say in return after they talked about just jamming together until something catches someone’s attention.  She also commented that John looked tan after he said that he lived in Southern California.  Really??  John is tan??  Luckily for her and for me, the band began taking over and started filling in the empty space with joking and teasing each other.  For me, this is the best thing to see!  First, I heard John give Simon a hard time about his weird greenish shoes, which particularly entertained me because I actually commented on them to myself as soon as I saw them!  So silly!  Then, there were discussions about how Roger wasn’t going to be allowed to wear clothing for the next tour.  Along the lines of fashion, I loved the question about what they think each color sounds like and they actually tried to answer it!  Seeing them getting along so well and having fun always reassures me!  I truly believe that if they are enjoying themselves like this then it doesn’t matter what the album is doing, sale and chart wise.  Beyond this entertainment, I also learned some things.

I learned that the band doesn’t consider the shows they are doing now as “the big tour”.  They didn’t mention when that would start but did say soon.  Is it wrong of me to wish that the big tour starts in the UK?  When talking about tour dates, they did say that they were trying to get dates firm for the US again starting in September.  Good to know!  Must start saving as soon as I return!  They also mentioned Antony Price when talking about the clothing that will be used for this big tour.  Again, is it wrong for me to be excited by the idea of them going back to their roots?  Of course, their use of social media was discussed.  John repeated his idea that social media has allowed the fans to not only be in contact with them but with each other.  (Note to readers:  Rhonda blogged about this before.)  They also said how this format allows them to be in contact with fans in a way that is much more COMFORTABLE for them.  Hmm…something to think about!  Speaking of thinking…

One of the themes that seemed to come again and again during this was where the new album fits with the rest of Duran’s history.  Musically, Nick said that this album couldn’t have happened without Red Carpet Massacre.  That really got me thinking and I really wished that someone could have asked him a follow up question.  I don’t think that RCM taught them something new in terms of music or in terms of technology so why did RCM have to happen?  Is it an attitude thing?  Is it that they had to make something like that with “big time producers” of the day to realize that they should just be themselves?  What?  Then, when asked about how the new songs were fitting in with the old songs live, the answer was that they fit in seamlessly as they were done with the same tools.  That fascinates me, especially after Rhonda mentioned how she didn’t even notice how many new songs were played.  Could this be the reason?  If so, that pleases me.  Of course, they also talked about how they do try to change some of their classics to make them fresh.  Simon talked about how they changed the intro to Planet Earth and how that was really working for them. 

Lastly, there were discussions about how the business had changed and what advice they would give to new, upcoming artists.  Roger talked about how important it was to have a great live performance because nothing can replace that and I completely agree.  John talked about some of the things that helped Duran.  First, he talked about how there was this relationship between their managers and MTV and through this relationship came the idea of doing videos in exotic locations.  He, then, jokingly, asked what youtube would like to see.  He also mentioned that EMI, their record label in the UK, would tell Capitol, their US record label what to do and that this wouldn’t happen now for British bands.  Clearly, they made it seem much more difficult to become successful now. 

This program had a bit of everything.  It had some laughs like when John talked about how many times U2 has used the same, classic 4 chords in their songs and Duran hadn’t indicating more creativity.  It also gave me a bit to think about, including Duran’s history and the music business today.  Now, if I could have just figured out a way to record it in order to keep it with the rest of my Duran collection…

-A

Daily Duranie Show Review – Fox Theater Pomona 4/14/11

Last night I spent just under two hours in near hysteria.  I came out of the show at the Fox Theater in Pomona dripping with sweat and completely exhausted, not at all unlike how I felt when I emerged from the Voodoo festival in New Orleans the year that Duran Duran headlined. The difference being that last night I was sweaty from dancing, not sweaty from the heat of the day and someones armpit being smooshed against my face.  (ah, the joys of festival attendance)

I don’t think I’ve been at a show quite like the one last night, and at this point I think it’s fair to say I’ve been to more than a few shows.  It was amazing and bizarre all at the same time.  I don’t know if it was because the audience was every bit as into the show as I was, or if it was because the band seemed genuinely happy, if not thrilled, to be there….or if it was due to the Grey Goose I’d been enjoying, but I still say it was a show unlike no other.  There have been times when I’ve gone to a show and felt like the band just phoned it in.  There have been times when I’ve gone to a show and felt like *I* had just phoned it in as an audience member.  Last night was something special because the band was giving it, and we were accepting it and giving it right back, like some sort of huge orgy of music, dancing, sweat, adoration, love and lust.

The band did several things that surprised me, one of which being that they played in Pomona….but the Fox Theater is a beautiful venue.  I hear it’s not well run in that if you were able to get upstairs to the Skyloft bar that you were allowed early entry to the show – so if you were one of the diehards in line at 7am, that didn’t guarantee you anything but an entire day wasted by sitting outside of a venue in Pomona, CA.  To be fair to the venue though, it was clearly stated on their website that if you went to one of the venue bars for dinner or drinks you were granted early access.  Anyone could have gone, and it wasn’t as though it was a tidbit buried on the website – I found that information out pretty easily, and no – I did not take advantage of the early access.  I had my own scheduling issues, so once we were able to get to the venue I stood in the line that wrapped completely around the building one and a quarter times by the time it was just after 8 and the doors opened.  The precious VIP section was not cordoned off either, so folks who paid for VIP found themselves standing right next to, and fighting for space with folks who paid for regular GA admission.  In my opinion, it’s the same GA issues, different venue.  This isn’t going to change and it will always be an issue for GA shows.  The band and their management can only be responsible for their portion – they have zero control over the venue policies, and that’s something to consider, regardless of whether you’re an avid VIP’er or not.  Once inside though, the theater was beautiful with an art deco theme, and it’s one of the few buildings in Pomona that has both stood the test of time and hasn’t fallen into disrepair during the city’s difficult history.

It wasn’t long after we were in the venue and settled that the show began. (yes, I really cut it close this time…)  Luckily we’d gotten in just in time and were still able to get wristbands that allowed us floor access.  We found a great spot about 3/4 of the way back on Dom’s side of the stage, which is where I typically choose to stand (although not always so far back) for a GA show.  I was actually pleased that I wasn’t quite so close this time because it afforded me the opportunity to see the show from a different angle, and I could really get a better idea of how the audience responded.  When I’m up front, I’m typically among fans that I recognize, and you know everyone up front is going to go wild for certain things.  It’s easy to assume that EVERYONE in the audience is that way, when that isn’t the case at all.   Nick Rhodes came out first and began playing some chords – I found it odd that he came out alone, but then suddenly you could hear drums, and Roger was visible behind his kit.  Then of course John, Dom and Simon appeared, and began playing the familiar sounds of Planet Earth.  Wait, what??  That’s right – they opened with Planet Earth.  I don’t pay close attention to set lists, but l’d assumed they’d open with AYNIN – which they saved for later in the show. At first, everyone around me immediately pulled out their cameras and their cell phones and started filming the show.  It was ridiculous.  I couldn’t even see the stage because everyone had their arms and their camera in the air.  No one was singing, no one was dancing – and I was pissed.  We’re at a show to see the damn show, not film the whole thing!  So, I started yelling at people.  “YOU KNOW THE FUCKING WORDS, SO START SINGING!  PUT YOUR DAMN CAMERAS AWAY AND ENJOY THE SHOW!”  Yes, I really did.  My husband was probably hoping the floor would swallow him whole, and elbowed me more than once…but I didn’t care.  I was on a mission.  The funny thing is, first it was the guy next to me who gave me a guilty grin, put his phone down and started bobbing around, then the girls in front of me turned around to look at me, put their phones down and started dancing.  Before the end of the song, the section of people around me were clapping and singing “Bop ba-bop, ba-bop bop ba-bop!”  Damn right!!  Film during HLTW if you wanna – but this is Planet Earth, people!!!

Using Planet Earth to open was a really smart tactical choice, because ultimately I believe they decided to play what people knew, build momentum and then throw in a new song or two.  I have to say, this worked well.  Extremely well.  The crowd was already with the band, so they didn’t have to work so hard to sell the new material.  AYNIN went over huge with the audience, and I would guess that it’s going to become one of the band’s anthems in the long run, much in the same way of Rio, GOF, Wild Boys and Sunrise.

There were many high points during the show – Friends of Mine was done brilliantly, even without Andy Taylor on guitar.  I couldn’t get over how well the audience responded to this song – it’s not really a “hit” of theirs, but it’s a song that all Duranies know and love, and apparently a lot of general fans do as well.  The entire theater was jumping during this song, and there was no way that the band could have not noticed the thunder of enthusiasm coming right at them.  The Chauffeur was a big surprise (in fact, when it started I thought for sure they were doing Leopard until Simon came towards the front of the stage in his infamous chauffeur hat!), and of course Rio and Wild Boys were played as though the songs were just as fresh as AYNIN.  I don’t think a fan really recognizes just how timeless those songs really are until you go to a show where they play 5 songs off of their new album and yet you simultaneously feel as though the show was all of their greatest hits because they all really do seem like hits, yet – they all feel brand new because the bands enthusiasm just doesn’t wane, regardless of whether they’re playing Safe or The Chauffeur.

This wouldn’t be a fair or balanced review (who am I kidding – I am completely biased!) if I didn’t mention that there seemed to be some sound issues last night.  I don’t honestly know what happened, but during the Chauffeur I first started noticing something that sounded as though another song was also being played by mistake, but then it went away.  Then in Blame the Machines – well, that song was truly a train wreck from start to finish.  Don’t get me wrong, the band seemed to play it well enough, I think – but I could hear something going on in the background that definitely was NOT part of the song.  At first I thought Dom was playing the wrong notes (sorry Dom), and then I thought Nick had taken complete leave of his senses…and then Anna’s mike started doing a very odd echo, and Simon’s mike was too quiet.  It was bizarre, but it definitely didn’t sound right.  I turned around to look at the sound guys, and they all looked pretty nervous and were fiddling with knobs and things – and then I looked at Nick, who seemed to be looking right at them.  I can only imagine what Nick was thinking, but I would imagine it had something to do with cutting off certain parts of their bodies and collectively hanging them from the back of the bus as ornaments.  😉  After that song, it was clear that the band also knew something was awry because John kind of laughed, Roger looked up from his drum kit, shrugged and smiled, and then I saw Simon and John trading a laugh.  Oh, and Nick had someone out taking a look at his setup.

Sure hope those sound guys still have all of their um, bodies intact this morning.  🙂

That brings me to Ordinary World, which normally I wouldn’t mention because it’s a standby that I feel has reached it’s time for retirement (before you cry for my beheading – Save A Prayer is currently being “rested”.  If that can happen, anything is possible!!), but I have to mention that towards the end of the song, there was something that looked like a stick being thrown onstage.  AT Simon.  He actually had to duck to avoid being smacked in the head with it.  First of all, I applaud his reflexes.  I have a feeling that had it been me, I’d have met the stick with my face, and chances are, I’d have been visiting an urgent care for stitches after the show.  Secondly, What the hell?!?   Listen, I can and do laugh at LeBon like anyone else.  His dance moves really are something akin to seizures at times, and if he ever comes on stage wearing the glasses and pimp hat that he wore during Skin Trade during the shows in 2009 in OC and Las Vegas again, I will probably have to be carried out of the venue in a strait jacket for going hysterical – but throwing things at him, especially something that looked like it could hurt him, isn’t cool.  Simon didn’t do anything to react other than duck, and went on as though nothing happened at all – I was impressed.

By the time the band got to Rio and then Wild Boys, I was exhausted and dripping with sweat.  I can’t imagine how they must have felt, but clearly I need to build up stamina.  They went off stage for the encore, and the house was vibrating with excitement.  People started stomping their feet (and I gleefully joined in!) just as they came back out onstage.  Simon came right to the front of the stage, motioned for the cheering to continue (which it continued to raise in decibels), and stood there soaking it in.  You could see the complete pleasure on his face, and I don’t think I’ve ever really seen him quite so happy.  Even John and Nick looked up from their respective places with looks of pride and accomplishment.   I actually stood there wondering what was possibly left to be played other than GOF.  Of course, I’d forgotten about the AVTAK medley (That Fatal Kiss) – and it was fantastic.  Not quite as impressive as at the Mayan when they had the string section, but Simon sang beautifully.  Then they played GOF, and did something a little different from the normal intros in the middle.  We did a little sing-a-long with Simon that somehow morphed into Poker Face.  Truth be told, I’d seen mentions of this online, but I’d been ignoring it.  Well, I lived it last night.  It wasn’t good.  The one real disappointment in the show was this section, and I think they should ditch it.  IMMEDIATELY.  I miss chanting “Play the fucking bass, John”, and I’m not at all enamored with the idea of Simon trying to sing Poker Face.  It just doesn’t work well to end the show.  Hell, even singing a rousing rendition of “We Are Family” would work better than this, especially because at 30 years in – we really ARE family, like it or not!  Oh well, can’t fault them for trying something new, so I won’t.

Last night, I was a part of something that I believe to be very rare, and that was the pure and undeniable connection between audience and band.  I’ve never seen an audience that was so “with” the band the whole way, meeting them note for note, song for song.  If that weren’t enough, I could feel the energy in everyone else around me.  I stood there several times just marveling over the sense of community in the room.  It wasn’t just as though I stared at the band and felt a connection with those guys on stage – although that was certainly present and something worth noting – it was as though I could feel the energy of the whole experience, and I looked around and knew that everyone who was standing around me was feeling that same energy and having that same experience.  It was wild and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way before.  I can see how addicting it can really be.  I’ve often had to explain why I continue to go to so many Duran Duran shows, even now that I’m supposedly an old lady at 40.  It’s because I’ve never felt the high that I feel after a Duran show for anything else.   I continue to go to shows to chase after that high.  Well last night, I had another “shot” of that high, and it’s indescribable.  I really don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop going to shows at this point, and I really don’t want to.

Birmingham, here I come!!   -R

Other People’s Lives – The Daily Duranie Review

We are continuing with our review of the new songs included on the CD release of All You Need Is Now, and this week we bring you Other Peoples Lives!

Rhonda’s Take:
Musicality/Instrumentation:  Where to begin with this one… I have to say that when I first heard it, all I could think of was how incredibly “quirky” the music is.  I don’t really get a real “groove” going on (although John’s got a good bass line.  I just don’t think the song was meant for real groove, so to speak!), and Nick has got some really interesting synth lines going on on top of the meat of the music.  I especially like the almost pipe organ sound to a lot of Nick’s music, and in the middle 8, I really love what he does as a call and answer with the guitar.  It reminds me very much of the theme song to the Munsters. (you probably wouldn’t know this TV show unless you’re from the US and were either growing up in the late 60’s/early 70’s – it’s black and white – or you watched Saturday afternoon TV at some point!)  The music, especially Nick’s part, is very reminiscent to the background music you would hear in a funhouse at a carnival or fair, which, given the subject matter of the lyrics, it’s very appropriate!  One thing I do like about the music in general is that while I can hear everyone – I  think it’s fair to say that no one is meant to be a star, nor are they really left in the background.

Vocals: My major complaint with this song and Simon’s vocals in particular l is that I think they forgot to balance out the mix.  He sounds like he’s stuck in soprano-land for much of the song, and I really think they could have done him a world of justice by having him sing in a different key.  He isn’t quite as whiny as he was in say, Violence of Summer (Loves taking Over) off of Liberty – but in my opinion he comes dangerously close.  One bright spot in the song is the back-up vocals that repeat Simon’s during the chorus. They are just deep enough to help balance out the insanity. (is it John?)  Of course, one could argue that the sing-songy sound of his voice plays a fantastic balance with the subject matter – it could have been a dark and brooding song but instead they went for the funhouse effect instead, probably as a sort of commentary on just how ridiculous it is that we all pay so much attention to this sort of news….but I’m getting ahead of myself and talking about lyrics now…so let’s move on!

Lyrics: One thing I have to say about this song is that for whatever reason, I’m drawn to paying close attention to the lyrics.  That doesn’t always happen with me – a lot of times I’ll be listening so closely to the music that I forget all about what the song is about, but on this one – the lyrics draw me in every time.  It’s not as though they’re genius lyrics, either!  I think some of it is because I’m trying to find something to identify with, and also because I think Simon is generally singing MY song here.  I really hate what has become much of our “news” here in this country, because truth be told – I couldn’t care less about what a young starlet has been accused of stealing at a jewelry store, or why a TV star seems to think he’s Gods biggest gift to mankind or why he thinks he deserves the world on a platter.  I’d really just prefer to have them all go away.  Quietly.  Yet, I guess I’m in the minority on that one – because we’re getting that sort of news dished to us on a daily basis, so somebody must be tuning in for it!  I suppose the argument could be made that if I’m following people on Twitter (and admittedly I am), I’m just as hungry for it as anyone else.  We’re in a voyeuristic world right now, like it or not.  Those people we love hearing about on TV are just as messed up as we are in our own lives, it’s just that they’re amplified, or pixelated, quite a bit.  Talk about living under a microscope, right?   Anyway, as much as I think the lyrics are almost juvenile “easy reading” on this song – I like them. He’s saying the things I think about when I read the paper, watch the news, or even go to Yahoo! for a search.

Production:  Here is where I feel the downfall of this song begins and ends.  I don’t know whose idea it was for Simon to sound similarly to a chipmunk – but they should be fired.  I really REALLY feel they got that one all wrong, and while yes – some of that fault does lie with Simon because he should know better than to sing so whiny, someone needed to be steering this ship just a tad more to the other side.  Turn down the treble and turn up the bass just a little bit and the song would have had a little more depth.  I understand they were going for a certain effect, and the song does have a funhouse type theme going for it, which really does play up the commentary that the band is making about the subject of the song, I still think they could have done the song far more justice had they tried to bring down Simon’s vocals to a different key.  I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt like I’d heard this song before (in the Duran Duran catalog) until the other day when my iPod played Violence of Summer for me.  It’s not nearly as overproduced (although it’s still quite a production as far as I’m concerned – it’s just done differently), but the sound is still there and it’s very similar in nature.   I do get the feeling that every single track on the song was turned up to “10” in the final mix, and I think they could have done plenty to alleviate the brick wall of sound I’m being smacked in the face with when the song begins.  Yes, it has a certain effect, but I think there is something to be said for being subtle, and the production on this song is a miss.

Overall:  When I first heard the song, it was clear it was Duran Duran.  No mistaking that one, and I would venture to guess that any other critic out there would agree. I can sum up what I felt in two words though: Bubble Gum.  Syrupy sweet, sticky, cane-sugar bubble gum.  I had a lot of trouble getting past that feeling to begin with, and I felt it was a disappointment for the album.  I didn’t feel as though the music had real depth, and the lyrics, while comical – didn’t help.  However, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to the song on and off for the past couple of weeks, and as time has gone on, I’ve learned to appreciate some of the more annoying parts of the song.  Overall I don’t feel as though it’s one of the stronger songs on the album, but there’s nothing wrong with inserting a little fun every now and then, and I think that’s the part that this song plays.  It’s not the worst song they’ve ever written, it’s definitely not one of their finest, but I can imagine myself bopping along to this song at 2am as I’m driving home from a long night out with the girls….so how can that really be all that bad?

Rating:  

Amanda’s Thoughts:

Musicality/Instrumentation:  Musically, this song draws me in and wants to make me bounce up and down in my seat!  It is very upbeat and gives an overall sense of fun!  I love how it starts with a couple beats followed by some sort of spinning sound followed up with John’s bass.  While the verse is maintained with all instruments, the chorus increases the tempo then moves back with the initial spinning sound before slowing the tempo down to the next verse.  Rhonda described the sound as some sort of fun house and this seems accurate to me with that spinning sound.  Nick’s keyboards become more obvious during the middle part of the song as there is an additional sound that seems to be something going up and down or high and low.  I love all of the changes, musically, as it moves through the song.  The changes seem to fit naturally and works to create a sense of fun.  One thing I have truly appreciated with many of the songs on this album is how they paid particular attention to having something unique at the end of the songs.  This one was no exception as the spinning sound returned until it sounded like a needle or something coming slowly to rest. 

Vocals:  When I first heard this song, I was totally into it until Simon started to sing.  He seemed to be singing too high and it distracted me from quality music.  It almost made me think that he had taken some helium from a balloon (not really but you get my point). Now, I don’t notice the vocals as much during the chorus.  Perhaps, it matches the music better or something at that point.  Then, he goes even higher to sing the bridge about “reading the headlines” around 2 and a half minutes in.  I wonder if that part is even necessary.  How would the song be if there were no vocals at that section?  Criticism aside, it is a song that makes me want to sing along and I find myself doing just that despite the high vocals!

Lyrics:  Whenever I hear this song now, I think about Simon’s inspiration for this song, which was some sort of art piece he saw where a person seemed to be intently focused on other people.  I am glad that I know that story or else I would be even more annoyed with the lyrics.  Do I think that people in contemporary developed countries focus a great deal of attention on celebrities?  Yes. Do I think that helps get people to buy magazine subscriptions?  Without question.  That said, hasn’t Duran done this topic a bunch?  Perhaps, they haven’t done it in this same way but there seems to be a lot of songs referencing celebrity culture in some fashion:  Pop Trash Movie, Red Carpet Massacre, and, perhaps, Falling Down to name a few.  Here’s where I miss younger Simon.  Yes, I understand that they are influenced by contemporary life in a way that they weren’t when they were in their early 20s.  I get that and I also understand seeing themes repeat in one’s writing.  Heck, I’m sure that we do this on this blog and we haven’t been writing for 30 years.  I just wish that if Simon wanted to tackle this topic again, he would have done it in a way that is less obvious.  This is when I miss the more obscure LeBon lyrics of the past. 

Production:  To me, the production could have made this song better.  Something could have been done with Simon’s vocals to keep the feel of them without making it sound like he was singing after sucking down some helium.  It also feels to me that the production seemed basic.  Everything was allowed to stay at the same level.  While I noticed the different instruments and enjoyed them, I didn’t get a sense that one instrument was in the limelight only to be taken over by another instrument as classic Duran always felt like to me.  This song gave me a feel of the songs on Astronaut in a way in that it is a good song but nothing was done to enhance it.  Nothing was done to make it better.

Overall:  When I first heard this song, I admit that I skipped over it quite a bit.  To be fair, though, I heard it at the same time I heard Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, which will be coming to a review near you soon, and that is a song I love.  I think the song had real potential.  I enjoyed the music very much but think that Simon’s vocals and lyrics detract from it.  I also think the production could have added something special to the instrumentation that it is lacking.  Yet, I still find myself moving in my seat and singing along, which means that the song provides a sense of fun, which is always good!

Rating: 

RIP Mr. Laufner

This morning, as most of my mornings begin, I checked out Facebook and saw that Charles Laufner has passed away.  Who is Charles Laufner, you ask?  Well – for a good many of you, if not most of you, he is whom we have to thank for our “wallpaper” back in the 80’s.  Mr. Charles Laufner was the founder of Tiger Beat, and he died in Los Angeles at the age of 87.

Tiger Beat was one very good reason I insisted on accompanying my mom to the grocery store each week.  As she would shop I would make a beeline for the magazine aisle, knowing that I had a good 20 or 30 minutes to look over each magazine, read the articles in the magazines I couldn’t purchase that particular week, and daydream about the day that Roger Taylor would come to rescue me from my life in suburbia.  Ah, to be 12 or 13 again….  There was hardly a time where Duran Duran wasn’t somehow featured on the front page – and most assuredly there were pictures contained within, if not full pin-ups.  I would spend hours scouring each issue, making sure to read every single word when it came to a Duran Duran article.  To this very day I remember an interview the magazine had done with Nick Rhodes.  Most of the interviews were very basic, and the answers were always very PG – at the time I never noticed how squeaky clean all of it was, interestingly enough. (call me naive if you must….and I was!)  In this one interview, the magazine asked Nick if he’d ever consider dating a fan. Nick’s answer?  He once dated a 1969 German air conditioner – if we had to know!   I don’t know why that stupid question and answer still stick with me, but to this day, when I see Nick – I think of that silly article!!

There’s no question that celebrities and bands alike have to thank magazines like Tiger Beat, and publishers like Charles Laufner, for their success.  Duran Duran utilized that market to the best of their means, regardless of whether we look back at that strategy with a sense of nostalgia or disdain.  Yes, critics always seemed to laud Duran Duran for appealing to teens like myself rather than going after the “serious” music crowd – but isn’t it funny that it’s teens like myself (and probably many of our readers) who continue to stick by the band, now in our mid 30’s and 40’s, as the core fan base?  Serious music consumers indeed.

Of course, Tiger Beat wasn’t the only teen magazine on the market – but it was among the first.  His first magazine was Teen, and his son Sean has continued the empire by buying Tiger Beat’s parent company in 2003 and continues to publish Bop.  Back in the day when I was a consumer of Tiger Beat – the magazine was one way, if not the only real way, that I could really indulge in my crush (the entire band…of course).  I could read the articles, learn about them, fawn over the pinups, put them up on my wall, and of course kiss them goodnight if I so chose, which I did.  (don’t tell anyone!)  It’s been many years since I last bought Bop or Tiger Beat – no really, I swear, but I have to wonder if the purpose of the magazine is still what it once was.  The internet has really shortened the distance between fan and “interest”, Twitter and Facebook have made it possible to even interact with celebrity in a way that I couldn’t have ever even dreamed back when Tiger Beat pinups covered my walls.

Mr. Laufner is responsible for opening my eyes and expanding my world back in the 80’s.  Without his magazine I would have never have become the fan I am today (and perhaps some would have appreciated that!), and I think it’s fair to say my life wouldn’t have turned out the same without Tiger Beat.  Thank you!

-R

So about that vinyl….

I am sure that most of you have already heard about the limited edition vinyl that Duran Duran is humbly offering their fans – it’s numbered, signed by the band and has a special 30 page booklet that comes with it.  Word is that the packaging is pretty special as well.  As I read the press release, I’ll admit it – I was salivating with hunger for it.  I LOVE vinyl.  I collect it.  We choose to play vinyl at home as opposed to ever using our CD player.  I suppose it’s an addiction at this point. (as I glance towards the door to our garage, which contains shelves filled with, at last count, about 3000 records, including three large trunks filled with “the good stuff”)  My husband and I adore going to garage sales, going through boxes of dusty records, finding the treasures within.  A lot of times, we come up with a handful of Barry Manilow records and not much else.  Other times, we find Elvis, or even a Beatles album that was dismissed and forgotten years prior.  Still other times, I get lucky and find a Depeche Mode album or even a Duran Duran album – and the world is right again.  So, vinyl is our thing, and yes, I felt my pulse ignite as I read the news about the limited edition.  As I read each included detail, the proverbial cash register I have in my brain clicked upwards.  I knew the final count would be pricey, but I eagerly clicked on the link contained in the press release on duranduran.com to go to the website where I could order the album.  It was all fine and good until I got to the price – 250 GBP.  *gasp*  I had to re-read the GBP, because at first I was thinking, “Well, $250 is pretty pricey, but you know – I might be able to swing this past the family Controller.”  Ha.  That’s GBP there, Rhonda.  Try multiplying 250 by 1.6, and then you’ll have the USD amount.  *double gasp*


I couldn’t justify the purchase.  While having the limited edition sounds divine, paying upwards of $400 for an album does not, even if it’s signed.  I already have a few signed items by the band, and I can’t comment for anyone else – but for me – the signatures don’t mean nearly as much unless I was there in person to witness them being signed.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to anyone else, but it’s just not the same.  For example, my prized Duran Duran item is a signed copy of Astronaut – signed by all 5 original band members.  I was there to have it signed.  I remember having to talk myself through a short conversation with both Andy and Roger Taylor as it was getting signed, and I remember Roger smiling at me as he handed it to me.  Oh yes.  Yes I do.  That album is worth about a million dollars to me as a result.  A limited edition of All You Need is Now would be a worthy addition to my collection, no doubt at all – it’s probably my second favorite DD album of all time – but at $400, I just can’t justify it to myself.  

That said, I don’t blame the band one bit for offering it.  Everyone who has taken joy in mentioning how lousy this album is selling so far, saying that the band “ought to pack it in”, or predicting that RCM will actually end up having sold more…here’s the chance for the band to actually sell some records , and interestingly enough – it IS selling.  As of yesterday, the limited edition had actually been 2/3 of the way sold out (only 500 copies are available), and at $400 a pop, I’d say that’s pretty good.   There are definitely some Duranies amongst us that are willing to pay the price to own it, and I can’t fault them for doing so. Granted, 500 albums does not make a best selling album, and I know that – but it certainly justifies pressing the albums as far as the band is concerned, and I can imagine that if they actually DO press a regular version of the vinyl, it will also sell out because there are many of us who really want it, especially now after having seen this limited edition dangled in front of us.

Personally, yeah the price sucks.  Business-wise, I can’t blame them a bit.  More power to ’em if they sell, because if they didn’t – it’d be harder for them to finance the next album, and I can’t have that.  I’m not ready to see them quit yet, because I’m not finished with them!  I’ve got more touring to do, more songs to sing with the band, and more good times ahead.  I hope they’re ready…..

-R

Slow Food

I was reading the paper this weekend, and an article caught my eye.  The topic was on Slow Food (as opposed to Fast Food), and how the idea of homecooked, real food is starting to really catch on.  You’ve probably heard the term “Farm to Table” before, and Slow Food is just another aspect of that concept.

As I was growing up, the big deal was convenience.  Everything from food to gadgetry of all kinds were focused on getting easier and quicker to use.  Back when my mom was a teenager, fast food was something you had once in a very great while – like a treat.  Her mom spent great amounts of time in the kitchen preparing meals for the family.  Then my mom had her own family, found herself in need of getting a job and bringing in a second income for the family – and those things along with a deep hatred of the kitchen somehow got us to having tons of “convenience food”.  TV dinners were very much a part of my growing up (I hated them with a passion), as were many, MANY kinds of frozen foods.  I think my mom actually kissed our microwave more than once.  Somehow from there, fast food became a staple as I continued to grow up and get out on my own.  Likely because I inherited my mother’s dislike for cooking.  However, as the years went on and I had children of my own, I’ve turned that curve, and most of our meals are home cooked again.  I order my produce from an organic farm that delivers, and yes, my children eat vegetables.  Mostly.   Fascinating how the tides have turned back from trying to eat fast and furious to taking our time and enjoying real quality – and of course, knowing that this way is far healthier hasn’t hurt the concept, either.

Gadgetry though, seems to have stayed on the path of convenience.  We have computers that are the size of cell phones now (and smaller), we have GPS equipment that tell us exactly where to go and how to get there, our refrigerators not only have TV’s right in the door so we have something to stare at during dinner (rather than each other), but you can program your fridge to even tell you what’s missing – why get up and make a list when the fridge can do it for you?  Snail mail is practically a thing of the past, everything can get to you electronically now, and theoretically you really don’t have to leave your house for much – you can order anything and everything online and have it delivered.  Then of course, there’s music.  Stores like Tower Records, and the Wherehouse have been gone for years.  Vinyl became CD, and CD became MP3.

Many consider MP3’s to be the “Fast Food” of music.  You can download the files in the blink of an eye and be on your way.  It’s fast, convenient and still does the job, just like eating at a fast food restaurant.  It’s enjoyable because it’s practically instant and you really don’t even have to leave your house in order to own the latest and greatest.  Is it really satisfying our needs though?

For me, MP3’s feel very synthetic, very plastic and even very one dimensional; and very much like the salty french fries I used to crave from In-N-Out.  Given the fact that for many years, fast food was a staple for me, I loved those fries.  I loved that I didn’t have to wait long for them, but as time wore on and I ate them more often; well, first of all my blood pressure took a huge hit, as did my waistline over the years.  Then, I was completely sick of them. (along with any fast food!)   More often than not these days I really just want to have a salad (and not that salad from a fast food place – I don’t know what it is about those, but they always taste like plastic to me!), or some roasted or grilled chicken, some fish, or even a great petite sized steak.  Yes, I sometimes miss the convenience, but I feel so much better, I look a lot better, and I know I’m a lot healthier without that steady diet of crap.  I kind of think that MP3’s are that same way, and I’m wondering when we’ll begin to turn that corner back towards real quality in music…both in the quality of the end product AND in the quality of the artists.

-R

Stop Fretting and Enjoy the Now!

Duranies are obsessed.  Well, some Duranies are obsessed with Duran’s future.  For some Duranies, this means that they feel like they should offer advice about what the next steps should be in the band’s career.  For others, it means adding the nails to the coffin by talking about how much they are failing to have success in the current music industry.  Of course, there are those fans who don’t think about things such as this and focus on the latest picture John posted of Roger by the pool.  Guess which group I’m gravitating towards today? 

I, honestly, get frustrated with some fans’ never-ending focus on how the album is doing and where it is in the charts.  I swear they focus more on these things than the band does.  I haven’t heard John tweet much about album sales or chart placement except when he gives out a little cheer for something good.  The rest of the time, he is tweeting about his quest to quit smoking or what they are doing on a rare day off.  He seems to be focused on the now, not on album sales.  Of course, he and the rest of the band could be fretting behind closed doors.  I can acknowledge that as a possibility.  I guess I just don’t understand why some people are so obsessed with this.  I suppose that, for them, they are obsessed because they think it matters to the band and will ultimately determine the band’s future.  This could be very similar to fans of TV shows focusing on ratings and worrying about whether or not a series will be cancelled.  There is a very big difference, though.  In TV, some network executive is the one deciding the show’s fate.  For Duran Duran, they are deciding it.  So, the question comes down to will the band call it quits if this album doesn’t do well?  I don’t honestly know.  I’m not in their heads.  I do know a couple of things, though.  First, I know that they have been through hard times before and I’m not even sure that I could or would call this a “hard time”.  Do you think it was really fun to be in Duran during the Pop Trash era?  It sounds like Simon didn’t think so based on interviews I have heard/seen.  Forget about album sales, he just didn’t seem happy.  Isn’t that the important thing here?  Are they happy now?  Again, I don’t know but they don’t seem UNhappy.  I see lots of smiles and laughter in behind the scenes footage, which leads me to my second point.  They have a long history.  Nick, for example, has been in Duran all of his life.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to have been involved in something like this band since the age of 16!  Do you think that Nick is all that excited over the idea of starting something completely new?  This is what they know.  They know Duran.  They know how to make music, how to tour, how to do interviews, etc.  It can’t be all that easy to walk away, even if things aren’t great on paper.  Thus, I think those fans who hear or read some interview about how Duran is going to call it quits might be making a huge assumption.  Now, they might be right in that assumption but they also might be wrong.  Duran might not be planning to call it quits no matter what happens with album sales.

Then, there are the other group of fans who focus on what the band should do in the future.  This segment of the fan community assumes that they will be around but that they need advice about how they should proceed from here.  Some of the advice includes who to work with or who not to work with, where to play, what types of venues are good, what the setlists should be, etc.  Geez.  I suspect that the band might have thoughts about all of these topics and more.  Maybe they would like to do things a little differently but have run into problems.  Maybe they can’t work with everyone they want to work with due to scheduling issues.  Maybe their management is unable to get some venues for whatever reason.  I don’t know.  I understand both groups.  I definitely get the fear that many of the first group has.  I, too, don’t want Duran to end things.  If I thought that my offering solutions for the lack of album sales would help keep them around longer, I would go for it.  I don’t think the fans will have anything to do with it, however.  Likewise, no matter how good the suggestions are for the band, I don’t know that they will pay attention or be able to follow any of them.  I realize that both groups of fans mean completely well and just want the best for a band that they care about.  I get that.  Yet, I don’t understand why we can’t just live in the moment and enjoy what we have now.  We have a great album.  We have a band on tour.  Isn’t that reason alone to celebrate?  Shouldn’t we be focused on the now like the song, AYNIN, is reminding us to do?  Why do we as a fan community always have to find some problem? 

Perhaps, this negativity is what is drawing me to the third group of fans who are pretty content to look at shirtless pictures of Roger.  It isn’t that I don’t like discussion about what the band is doing because I do, but I don’t like it if it feels focused on failure and a failure that has yet to really be determined.  It reminds me of judging a baseball batter in April because he is batting less than .200 Will the same guy be batting the same in September?  It is hard to say.  Maybe that ball player will end up getting sent back to the minors because he couldn’t handle it and this will be the end of his career.  He might, though, end up batting over .300.  Why not enjoy today?  Why can’t we be happy to still have the band around?  There isn’t many bands who have lasted this long.  Isn’t that reason enough to celebrate?  Reason enough to stop fretting about statistics?  The future is obviously unknown.  Will Duran end soon?  I don’t know.  If they do, I don’t want to spend the last album and last tour thinking about chart positions.  I want to enjoy them.

-A

Lesson: Duran Duran Live

A topic that seems to be coming up again and again lately is going to shows with people who aren’t quite as…obsessed as you are.  One of our readers talked about how she gave her companions a little “tutorial” about Duran before they went to the show.  (How did everything go, Amanda?)  This got me thinking that I, too, should provide not only my show companions with a little lesson but also give it here so that others may use it, if they are in a similar situation.  I apologize in advance, if I give away too many secrets and if I forget something!

The first thing to know about seeing Duran live is the current touring line-up.  It includes four familiar faces of Simon, John, Roger and Nick.  People you might not be as familiar with are Dom Brown (guitar-he’s totally great, by the way), Anna Ross (back-up singer) and Simon Willescroft (saxophone).  Obviously, Andy Taylor is no longer in the band as he left in 2006.  The second most important is to know the songs.  Based on the setlists so far in 2011, here are the songs you must know as they have played them every time:  Being Followed, All You Need Is Now, Notorious, Girl Panic, Sunrise, and Girls on Film.  Other songs that you really, really should know since they have played them at almost all of the shows are Hungry Like the Wolf, Ordinary World, and Safe.  Then, you really should know these, too, as they have been played frequently:  A View to a Kill, Rio, Leave a Light on, The Reflex, Friends of Mine and Careless Memories.  Now, if you have a bit more time on your hands, I would also recommend Runway Runaway, Come Undone, Wild Boys and Planet Earth.

After you know the songs, it is important to know what to look for and what other people in the audience will be looking for.  Some of those moments are connected to specific songs and others are not.  The first general thing to look for is JoSi.  What is JoSi exactly?  Well, literally, it is a combination between John and Simon.  On stage, this might mean a moment when the two of them are singing together using the same microphone.  It may mean a look exchanged between them.  It might also mean an arm over the other’s person shoulder (usually Simon’s arm over John) and, if you are really lucky, it might mean more body contact.  This is a warning, though.  If something like that were to happen, many, many, many people in the audience would NOT be okay.  There will be massive amounts of screaming.  Many people will attempt to take pictures and videos quickly.  Some may faint.  It would not be pretty.  My understanding is that some fans who saw the kiss in Vegas in 2005 did not make it out in one piece.  Now, fans will also appreciate another interaction between members and that is DoJo.  This is the combination between Dom and John.  In this case, it is more musical as it is when the two of them meet and seem to battle of sorts with their instruments.  Good stuff.  Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to individual band members because they do can be entertaining all on their own (Reminder here:  Roger and John are on the left and Nick and Dom are on the right side of the stage).  Roger, for example, likes to twirl his stick, which will induce screaming.  The other member in the back, Nick, isn’t as flashy but it is possible to catch him snapping pictures as the show moves along.  John fans will be watching for his famous pouts and smiles.  I, for one, always loves when he sings along with the song, microphone near or not.  Then, there is Simon.  Some love him and some are entertained by him.  The one thing you can say about Simon is that he is never boring.  He can keep us all laughing by his silly dance moves, for instance.  Pay attention to the end of Notorious when he squats down and begins to punch the air (click on the title to see a clip!).  It is highly possible that Simon will forget the words at some point and probably the order of the songs on the setlist as well despite the fact that there are many copies of the setlist taped on the stage.  If you are at a special show, you may witness a fall like at this show:  Simon falling in Paris in ’05

There are many moments to look for that are connected to songs and many of these songs are being played on this current tour.  First, they have consistently playing Girls on Film, which has featured band introductions for years.  Here is the song from Foxwoods of this year:  Girls on Films with introductions.  If you notice John’s introduction included a little chant, which many of us love and goes something like this:  “Play the f***ing bass, John.”  Be prepared to join in.  Another song that has been consistently played is Sunrise.  Again, here you should be prepared to reach up for the sunrise by raising your hands up in the air.  Notice that this song also features a JoSi moment.  Another fairly common song is Rio.  There is more audience participation in this one as the audience claps at the end.  Planet Earth is my personal favorite and features all of my favorite things.  This clip shows JoSi moments and audience participation.  The crowd screams out “switch it off” after the line about “the tv sound”.  John also encourages everyone to clap during his little solo.  Now, Nick fans might appreciate the Reflex more as he often gives a reason why he does not “use it”.  This clip shows us that Nick left it about 3 and a half minutes into the song.  Simon girls tend to love Come Undone where Simon licks his fingers about 1 minute into the clip.  These Simon girls will scream in delight while the rest of us hide!  While we are on the subject of specific songs and Simon, be aware if they bust out White Lines as they have been doing once in awhile.  This clip shows the best and worst of Mr. LeBon.  First, he does a lovely kick then proceeds to forget the lyric.  Then, he spits out his water while tilting his head back.  Oh boy.  I couldn’t make this stuff up!

Now, while waiting and watching for these moments and more, fans are also hoping to interact with their favorite band member.  Perhaps, they will be watching for a smile from John or Dom.  Maybe, they will be waiting to sing with John.  Some might be watching for Simon to get close enough to flirt with while others are looking at the best way to get Roger’s attention in the hopes that he will throw a drumstick to them (which happens at the very end of the show).  They watch and wait while they are standing, dancing, singing and screaming.  Typically, the only people sitting down are not Duranies.  Be prepared to be on your feet for the two hours of the show and more.  Many people will also be taking pictures.  This is all very normal and expected.  Another common occurrence at a Duran show is the feeling that you have just stepped into a weird reunion as Duranies know each other.  Thus, it isn’t uncommon to see women run up to each other, exchange hugs, and take pictures together.  Perhaps, the pictures also explain why many people like to look nice at the show.  Now, that doesn’t mean that people are wearing formal dresses but nice tops with nice jeans or pants is common.  Some women will wear heels. 

Beyond the other fans, the songs and the band members, you should really expect the following to happen.  You should know that you will lust after the band members by the end of the show.  You will also want to go to more shows.  This will happen.  It happened to me for the first time in 1993 and I suspect that it will happen again after each show this year.  Good luck and have fun!

-A

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!