As many of you have heard through both this blog and via social networking, I, finally, received approval from work to go on my trip to see the band in the UK in May. I won’t get into the details here, but it was a long and painful month as I kept calling and checking and begging to be allowed to go. This trip is more than just a tour for Rhonda and I as we both feel it is important to check in with the Duran fandom in their home country before we wrap up the book. How can we truly talk about Duranies, if we are only covering American ones? Yes, we realize that we are still not examining so many other places filled with Duranies, which sucks. We would love to be able to get a flavor for all Duranies. Unfortunately, our real lives do not allow for that. Neither one of us has the time or the money to do that, especially within a few months. We both really want to finish the book as quickly as possible so we had to grab our opportunity when it presented itself. Anyway, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to go and am so looking forward to meeting so many people when we are over there! Yeah, I’m excited about the shows, too! One of the things that will be special for this tour is that Rhonda and I are actually doing VIP. We aren’t doing VIP for every show (trips like this are SUPER expensive), but will enjoy what we can!
Rhonda and I don’t typically VIP. We have had good luck with regular presales, especially with how it used to be with those Tier 1 seats through DDM. Thus, we always felt we had a good shot of getting decent seats so VIP wasn’t super necessary. We have VIPed twice before, though, and the first time happened six years ago today. We attended the Chicago show at the All-State Arena together in 2005. It was a significant show for us for a variety of reasons. Yes, it was memorable because we went VIP, but more importantly, it was our first show together. There was a fairly large group of us who decided to VIP for that show, including a number of people who flew in for it. Rhonda was one of those people. We had only met a few months earlier at a Duran convention in New Orleans, but had hit it off pretty quickly over a few drinks on Bourbon Street and singing publically to Rio (that’s a story for a whole other blog!). Therefore, it seemed perfectly normal to be planning to go to a show together. After much discussion, the group decided on who was going to get the tickets and how many as there were too many of us to buy our tickets all together. I volunteered to buy the tickets for Rhonda, myself and another friend of ours.
The show was amazing. I often wonder if the show was really that good or if the setting made it so good! Obviously, we had good seats. Third row in front of John Taylor, in fact. The arena is a large one-probably seats about 20,000 or close to it and it was packed. The energy of the crowd was awesome! The band seemed playful and really into it despite missing Andy Taylor that night. For me, it was also the first Duran show I had seen in awhile, which probably always enhances my enjoyment. Yet, I also think my concert partners made a difference in what I thought about that show. I will never forget singing “We are Family” with them when the band dived into that song from Notorious. I will also never forget the look on Rhonda’s face during Tiger Tiger. I remember laughing with thousands of my closest friends about the fact that Roger’s drums had a problem after Wild Boys. I’m sure that Rhonda thinks fondly of how I threatened her life when she got in the way of my viewing of JoSi. Overall, everything seemed to fit together. The songs, the band, the crowd, and my people were all together creating an incredible experience. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the rest of that weekend was amazing as well with another show the following night, lots of late night conversation and laughter, drinks, and more.
The next VIP experience I will have will be with the same people and a new addition in Birmingham. While I doubt that anything can really compare to that night six years ago, I’m hoping that Brum has at least a little of that magic.