For me, this show was the first I had been to in a LONG time and was the beginning of a little run of shows for me. I was way overdue. On top of that, I was going to be hanging with people I had met only months ago at the Duran Duran Fans Convention. Many of us out of that group were doing both Chicago and Milwaukee together that weekend. Before that weekend, I was looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe! I had a countdown going since December when the presales had taken place. I remember leaving work on Thursday, the day before the show, after basically having my colleagues push me out the door. Apparently, I had been driving them nuts with my excitement! It is funny now, looking back. I didn’t even entertain the idea that the weekend would be anything less than fabulous! I could never imagine a less than satisfying show and never even knew or thought that anything could go badly with the people I was going to be with. Lucky for me, I was right! Both the show and the other fans reinforced my fandom. In fact, I think the experience was so good that I’m still looking for a repeat or something that would equal that weekend. I, honestly, couldn’t have asked for more.
During that weekend, many/most of my expectations for touring were formed as were many of the traditions that Rhonda and I continue to this day. Obviously, both the Chicago and the Milwaukee shows were amazing, despite having a very fresh Dom Brown there (Andy went home to be with his ailing father). The crowds were great! I now expect nothing less! That weekend also saw very little sleep due to all of the fun we were having. In fact, we got something like 7 hours of sleep in 3 nights. We didn’t sleep at all that last night, which caused Rhonda and I to discover that when we are sleep deprived, we get the giggles. That happens to this day as I think back to Rhonda laughing hysterically in the middle of the show in Bournemouth this past December! How did we survive on such little sleep? The answer to that is simple: adrenaline, coffee and alcohol, which reminds me that we weren’t so good about eating that weekend either. At one point, we had gone like 38 hours or something without eating! Obviously, we were having WAY too much fun to worry about eating or sleeping! We figured that we would do plenty of that in our normal lives! The whole experience felt so amazing that I desperately wanted to do more! The experience showed me that the band REALLY was fabulous live, that Rhonda and I were compatible touring partners, and that Duranies really could be fun! So many of the people who were at either or both of those shows are people I still know and still feel lucky enough to call “friends”.
What is the point of sharing all of this with you? It isn’t because I think that any of you would really care about our lack of sleep or eating over a wild weekend seeing Duran live. It is to point out a few things. First, in my experience, there is a lot more to a Duran concert than the two hours they are on stage. A Duran show means great music, but it also means fabulous times filled with good friends and a ton of fun! Second, this weekend 7 years ago today hooked me for life. I had been a Duranie since 1984 and wasn’t really planning on not being a fan but after this particular weekend, it became something more, something deeper, something addicting. I saw and learned about being a fan in a whole new way. I will be forever grateful for this. Third, when things seem ugly in the fandom, when it doesn’t feel fun to be a Duranie, when I’m frustrated by something to do with Duran Duran or their team, I remember this weekend. I remember not only what fun I had, but I remember that weekends like the one I’m describing is really what fandom is all about. It is about friendship. It is about fun. It is about amazing experiences, which, in this case, were made possible by Duran Duran and their music.