Sympathy Eye Liner: Chicago Show Review #1

Wow.  It is hard to know where to start with today’s blog as I have much to say!  Last night marked the second Duran Duran show of this leg of the Paper Gods tour and the first show for us.  What an incredibly fun night!

Pre-show Meet-up:

Our night started fairly early as we had planned a meet up there at Ravinia before the show started.  Since we had not been to Ravinia before, we didn’t know much about where to meet, how to tell people where to find us, etc.  Even though, we arrived shortly after gates opened, the lawn was mobbed with people ready to spend the late afternoon/evening there, enjoying food, drink and the company of family and friends.  Luckily, we were able to pick a spot right behind some concession stands near the walk way separating the pavilion from the lawn.  People were able to find us and much conversation and laughter ensued.  Our raffle went well and many were able to pick up a new Daily Duranie wristband or two!  Based on the success of yesterday’s meet up, we look forward to tonight’s!

Our meet up!
Our meet up!

Nick’s Absence:

By 6:30, our group separated as we were all more than ready for the show!  Of course, we wondered how the show was going to go since Nick was absent but had nothing but we had confidence in both the band and MNDR.  We were not wrong.  I’m not going to lie.  It was weird to look up and not see Nick Rhodes standing behind the keyboards.  There were times during the show that his presence was especially felt, such as during the Reflex when Nick normally answers the question of “why don’t you use it” or at the end of Notorious.  It goes without saying that we continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and hopes that he is able to return soon.  That said, MNDR had good energy and seemed to have fun, which I appreciated.  I liked how John went up to the keyboard riser a couple of times to check in with her.  I’m sure that she appreciated his support and the support from the fans.

Song Highlights:

Overall, it was a good show!  As with any Duran show, there are moments during the set that stand out.  Interestingly enough, I felt like the real stand out song last night was Last Night in the City.  Good energy throughout the entire song.  The other song that worked really well last night was Notorious.  The band was all front and center and seemed to be having serious fun, which I adore!  Plus, who doesn’t love the addition of Nile Rodgers!  I managed to capture a moment with the photo below.

Having fun during Notorious!
Having fun during Notorious!

Beyond those song highlights, there were good JoSi moments and fabulous DoJo, which I appreciated immensely.  I have to also say that the band did a really good job moving across the entire stage.  While I’m always really happy to have John play right in front of where I am, I recognize that he has to play to everyone and I thought John, Simon and Dom did a nice job moving to every area of the stage.  They also did a good job trying to get the crowd to join in with the usual singing, clapping, shining cell phone lights during Save a Prayer (which was dedicated to Nick Rhodes, by the way).  That said, they had their work cut out for them as the crowd was tough.

The Crowd:

I truly believe that the crowd makes a big difference in how any show will go.  If the audience has a lot of energy, that energy is fed to the band who then feeds it back to the crowd.  If the crowd isn’t into it, the band has to work that much harder.  I truly do feel like that was the case yesterday.  While I saw many fans totally into the show, dancing and singing to every note and every word, I saw empty seats, even up front.  I saw many people come and go like watching the band was just an afterthought.  Many people just sat down.  I think the cause of this is simple.  Ravinia is one of those venues who have subscribers, people who buy tickets for the season and then pick and choose which shows to go to.  Thus, not everyone in the audience is a serious Duran Duran fan.  Many people could be casual fans who just know a few of the band’s hits.  For those people, they sat when they got tired or didn’t know the new tracks.  This type of set up means that the band really had their work cut out for them and they performed well despite the extra challenge.

Nile Rodgers is my new hero:

After Nile and Chic performed a solid set, Nile took time to shake hands with fans before exiting the stage.  I used that moment to slide on up to the very front.  He reached his hand down to me to shake it. Instead of shaking his hand, I asked him to take one of our brand new Daily Duranie wristbands.  He took the wristband and immediately placed it on his arm causing me to have a super big smile on my face.

After Nile took the wristband
After Nile took the wristband

While I found that moment to be pretty awesome (as I did when John and Dom got and wore their wristbands!), the even better moment was when Nile came back on stage to join the band for Notorious and Pressure Off.  As soon as he came on, I saw that he was still wearing the wristband.  I appreciated that he took the wristband but wearing meant more.

Nile wearing the wristband
Nile wearing the wristband

Other random thoughts:

I must comment on a few other things that caught my attention, in some way.  First, I must comment on Simon’s look last night.  As you all know, Simon isn’t my “favorite” band member but he was looking good.  Not only is the hair looking good, he was sporting an earring and eyeliner!  My friend, Julie, joked that he was wearing eyeliner out of sympathy for Nick.  It’s an idea that stuck with me.  Hence, the name of the blog post!

Second, I missed a couple of elements from the fall shows.  I missed the confetti during Pressure Off and, believe it or not, I missed Danceophobia.  I had been looking forward to watching John dance during that song and had to make do with his little punches during Girls on Film.

The band also had an addition at the end of the show with having giant beach balls during Rio.  While it was fun to see people in the audience hit them or seeing a band member or two hit/kick them back out into crowd, I found them distracting.  I was watching the balls more than I was focused on the song.  Rio deserves my undivided attention.

Overall, the band did well and I had a ton of fun at our meet up, during the show, and hanging with some friends after the show.  It was a really fun night, which reminded me of why I love touring and going to Duran show SO much.  Now, I can’t wait for tonight!!!

-A

3 thoughts on “Sympathy Eye Liner: Chicago Show Review #1”

  1. Believe it or not, Amanda and I were not together as she composed this blog! She was downstairs hanging out in the lobby and I was upstairs in our room getting ready for the day…so I have to add a couple of my own thoughts here.

    1. Eyeliner is a definite yes from me. Done.

    2. I LOVED MNDR. Our music is in good hands, people. Don’t be worried. She is super cute, looks like she’s having fun – and I’ve read that she’s really nervous, so we should ALL make her feel super welcome. She is saving this tour by being able to sub for Nick, and we’re a very large, slightly dysfunctional family. Now she is a part of that.

    3. With the above in mind, it’s important to know that Nick is missed, we’re thinking of him, and hope he is able to return soon. But I am cheering for this band in having the bravery to go forward. So many of us would have been out a lot of money in travel expenses had they not, and dang it – we all deserve a tour! 😉

    4. Ravinia is a weird venue. The thing about Ravinia is that most people (particularly those with lawn seats but really this goes for any of the subscribers), aren’t necessarily there because of who is playing. They’re there for the ambience. The picnics on the grass. The overall experience. On the other hand, we die hards are there to see the band and don’t necessarily care much about the picnicking and so forth. There’s a general discourse between those two intentions, and so the crowd is mixed. We had friends who sat next to people who kept telling them to sit down, for example. It just makes it difficult for everyone, including the band I think – because the crowd doesn’t respond as well and the energy feels weird as a result.

    5. The beach balls are fun, but I had a hard time focusing on Rio while trying not to be pelted (or trying not to aim for band members on stage while hitting them. I did enjoy watching Dom and Simon kick them back out into the audience, and I will keep that in mind, because the last thing I need is a beach ball to the face. 😀

    6. It feels really good to be going to shows again. I missed the band.

    -R

  2. Thanks for welcoming me to the Friday night meet-up! You ladies are so friendly! Thank you!

    Hope the Saturday show is fun. I’m interested to hear about any differences.

    Jill-from-Champaign

    1. Hi Jill! It was great to meet you! I will definitely be sharing about Saturday’s night show on today’s blog and, yes, there were some differences. 🙂 -A

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