If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, especially in recent months, you probably have sensed that the negatives of fandom, the discord within fandom, have dominated, at least in our lives. That discord shadowed almost all of the positives, making it very difficult to continue with the blog, with our book, with even being a fan. Yet, despite this, when Rhonda contacted me with the phrase that sets my heart racing (“THIS IS AN OFFICIAL DURANIE ALERT!!”) about the David Lynch show, I didn’t hesitate. I told her to buy tickets and that I would come out for my Spring Break. In the back of my mind, though, I knew that this trip would either be a bookend to my fandom journey or get it going again. Spoiler alert—Since you are reading this, you can probably guess that this wasn’t the end for this Duranie! Why? Simple. The trip showed me the absolute BEST of fandom.
We all know that fandom starts with an interest in a band, a TV show, a movie, an actor, a comic book, a sports team, or whatever. I became a Duranie because of Duran Duran’s music. My fan spirit was reinforced and solidified with seeing them live. Yet, it has been years since I had seen them. Was my memory about their live show off? Did I imagine them to be amazing live? I could live without seeing them live, right? After all, it seemed like I would have to live without them, no matter what. On Wednesday night, though, I along with many, many others was reminded of how good Duran is on stage. Now, we know that it wasn’t the best performance of Duran’s career. It couldn’t be–there were only 3 songs (SO HAPPY to get more than one song!) It wasn’t their show–they were guests. Still, it was enough to make me remember. Ah, yes, they are as good as I remembered. And, yes, I wasn’t wrong to become a fan, a Duranie.
What did I really learn? It wasn’t that my memory was off. It was more that Duran Droughts are a killer and one that I hope is just about done. In fact, I hope that the rain showers we have been experiencing lately with their performance at the Lynch show, the leaked snippets of Pressure Off, the news of their signing with Warner Brothers Records and more leads to a steady rain, at the very least, or a downpour leading to a flood of Duran!
Would those three songs have made this one of the best fandom trips ever? Of course not! There was a lot more to it! I met a lot of great people at this show and got to see others I haven’t seen in awhile! On top of the fact that these fans were fun and were ready to have fun; they were the kinds of fans I want to be around.
We have frequently talked about the game playing that too often happens within fandom. You know that game. It is the one that people play because they think it will mean more time or more interaction or more something with a band member or three. It often means pushing other fans out of the pave to the band member(s), metaphorically speaking. On the night of the first, I didn’t witness any game playing. Yes, some band members were around and were fairly accessible to fans. In the past, when this happens, I have seen good, kind people turn into the exact opposite. This time, though, people helped each other out whether it be by stepping aside so that one person could approach the favorite band member or by taking pictures for others. Then, even more importantly, fans were excited for other fans! No one was upset that she didn’t get a picture while others did. In fact, everyone’s support, encouragement and excitement for others just increased the good moods and the good time!
On top of seeing Duran live and sharing a fun experience with other fans, I was also reminded of how incredibly fun touring is! (Yes, I know that we didn’t “tour” because we only did one show with just three songs. It is the term we use to capture the entire experience, no matter how many shows we go to!) Rhonda and I stayed at a great hotel (Luxe City Center) with modern, spacious rooms that came with a couple of free cocktails and that great deal on the sangria pitcher that Rhonda mentioned yesterday).
We stayed there for two nights, which allowed us both to have a break from real life and reality. Beyond that, we were able to consume a couple vodka tonics (okay…so…we might have consumed a few more than that!!), stay up late, eat out, walk around a city, laugh and laugh and more! It gave Rhonda and I plenty of time to talk, to really catch up and renew our friendship.
While I wondered if this trip would be worth it, both financially and emotionally, I now know that it absolutely was. It was renewed my fandom spirit and reminded me how fandom truly can have rhyme to it and how it can be the best thing to be a part of! I met some great people, got to hang out with my best friend, and saw a few songs performed by that little band we talk about, sometimes. Oh yeah…I suppose that picture with John Taylor didn’t hurt either!
So, when can we do it again?!?!!!!