Five years ago today, Duran Duran played in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of the final leg of the All You Need Is Now tour. This show was pretty monumental for Rhonda and myself as it was the first time we ever had front row. We had traveled to the city the night before so that we could hang out with Duranies and have a chance to line up early on the day of the show. We arrived around 7 and were, indeed, able to secure a spot in front. Anyone who read the blogs from then saw that our first front row did not go as planned. No, we kinda stood there, shell-shocked, unable to really respond. I remember attempting to process the show afterwards over drinks. I had a lot of reasons that night for why I was so lame during the show but I suspect that I left out the real reason.
The summer of 2012 was a tough one for me. I had spent months busting my ass to try and get my state’s governor to lose a special, recall election. I’m sure that some of you stopped reading at that line. After all, that is only politics and this blog about being a Duran fan. Humor me, though, and keep reading. Yes, it was about politics, but it was personal to me. I won’t go into all the reasons for this but I think that anyone who has ever failed at something that really meant something to them understands my distress that summer. On top of that, I already had experienced much stress related to this governor and feared the future. Yet, I had hope that Duran and our little tour around the Southeast would help with my mood. In fact, I was so determined in this that I pushed for having pre-show meet ups before each concert. I wanted to dive into some other task. Then, I could forget my fear and failure.
Did my plan work? I have already mentioned that the Biloxi show was a failure, in terms of how we responded at the show. We did better for the rest of our shows, but I never really felt it. My distraction didn’t work. I couldn’t shake it. I remember after our final show in Virginia about how ready I was to go visit my sister and to have the tour be done. That is not normal. Rhonda itched to add a show and I didn’t even consider it. Again, that is not normal.
Now, in 2017, I feel like I’m in a similar headspace due to the political climate. Again, I was involved in a campaign that lost. Like five years ago, I fear. I feel like I get to a spot where I can shake it and then it comes roaring back. I recognize that this makes me weird. I get that. I know that most people don’t feel politics that deeply. I do. Maybe it is that history teacher in me that recognizes the drama of current events. Maybe it is because I have been active in politics. Perhaps, I worry about my students and their futures. Whatever the cause, it is a thing with me.
In 2012, I tried to get over the lost by going on tour and failed in my quest. Looking back, I know that Durham was a great show on paper and that my partner-in-crime loved it but when I think of it I feel an emptiness that I couldn’t get beyond. This time, in 2017, I have also gone to shows. I’m sure that part of the reason was exactly as it was in 2012. I wanted to get over what was bothering me. I wanted to forget about it. I needed to experience some joy. Interestingly enough, the shows I have attended have all been fabulous this year. I loved each and every one of them. What was the difference? I’m not sure. I guess that is part of the reason that I’m blogging about it today, to try and figure it out.
Were the shows better? Maybe. Was I responding differently? I’m sure. If I had to determine the difference, I think this time I dove into the shows in a way that I couldn’t let my mind wander. I also feel like there is more interaction between the band and the crowd. Maybe that has helped me keep in the game more. Fandom has been a sanctuary this time for whatever reason. Perhaps, I just need my fandom differently now. No matter the reason, I’m thankful that the shows in 2017 that I attended gave me as much joy as they have. Certainly, Duran Duran has been the sun through a very cloudy world.