It’s all up to you
A friend of mine (heh heh) sent me a text last night saying that he was finally seeing A Diamond in the Mind for the first time last night.
After picking myself up off the floor from shock (His first time?!? What??), I sat and thought about that. I own that DVD, and I’ve seen it quite a few times – including once at a movie theater with a bunch of Duranies! (which was truly some of the most fun I’ve had outside of going to a live gig!)
The All You Need is Now tour is special for me. Although I traveled to see the band when they played the last few shows on the Red Carpet Massacre tour, I don’t think I quite “bonded” with the band over that album. To be fair, that whole time seems very vague and blurry in memory. I’d had a baby in 2008, and it was December when I flew into Philadelphia with Amanda to go and see the band at Foxwoods, Atlantic City and finally Montclair, New Jersey. I can remember bits and pieces from the shows, but not much else other than Amanda and I trying to outline what the heck we wanted to write about. We hadn’t even started this blog yet!
By the time the All You Need is Now tour started, Daily Duranie was in full swing, which for me – likely has a lot to do with how I feel about that tour. Not only did I live through the experiences, but then reflecting on them, and writing about it all has somehow cemented the memories into my brain. Amanda and I went to the UK for four shows in November/December of 2011, and then we also flew to see the band in Biloxi, Atlanta, Durham, and Portsmouth during the following summer. The driving was rough, but I don’t regret a single moment. My memories of seeing the band, touring the UK, then going to the Southeastern part of the US for my first time, are vivid.
I love Diamond in the Mind for a lot of reasons. The first is that the guitar player that *I* recognize and know best is prominent. Yes, I unapologetically adore Dom. Tell me all about Warren’s brilliance or Andy’s hard edge – I have seen Dom perform with Duran Duran at least 40 times now. I saw Andy four times, and Warren just three. To me, Dom *is* their guitar player, all semantics aside. He belongs on their stage, and in their videos, films, etc.
While I will never say that Paper Gods wasn’t a great tour – it was polished, precise, and lived up to the same standard every single night – I will still argue that there is something special about All You Need is Now (Diamond in the Mind was filmed at the Manchester gig on this tour). As I said to my friend last night, I guess I must prefer the seemingly lack of choreography and polish. Paper Gods was a production, which was great. It had all the dancing, singing, theatrics and great performances you might expect. Aside from a few very minor differences that occurred over the course of the entire tour – nothing really changed from night to night. I knew right where John would walk, or when Erin would come downstage to dance. It was indeed a true production, very similar to what you’d see if you saw Chic (which, by no accident – was the band that co-headlined with Dura Duran for much of that time).
All You Need is Now, on the other hand was a live gig. Little things changed, the set list would get refreshed, and it just felt less rehearsed, more like a true live gig. Some people don’t like that. I just did. When things would happen that were new – I’d silently thank my lucky stars for being there that night to see it because it may not ever happen again. I felt like some of that was caught on video for Diamond in the Mind.
Then again, maybe it really is just me. I was in a good place for the All You Need is Now tour. I loved Duran Duran so much – the blog was new, the experiences were all new for me – I appreciated every second so much. Paper Gods was like that too, but differently. I worried more about stupid things. I think that for part of the tour, I didn’t appreciate the things I should have at the time. All of those things may have fogged my vision and memory a bit. I’m not sure.
Stay with the music
What I do know is that we’re a matter of months from the next album (after a very long winter, of course), and as always – we never know how it’s going to go. I find that during this particular part of my life – things sure change a lot from day to day. As I’ve been able to see the band more recently, I’ve made a promise to myself to enjoy my time, both in seeing the band, and with my friends. I take the time to put myself out there, to be genuine with people – and to say how I feel about them. It is sometimes difficult not to get caught up in the drama of the moment, but I think I’m starting to realize that our time is short. The little things really are very little, in retrospect.
I’m thankful to have DVD’s like Diamond in the Mind to watch every now and then. The memories are good, particularly during times when life is a little rougher than normal. While I wasn’t in the audience for the show that was filmed, I remember exactly how I felt the night I saw them in Brighton, surviving on pure adrenaline after spending the entire day/night prior on a planes from Los Angeles and then Chicago. I kept pinching myself throughout the show, not quite believing I was really there in the audience seeing Duran Duran in the UK. I still haven’t forgotten they played “Secret Oktober” that night, and how Amanda and I were nearly blown off the sidewalk by the crazy gale winds as we attempted to walk back to our hotel from the venue. I can remember laughing so hard we could barely flag down a cab – the poor guy probably thought we’d had a few too many, when in fact we were just overly exhausted. And lost.