For the last few years, I have created a Duran Duran related calendar for myself and Rhonda. In our calendar, I have listed album release dates as well when singles came out. I also have included dates that we have seen them in concert together. On this date, October 1st, there are multiple entries on our calendar. First, we saw Duran perform 4 songs at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children event in Vegas in 2005. Then, we saw the band perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. When I look back at those two events, I realize that there is much about my fandom that has changed and, yet, some things have remained consistent.
2005 featured the reunion album of Astronaut as well as the tour. For me, personally, fandom really felt like a utopia. Everyone seemed excited about the band and their future. Message boards were busy with activity and everyone was either planning or sharing concert plans. Any negatives between fans were easily pushed aside in my head. By October, I had seen the band a bunch of times in concert both in spring and in the summer. Yet, I didn’t hesitate when my friends suggested that we get together in Vegas. Interestingly enough, that trip represented only the second time I had traveled by plane for something fandom related. I have never flown in a plane to see Duran (or any band, for that matter) play before that.
That night in 2005, my friends and I attended a pre-show meet-up at a bar there at the MGM Grand where the concert was held. I was one of many fans there who had traveled to see the band play. The funny part is that Duran only performed 4 songs that night and we had seats way in the back. Despite that, I still felt like I was on top of the world that night. I screamed and sang those 4 songs with all the passion I could muster. After that, I went and drink and danced my ass off until the clubs closed and breakfast was served. I look back at that night as an eye-opening experience. While it was beyond fun, I also saw some of the darker elements of our fan community night. Some of those less-than-kind features I was a part of and others I just witnessed. In many ways, that night marked the end of the utopia.
Then, of course, a lot has happened since that night, leading up to that Hollywood Bowl show. Instead of attending a pre-show meet-up, I planned one. In both nights, I met a bunch of people and the love for Duran was strong. When I went to the Hollywood Bowl show, I knew that this could be one of the best nights ever like the Vegas one was, but I no longer denied the reality that fandom isn’t a utopia. It still gives me the greatest amount of fun that I could ever hope for and it has provided me the opportunity to meet my best friend and other amazing people. Most importantly, I have learned that my true happy place is being at a Duran Duran concert. However, it isn’t perfect. People are not always nice and nights do not always go as planned or cannot always be the most fun ever.
The Hollywood Bowl was a great show and I’m glad to have attended it. Yet, it didn’t equal the fun of that Vegas show. It couldn’t. For the Vegas show, we had the time to go out and party without any care in the world. For the Hollywood Bowl show, we had to start our drive up to Berkeley for the next show. By 2015, a priority for us was going to as many shows as we could. Maybe this is another sign of how my fandom has changed. In 2005, I was more than content to see just 4 songs, way in the back of the arena. By 2015, I wanted to get to as many shows as I could and I really wanted good seats. Does that mean that 2005 was better? In some ways, maybe, it was. That said, 2015 was pretty sweet, too, but in different ways. In 2005, it was all new and fun. In 2015, I was involved in the fandom in a different way and was ready to do as many shows as I could. I also had the opportunity to see amazing shows from really great seats. That makes me pretty lucky!
I cannot regret the decisions that I have made in regards to either time period. Both have led me to where I am today. I have learned a lot and have had amazing experiences and a tremendous amount of fun. What would be cool would be to go to another show on October 1st in 2025. Then, I might be able to see how my fandom has evolved in 10 years and in 20 years. I could get a real historical perspective.