Tag Archives: Chicago

Crowds They Gather

We have one week before we get to see Duran Duran live in concert at Ravinia in Chicago!!  In the middle of April and May, I didn’t know if I would make it to June, forget about July.  Here we are now.  Tour time is around the corner, approaching quickly!  Over the years, Rhonda and I have developed a number of touring traditions.  In the last five years or so, one of the biggest traditions is to organize meet-ups before shows.

In 2011, we held a party in London.  During the summer of 2012, we had meet-ups before each of the four shows we attended.  That was tough.  We felt like we were literally running from one place to another, from one event from another.  We were traveling daily to each destination and instead of being able to take our time, we couldn’t.  We had to be responsible.  Yes, we took the task on ourselves because we know how important meet-ups can be.  They are great for all of the fans in attendance who get to meet or see each other!  At each one I have hosted or attended, I witness the same things.  Fans share stories and pictures.  New pictures are taken.  Excitement increases.  This, of course, translates to more energy at the show, which has got to feed the band’s energy.  The example we always give is the Durham show in the summer of 2012.  Of all the shows we saw that summer, it was by far the best.  We can’t help but to think that the large turnout for the pre-show meet-up was part of the reason.

By the end of those summer shows, I was tired, though.  I truly do like and feel VERY comfortable organizing events (I’m a teacher, after all.  I organize lessons and classrooms everyday.  I’m also a political organizer, which means setting up and running campaign activities.  Organizing is in my blood.)  That said, these meet-ups are work.  Someone has to contact venues and communicate with them.  Someone has to put up the event pages on Facebook.  Someone has to answer questions from people attending.  Then, sometimes, there is more to it.  For example, this time around, we will need to create some sort of sign for the Chicago meet-ups.  We have raffles planned with Duran merch!!  There are details that need to be taken care of.  Plus, it means that we can’t get there whenever we want.  We have to arrive in time to set things up and we have to be “on” during the event.  My point is that during the summer of 2012, it was exhausting to always have to be responsible and working.  I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted.

This time, then, we decided to find a balance.  We only planned meet-ups in places that we won’t be traveling to on the day of the show.  Our travel will be more relaxing this way.  We won’t have to worry about arriving at some special time.  This means that half of our shows together will have meet-ups and half won’t.  Yes, we recognize that meet-ups are great fun and enhance the show.  We also appreciate the need for fans to meet each other to develop and reinforce community spirit.  We want to honor that.  Yet, we also owe it to ourselves to be able to relax some and just have fun.

So, what does all of this mean?  It means that we will be working as event coordinators or whatever you want to call us to ensure that the meet-ups in Chicago (both nights), Toronto and Vegas will be great for all those attending.  When we are not working, we will be fans just the rest of you.

One aspect of these meet-ups that we are particularly excited about is our brand new wristbands!  We will have a few of the old ones (the ones that John and Dom have!!) for sale as well as metallic silver and glow-in-the-dark purple ones!  The proceeds to these sales will be to go to the convention we are planning in Chicago for the weekend of August 11th (around Duran Duran Appreciation Day) in 2017.

There is still time for you to RSVP for these events!  Here are our event pages with all of the details:

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Hope to see you all on the road soon!

-A

As If We Have the Chance To Live It All Again

This is one of those days where I have nothing to say. So I’m going to ramble, and hopefully I’ll find something here in the impending mess to print.

A little about me at the moment: I am about eight days away from embarking on my “tour.” For the longest time, I saw the trip as a reward for writing 6-8 hours each day.  Amanda and I told ourselves for months that we were working really hard and planning to party in July. Then something happened at the beginning of June that made me rethink going altogether. The details don’t matter,  but it’s been a downward spiral since—and precious little has to do with the band itself.  I really didn’t even want to think about going. I didn’t want to be excited, I just wanted to get through it, which yeah – is WEIRD, even for me.

Even so, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister, friends and a favorite person or two. Those thoughts kept me going.  And then last week I started feeling better about the trip as a whole. There’s a lot going on here at home but I kept trying to remind myself that I have FUN when I am with my friends. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to look at the forest when you’re stumbling through the trees.

I leave next Tuesday to spend a few days with my sister, then I’ll see Duran Duran in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.  Oddly, I have had an uneasy feeling about this trip since the beginning of June.  Then this weekend happened.

On Saturday morning I got a text from my mom. She’s at the hospital with her partner/friend/boyfriend/etc (is it obvious that I’m confused about their relationship??).  Turns out, he has been suffering with “heart burn” for two weeks, except it wasn’t heart burn. It was symptoms of a heart attack. A widow maker heart attack, no less.

The details aren’t great. He was very lucky that my mom brought him to the hospital when he did, but he waited far, far too long. He’s on a ventilator with more tubes going in and out of him than I’ve ever seen. His heart, liver and kidneys took a big hit. They’re doing everything they can for him and giving him every opportunity to improve…whatever that means.  I keep telling myself that every hour makes a difference, and things can change and improve quickly.  I am writing this before I go to the hospital today, and they tried some things over night that could make a difference. I didn’t hear from my mom during the night, so that has to be a good thing, right?

This is not my mom’s first rodeo. We lost my dad just over eight years ago. We’ve been very thankful that this man has been there for my mom, and now we are trying to be there for him, but the situation is sticky.  He and my mom aren’t married, but he has designated her to make decisions while he is unable to do so himself.  In other words, it’s a nightmare scenario in a multitude of ways. I worry for her because none of us were ready to go through this type of grief again, particularly her.

On one hand, I want to run far and fast and get the heck out of here. Fight or flight?  I’m ready to fly, thanks. I just don’t feel like I have the fight in me right now. On the other hand, my urge to stay and control are strong. (Yes, I am a control freak. This is why I don’t usually get along with other control freaks, I guess.) The next few days are going to be stressful. While I’d really love to be getting excited by this trip, my mind is elsewhere, sick with worry for my mom.

I don’t really know what all of this means, and there’s no real “Duranie” moral to the story here, although I will say a few things in general:

  1. Pay attention to your body and get check-ups.  Burying your head in the sand does nothing. Heart burn that comes up out of nowhere isn’t a good thing – better to go and find out that it’s really heart burn than ignore it. For every second someone experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, a cell is dying. My mom’s partner went two weeks before getting help. Not good.
  2. Have the guts to write-up your Will (and/or trust…or even your final wishes). Your loved ones will appreciate it in the end. Trust me.  The very last thing anyone wants to do while they are grieving is try to figure out what your wishes might have been, or what legal rights they have to make those decisions, if any.
  3. Live your life to the fullest. Life is not forever. Watching my mom  my mom go through this type of horror twice has taught me well. You get one chance: take it. Make sure you tell the people you love how you really feel and mean it.

I’m off to meet my mom at the hospital.  Please feel free to think positive thoughts and send good juju my way.  My family could certainly use it about now, particularly my mom.

-R

 

 

And we can dance together: Pre-Show Parties!

I tweeted yesterday that whenever the @dailyduranie twitter is blowing up on my phone, I know the time is coming.  TOUR time.  Pre-Show parties are planned and happening!

I leave California, bound by plane for Chicago’s Midway airport in about two weeks.  So yes, tour time is coming! I can hardly believe it. It seems like six months has flown by since we bought pre-sale tickets, although I know it’s been less.  I’ve been busy, to say the least. Funny how writing will make the time fly right by.

Yesterday, Amanda and I spent a few hours solidifying details for the Daily Duranie pre-show parties we are hosting for this tour.  We can’t be everywhere, but we’re hosting what we can, in between moments of just being fans ourselves!

We’ve Got Wristbands!

We will have wristbands and raffle tickets for Duran-items for sale at all of our pre-show parties, so bring cash with you.  The proceeds will go towards our convention fund (save the date: we’re doing another Durandemonium August 10-11 2017!)

July 8 & 9 (Ravinia – Chicago)

For both nights of Ravinia, we are hosting pre-show gatherings on the lawn area by the pavilion where the band will be playing.  I’m including a map with the area to look for us (and our Daily Duranie sign), but you should know a few other things as well:

  1. Gates open at 4pm for Ravinia
  2. Our gathering begins at 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
  3. We will have a couple of blankets and towels but you might want to bring one of your own to sit down on.
  4. This is BYO-everything.  We’re just meeting and coordinating as a group to hang out and mingle before the show.
  5. Food is available at Ravinia, but it is also common to bring your own picnic – it’s whatever you want to do.
  6. We are meeting somewhere on the grassy knoll area that is directly behind the pavilion seats. If you walk in the main gates and go past the Martin Theater (should be on your right), we’re going to be closer to the pavilion, also on the right side.  See map for details.
  7. Look for the Daily Duranie poster!

7/13 (Molson Amphitheater – Toronto)

We’ve set up a group reservation at the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto, which is near the Amphitheater. For this party, we definitely need your serious RSVP on the Facebook event page for this gathering (link provided below)  Please do NOT RSVP if you’re not going to the show, do not live anywhere near the US and/or do not plan to be there that night. We love that everyone wants to be with us in spirit and we appreciate that – but please do not RSVP unless you are seriously attending.

The party will begin at 4:30 pm at the Hard Rock in Toronto, and it will be a blast!  Depending upon the number of people planning to join us, we’ll either do a large table or do more of a stand-up table and mingle set-up.  The Hard Rock has been awesome about working with us in the past and so we really appreciate their ongoing support for our parties!

7/29 (Mandalay Bay Event Center, Las Vegas)

For this event, we are still coordinating the timing with DDM so that our party will not interfere with the VIP Cocktail Reception taking place that evening.  What I can tell you though, is that we’re going to do our own Happy Hour/Cocktail gathering at Eye Candy in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  This is simply for drinks and chatting, and the venue was chosen for its central location and very open seating (the bar opens at 3pm, and my best guess is that we’ll meet-up around 4:30 if not a bit earlier).  Pro tip: there is no food available at this bar, so you should plan and eat accordingly!

Naturally, we’ll keep everyone updated as much as possible from here, but for the most accurate information and to let us know if you’re coming to any of the parties we’re hosting, please see the Facebook events page….and spread the invites to your friends!  The more the merrier!  Please let us know you’re attending.  We can’t wait to see as many of you as possible!

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

 

-R

Planning for a little Durandemonium

As we’ve bantered about, we’re planning another Durandemonium for August of 2017. If you want a date, think Duran Duran Appreciation Day because our plan is for Durandemonium to encompass that date. We’re also tentatively thinking that we’ll stick with Chicago as the city – so there’s some planning in advance for ya!

Chicago is centrally located in the US, there is a ton to do as far as nightlife and entertainment options, there is plenty in the way of public transportation, and it is also a place where both Amanda and I are very familiar and ideally – Amanda is able to take all of the equipment we would need for the convention without having to rely on costly shipping.  We are very excited to begin the planning process, which is why I’m writing today.

Durandemonium is for fans. (Fun fact: I’ve never been to ANY convention as an attendee!) We have done some fun things at previous conventions, but what we would really like to know is what YOU might like to do. Please feel free to brainstorm in our comments, understanding that whatever we plan for the convention  will be included in the registration ticket price. For example, sure – we could have a live band perform, and if the sky is the limit – we might even be able to pay to have special appearances, but that cost ultimately gets passed on through the price of registration. No matter, this is brainstorming time and no ideas are bad ideas.

In order to get the creative juices flowing, allow me to list some ideas that have been done at conventions in the past:

  • scavenger hunt
  • club nights
  • banquets
  • icebreaker games
  • private screenings
  • cosplay (dress as your favorite line of lyric!)
  • trivia games
  • pin/merchandise trading/vendor areas

…and so on.  Send in your ideas, and remember – we’re brainstorming. Sky is the limit right now. Dreams are STILL free! (yeah, yeah…we know you want the band there. We are still planning for about 100 people to attend the convention, tops. Who wants to pay $1,000 or likely, even more per ticket? Anyone???)

Looking forward to reading your ideas for fun, good times, and Durandemonium!

-R

Today in Duran History – Chicago 1987

On this date in 1987, Duran Duran played at Poplar Creek in Chicago, Illinois. Rhonda always talks about shows that were near to her that she missed. Now, it is my turn!! I was in Illinois, at the time, but was far away from the show. There is no way I could have convinced my parents to drive there. Besides, their policy was no concerts for me until I could go without them! As much as my mom supported my habit, she didn’t want to participate! This, of course, meant that I didn’t see them live until I was in high school!

So, did anyone see this show? If so, give me all the details so that I can feel like I actually did attend the show!!!