Tag Archives: DD tribute band Rio

The smell of 2016 tour dates in the air…

My Duranie-senses are tingling. Yours??

As we grow ever closer to Thanksgiving break, and vacation time comes closer (for me)…I can feel something brewing. 2016 tour dates, maybe?!?

Granted, I’ve been wrong before, and let’s face it, the UK dates are right around the corner anyway….but I sense something delightfully wicked coming, and it’s not just my regular cooking-for-turkey-day anxiety (because that’s not even delightful!!). Even so, a Facebook page dedicated to Caribbean tourism posted that Duran Duran would be visiting the island of Puerto Rico in late spring for a concert on April 30th. The date has not yet been confirmed by DDHQ, and there really is no telling if this is pure rumor, speculation, hopes…dreams…or if someone should be getting their knuckles rapped for posting information too early. No matter, all it does is remind me that it will not be long before the world rejoices in harmony as 2016 tour dates are announced and pre-sales begin.

However, just in time to tide us over, Duran Duran announced yesterday that they are performing for Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth that is planned for November 13-14. Mr. Gore is broadcasting from the base of the Eiffel Tower, and Duran Duran will be performing from that Paris stage. There are a number of other performers signed on to act from locations throughout the globe. For more information, check out www.24HoursofReality.org, which is also the site that will be live-streaming the entire event.

In the meantime, I want to give another shout out to the boys of Rio – the Duran Duran Tribute band from Southern California. I was present for their most recent show at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood this past Saturday night. It had been quite some time since I’d last seen the band, and the first gig I’d seen with their new “Andy” (Daniel Coffeng). I don’t want to say that I was surprised by the tightness of the band, but they were great and continue to improve each time I see them. The new “Andy” (Rio apparently has carried on the tradition of that ever-revolving guitarist!!) did a fantastic job on guitar, and the band even broke out a few songs I’d yet to hear from them including My Own Way, White Lines, and my personal favorite – Late Bar – which made my entire night. I don’t mind mentioning that I’ve never been present to witness the REAL Duran Duran play that one live, so you can just imagine my excitement for that one!

I’ve been following Rio’s career now for a few years. Their demand as a working tribute band is growing quite rapidly. Instead of solely playing the occasional gig in So Cal as a hobby of sorts, they’re traveling for shows in Nevada, Arizona, and even Washington. I have said it before and will say it again – this band is very much worth the drive to go see, and I can promise you’ll find yourself up on the dance floor cheering and dancing away.  The band makes the show fun, yet they take their craft seriously.  Despite some incredibly difficult-to-recreate sounds and musical arrangements, Rio sounds very much like the Duran Duran we expect. Each time I see them they’ve improved and I see no end in sight for them.  There is much that sets them apart from other tribute acts out there, not least of which is the fact that the band are truly fans of Duran Duran. There is a lot of love and respect that flows through their performance. The band also loves their supporters, and they never hesitate to stop to chat or take a photo – no matter how exhausted they might be after their set. Take the opportunity to go see them!

Upcoming gigs for Rio:

Kool-A-Palooza (Salt River Fields), Scottsdale AZ  11/15

Totally 80s Bar and Grille, Fullerton CA 11/21

Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas NV 12/30

Fremont Street Experience Las Vegas NV 12/31

Point Casino, Kingston WA 1/30

 

That’s it from me for now – I’m back to waiting on pins and needles for 2016 tour dates to add to our calendar and dreaming of meet-ups to plan!

-R

What’s So Funny? – Fandom Humor

People frequently share pictures, videos, quotes, etc. on our Facebook.  We allow it and, generally, welcome it as what gets posted are things we like or things we are interested in.  Just recently, I noticed a bit of a pattern in some of the things that have been posted not only on our timeline but in other Duran Duran Facebook groups.  What is that pattern?  Simple!  Humorous pictures that are created by Duranies for other Duranies to capture some element of our fandom.  Let me give you a couple of examples to show you what I mean!

humor1
Created by Rio, the Duran Duran tribute band
Created by Denise Mari Vernier
Created by Denise Mari Vernier

It seems to me that there are a number of people, groups, etc. who really thrive creating humorous pictures relating to the band or to the fandom.  For example, the tribute band, Rio, is often posting pictures with funny captions!  Their latest, below, was created just this week and features the new group picture that is in wide circulation!

Created by Rio, the Duran Duran tribute band
Created by Rio, the Duran Duran tribute band

Clearly, in the case of this picture, they are making fun of the band some.  In particular, they are making fun of John, right, and how it might seem to some that he looks like he might be in need of the bathroom!  I would like to think that the band finds this sort of thing funny.  After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself…

To me, these creative and humorous photos also show how Duran Duran, in some way, shape or form is influencing, motivating, inspiring people to be creative.  In many cases, the pictures created are such that some knowledge of Duran must be known in order to be understood.  For example, this picture below could only be understood, really, if you knew that Nick Rhodes doesn’t drive and never got his license as most Duranies know.

Created by Rio, the Duran Duran tribute band
Created by Rio, the Duran Duran tribute band

Of course, many of the pictures created don’t have to do with the band, specifically, but has to do with our fandom and our fan community.  I know that I posted the one below on my own personal social media.

humor4

Why?  Simple.  I was excited about getting concert tickets and this seemed to show it better than I could ever say it.  A picture is worth a thousand words as the story goes.

Created by Denise Mari Vernier
Created by Denise Mari Vernier

This one was posted on our timeline and quickly spread through the fan community as I saw a number of friends reposting it and sharing it!  The reason I think is simple.  Just like the one above about going to see Duran, this one expresses that excitement over going on tour.  Let’s face it.  It focuses on the one of the main activities in our fan community–concerts.  For many of us, concerts and touring are the biggest things we have to look forward to!  I love new music and getting new albums.  Of course, I do.  Yet, there is something about seeing them live that can’t be beat.  In my opinion, their music is WAY better live and there are a number of songs that I simply can’t listen to on an album (Wild Boys is the most obvious example for me).  Concerts are also social.  I’m there with friends.  It is a serious break from real life and fun like no other.  Shows also allow the fans to be a part of it.  Can you imagine a Duran show without fans yelling “switch it off” during Planet Earth or clapping at the end of Rio?  We are a part of the show at a concert.  This picture tries to capture the level of excitement that many of us feel at the thought of upcoming Duran shows.  That feeling for me comes back each and every time, even when I think that I’m getting over it or that tours aren’t as exciting as they once were.

Of course, it could be argued that I don’t act like I’m 15 on tour, or become insane or blow all of my money as I don’t do any of those things.  I also admit that I always worry a little bit that some non-Duranie, some non-fan will see that and will have negative stereotypes about fans and about Duranies reinforced.  I hope the non-fans who see something like that have a sense of humor and assume it to be nothing more than good fun!

So, where do you see humor in our fandom?  Do you like pictures like these?  Do you prefer videos like the one below?

What are your favorite examples of humor in our fan community?

-A

Rio: The Duran Duran drought is over?

I’ve almost certainly lost my DD mojo at this point.

These are words I actually texted to a friend of mine on Saturday afternoon as we discussed going to see the greatest Duran Duran tribute band on this side of the Atlantic – Rio. They were playing at the Totally 80’s Bar in Fullerton California, which wasn’t far from my house.  I needed a night out, as did my husband. There has been a serious Duran Duran drought going on, and judging from responses I’ve seen over the past several months to whatever the band says, or even what happen to say on Twitter, it sounds like this is a full-fledged emergency.

Before I get into whom to blame for this tragedy (I think we all know exactly who is to blame here), let’s just talk about that evening. The truth of the matter, it’s been so long that I’ve been out, I feared I’d forgotten how to dress. I spend my luxurious, fun-filled days in jeans, a t-shirt and athletic trainers, running after a now five-month old puppy before he decides to use our house as his personal toilet among many other equally amazing “hobbies” I’ve acquired in the past four years. Dare I say I’ve become frumpy?!? I certainly feel that way every morning when I crawl out of bed, grabbing the first clothing items I can throw on, not even bothering with makeup or hair product. Instead of just being a Duranie-on-a (short) hiatus, I felt like I was becoming my mother, feeling every single second of my forty-four years on this planet. For a while, I even started to give in, waving my dishtowel as a white flag in defeat, sensing that it might be a while, perhaps even forever, before I went to another concert and screamed for the men onstage.

Yes, I had lost my DD mojo. Most definitely.  There is an intense Duran Duran drought going on here.

So that brings me to Saturday night. Immediately upon texting that I’d go to see Rio, I realized I had no idea of what to wear. Did I even still fit into my typical concert clothing? It had been months since I actually did a full make-up job or worried about my hair – could I still pull it off? Probably not. I pulled on my jeans, noting that I could still breathe (definitely an unexpected bonus), and then tried on a shirt. I shrugged it on, and then went to the mirror to see how bad it looked. I took a peek, and to my surprise – I started to recognize the reflection in the mirror. Yes, the girl was still in there, but what about the band…the real band? I hear we’ve got at least another six months of this Duran Duran drought ahead. Seriously, they expect us to hang on this long with virtually nothing?? No one needs remind me that they’ve done a few shows over the past year – but unless you were lucky to be able to attend one – which I was not, the rest of us are still living a California-sized Duran Duran drought.

We get to the club that night and sit down to grab a little pre-show dinner. If you haven’t been, the menu is filled with delights like the Breakfast Club burger (which has everything including an egg and hash browns on it) to Tater-Tots with toppings like poutine or nacho cheese sauce. They also have drinks that run the gamot of 80’s names. Yes, they even have a Duran Duran shot bomb. From memory it is black cherry vodka with some grenadine dropped into Red Bull.  I am certain this could kill me, so I go for the Richard Blade Rum Runner instead (still Duran themed, damn it!). I don’t even remember what is in this drink, but it was good. I want to say there was something raspberry in there with rum and maybe even some pineapple. Not sure. I just know I drank it and lived, even if my memory did not.

My friends arrive, we chat for a while at our table and then make our way to the front of the club to see the show. I’ve been to see Rio before – in fact I’ve done an interview with them here on the blog as well as reviewed a show, so being near the front wasn’t a requirement, but we made our way as close as possible – which ended up being directly to the side of some speakers. Yay for more early onset hearing loss! The show starts and the band is terrific as always. Honestly, as Tiger Tiger began, I could feel the Duran Duran drought ending for me in very much the same way I felt when California finally got some rain in December. Nourishment!! Relief!! I felt at home because let’s face it – Rio’s set list is vaguely familiar, with tunes like Planet Earth, Hungry Like the Wolf (oh you betcha!), Come Undone, Ordinary World…but they also played Is There Something I Should Know, New Moon on Monday (which sounded just a little off to me, but in fairness I was only getting part of the sound through the one set of speakers deafening me), and New Religion. A full-set of Duran Duran drought ending greatness. I can’t  complain about their show (and I wouldn’t anyway because as I’ve already said – this is the greatest DD Tribute band on this side of the pond, hands-down). For this Duranie, their set gave me a hint of DD mojo back.

However, just as I was starting to remember why it is I love the band, and yes, lately it has been difficult to remember why…I started remembering what I’d forgotten about concerts in general.

People are freaking NUTS.

We’d made our way up to nearly the front of the stage before the show started, not by pretending we knew someone or faking a leg injury, by just walking up to the front. After all, this wasn’t the band. I mean, it was Rio…but it wasn’t Duran Duran. Apparently though, management forgot to mention that small detail to many of the women (and a whole lot of the men!) in attendance. I witnessed behavior that night that I haven’t seen (well some of it I’ve never seen, but I’ll get to that in a bit) in a looonnnnngg time. From the woman who refused to give up on getting to the front no matter how many times the gentleman who stopped her from barging up there continued to put her off, to the presumable grandmother that elbowed me several times, leaving me with a nasty bruise on the backside of my arm to shove me out-of-the-way so that she could lock eyes with “Simon” Jake Jacobs, and the very, very drunk woman who used the stage as a way to prop her arms so that she could twerk for her man (I really wish I were joking about that one)…I was shocked. Pushing and shoving to get up front to see a tribute band? Climbing on to the stage to dance with the band members? Staking out front row spots to have a chance for Jake to grab your hand and sing to you?  Where in the hell was I???  I continued to utter the same words throughout the show: “You know this isn’t like, THE BAND…right?!?”  I can only imagine that the Duran Duran drought has caused this kind of madness.

Don’t get me wrong. Rio is fabulous. They are an outstanding band, and they have a great time doing what they do. They’re true musicians and I dare say rock stars in their own right. But they’re not Duran Duran. Unless of course you haven’t seen Duran Duran in what, three or four years. Then suddenly, this tribute band takes on a whole new meaning – they’re helping end the Duran Duran drought!! They’re the band that is standing incredibly well for the other band that can’t seem to be bothered at the moment. From what I saw that night, the crowd is more than happy to take what they’re eager to give. And then some.

The show had everything from a guy jumping up on stage to take a photo with the band – which was harmless enough, to a woman who helped herself to a free frontal feel on “Simon”. (Don’t even ask…although I wonder if the real Simon has been molested the way Jake was that night. I’m going to guess in the affirmative, even though Jake himself told me that in the twenty-something years he’s spent performing, it’s never happened before that night. Nice.) By all intents and purposes, this very-packed crowd genuinely believed it was the real deal on the stage that night, obviously to the credit of Rio. The tribute band really is that charismatic, and while I stood by mostly mortified on Saturday night, Rio tells me that I shouldn’t go around reminding people they’re not really Duran Duran. They love being the enablers for the fantasy, and the last thing they really need is someone like me screaming “Get off my lawn!” Fair enough.

However, facts are facts, and it has been just about three-and-a-half years since the band toured. It has been just over four years since All You Need is Now has been released. As of spring this year, this will be the very longest it’s EVER GONE between album releases – you want to talk about a Duran Duran drought?? Here we are, people! This is insane. Fans are restless. They need shows. They want new music. The tribute band Rio helps to pass the time, and I’m grateful that they play, but they aren’t Duran Duran in the same way that Simon, John, Nick, Roger AND Dom are Duran Duran (and also to their credit, Rio knows this). We’re not a bunch of teenagers anymore that can still be counted on to be there in five or ten years. Fans probably won’t still be there if the band continues to wait to tour or put out a single or do much of anything. At our age – time is a commodity we’re losing, like it or not. I very much respect John, Simon, Roger and Nick – but I very much disagree with the attitude they continue to expel at every opportunity that they don’t need to hurry or get themselves out there to continue the momentum that they have almost assuredly lost after all of this time. To that I must emphatically respond, “You don’t get it at all. You really and truly just do not get it, boys.”

I question what is really going on “behind the curtain” at times such as these. It is difficult to be a Duranie in this Duran Duran drought at the moment. On one hand, of course I want to be supportive. At the end of it all, I’m still a fan. Disgruntled? Perhaps. Bored? Certainly. But I still care. I want to say, “Take the time you need. We’ll wait!” On the other hand, I’m wondering if they really want to get out there at all. It’s been a long-ass time since All You Need is Now. You can’t even argue that it hasn’t. Why did they need so many big names on one album? Why haven’t they put out a single at this point if for no other reason than to put voices like mine with questions like the ones I’ve brought up here to rest? Why don’t they seem to care at all? Have they lost their minds???  Or, is their collective heart not really in the game anymore, and they don’t know how to SAY they’re done?  I think most fans, including myself, feel like this album might be the last for a least a very long while – and every single time I hear Nick say “Well, we’ll certainly play some shows”… my heart hears, “Well, we might play SOME shows…but probably not nearly as many as we did before” and it sinks. Each time John does a Katy Kafe and sounds like he’d much rather be plucking his nose-hairs, I feel it sink even farther. How does a fan stay optimistic during this Duran Duran drought?!?

Mostly, I’ve lost my DD mojo, and this Duran Duran drought feels never-ending. We all tell ourselves that we don’t mind waiting and that it’ll be worth it in the end because otherwise, we wouldn’t be fans. I’ve been doing that as much as anyone. It is the name of the fandom game – we’ll wait because the other choice is to walk away and not care. I also know that for as many people who will tell me they’ll wait forever for Simon and Co…there are still others who are nodding their heads as they read this, proud of my “bravery” in publicly saying what we’re all thinking. This blog isn’t managed or supported by the band. I am not required to adhere to party line talking points provided by a PR company. I write whatever I’m thinking or feeling on any given day and it’s 100% truthful, even if the concerns are unfounded when all said and done – and with that comes great freedom, if not also a little sadness.

The Duran Duran drought continues…

-R