Tag Archives: Duran Duran 2019 shows

What a Difference a Week Could Make

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I spent a good part of it with my parents and my niece. We went out to eat and played some games. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I was distracted and frustrated for much of it. Earlier that morning, I received a little email from DuranDuranMusic informing me that Duran Duran has added five shows in September on the West Coast. I read the email and chose not to react…much. After all the timing of these shows is the worst ever. All I did was simply forward it on to Rhonda. I offered her little commentary but part of me hoped that she and our friends would reject these dates. I didn’t want to have to make a decision about whether or not they were feasible. It felt like too much after another insane and tough weeks at work. So, after I forwarded the email, I put the idea aside and went on with my plans.

About 45 minutes into our drive, my phone started to go a little crazy, indicating lots of notifications. At first, I thought it was my niece alerting us to some change in plans but then I realized that it was time for the West Coast to start waking up. Of course, my friends saw the news and were reacting. Not knowing what the initial thoughts were as I couldn’t check my phone as the driver, caused me to stew. What if they want to go? What if they can? Could I make it work at all? What are the rules at work about September time off? Then, I just started getting frustrated. Why couldn’t the band come to the Midwest? If they were playing near me, so much more would be possible and easier. Why do I always have to fly? Why is it always the West Coast? What is that about? Yes, yes, I know it about the money. They must get paid a good amount to play there, I thought to myself. I even recognized that if I am frustrated, imagine what the rest of the country and world feels. They haven’t gotten shows in years! Then, I started to get mad at myself for getting mad. Needless to say, those fifteen minutes of driving were torture and the more time I had the more irritated I became. Sometimes, I am so stupid. Yet, I could not help how I felt.

Finally, the car stopped and I was able to check my messages. Shit. They all wanted to go and could. Of course, they did and could. They have normal jobs–not like mine with all of the dumb rules and regulations. Notice how my frustration moved from the band to the job. Part of me was even mad at my friends, which is the dumbest thing ever. Then, as soon as I thought that, I realized that I didn’t even know why I was mad at them. Of course, they could and should go to as many shows as possible. Why would I stop them from having a good time? No, it has way more to do with how *I* wanted to go but didn’t think I could. I was angry at the situation more than anything else. I wasn’t really mad at my friends, at the band, or even really at work.

As I sat down at restaurant and began to message my friends back, I started to calm down. Maybe I could make something work? I began checking my employee handbook. I started searching for flights in general. I figured that at least I wouldn’t just dismiss the shows outright and that would make me feel better. By the time, my parents and I were driving back, the messages had slowed down as everyone tried to figure out what they could really do after the initial excitement. I had settled into a maybe I could go state of being. Then, on the way home, I started to talk to my parents about the possibilities. I weighed the pros and cons and sought their opinions. As normal, my parents tried not to take sides, preferring me to come to my own conclusions, which sometimes drives me crazy. After all, I can sit with indecisiveness for a long time. Usually, when that happens, it is because I feel guilty. I feel guilty for missing work so early in the year. I finally could admit that this was the underlying issue. Having recognized that, I got a little more frustrated, at both the system that creates and reinforces that, and at myself for letting myself feel that way.

As Sunday night turned to Monday, I concluded that I would ask a couple of colleagues and friends what they think I should do. They did not seem shocked or appalled that I asked the question nor did they seem to think I would be terrible for going. By the time Rhonda messaged me in the middle of the day, I knew that I could and would make Vegas work. Of course, I also wanted reassurance that people actually wanted me to go. Why did I worry about that? First, I wasn’t super awesome the day before, which I was not proud of. Second and more importantly, the last time wasn’t ideal due solely to me. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like the Vegas trip in February wasn’t fun. I had a good time and the shows were great! I cannot complain there. But Rhonda tried to talk to me and I wasn’t able to articulate well what I was thinking and feeling. I’m sure that it ended up making things worse instead of better. I definitely seemed unfocused and I was to a lot of extent. It has nothing to do with the band or fandom. My head was still in campaign land. Up until that point, I had been able to turn off work when I tour but I couldn’t then. Being in charge created a different reaction in me. More significantly than all that, I was literally exhausted. Now, I know that is a word that gets thrown around often by many people but…the way I’m using it goes beyond I need some sleep. No, my exhaustion ran deep. It is the reason I was sick for over a month. Even today, I feel it as I need significant amount of time to really rest and recover. After all, working two intense full time jobs for months is bound to take its toll. That mini-tour just happened to hit at the worst point of my illness and my exhaustion.

So the more I thought about making Vegas work, the more it made sense to me. Is it the best thing to do for work? No. Do I already give a lot? Yes. More than many. More than most. I cannot feel bad about taking a day. One day. I deserve a chance for a do over, right? I think so. Then, of course, Rhonda and I managed to get tickets on Wednesday through the typical, “I hate Ticketmaster” process. I took it as another sign that it is meant to be. Finally, reading about our friend fighting in the hospital, reminded me that life is short. I’m not going to regret missing a day of work, but I might miss a chance to be in my happy place with my friends.

-A

March 2019 Katy Kafe with Simon

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! Just before going to bed last night, I went through the Daily Duranie inbox. It isn’t often that we get extremely pointed reminders from anonymous people, but last night, we did. To be fair, I was happy to have the reminder! I FORGOT THE KAFE! Oops!

Yesterday was crazy, involving now 4-week old chickens figuring out how to fly up and over their 3.5-foot high fencing. Essentially, they were then having free reign of the room where they are currently located. They’re not old enough to be outside of their brooder (think baby crib for chickens!) just yet. I’ll bet none of you can imagine my reaction when opening the door to find a REAL Late Bar party going on amongst the chickies.

My life. I have to laugh. Why would I expect anything less than “baby” chicks escaping??

Anyway, I’m back on my game, the chicks are safely in their appropriate brooder, and I’ve listened to the Kafe! Below are the just the highlights! If you want to listen to the entire Kafe (and you should!) we at Daily Duranie highly recommend getting your own DuranDuranMusic.com membership!

Simon is sick with a cold right now – mentioning that he is bringing a Virus to the Kafe. As am I (Bringing Virus, that is.)

At some point, he starts singing some crazy little tune I don’t think I’ve heard before. That’s only after going after his cat – who is trying to get into a room that is off limits.

Sounds like my house on any given day! First it was dogs and cats, now it’s poultry. I don’t know people…maybe I should start singing crazy obscurities too. Moving on.

Studio time with Mark

Thrilled that Katy asked about the band being in the studio with Mark back at the end of February! After the Vegas shows, and just after Mark won an Oscar, they met in a Los Angeles studio. They did some writing with not only Mark Ronson, but also Lykke Li and Graham Coxon.

It was the first meeting of Graham and Mark, as the band introduced them that day. According to Simon, they did a lot of work – and now it is about seeing how much of it they will actually use. It did not sound as though Mark is acting as the only producer, or even as a producer at all, but rather more of a collaborative writer. although Simon did not go into a ton of detail. As Simon explained, while it sounded great, it is very difficult to discuss the songs because so much changes over the process of writing, recording, etc.

It would be a good reminder here that thousands of hours can go into recording for an album, and only a small percentage may get used. Having your heart set on Mark, or anyone for that matter, being the producer or working with the band on what ends up as the finished product is setting yourself up for certain disappointment. Keeping an open mind is prudent!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

So, anyone hear that Simon and John have the distinct honor of inducting Roxy Music into the Hall of Fame? The ceremony, which is to take place March 29th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, should be interesting this year. Roxy Music, Janet Jackson, The Cure, and even Def Leppard (not to play favorites but those are the few I remember off the top of my head) are being inducted this year. I’m looking forward to watching the ceremony at some point.

Simon says he is flattered and very honored to be inducting Roxy Music, as they are crucial to Duran Duran. He feels as though it is a huge responsibility to make sure they are given the credit that is due. He and John will deliver a speech (usually these are incredibly impassioned, and honestly – they are what make the ceremony special, in my opinion). Simon says that John is mostly working on it because he is a massive fan. He has never been to an induction ceremony before, so I’m curious to hear what he thinks of it all after he’s gone.

February Mini Tour

Loved hearing Simon talk about the mini-tour. He commented that the show in Miami was just “okay”. They hadn’t played a 90-minute show in about 18 months (since Japan). I know we had discussions about the length of their set several times during the mini-tour. There were critics who mentioned it as well – to which I responded in a blog right here. Listen, I’m a fan – I would love a four hour long set complete with an intermission! However, this band is made up of humans, not machines. I don’t know how people like Elton John or Paul McCartney do a 3 hour show every night. Maybe they rehearsed for months beforehand, conditioning themselves?

I just know that when Simon feels like he’s got to comment on a Kafe that it has been forever since they played a 90-minute show that maybe, just MAYBE, we need to cut them a little slack. He said that Miami wasn’t that great – I believe he used the word, “okay”, but that they got tighter in Cayman and by the time they hit NOLA they were feeling good and the show felt smooth.

I can understand that, too. Duran Duran doesn’t rehearse a ton. Now, we can certainly have a discussion about whether or not that should be happening more regularly; however, the bottom line is that this isn’t a band that rehearses for months or weeks on end before a tour begins. As they perform shows, they play tighter, and smoother. That’s the way this band rolls!

The set

As we know, they added in a few extras to the set this time around. Seventh Stranger, New Religion, Tempted, and even Friends of Mine. For long-time fans such as myself – this was a dream come true. Simon commented that they like to change things up. “We have quite a huge catalog to choose from, and it would be a real waste to stick to the same 18-20 songs.”

Yes, yes it would.

What I found particularly interesting here though was that Simon said they tried to make Seventh Stranger sound more modern. This was after saying that if they’d written that song today, they would have done it very differently. I don’t know if he felt the song was incredibly dated as is written – but let’s be fair to ourselves a bit here. It was released in 1983, and one can assume it was written at least several months (if not a year or more) prior. Simon followed up by saying they performed it by using the musical technology available today as opposed to the way it was in 1980-something.

A word or two for Simon

Nick tried to get Simon to lip-sync to the video on the screen, and I got the feeling that Simon wasn’t sure if that worked out right. Let me clear that air for him by speaking to Simon directly here. IT WAS FANTASTIC. I can imagine performing it that way, and trying to stay conscious of what was happening on screen might have felt weird, but the full effect of seeing you at 20-something on the larger screen and then right in front of me singing in person blew me away. I’m not a very emotional person (I cry in private thankyouverymuch), but that performance took everything out of me. It was an incredible five minutes that I will never forget. I am not the only one, either. The audience was filled with people sobbing just like me.

That doesn’t happen without a lot of magic, my friend. And that’s what that song and performance(s) were like. Magical. Don’t downplay it, and take my word for it. I can be incredibly hard on this band, but those performances contained some of the moments my heart was craving most. I feel lucky to have been there.

And if that weren’t enough….they announced they’d be playing at Tinderbox in Denmark this year, and Katy says “there may be more this summer”. Stay tuned….

Record Store Day 2019

It is exciting to hear that As the Lights Go Down will be available on pink and blue vinyl as Duran Duran’s RSD offering this year. Humorously though, Simon says he doesn’t remember even recording it. Not a single thing.

I’m sure there’s a joke in here about drugs in the 80s and 90s, or age….but I’m gonna just let it slide for now. (after all, I can remember the words to every Duran Duran song, but can’t remember where I put the TV remote. It was in the cupboard this morning. So….)

He does say though that when he gets his copy, he’ll “give it a go”.

Well, alright then. Just maybe then I will, too.

Simon will be back during the summer, and I can hardly wait to hear what obscurity he’ll sing.

As for me, I’m off to check on some very loud squawking I hear. I can only imagine what I’ll find this time.

-R

Are You Ready For This?

I leave tomorrow. After what has felt like years to me, tomorrow is the day. To say I’m excited doesn’t really cover it. This isn’t just about seeing Duran Duran, but it’s also about catching up with everyone else, too. Weirdly, for me it is almost like seeing everyone will prove to me that yep – I made it through. I’m still here, I’m living, and more importantly, I’m happy. Not expecting that most people will get what I’m saying, and that’s OK. You know that song, “The Valley”? Yep. That x 1000.

Welcome to the Beautiful Fillmore

Before I can think about tomorrow too much, I need to blog for today. The band played their first of two shows at The Fillmore in New Orleans last night, going back to the setlist they did in Miami. I can only imagine the thunder coming from the crowd as they took the stage to “New Religion”, continuing on with hits representing as many of their 14 albums as they could include in a 15-song set.

Therein lies the problem, though…and that problem is two-fold. Let’s discuss show length first. According to Keith Spera, a reviewer for The Advocate, the band only played for 80 minutes. Simon remarked twice that their set was going by quickly. Once towards the end of their regular set, and another time during the encore. “We’ll try stretching it out.”

Now, I wasn’t there, and I don’t know how accurate the reviewer was about the show length. I do know, however, that the band didn’t take the stage until 9:30 and just about every venue wants bands off the stage before 11pm. That’s the norm. In the recent past during the Paper Gods tour, their shows were running a bit longer, somewhere around the 90-95 minute mark (give or take).

This is going quickly

Some feel that’s a pretty short set for a band whose tickets are selling for a couple hundred dollars. Others believe that Duran Duran is doing no different than any other band these days – that the longer shows that bands like The Cure, or artists such as Elton John or even Paul McCartney tend to do are unusual.

Here’s where the slope gets slippery for me. At first thought, 15 songs seems a bit…”scant”…to use the same word from the review this morning. Have they really been doing fewer songs lately?

So let’s just address that first elephant in the room. In 2017, Duran Duran played 17 songs at the Fox theater in Oakland (according to setlist.fm). Earlier that same year, they played only 16 songs at Agua Caliente. In 2016, also during the Paper Gods tour, they played 18 songs at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, but then earlier that year they played 19 songs at The Belasco. At the SSE Hydro in Glasgow 2015, they played a whopping 21 songs. In 2012 at the Pacific Amphitheater during the AYNIN tour, they played 20 songs. I can go back farther, but the truth is, there is a significant difference in the amount of songs they play depending upon the venue and the type of show.

Somebody slow it down

Just by looking at the shows I mentioned, it would appear that they might have cut a song, maybe two from their tour set lists. Shows that they do as a one-off, or even as they’re doing now, where they’re playing six shows here in the states, are quite different. Those run the gamut in length. For example, I looked up Madison Square Garden Theater back in 2015, and they played eleven songs. On the other hand, they played 21 songs for the fan community concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City back in 2007. I have to admit, my memory of that show doesn’t feel like it was 21 songs.

So is a 15-song set list really too short? Well, if Simon is mentioning how quickly the set seems to be going, then yes, I suppose it might be. I would defer to him, because it’s his voice taking the beating…but even without that, this isn’t a band that just stays static on stage. They are moving and dancing. They work it.

14 studio albums

On the flip side of this issue is the set list itself. As a friendly aptly pointed out this morning on Twitter, this band has a catalog of 14 studio albums at this point. We fans make a big show of begging for less of the well-known hits in favor of throwing us a proverbial “bone” or two of the songs that only a minuscule percentage of any crowd might know. When a reviewer is complaining about not only the length of the set, but also that they didn’t even play all of their hits, what is the band to do? The same reviewer openly suggested that they stop playing songs like “Pressure Off”, “Tempted” or “Friends of Mine” in favor of “Union of the Snake”, “The Reflex”, “New Moon on Monday”, “Is There Something I Should Know”, or “Planet Earth”, suggesting that fans wouldn’t have known the difference.

Yes, this is a fantastic problem to have…but a slight entanglement nonetheless. Should the band cater to fair-weather, concert going fans that make up 99% of their concert audience, or do they play songs that the diehards might appreciate. Yes, I go to multiple shows, as do many of you. That’s wonderful, but we don’t fill arenas alone. It takes thousands of fans who might ONLY know “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “A View to a Kill” and all of the other songs mentioned in The Advocate this morning. They go to ONE show, and they want to hear the songs they know.

High maintenance expectations

I am aware there is likely someone reading who wants desperately to remind me that the band plays the US often, and that there are any number of ignored countries in the world that would cheer no matter what the band plays, or for however long – point taken. My post this morning isn’t a complaint. I’m thankful that I’m seeing them again, and whether they play 15 songs for 80 minutes or 20 songs for closer to two hours, I’m going to love it all the same.

The bottom line is that there’s no pleasing everyone. It’s a rough road to nowhere. Sure, the band could play 20 songs, throw in a few extras for the diehards, and I am betting somebody would still be pissed. Maybe they’d be angry that the starting time was 9 instead of 9:30 and DDHQ didn’t send out a show agenda. Perhaps someone would be mad that that the encore was too short, or that dang it, they still didn’t play “Late Bar”. There is simply no meeting the expectations of everyone. In my “vast” experience with this particular fan community – we are the toughest of all to please. We are high maintenance with expectations to match. We’re a bit too quick on the admonishments, and quite a bit short on the thank you’s. Isn’t the band and DDHQ lucky??

If you want to read the article in The Advocate for yourself, check it out!

-R