Tag Archives: Duran Duran concerts

Testing the Concert Rubric

As a teacher, I know that I can write the best lesson plan on paper.  I can include some great, engaging activities with a solid assessment to measure learning.  Rubrics can look good on paper but fall far short when they are actually used and applied against actual assignments.  Therefore, today’s blog focuses on actually using the Duran Duran concert rubric that was created yesterday.  If you need to know what I’m talking about, read yesterday’s blog post here.

The purpose of the rubric is to determine how great a Duran show was.  Theoretically, it should help pick out the subtle or sometimes, not-so-subtle differences between shows.  Theoretically.  Let’s use it to compare the two most recent shows in the Washington DC area over New Year’s.  I wrote reviews of those shows, which you can read about here and here.  In my opinion, the New Year’s Day was a better show than the New Year’s Eve show.  If I use the rubric, will it match my initial assessment?

New Year’s Eve Show:

Seat Location–I would give that a 4.  We were in the 6th row, center with a clear view of the stage.

Crowd–If you read those reviews, you know how unhappy the crowd made me that night.  There were far too many empty seats and a ton of people sitting in that front center section to give it anything above a 2.

Sound–Generally, the band performed decently but it wasn’t the best sound I ever heard as far as venue acoustics goes.  There were some missed lyrics and they were clearly off in the beginning during Paper Gods.  I would give it a 2.5.

Company–I was definitely with a totally awesome person and loved seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  That said, Rhonda was absent.  I would give that category a 4.

Location–I love Washington DC in terms of ease of getting around and having plenty to do outside of going to the concert.  Yet, I don’t really think of it as a big party city.  Again, I would give that a 4.

Venue–I wrote a lot about the various criticism I had with the MGM National Harbor in general and the theater within.  I won’t get into all of that again here.  I give it a 2.

Setlist–The setlist was basically the same as it has been.  We did not get Sunrise/New Moon on Monday, though.  This equals a 2.5

Interactions–There were some interactions between the band and the audience.  Definitely.  Let’s just say that if I ever hear Simon mentioned twerking again, it will be too soon.  Decent interactions on stage as well.  I would give it a 4.

Energy Level–As I mentioned in my initial review, the band’s energy level seemed down.  I’m not sure if that was due to the sad state of the crowd or what.  I would give it a 2.

Any Extras–Nothing exciting to report on that front.  That said, Nick was back!


New Year’s Day Show:

Obviously, there will be some scores that are the same since this show happened as the same venue as the previous show.

Seating Location–Our seats were slightly better for this show.  I would give it a 4.5.

Crowd–As I stated in the original review, the crowd was much better for this show.  I saw far less empty seats and everyone in my area was up and dancing.  I would give it a 4.

Sound–Acoustics from the venue were the same but band seemed right on for this show.  Probably worth a 3.5.

Company–Same as previous show.  Still a 4.

Location–Still a 4.

Venue–I would actually give it a 2.5.  The venue didn’t improve but at least I didn’t have to see the band leave the stage for the Carson Daly countdown like I did on New Year’s Eve.

Setlist–This slightly improved by having Sunrise/New Moon back in the set.  I give it a 3.

Interactions–Interactions between band and audience was still solid as was the interactions on stage.  I score it a 4.

Energy Level–The band had a lot more energy for this show!  John Taylor bounced around a lot, for example!  It was a definite 4.

No extras to report.


Based on the these shows, the rubric seems to work.  It clearly shows that one show was better than the other.  Have any of you tried the rubric?  Did it work for you?


Duran Duran Concert Rubric

Last weekend, I wrote a little blog, which you can read here, but devising a method to determine the quality of Duran Duran concerts.  As a teacher, I create and use rubrics or charts to determine the quality of students’ performances on a task all the time.  I would apply this same skill to Duran Duran concerts to figure out how awesome each one was.  I considered various elements of the concert experience, including sound, people I was with, venue, seating location, band’s energy level, etc.  Beyond that, I would also add points for experiences that go beyond the concert itself.  This list includes meeting band members, getting a drumstick and more.  It would also consider removing points for missing band members.

Today, I created such a rubric.  Typically, I hope to fit a rubric on one side of one piece of paper in order to staple it easily to an assignment.  For this rubric, I could not fit in on one page.  I squeezed it onto two pages.  While I consider this rubric a draft, it feels pretty solid to me.  That said, I welcome feedback.

Before I post the rubric, I want to preface it with what I’m about to say in order to minimize the criticism I expect to receive.  I suspect that many fans reading this blog post or looking at the rubric will say this, “Duran Duran concerts are ALL AWESOME!  They are all perfect and cannot be judged like this!”  While I recognize Duran Duran’s greatness as evidenced by maintaining this daily blog for over six years, I acknowledge that some shows are greater than others.  Everyone can have an off day or an off performance.  Goodness knows that I do.  Some days I’m the best teacher ever.  Others I kinda suck.  It happens.  We are human.  They are human.

Besides, this is just for FUN!  I repeat this is just for FUN!  It is not intended to be taken super seriously.  I’m not criticizing Duran Duran or their performances.  If I thought they sucked, I would stop going.  I feel just the opposite.  In fact, there is no place I would rather be and cannot wait for my upcoming shows in March.  Without further ado, I give you the Duran Duran Concert Rubric!


Obviously, there is a lot of writing on this rubric and the conversation to JPEG made the writing tiny.  Therefore, I recommend printing the rubric for use.

What do you think?  Did I miss something?  What needs to be explained better?  Clearer?


Determining the Best Concert!

A funny thing happens when two teachers go to concerts together.  They find themselves talking about the qualities that make a good concert like they would discuss a child’s homework at school.  This literally happened last weekend as my friend, Nat, and I sat at a restaurant eating a meal.  Both of us teach for a living.  While I wrangle those obnoxious, smart ass teenagers, she develops the minds of little ones in Kindergarten.  That said, education is education so we both can talk the talk, which led us to think about how best to evaluate concerts like we do at work.

In the education field, teachers create what are called rubrics, a chart used to evaluate a student’s performance on a certain activity. Here is one for example that I found online:

As you can tell from this picture, this is a rubric for a writing activity with 5 categories for the teacher to judge:  introduction, conclusions, information gathering, summary, and grammar.  Then, from there, each of those categories are judged from the best quality, which would equal a 4 to the worst which would equal a 1.

So, would it be possible to create a rubric to determine the quality of a show?  Nat and I would say, “Yes!  Definitely!”  For our concert rubric, there would be more than just 5 categories.  Here’s what we came up with off the top of our heads:

  • Seat location
  • Crowd
  • Sound/Acoustics of venue
  • Company/People You Went to the Show with
  • Location of the Show (City/State/Country)
  • Venue (including all factors from bars to security to layout)
  • Setlist (including length of setlist and song choices)
  • Interactions between band and audience
  • Interactions between band members
  • Energy level of band

Now, what did we leave out?  What did we forget?  I suspect that some of you might be wondering about those shows in which you might get a setlist or drumsticks or get to shake hands with a band member or get a meet and greet.  What about those shows?  I guess I would give extra points for those experiences.  Maybe those really special extras need to be ranking as well.  That could be fun.

Do we include other circumstances like traveling?  How easy it was to get there?  How fun the journey was?  Traffic?  Weather?  Cost???  What really matters when it comes to show quality?

I am sure that many of you out there are saying things like…Duran Duran shows are always perfect!  While I would agree that there is no better place in the world to be, I can acknowledge that other factors can play a role to make a show fabulous or just good.  I will also point out that this is just for fun.  Again, I repeat this would be just for FUN!  I think this would be a fun way to talk about shows that I have been to but also the ones that I’m going to.  It also acknowledges that everyone’s concert experience is slightly different even if they have been to the same show.

I plan on working to create such a thing, but I want to make sure that I have included all factors.  Then, I want to know if some of those factors matter more than others.  For example, should seat location be worth more points than band interactions with the audience?  Should the setlist be higher than the location of the venue?  Your feedback is requested on that front as well.  Once I go through all the feedback, I’ll come up with a draft, post it on a blog and adjust the draft as necessary.  Then, we can use it!


The Present Will Never Last

This morning, I am traveling to the Washington D.C. area with my friend to celebrate New Year’s.  Of course, this won’t be a common celebration but one filled with some live music by a certain band that we know and love.  Yes, this New Year’s celebration will include a couple Duran shows.

When these shows were announced, I didn’t hesitate to make plans to go.  I never have New Year’s plans and this holiday includes time away from work.  If that wasn’t enough, I also had airline miles.  It seemed like a no brainer.  Yet, as the days passed by and become weeks then months, I began to wonder if I made the right decision.  I could use the money for other things.  The mountain of grading would not get done on its own.  My feelings of despair hadn’t let up much since November.  Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling it much and put off real planning.  Yes, I had a plane ticket, a hotel room, but I hadn’t prepared the binder or figure out any real details.  I kept putting it off.

Then, on Christmas day, I heard about George Michael’s death.  Like so many others of my generation, I grew up listening to George Michael and Wham.  I sang his songs and watched his videos.  Hearing about his loss was like losing a part of my childhood.  Then, when you place his loss alongside the others who died during this year, the grief is almost overwhelming.  When I just think about the musicians lost this year, I am deeply saddened by those whom I will never have the opportunity to see live in concert or hear new music from again.  I was lucky in that I saw David Bowie live once.  I wish I could have said the same for Prince and George Michael.

Suddenly, I realized that I need to get it together.  I have the opportunity to go and see Duran Duran on New Year’s Eve.  I shouldn’t ignore any and all chances to see bands/artists I like.  I certainly should APPRECIATE every single chance I have to see Duran Duran.  If anything that 2016 has taught us, it is not to waste chances and moments to do what you love or to be where you are happiest.  After all, you never know when we won’t have the chance to do it again, for whatever the reason.

Now that I have rearranged my perspective, how can I not be excited and appreciative for this chance?  How can I not look forward to spending New Year’s not only with Duran Duran but also countless Duranies!  While I will miss my best friend being with me and I acknowledge that life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, I need to focus on what I do have.  I will have two Duran shows and I know that there is no place I would rather be.  Duranie friends will be all around me.  Life isn’t perfect but this trip will be pretty close.

So, as you are all reading this, I should be on my way.  Hopefully, my flight will be uneventful and then I will be able to enjoy a city that I have had the good fortune of spending some time over the last 6 years or so.  Then, I will be ready to party and put an end of a year that was filled with sorrow and disappointment.  With everlasting hope, I, along with thousands of Duran fans, will welcome 2017 doing what we love–singing, dancing, screaming and clapping for a band and music we love so much.


The Best Duran Duran Shows!

The other day Rhonda and I looked back at a very important show for us, which was the Chicago show on October 26, 2006.  Why was this show so important?  For one thing, it was the first show after the band announced Andy’s departure.  It was also the show in which we welcomed Dom to the band.  He impressed us so much that night that we not only accepted him, but embraced him.  This is one of those shows that we will always remember, not only because of Dom, but because of the show itself.  We didn’t have the best seats but that didn’t matter to us that night.  We gave it our all that night and more.  We sang, we danced, we cheered.  We couldn’t get enough.  We gave so much, in fact, that someone turned around at the end of the show and told us that we were the most enthusiastic fans she had seen for a long, long time!  Rhonda and I, of course, took this as a big compliment!  Anyway, this year, like every year since 2006, we took note of this anniversary.  Then, we took it a step farther.  We had a little discussion about our favorite and least favorite shows.

While I could go through our favorites and least favorites, I much prefer to analyze why certain shows were our favorites and why some weren’t.  Many of you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that Rhonda and I have similar ideas of favorite shows and least favorite shows.  For example, both of us put the Glasgow show of December 2011 on our favorites list and put the fan show of 2007 on the least favorite list.  So, what makes a show SO good that it might end up on the favorites list (By the way, in case you were wondering, picking out favorites is SUPER hard as there have been so many amazing shows over the years!!!).  Here are some elements I have found that help make a great show a favorite:

  • The band ‘s energy level and interactions.  It seems obvious that the band does a better job at some shows than others for various reasons.  Sometimes, it seems that the band isn’t JUST giving it their all but giving WAY MORE than their all.  They have a ton of energy, moving to and from each part of the stage.  During those shows, it is like they can’t stop moving, if they tried.  Beyond that energy, they also spend a lot of time interacting with each other and interacting with fans.  They are always so much better when they feed off each other and the audience.  I want to feel like there is a genuine connection between band members and one between the band and fans.  It creates greater emotion in me when I see any/all of them making eye contact, smiling, and more with others.
  • Performances must be based on what they are good at—playing music that they feel good about.  I remember seeing Flaming Lips in 2006 at the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans.  I cannot tell you one thing about the music but I can tell you that the lead singer crawled over the crowd in a giant hamster ball.  This kind of performance has no interest for me.  It feels like performance and entertainment rather than a live MUSIC show.  I want to see/hear Duran play live.  There is nothing purer than a live show.  The times when Duran has strayed to be more focused on dance moves, choreographed performances haven’t worked as well as when they just allow the music to speak for itself.  Yes, Duran uses visuals.  In general, those visuals enhance the song, the music.  If they become the ONLY focus, then, often, the show fails to live up to its potential.  Likewise, it seems very clear to me when is playing music that they really like and feel comfortable with!  For instance, it is without question that they are enjoying playing Pressure Off these days!
  • In thinking about my favorite shows, I noticed a personal pattern. They were all shows in which Rhonda and I were on the same page.  What does this mean?  Simple.  It means that we have to actually be at the show together and stand together.  It is not enough to be in the same venue.  I have seen some great shows without her and I’m sure she would say the same about me.  Yet, none of those great shows equal favorite.  Then, it also means that we are both in the same place with our fandom at the same time.  There have been shows that I have been more into than she has been and vice versa.  Those do not equal favorite to me either.  Why does this being on the same page matter?  I think being at a show with someone who shares your same level of fandom at the same time enhances the experience.  It is like the experience is multiplied by seeing it with a fan who is like you.  I suspect that the band also feels and has their enthusiasm multiplied as well!

What do you think?  What makes a show a favorite?  What really enhances the show to go beyond just great?  What gets in the way of having a show be one of the best ever?



Nobody Cares if There’s No Tomorrow

Sometimes, I think of Duran Duran as a teacher.  The band has taught me a lot.  I have been learning from them since I was a little kid and I absolutely know that they have been a part of forming who I am.  Some of those lessons are more overt and include vocabulary (example:  contrived!) or the importance of the visual.  Some of them are subtle.  One subtle lesson is taught through lyrics like the title of this blog.  It is taught through the phrase “all you need is now” or “the future is still tomorrow”.  It is this idea that it is better to embrace the “now”, the present, the current moment.  This idea of being happy with where you are rather than looking back all the time or worrying about the future is also taught in their interviews when they are asked about either the 1980s or about how long they will continue.  After so many years of hearing/reading this philosophy, I have found myself really trying to do that more, especially when it comes to fun times and being on tour.

During this last tour, I did the best I have ever done in following this philosophy.  Yet, I recognized then and really recognize now that this is very hard for me.  Why?  Maybe it is the historian in me.  I know how important it is to document events, moments.  There have been a lot of times in my life that I was so aware of the need to really capture the moment that I feel that it was all that I focused on.  I’ll give you an example.  During college, I took a LOT of pictures.  I kept a journal.  I had calendars that I diligently write in.  I wanted to document each and every moment because I knew that I wasn’t going to experience college ever again.  I worried that if I didn’t do all of that to remember that I would forget.  I didn’t want that.  The first tour I went on was similar.  I took a lot of pictures and kept a lot of items related to touring.

I recognized that this and became fearful that I was becoming TOO focused on keeping the memory alive that I didn’t actually pay attention to the moment itself, while it was happening.  I became concerned that I was missing something by doing that.  Thus, I thought the best course of action would be to do very little in terms of memory keeping.  I would just focus on today.  This hour.  That minutes.  This second in time.  Well, during this last tour, I did just that or at least to the best of my ability.  My camera broke early on in the trip, which helped my decision to focus on the present time.  I couldn’t worry about capturing it all in the same way as I could if I had my camera so I figured why bother.  I’ll go with this philosophy.  The result?  I took the least number of photos than I ever have.  At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing and, for the most part, I still think that, for the most part of me.  That said, now, that the tour was more than a month ago, I am finding myself missing some of that documentation and memory keeping.

At the end of each tour, I do a few things to remember it.  I usually put of the papers that used to be in the tour binder (plane, hotel, meet up info and more) in my scrapbook along side items like concert tickets and other memorabilia.  I put my pictures up on Facebook and get the best ones developed (see, I told you that I was old-fashioned!).  For the last few years, I have taken the best concert pictures to create a little calendar for Rhonda and myself.  This tour, however, will have little of this.  Yes, I kept the contents of the tour binder and concert tickets but….I have very few pictures.  We had the best seats of our lives and I have very few pictures.  So while I’m thankful that I was able to completely focus on the shows, I am wishing that I could do them over to take more pictures.  (If anyone wants to share their concert pictures from the Hollywood Bowl, Berkeley or Agua Caliente, I would be very grateful!!)

Perhaps, the best idea is to have moderation.  I can and should document my experiences but not at the expense of enjoying or living in the moment!  Likewise, while I love the current Duran Duran, I do appreciate all of what has come before this album cycle.  I don’t think the lesson really is to forget the past, just not to live in it.  Remembering doesn’t mean not living now.


Duran Duran Promotion: Large and Small Scale

I live for weekends.  It is my time to catch up on household chores, sleep, grading and, most importantly, Duran Duran, including any and all promotion!  This weekend is no different, except for the fact that I’ll also be getting ready to head to the west coast to see some band that I hear is pretty good playing some shows.  Before that, though, what do I need to know about this past week and what can I share about my past week that might also be fitting?

More Shows!

Is there anything better than tour season?!  I think not!  I love attending shows and I love to hear about others attending shows that I couldn’t go to.  Since last weekend, the band played in Denver, in Washington and in Reno.  Today, they are playing at the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas.  To say that they have been busy is an understatement!  So, what have I heard about these shows?  I have heard/read nothing but FABULOUS reviews!!!  The fan reports have said that Duran has been simply amazing!  I’m not hearing a lot of complaining about any factor in the show, including the setlist.  That isn’t to say that there aren’t complaints out there, just that I haven’t seen any.  Literally, it seems like every single Duranie I know thinks that the band is “on fire” and playing their hearts out!  This, of course, just increases my excitement to see them even more (like that is really even possible!!!)

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Did everyone get a chance to watch this?  I was lucky enough to record it since it aired while I was at work.  (Seriously, how did we deal with TV appearances before the ability to record TV?!  Yes, I remember setting up the VCR but it always seemed problematic and that wasn’t available in my house until the mid-1980s!)  I understand that some people weren’t able to see it as the news broke in with live coverage of the Pope’s visit.  I’m sorry that happened to people as I know how frustrating that kind of thing can be!  Here it is if you haven’t seen it!

What did you all think about that performance?  I thought it was a solid performance but it didn’t “wow” me quite as much as the performance on the Tonight Show.  I’m not sure why that is.  The only thing I can figure out is that I was a little weirded out by Simon and Janelle starting out by going through the crowd and being separated from the rest of the band.  I like it better when they all seem to feed off of each other and hard to do that when Simon is somewhere else.  That said, I’m always excited to see them perform on a show!

Spreading the Word:

One of the best parts of TV appearances is how easy it is for Duran to get the message about the new album out, into the general public. It also helps fans help the band with that, too.  I have barely had any time for social media the last few weeks but it seems to me that every time a TV appearance happens, I see at least 10-12 friends sharing it.  I know that I tell people about TV appearances, too.  In fact, I pointed out to my parents when Duran was going to be on the CBS Morning Show.  They made a point to not only watch it but also to give feedback to me.  It made me smile that both parents (who watched it separately) enjoyed the piece and thought that it thorough and respectful.  Just this past week, I found out that my sister also watched it!  The best part of that is that my niece was upset with her when she discovered that her mom didn’t save it for her to watch!  If nothing else, I’m spreading the Duranie love to my family!

Of course, I’m also spreading the love at work, too.  Here are a few stories as examples:

  • One of my colleagues was out to dinner with some friends when her friends start talking about karaoke.  The one friend says, “One of the best songs to perform is Duran Duran’s Rio!”  My colleague says, “That’s funny that you mention them as my co-worker is a HUGE Duran fan.  Did you know that their new album dropped this month?  It’s true!”  (Stories like this make me proud!)
  • My students have heard about Duran Duran a lot in these first few weeks of the school year.  In fact, one activity we do asks the students to look at “artifacts” and come to a conclusion, as a means on knowing how to be a social scientist.  I showed them a bunch of Duran stuff.  They could figure out my fan story!
  • Just yesterday, one student asked me if I knew who Amy Winehouse was.  I said that I did and explained that there was a Duran connection due to Mark Ronson working with both.  That student’s responded with how much I know about Duran and how good they must be.

The point here is simple.  The shows, the TV appearances, social media, word of mouth are all doing the exact same thing…spreading the word!  They are getting and keeping Duran Duran at the front of people’s mind rather than the back.  A worthy task, indeed!


AMEX Presents: Duran Duran at Terminal 5

By Michelle Duran (Daily Duranie Contributor)

On Monday September 14, I ventured to West 56th street in NYC to see Duran Duran at Terminal 5. While it was my first time there, Terminal 5 is a familiar venue to many East Coast Duranies since the band played there with Celebrity DJ Steve Aoki back in June, 2012 as part of Trident Gum’s See What Unfolds series, which featured interesting (read: weird) pairings of performers. After seeing plenty of Aoki videos on YouTube, I chose to skip his “Gallagher meets DJ” shtick while several of my friends went and ended up with green cake icing in places where no frosting belongs.

Regardless, the AMEX event promised to be a very different show, with DD’s core fan base at full strength. In fact, there were three thousand die-hard fans packed into Terminal 5’s GA floor and two levels of balconies, with a select few getting coveted seats along the VIP balconies on John’s side of the stage. The rest of us packed in like sardines in front of the stage. Thanks to those who heard snippets of the sound check that afternoon, we were eagerly anticipating new music and at least one deep cut from our favorite band.

Museum of Love, a New York City band featuring Pat Mahoney, formerly the drummer for LCD Soundsystem, on vocals went on stage at 8:15 pm. As openers go, they were good. I’d put them solidly in the middle of the pack for DD opening acts. The songs were relatively long – they played for about thirty-five minutes but only played about six songs. The music is sort of mellow jamming EDM, if that makes sense. You can listen to their self-titled debut on Spotify if you’d like to get a better idea. Throughout their performance, fans kept the party vibe going by tossing several happy face balloons through the air.

Once Museum of Love finished, the crowd eagerly waited for Duran Duran to take the stage as soon as possible. Finally, at 9:20 pm many who’d hope for a new opening song had our wish granted when we heard the beginning chant of Paper Gods as Simon and the other band members emerged from the stage’s machine made fog to play the seven plus minutes of deliciousness that is the title track of their new album. Even though it was only the first time live, it’s already evident that this song is a new favorite with fans and I hope they keep it as the opener for the West Coast shows.   The band themselves seemed just as happy to play it live as we were hearing it. Simon was in full front man persona, enjoying the attention as he danced around the stage in a black sequined jacket and white jeans.

The black and white theme was well represented by everyone on stage. Anna Ross looked stunning in a dress featuring black and white angled stripes. The only doses of color were the red stripe on the inseam of Dom’s trousers and the hot pink screen-print of John’s tee, courtesy of a Punk Masters.

Next up was AVTAK, which they arranged with a little more of a Bond theme introduction than when it was performed on the AYNIN tour. This isn’t the full orchestral Ronson mix of 2009 but it was definitely a bit meatier than what they did in 2012.

Although I’ve seen complaints on social media that Terminal 5 doesn’t have great acoustics, I thought the band sounded terrific as they played both old hits like Notorious and new songs like Pressure Off with enthusiasm.   They’ve now played Pressure Off on stage several times and it seems as though they feel as comfortable with it live as anything in their catalogue. In fact, they were in great form all night and you could tell that they were really enjoying being on stage.

After the perennial Amanda favorite (wink-wink), Come Undone, Simon made reference to how the next song was exactly about “this sort of situation” waving his hand between the audience and himself before launching into Last Night in the City.   This is a song that grows on you more and more every time you hear it and it’s the perfect showcase for Simon’s voice which sounds stronger than ever. The soaring vocals were nothing short of phenomenal live and you could tell Simon was pleased with how the entire audience responded. LNitC is also a very electronic song. John plays only the keyboards, there’s no traditional bass and Dom really doesn’t have much to do on guitar. Regardless, John threw himself into playing the keyboards with his usual intensity.

The band returned to their roots with The Reflex, Simon leading the crowd in a longer than usual version of the Ta-Na-Na-Na’s and then immediately followed with one of my favorites live, Planet Earth.   Next came White Lines and even though we knew the controversial water spit was coming, Simon somehow snuck up on us. I managed to dodge most of it but if I come down with a cold next week, I’m blaming “Lebonitis.”   After playing hits Ordinary World, Wild Boys, and Reach Up for the Sunrise, the band launched into another song from Paper Gods, Danceophobia.   Anna did a great job with the Lindsey Lohan spoken word part, working the stage. The song is another that strongly favors vocals and electronics at the expense of guitar and bass and there were times when John literally had nothing to do except dance to the music. I’ll admit this is my least favorite song from Paper Gods, so I may be biased but it didn’t seem to go over with the crowd as well as the other new songs.

There’s no doubt however, that the next song was definitely well received. A friend told me that Too Much Information was last played live in 2001, meaning that this would’ve been the first time Roger EVER played it live and for John, possibly the first since 1993’s OW tour. The absence of John’s bass on Danceophobia was ever more apparent when you could literally feel as well as hear it on TMI. IMO, TMI is one of those underappreciated third singles that never realized its potential on the U.S. charts. I thought it was a great song then and it still sounds fantastic today. From there, the band immediately launched into Girls on Film, again a change from the past few tours when GOF was always in the encore and always used for the band intros.   They’ve changed up the beginning of the song. This version of GOF had a bit more of an electronic sound but John’s bass was still prominent. The band had the audience sing along with the chorus and once again, skipped the intros.   GOF signaled the end of the regular set but after a very brief reprieve, the band was back with another fan favorite that had been absent from the last tour, Save A Prayer. Okay, anyone who knows me knows this is my favorite song of all time so of course, I was happy to have it back in the set. We all swayed and sang along as the feeling of being back where we all belonged – the band and its fans was almost palpable.

photo courtesy of Michelle Duran
photo courtesy of Michelle Duran

The night finished with a high energy version of Rio. I never want that song to end, since it’s always the last of the night and it seemed as though the band felt the same way with John and Dom both strumming those last notes as long as possible.   As the crowd cheered and cheered at the end, John spoke one last time “We’ll see you soon” before the band exited the stage. I for one can’t wait.

Yes, there is YouTube video, check GothicblueCJ’s YouTube account for great footage of the show.

Today in Duran History – Rio de Janeiro 2008

On this date in 2008, Duran Duran played at Vivo Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This show was part of the Red Carpet Massacre Tour and the set list was as follows:
The Valley
Planet Earth
Hungry like the WolfNite-Runner
I Don’t Want Your Love
Save a Prayer

A View To A Kill
Falling Down

The Chauffeur
Come Undone
Ordinary World

Is There Something I Should Know
White Lines
Wild Boys

Girls on Film

 What is interesting about this show is that it was the last show before the band had to cancel a few shows due to Nick’s inability to travel with an ear infection.


Today in Duran History – Barcelona 1988

On this date in 1988, Duran Duran played at Studio 54 in Barcelona, Spain.  This show was part of the Big Live Thing Tour.  In fact, it was the third show of the tour.  I don’t know about any of you, but when I think of the Big Thing Tour, I think of 1989.  I forget that there were shows in 1988 that were part of it.

Interestingly enough, I was able to find a setlist for this show!

God (London)
Big Thing
I Don’t Want Your Love
Hungry Like the Wolf
Do You Believe In Shame?
All She Wants Is
Planet Earth
This Is How a Road Gets Made
Winter Marches On
Girls on Film
Is There Something I Should Know?
Wild Boys
Save a Prayer
The Reflex
The Edge of America

Thoughts about the setlist?