Tag Archives: Duran Duran Paper Gods Tour 2016

Were you at Sunfest in Palm Beach – 2016?

It is getting to the point where I am beginning to recall dates off of the Paper Gods tour on our “day in Duran history” calendar.  That seems hard to believe. Just last year on this very day, Duran Duran played in Palm Beach at Sunfest. It was a date on the Paper Gods tour, and the album still had that new car feeling. We’d had the music for a while, but it still felt new.

If I had to pinpoint any one thing different about the shows I saw recently in Rancho Mirage and the shows I’ve seen previously for Paper Gods, I would say that now, the album feels less new. That’s not a criticism, either. For me, it just feels like songs such as “Pressure Off” have kind of found their place in the set and the album has a rightful place in their catalog. Rather than feeling like the NEW song, it’s more like hearing one of my favorites, or another crowd pleaser.

That song in particular, feels right. Duran Duran seems to appreciate their set creating the backdrop to a party, and songs like “Pressure Off” and “Rio” fit so well together to make that scene happen. I love the festivity, and while they’ve been doing the confetti-bit with “Pressure off” for a while now, during this last run of shows I think it just feels like a natural part of their set. I hate to say that I hope they never take it out of the set because, as we all know, there are FAR too many other songs we never hear because they’ve got too many of these “can’t leave it out” tunes in their catalog. So, I’ll just say I’ve enjoyed the festivities!

As this year moves on, it’s hard to believe that it won’t be too much longer before the Paper Gods album cycle draws to a close. This is the second album that this blog has been around to experience from start to finish, and it’s been quite a ride. I look forward to seeing what comes next – whether it’s an album or more touring or just celebrating 40 years of success!

Were you at Sunfest? Can you believe it’s already been an entire year since the show?

-R

 

Happy Early Birthday Rhonda!

I like to believe that my timing is pretty good.  If I want to be on time, I can be.  This time, though, I’m even a little early.  What am I early for?  I’m early in wishing my partner-in-crime, my fellow blogger and Duranie a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Tomorrow is the actual day but Monday’s aren’t my day to blog, typically.  On top of that, I will also be at work for at least 12 hours as I put in a full day and hold four hours of parent-teacher conferences after.  Thus, I’m using my Sunday blogging opportunity to write a little blog, celebrating not only my best friend’s birthday but also to cheer the friendship that we have.

In looking back at a friendship that began in 2004, I recognize that we have shared quite a few emotions and a number of significant events together.  I believe that strong emotions and significant experiences help to solidify friendships so that they can endure the up and down nature of life and relationships.  This blog, then, will attempt to shed light on some of those feelings and events.
Excitement:
One thing is for sure—a lot of our friendship has been fueled by our shared excitement for Duran Duran happenings.  Looking back, this began in December of 2004 when a flurry of phone calls took place surrounding upcoming tour dates supporting the reunion album of Astronaut.  I still recall the feeling of pure joy in calling Rhonda mid-day later that week to report that I indeed was able to acquire VIP tickets for us for the Chicago show in March 2005.  Of course, this type of activity has been repeated countless times since.  The most recent being when the band released the video for Last Night in the City, inspiring repeated viewing and a little video review, which you can see here:

Joy:
In many cases, those feelings of excitement translate to pure joy when the anticipation becomes reality.  For us, over the years, generally, the joy has come from screaming, singing and dancing at a Duran Duran concert.  It might even come when we squee over DoJo.  The first one was in Chicago and the last one was in Chula Vista, California, with shows in between in various locations like  the Northeast, the Southeast and even the UK.
Chula Vista
Chula Vista
 Curiosity:
Of course, our fandom has been more than video releases and concerts.  A lot of our fandom has been about talking, thinking, discussing about all things Duran.  I think of countless examples of times that we have watched or listened to something together.  Last year, for example, we exchanged a series of text messages as the lyrics to different songs on Paper Gods sunk in.  When we really paid attention to the lyrics of Last Night in the City and realized that the words described how we feel on tour, then the album began to take hold.  Years earlier, we viewed the brand new video for All You Need Is Now together, squeed in delight and picked apart the images we loved the most.  Sometimes, our need to discuss take place at strange times like when the video for Girl Panic came out.  I couldn’t wait to talk to Rhonda about how smart the video is so I called her from my classroom during my brief lunch hour.

Worry:
While our friendship has often surrounded fun and good times, we have also experienced moments of extreme worry.  We grieved when Andy left for the second time, for example.  Another instance was when we felt for that we were facing the end of Duran Duran when Simon lost his voice in 2011 and the UK spring tour had to be canceled.  There we were in the UK, having flown for four shows and getting none.  Instead of staying away from all things Duran, we ventured out to the band’s studio where we witnessed Simon explain that he didn’t think he was going to be able to sing followed by John’s look of devastation.  Like others there, we put on a brave face.  Rhonda and I did what was logical.  We went for ice cream to drown our sorrows in dairy and sugar.
Ice Cream makes it all better
We did what any heartbroken American would do. We had ice cream.
 Hard Work:
Unlike almost all of my other friendships, Rhonda and I took a very brave, but risky step to do more than just be friends.  We decided that we would work together.  Sometimes, this decision brought us closer together when we faced challenges and bonded over a shared realized that only we could understand what we experienced.  Other times, we pushed and pulled against each other, wanting to dig in our heels about something or another while at the same time reaching for compromise.  I look back at some of those moments and realize that the push and pull always brought out the best in us even if it wasn’t always easy.  Yet, we weren’t afraid to have those little disagreements, knowing that our foundation as friends was strong.  Clearly, we have worked well together on this blog, with fan events, with a convention and even with writing, despite any and all setback.  Truly, I didn’t just gain a friend but someone that helps me bring out the best in me.
Very proud
Very proud
Fun:
The thing is that a lot of friendship surrounds fun.  Sometimes, our hard work has led us to celebrate.  At other times, it is simply being together that brings fun, whether in person, on the phone or via Skype.  Luckily, many of our in person good times have been at Duran shows.  I won’t lie.  We have held many “all night parties” and enjoyed many “cocktail bars”.  At the end of day, there isn’t much better than having a vodka tonic or two and laughing over some ridiculous quote that one of us had uttered.
Durham drunk
Appreciate:
Looking at all of these emotions that we have experienced together, I also have to appreciate the little moments.  I look back at all the times we were in a car driving to or from a show.  Those moments were filled with listening to Duran while creating what we thought would make a great setlist.  Other little moments that I have enjoyed include going to art museums together, dancing to 80s music at a club, or simply talking or exchanging emails.
Our Paso Robles Setlist
Our Paso Robles Setlist
On this day then I celebrate our friendship and the person, the friend who puts up with me and who has shared all of these emotions with me.  My world would be a lot smaller, a lot less fun and a lot less happy.  On that note, then,  I wish her the happiest of birthdays and many more to follow!  I also hope that all of you wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
-A

Now This May Come as No Surprise

The other day, we had a guest blog that contemplated whether or not Paper Gods marked the beginning of a long-term exit strategy for the band. After all, they certainly can’t keep playing forever, can they? (All due respect to the Rolling Stones…and even Paul McCartney on that one…)

I have to admit that when I posted the blog, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had chatted back and forth with Jeff, telling him that I felt like his ideas would be in a safe place here, and I really believed that.  However, one cannot ever know for certain how something will be interpreted. Once you publish something and it’s out there, it really doesn’t belong to you any longer.

I was both pleasantly surprised…and perplexed…by the responses. While there were some that hoped “out loud” that he was wrong, there wasn’t a single “call to arms”.  No one called him names, questioned his fandom, or did much of anything besides encourage him. I was relieved.  I was also surprised.

In the past, Amanda and I have floated similar ideas past the fan community. They were shot down in a hail of proverbial bullets. Granted, timing and wording likely have everything to do with why that may have happened, but I would not be doing MY job as a blogger if I didn’t just throw it out as a conversation starter. Why is now so much different? Are we ready to accept the possibility as a community? Why is that?

As for me personally, I am not ready to say goodbye …but I don’t know if I would ever really be. In other words, I’m not ready for the band to quit, but if they do, I suppose I’m as satisfied as I’d ever be. I’ve been ready to at least entertain the notion though, for a while now. I don’t know why that is, but I suppose I’ve sensed the possibility lurking behind each new corner. I hate being surprised, and so my thinking has been that if I prepare myself…I’ll be ready. Just in case.

I agree with much of what Jeff said the other day.  I have felt like this entire album cycle has been, well…weird. Like my friend Michelle mentioned on Facebook, I don’t know why. I can’t put my finger on it. I keep thinking that maybe it’s just me. The shows have been fun, the album is good, but there’s something just different about it all – and maybe the difference is me.  The odd thing is that more than a few have mentioned the same thing to me in passing. Weird.

Yes, as I read through Jeff’s blog, much of it made me nod in agreement. I can’t ignore some of the more obvious things that make me think they’ve got an exit strategy. I don’t understand the way the band has decidedly pulled back from fans, whether its ducking in and out of a back door at a venue or hotel, or the way they’ve stopped engaging (for the most part) on social media. The setlist never freaking changes. They play their hits because it’s a cross-section that pleases everyone. I’ve wondered if the reason they never found a new guitar player is because they knew it would be a short-term thing. I don’t know. Maybe it’s all just a coincidence. Maybe it’s fans reading way more into it than they should. I really don’t know, but I appreciate the conversation more than any of our readers could ever know. Sometimes, it just feels better to get the words out and have an honest chat with people who share the same emotionality. It’s been especially nice not being flooded with nasty notes about his blog, too.

I share many of the same questions. I have none of the answers, unfortunately.  Whether it’s an exit strategy or not, all we can really do is continue to enjoy the music. The one thing I know for sure is that the music will continue to live long after the band plays their final chord as Duran Duran.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and I intend to keep right on enjoying!

-R

 

The Latest in the Duran Duran Tour

It is the final week of this part of Duran Duran’s Paper Gods Tour.  Tour time moves so fast.  I feel like Paper Gods was released just a few weeks ago rather than a year ago (anniversary is a week from tomorrow!) and that they just start playing shows.  As this part of the tour comes to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes to summarize some of the latest news, info, reactions regarding this tour.

Saying Good-bye to Chic

This past week, Chic played their final show with Duran.  Social media marked the moment with photos and videos.  The photos started a few days before including this photo posted on Duran Duran’s social media:

Chic and Duran

Clearly, the touring family is a large, happy one based on this photo!  Then, Nile tweeted about how he is going to miss being on tour with Duran.  I think most people who saw the two bands together would say that they, too, will miss him being on tour.  There were many, many, many times that I read and heard about how perfect of a bill this was.  Usually, fans ignore the “opening band”.  In this case, that was impossible.  Instead, the shows often felt like there were two genuine headliners.  On a personal note, I definitely believe Nile’s appearance on stage with Duran during Notorious breathed new life into that song!

Anyone who has seen Chic live or watch videos of their performances knows that during their final song, Good Times, they bring people on stage with them.  This creates a real party atmosphere!  Well, apparently, for their final show, a few special guests appeared.

Here is a longer video of this song:

Clearly, there is a lot of love between both bands and I’m sure that Chic will be missed by both Duran and their fans.

Cancun

Duran Duran is playing in Cancun, Mexico, on December 29th.  Earlier this week, the pre-sale information appeared on the DuranDuranMusic website for those fans hoping to get tickets before the general public sale.  Today, though, the tickets went on sale through Ticketmaster for everyone.  This is a show that would be fun to attend, especially since it is taking place somewhere warm in December when I will likely be driving through snow and wearing a winter coat.  Unfortunately, the costs for this show are out of my budget, but I’m sure that everyone who is able to go will have a blast!

Awaiting More Dates

Fans all over the world are anxiously watching and waiting for more tour dates.  There are many areas of the world that hasn’t seen a Duran show for many years.  Then, there are some areas like South America that has seen/heard touring rumors for 2017 but nothing official has been said.  Of course, Duran also stated previously and repeated with the Cancun pre-sale that they are hoping to have one more show on the East Coast of North America before the end of this year.  Many fans are hoping for word on that show, sooner rather than later!  I know that I’m anxious to see where and when while hoping that it is such that I might be able to squeeze a trip in  somewhere.

Until more dates are announced, I am going to focus on appreciating the last few dates in North America for this leg of the Paper Gods Tour by watching videos, looking at photos and reading stories from those in attendance.  I hope those fans scream loud enough for me!!

-A