Tag Archives: Duran Duran shows

Guest Blog: Sears Center Show 2006

Look another guest blog!  This time it is our friend, Nat, who wanted to share about her experiences at the Chicago Sears Center Show in October of 2006.  If you something you want to write about in connection with Duran Duran or fandom, feel free to send it our way!  -A&R

By Nat Mingo

When you’re in a relationship, you celebrate moments. I’ve been listening to Duran Duran music since the needle dropped on the Seven & the Ragged Tiger album on my sister’s plastic Fisher-Price record player. So, yes, I’m in an active relationship with Duran Duran’s music. It’s SLB’s 60th birthday as I type this. Earlier this week, I was delighted to read an Instagram remembrance post about the band’s show at the Sears Center on October 26, 2006. I was also chagrined because I didn’t remember the exact date. Whoops! I should try to remember this date because it was my first …front row experience!

When Astronaut was released, I was teaching full-time and my funds were minimal. I went to the shows that I could afford. I was glad to be at the shows but felt unsatisfied with my view. I observed very happy fans sauntering to the first two rows. Afterwards, I promised myself that if the opportunity arose, I would try for a “VIP” seat. I was honoring that preteen who wore headphones while delving into the depths of the DD catalog and her hard work since then.

On the presale date, I remember sitting at my computer with sweaty palms while on the DDM site. Anxious thoughts were pervasive: “How does this work?”, “Will I get a get a good seat?”, “Am I a fool for trying this and going alone to a show?” Hours-no minutes- later, I scored a VIP ticket. Yaaasssss!!! I posted on the fan board that I was going alone and looking for meet up with other people. Two big hearted fans from Seattle and San Antonio said they would hang with me. I still appreciate their extended kindness and when fans embrace each other at shows.

I stayed at the hotel and got my ticket from the DDM staff. I opened the envelope and thought, “Hmm, this might be good.” A fan asked me where I would be sitting and when I told her, she walked away without speaking to me. Yikes! It was not a good way to start a show. Luckily, I met the two aforementioned fans and enjoyed spending time with others. We got to hear the band’s sound check and they rehearsed “The House of the Rising Sun” for the Voodoo festival which was a few days afterwards in New Orleans. I was thrilled for this unexpected and not repeated treat. I watched a fan get whisked away to meet the band before the show. When the fan returned, she was dazed but graciously accepted my congratulations.

I remembered walking toward my seat and asking an usher for assistance. She smiled and told me where to go. When I saw my seat and its proximity to the stage, my…heart…swelled. It was a palm to the chest moment. I don’t remember many specific moments about the show. They did play “Hold Back the Rain” which I miss in the set list now. I think we sang “Happy Birthday” to Simon. What matters is that I dared and enjoyed the experience.

I’ve purchased several “VIP” tickets since this show. “To VIP or not to VIP” will always be a question I will ask myself of the concerts I attend. I’ve learned that each show is unique. I’ve learned to have quasi-realistic expectations. No, John has never mouthed, “Hey, Boo” towards me from the stage. I’ve learned to look for the minute interactions between the bandmates and to appreciate a different perspective from each seat location. Most importantly, I’ve learned to be more GRATEFUL that I can attend a concert wherever my seat may be located.

So to the readers of this blog, if you see a woman lip-syncing while awkwardly dancing during “A View to A Kill”, it’s me. Please come say, “hello.”

Hoping to see you at a show,

Nat

Nathalie is a daughter, sister, Auntie, educator, reader, dreamer, Christian, Midwestern, Sci-Fi & Superhero Nerdette  whose favorite band is Duran Duran. She owns multiple copies of most DD albums.  She collects band t-shirts and proudly wears them in her everyday life. 

As the Planet Turns Into the Light

I had a good day yesterday.

Before I dive into that statement, I want to acknowledge that I am lucky to live in the US. While I know why the band plays here, I can’t help but feel badly for the rest of the fans throughout the world. One can reasonably understand why things are the way they are, and still not like it. I am very lucky to live here, and I’m very sorry that business for the band is such that economically – they play here because they need to.  I wish it were different.

The crazy thing is, the real joy I felt yesterday wasn’t from scoring tickets to a show. Quite honestly, I didn’t get anything myself from the pre-sale but an empty basket. Over and over and over again! However, it is true that my friend Lori is a guru when it comes to getting tickets on Ticketmaster (and before her, it was Suzie that came to the rescue for last year’s show), and without them I’d be scrolling Stub Hub or even the reseller’s marketplace on Ticketmaster.  It definitely wasn’t the ticket buying that made me smile yesterday.

I actually spoke to Amanda for the first time since July! What was so strange, yet comforting, was that we dove back in without really even skipping a beat. It was as if no time had passed. We talked about the band. We talked about a possible meet-up/welcome party/mini-convention for the weekend. We talked about politics (we are more alike than different), we even talked about sexual assault and feminism. I think what made me smile most yesterday was how normal everything felt, particularly after nearly a year of life feeling everything but. I am lucky to have a friend like her.

We planned. We talked about what we’d like to do that weekend. Yesterday, we focused on something other than campaigning and moving. For me, that was glorious. It’s weird, because for the past eleven months, I haven’t thought too much about Duran Duran. Yes, I write the blog on the days I need to write it, but once I’m done composing a post, I really have to move on with my day. I’ve had to focus on my family’s needs and put my hobbies aside. Secretly, I’ve wondered if I was just over Duran Duran.

That’s the silver lining of hiatus, or quiet times when it comes to this band. For two straight years (if not more), I think both Amanda and I felt like we were “all in”. We lived, ate, and slept Duran Duran! Once the tour ended (and I mean the real tour – not these one-off, two off dates), we went back to our regular lives. We picked up on other things. Maybe that’s our idea of balance. I don’t know. We don’t even work for Duran Duran, yet sometimes I really wonder if it’s not some strange sort of indentured servitude going on here!

I think I’d forgotten the joy I get from just being a fan and doing my thing. Sure, we can talk about how the set list never seems to change these days, or take up bets on whether the set and costuming will remain. There are real discussions to be had about Ticketmaster, and ticketing in general, and how it ruins the experience for fans. I’m not sorry I’m going to see Duran Duran in Las Vegas though.

I’m excited to see my friends. It will be great to be with my people again, strolling around with our to-go cups and lids. Again, I feel so lucky to count these women within my small circle friends. I am eager to be in the audience for the gigs. My adrenaline will kick in, and I’m hoping the memory of my past year will be put to rest. I can’t wait to see Simon, John, Roger, Nick, Anna, and of course Dom. I’ve missed them. We’re definitely doing parties of some kind at the Hard Rock. Watch this space for details. If you’re not already coming for the shows, maybe a mini-Duranie convention will entice you to make the trip.

Yesterday was the most joyful I’ve been since last December. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I have real hope that things are beginning to look up.

-R

 

Hallucinating Durandemonium…in Vegas!

Hi everyone!

I feel battered, and not only due to the ticket pre-sale I just completely bombed out on. It’s been a rough few days. I’m sorry I didn’t blog yesterday. It’s been pretty stressful, and my body decided to respond with the worst headache I have ever had. I’m trying very hard to remain calm today, as stress seems to make my headache come right back up again.

About that pre-sale…

First of all, we did get tickets. I will get that out-of-the-way now. I’m not complaining about what we got, and I really don’t care to relive the horror with obtaining them. So I won’t. I’ll just say that I remain 100% convinced that Ticketmaster is corrupt. There is very little anyone could tell me to make me believe otherwise, especially while that company continues to own and operate a secondary marketplace. I am quite sure I’m not alone on that front.

However, I am relieved that we do have tickets, and that I can look forward to a much needed getaway with my best group of friends in February. I can’t wait to see people I’ve missed, and maybe even make new friends along the way. That, above all else, is what I will be thinking about in the coming months. I definitely won’t be thinking about what seats I have, or how skewed and corrupt the ticket buying system really is.

What happens in Vegas…

Here’s the deal: we were thinking about doing a welcome party at the very least…and possibly some convention-type activities on Friday and Saturday during the day before the show if there’s interest.

What I need to know though is whether or not there will be enough Duranies in town on Thursday night to actually do a party.  So let us know if there’s interest in a Durandemonium party to start the weekend off, and also if you think doing convention things during the day on Friday and Saturday might be fun, too.  That way, I can set to work figuring out what can be done so that we can all get the most bang for our buck out of the weekend!

Stays in Vegas….

Now comes the fun part in trip planning – figuring out when I’m leaving, and where we’re staying! This trip is just what I needed, and exactly at the right time. My husband has my birthday and Christmas gifts all wrapped up for him, and I have something to look forward to!

Let me know if you’re coming to Vegas and what you think about attending a Durandemonium party on Thursday night! (we wouldn’t do it on Friday because everyone would be getting ready for the show!) 

-R

Feel Like Going to Shows????

Sometimes, you have an idea in your head about what to write about and before you can type it, something changes it.  Today is one of those days.  I have been so busy that Duran has been placed on the back burner in my life.  (Just to give an example–yesterday, my day started at 6 am.  I worked until midnight.  No joke.)  Thus, my plan for today’s blog was simple.  I was going to write about how I have been feeling like a bad fan.  While I acknowledge that I still do this blog and the question of the day, I feel like I have been I have been barely paying attention.  I have not been giving as much love as I would like. Then, I would have asked for forgiveness before promising that I would jump in and pay attention if something happened.  Well…something happened.  It is kinda funny, really.

Today finds me at a campaign office of sorts, running multiple canvasses.  My phone has been buzzing with text messages, emails and more asking questions, seeking information, etc.  So, when a notification popped up, I didn’t think much of it.  I figured it was campaign related so I glanced at the phone.  Was it campaign related?  Nope!  Not at all.  It was a Duranie alert!  An actual Duranie alert!  Anyone want some shows?!  I know I do!

The three shows are:

New Orleans — February 19

Las Vegas — February 22 and 23

 

Want details?!  I know you do!

MEMBERS ONLY PRE-SALE AND VIP PACKAGES
Members are the first to know! NEW pre-sales announced for New Orleans and Las Vegas in 2019!

Our pre-sale will begin on Tuesday, October, 16th at 10am local venue time

**The links will become active shortly before the start of the pre-sale, and the password will also be revealed.**

As these are relatively small venues, members will only be able to purchase up to two (2) tickets/packages per order. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you log into the pre-sale and tickets are sold out we recommend that you keep refreshing your browser as often community members put them in their carts and release them after 5-15 minutes.

There is no meet and greet, VIP parking or experience at the venue (other than early entry in New Orleans). All merchandise associated with the packages will be mailed no later than 2 weeks before the shows. You must be a member in good standing to purchase.

DETAILS:

February 19th, 2019: Fillmore New Orleans, LA at Harrah’s Casino:

PASSWORD: (revealed before pre-sale begins)

The Early Entry VIP Package is the only one being offered for this show:

Cost: $165 plus ticket price

– One general admission ticket to the show
– Early Entry to the show before general ticket purchasers
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

There will also be regular pre-sale tickets available in the General Admission floor section and in the Stadium Seating Section

February 22nd and February 23rd, 2019: The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas, NV

PASSWORD: (for both Las Vegas shows revealed before pre-sale begins)

There are three VIP packages available for these shows:

The Ultimate Front Row package:

Cost: $300 plus ticket price

– One front row ticket
– A limited edition postcard personally autographed by the band
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

The Gold Package:

Cost: $150 plus ticket price

– A ticket in rows 2-7
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

The Bronze Package:

Cost: $65 plus ticket price

– A premium ticket (typically in rows 8-15)
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

There will also be regular pre-sale tickets for both shows available in all sections while supplies last.

Ticket prices in Vegas range from $79 to $199 depending on location.

We look forward to seeing you online on October 16th! If you have any questions, please email ddvip@magusentertainment.com.

DD

So, anyone thinking about going to shows now?!  I know what we are thinking about going to Vegas, assuming that Rhonda and I can figure out who can do the presale on Tuesday.  Wish us luck!!!  If we can make it work, maybe we will do something meet up wise!

-A

Duran Duran live in February 2019. Can you wait?

Time is flying by, my friends. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon school supply shopping with my youngest. She is ten, going into fifth grade this year, and is in all of her preteen glory. I can’t believe she’s really approaching the same age I was when I first discovered Duran Duran. It hardly seems possible, although judging by the growth spurt she has had this past year, I shouldn’t be surprised. So we are staring down into the tunnel of a new school year, one that will include many changes, no less. I’m not ready. Summer was fairly non-existent. Twenty years of solid abuse takes time to undo, particularly when the main fixer-upper person lives elsewhere during the week. I’ve gone to two shows this summer, and I’ve been out with my husband alone three times. No vacations, no camping, just a lot of sweat, dirt, and achy muscles.

School starts in about two and a half more weeks. Our house goes on sale Tuesday. Why move during the summer when you can pull out your hair, move boxes and shuffle holidays, children and school around mid year??  My husband and I have a certain way about planning, as evidenced by the sheer genius spacing of our children – Heather is 21, Gavin is 19, and as I said – the youngest is 10.  (my sarcasm is alive and kicking) Mark my words, I will be moving over Thanksgiving weekend if not even mid-December when things are even nuttier. I can feel it coming, and I’ve already accepted my fate.

Meanwhile, there is this band I “kind” of like, and tend to blog about on an almost daily basis. They’ve been semi-awol for a while now while I’ve been in my own rabbit hole. I think they’re around, enjoying their own lives. Imagine that! Earlier in the week, DDHQ had tweeted a photo from #Duranlive, saying that there would be no live shows until February, but that they liked the picture.

This, my friends, was news I needed. I can’t lie, this entire year, I’ve had this little niggling, nagging, thought in the back of my mind.  Would the band end up doing shows this year? If they did, how would I get there? I’m awful, because there I was, husband just starting back to work, me up to my neck in boxes, and I worried about Duran Duran. I mean, not the kind of day-and-night worry. Just the kind that would appear in my head when I heard “Rio”, or “Paper Gods”, or thought about drummers and guitarists. It was a thing. Even the band themselves seemed unsure, saying that there was a chance they’d have a one-off show here or there before year-end.  Uncertainty drives me crazy.

February of 2019 though, is a lot less uncertain. This tidbit, or mile-marker on the journey, makes my heart begin to sing the joyful sounds of “Hungry Like the Wolf” (I can see you laughing at me, Nick. Knock it off.) As I “doo doo doo do, do doo do, do doo do, do doo do, doo doo” my way through packing the precious little that is actually left in this now-personality free house, I’ll be thinking of the fun that is waiting for me in 2019.

Funny how times change. During the Mojave Desert of nothingness between All You Need is Now and Paper Gods, I was desperate. Foraging for anything I could find. A small but tasty sliver of news would have satiated me. A tall, cool drink of Dom or Roger (oh yes, I did just type that.) would have quenched a bit of my thirst along the way. I was dying. I even begged Amanda to fly out to Los Angeles for what could have easily been one (yes, ONE) song performed by Duran Duran at the David Lynch gala at the Ace Theatre. Thankfully, it was a few songs. I nearly died that night in more ways than one, but even those memories kept me going.

This time though, I’m far more patient. I do still miss the band. Any time I see Dom tweet (which isn’t all that often), I grin like the Cheshire Cat. Do I have it that bad? Maybe. I love seeing the very occasional tweet from Simon, or even the photos that John sends to DDHQ to post. Once in a while we’ll get something from Roger or even Nick, and I’m smiling for days. However, I am thankful to have the time to get my life back together. There will time for crazy drives to LA or even San Francisco later. I’m looking forward to getting my own touring group back together for late nights, vodka, cups with no lids and lots of laughing. But I can wait a bit longer. 2019 is beginning to show up on the horizon.

-R

On This Date: The Evolution of my Fandom

For the last few years, I have created a Duran Duran related calendar for myself and Rhonda.  In our calendar, I have listed album release dates as well when singles came out.  I also have included dates that we have seen them in concert together.  On this date, October 1st, there are multiple entries on our calendar.  First, we saw Duran perform 4 songs at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children event in Vegas in 2005.  Then, we saw the band perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015.  When I look back at those two events, I realize that there is much about my fandom that has changed and, yet, some things have remained consistent.

2005 featured the reunion album of Astronaut as well as the tour.  For me, personally, fandom really felt like a utopia.  Everyone seemed excited about the band and their future.  Message boards were busy with activity and everyone was either planning or sharing concert plans.  Any negatives between fans were easily pushed aside in my head.  By October, I had seen the band a bunch of times in concert both in spring and in the summer.  Yet, I didn’t hesitate when my friends suggested that we get together in Vegas.  Interestingly enough, that trip represented only the second time I had traveled by plane for something fandom related.  I have never flown in a plane to see Duran (or any band, for that matter) play before that.

That night in 2005, my friends and I attended a pre-show meet-up at a bar there at the MGM Grand where the concert was held.  I was one of many fans there who had traveled to see the band play.  The funny part is that Duran only performed 4 songs that night and we had seats way in the back.  Despite that, I still felt like I was on top of the world that night.  I screamed and sang those 4 songs with all the passion I could muster.  After that, I went and drink and danced my ass off until the clubs closed and breakfast was served.  I look back at that night as an eye-opening experience.  While it was beyond fun, I also saw some of the darker elements of our fan community night.  Some of those less-than-kind features I was a part of and others I just witnessed.  In many ways, that night marked the end of the utopia.

Then, of course, a lot has happened since that night, leading up to that Hollywood Bowl show.  Instead of attending a pre-show meet-up, I planned one.  In both nights, I met a bunch of people and the love for Duran was strong.  When I went to the Hollywood Bowl show, I knew that this could be one of the best nights ever like the Vegas one was, but I no longer denied the reality that fandom isn’t a utopia.  It still gives me the greatest amount of fun that I could ever hope for and it has provided me the opportunity to meet my best friend and other amazing people.  Most importantly, I have learned that my true happy place is being at a Duran Duran concert.  However, it isn’t perfect.  People are not always nice and nights do not always go as planned or cannot always be the most fun ever.

The Hollywood Bowl was a great show and I’m glad to have attended it.  Yet, it didn’t equal the fun of that Vegas show.  It couldn’t.  For the Vegas show, we had the time to go out and party without any care in the world.  For the Hollywood Bowl show, we had to start our drive up to Berkeley for the next show.  By 2015, a priority for us was going to as many shows as we could.  Maybe this is another sign of how my fandom has changed.  In 2005, I was more than content to see just 4 songs, way in the back of the arena.  By 2015, I wanted to get to as many shows as I could and I really wanted good seats.  Does that mean that 2005 was better?  In some ways, maybe, it was.  That said, 2015 was pretty sweet, too, but in different ways.  In 2005, it was all new and fun.  In 2015, I was involved in the fandom in a different way and was ready to do as many shows as I could.  I also had the opportunity to see amazing shows from really great seats.  That makes me pretty lucky!

I cannot regret the decisions that I have made in regards to either time period.  Both have led me to where I am today.  I have learned a lot and have had amazing experiences and a tremendous amount of fun.  What would be cool would be to go to another show on October 1st in 2025.  Then, I might be able to see how my fandom has evolved in 10 years and in 20 years.  I could get a real historical perspective.

-A

It’s about the money, honey! Those darn ticket prices

Lately, the blog has been void of truly controversial topics.  I have stuck to basics, like commemorating days in history and that sort of thing. The writing has been easy, and I’ve enjoyed not having my inbox/comments flooded with inflammatory and argumentative replies. I don’t miss that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, nor do I miss being called out by people on Twitter who really know nothing about me.

However, sometimes, no matter how incendiary a topic might be, it is worthy of some discussion. Amanda and I never used to shy away from the tough topics, and I don’t want to start that now just because of my own comfort zone.  Over the past few days, I noticed a friend comment about the ticket prices for Duran shows. I replied, commiserating over the cost.

On this same thread, another Duranie commented that he didn’t feel the band cared how we felt about their prices. First of all, let’s be clear: I am not all that sure that the band even knows what they charge for concert tickets. As Simon has said many times, they don’t really get involved on the business side – after all, that is why they hire management, right? Second, I would agree that they probably don’t care. I think the band comes out on stage, sees that most of the seats are full – if in fact they can even see that well past the first several rows – and they go about their business of playing their set. They aren’t fixated on how much their shows cost, only what they need to do at the time. Third, Simon himself (and I’m sorry to “pick” on Simon, it just so happens he’s the one who I remember making any mention of this subject) has said that when a fan buys a ticket to their show, they are getting a terrific value for their money.  So I think we all know where he stands, and I can’t blame him.

As the thread continued, another Duranie friend chimed in.  She’s seen them quite a bit over the years, and flat-out refuses to spend so much money to see a band that she’s seen so often. She continued by saying that their latest releases have underwhelmed her, and that also plays a part in her decision not to attend shows. I can’t argue with any of that, either. I mean, why pay to see a band that is putting out music you’re not into? Fair enough.

The one question that always seems to come up during these conversations is whether or not the band is really just into it for the money.  Now, before you hit the comment button here – I KNOW WHAT THE BAND HAS SAID. John Taylor has said in more than one Katy Kafe that it is not just about the money for them. I KNOW.  I would simply ask what do any of us think they’d really say in public?? I highly doubt ANY band would openly say they are still working and performing purely for the money. Even if we don’t think they’re ONLY in it for the cash (which for the record I do not), let’s be fair: making money is part of the deal. It’s called business.

Curiously, the answer to that one little question matters to fans. We white knuckle the belief that the band we love really is not about taking us for everything we’ve got and are willing to part with, to see them.  Yet I think most of us know in our heads that money has to enter into it all somewhere.  The question is, where is that line between having a successful career and selling out purely for cash drawn, and why?

Discussion points are continually made that the band isn’t continuing to sell out massively large venues, and that they’re playing Festivals and casinos. No argument there, although I have pointed out in some conversations that this past summer – they definitely came close to selling out at least some of the venues they performed in that while touring with Chic.  I’ll admit, in my own personal opinion, the ticket prices were pretty high (considerably so if you bought VIP, which I did).  While no, they aren’t playing the same size venues this spring [in the US], the ticket prices have not come down that much. I do see other bands besides Duran Duran on occasion, and while I pay the most to see DD (VIP cost having a lot to do with that so to some degree it is my own fault and I own that), I have found that other tickets are still expensive. It’s just not cheap to go to concerts anymore unless you’re willing to sit in the back or on the lawn.

This is not just about priority for fans. The implication that if you really want to see Duran Duran you’ll pay the price and if you’re just a fair-weather fan, you probably won’t and that’s your problem, is distasteful.That belief gives far too much leeway in passing judgment on others. After all, five years ago, I could afford to do whatever show(s) I wanted, and didn’t have to work outside of the home. Now, I can’t, and I work. Things change, and it isn’t just about priorities. There are real fans of the band who have just gotten to the point where they feel as though the ticket prices are too high to see the same basic set list, or to see songs from albums that just have not hit home.

In closing, I’ll throw out one more sub topic to mull over.  In recent weeks, Amanda and I have had conversations about where the band sits in the overall hierarchy of popularity.  The band (DDHQ) markets their success with Paper Gods.  I made the comment to Amanda just this past weekend that if one listened to management, it is easy to believe that things have never been better for the band.  On the other hand, the energy and buzz have certainly changed over the years we’ve written this blog. It is vastly different now, for a variety of reasons. It is difficult to really grasp the true interest level. On one hand, they can sell out the Hollywood Bowl when touring with Chic. On the other hand, they tend to go for the low hanging fruit and play festivals. They have the opportunity to play for huge crowds without the risk of booking massive venues on their own.  They also play a lot of casino shows.  More and more often, I read of long time fans decide to sit out shows and tours, saying that they’ve given enough to the band over the years.  Is it just the people I follow, or is it a growing trend, and why? Is it our age? Our circumstances? The cost? Are we really that worried about whether the band is only in it for the money these days – or is it just reason to complain?

-R

 

 

On this date in 2011, there was a show in Bournemouth, UK

 

On this date in 2011, there was a show in Bournemouth, UK.

I know this because I was there.

This was the second of four shows Amanda and I were to attend in the UK. We began our day in Brighton, after having attended our first show the night before. This day though, was special. We were not going to be traveling to Bournemouth by train as we’d originally thought, but instead, we were going by car with new friends.

One might think that taking a trip by car from one venue to the next wouldn’t constitute much in the way of memories, but I have to tell you—it is what I remember most about the trip.

Yes, of course I have memories from the shows. That goes without saying. I remember the band taking the stage each night, I can remember the lights going ablaze during Before the Rain and the triumphant feeling that would go over the crowd as they were able to see the band. I remember the encores and how we’d be able to get closer to the stage and clearly see the expressions on the faces of the band. Those moments are golden.

What I am finding as time moves on, is that my memory for each individual show isn’t all that clear. I can’t remember which show I ended up in the very front row for the encore, for example. I do remember some things about each show, but more and more, the lines seem to be blurred. Meeting friends though?  This, I remember with clarity.

Michelle, Amy and Jo were kind enough to share their vehicle with us, and we had the best time. Truthfully, I have stronger memory of that car ride than I do of some of the shows I’ve been to, and these thoughts are what get me through some of the less-than-fun days that many of us all have from time to time.

I can remember getting to Bournemouth and going to our hotel, and then setting off for a walk through the shops. I loved Bournemouth. It was such a cute town, and the best part about the UK in general is that these towns are set up to encourage walking. Where I live in California, it just isn’t that way everywhere. We embrace our cars, which is a shame – we miss a lot that way, I think.

I bought a zebra-striped umbrella, looked at tiger-striped adult-sized onesies (Seven and the Ragged Tiger, don’t you know…), and then we went to dinner. The restaurant was wonderful, but the company is what made the dinner special. It usually is.  We even went to another nearby hotel for some tea and met with other friends – Julie and Alison. (I seem to remember the hotel being fancy, or posh as they say!) The show itself, I don’t remember quite as much. Usually it takes Amanda saying something to jar my memory, sadly.

I remember running into Faby – I think it was in Bournemouth – out of nowhere. I was so delighted to see her and Gerardo. The thought reminds me, even now, that our community is a family. We might not always agree or get along, but there is nothing like seeing one another after a long absence. I treasure these memories and hold on to them tightly during long hiatus when there is not much of anything going on.

The next morning, I can remember standing on the curb outside of the Premier Inn where we stayed (budget friendly, and if I recall – it was pretty nice, except for the bag breakfast including an inedible muffin and undrinkable coffee!). I could see the ocean, the sky was bright and clear, and it was deliciously cool outside. Coming from California, where it is almost always summer – the change in weather was a treat. I loved it.

The only thing I wish I’d been able to do, and this goes for all the cities we visited, was to stay longer. I would have enjoyed soaking in the culture (and the colder UK weather, believe it or not!), but we were on a mission.  I know I’ve said many times that I would like to go back, and I would. At one point in my life I took it for granted that of course I’d go back. Now, I have to admit I’m not sure if the opportunity will come, but if it does—I’d jump at it in a second.

Good memories.

-R

No Duran Duran Live?!

Lately, my questions of the day have focused on which songs people have seen Duran Duran perform in concert.  This idea came from the ever-frequent discussions regarding set lists and how there are many within the fan community who are tired of hearing the same old songs when they go to Duran Duran shows.  For example, I could do without Come Undone and Ordinary World, just saying.  Yet, as I started this set of questions, I heard from some fans that they have not had the opportunity of seeing Duran Duran in concert.  After hearing this more than I would have thought, I did what I usually do and began to wonder why, especially as someone who would like to understand fans and our fan community, in particular.

Could it be Duran Duran’s fault that some fans have not seen them i concert?  Are they a band that don’t tour much?  While there definitely has been times that they haven’t toured much, those dry spells don’t last forever.  Now, of course, the band tours in some places more than others.  For example, we are all aware that Duran Duran tours the U.S. a lot more than they do…many other places like South Africa or New Zealand.  So, I can definitely understand that for fans living in those rarely toured countries that they might not have had an opportunity to go.  The same is obviously true for those fans living in countries that the band has never toured.  Yet, it seems to me that there are many people living in the United States, for example, that haven’t seen Duran Duran.  Perhaps, for some of those fans, they might say that while Duran Duran comes to their country, they don’t come where they live.  That’s true for many states in the US.  For example, I don’t think Duran Duran has ever played in Alaska or Montana.  Heck, I live in Wisconsin.  The last time they played in this state was in 2005.  The last time they played in my city, though, was in 1984.  Therefore, if I want to see the band live, I know that I have to travel.  I have to.

This leads me to wonder if everyone can travel.  I’m sure that there are some reasons that might truly stop people from traveling.  For example, there might be some physical limitations due to health conditions that might stop people.  What else could stop people from traveling?  In the US, the main means of traveling are car/bus, train or plane.  Are those options all available to everyone in the hopes of getting to where Duran Duran might be playing?  For the most parts, cars/buses can get you anywhere you want to be in the lower 48 states.  You might need a lot of time, though, to get to where you want to go.  Trains would be a good alternative but they really aren’t available everywhere.  Planes are available in decent sized cities but do cost the most.  It is clear that traveling isn’t always super convenient either due to time it takes or the cost.  Many Duranies do accept this as a price to pay, though, in order to experience Duran live.  I know I do.  Ask anyone.  I’m not a fan of plane travel but…I do it.  I do it for Duran Duran concerts.

Speaking of prices to be paid, clearly, there is a cost involved to going to a Duran show.  Ticket prices have gone up since the first time I saw them, especially if one is interested in a VIP package and the opportunity for a really good seat.  That said, there are usually cheaper tickets available.  For example, the California Mid-State Fair that just went on sale had tickets starting at $41, which isn’t too bad.    I suspect that most people have to actually save money in order to go to any concert, but especially when it also requires money for traveling.  Speaking only for myself, I have to admit that I really do prioritize Duran Duran over lots of other things.  For example, I desperately need new carpeting and a new fridge.  Yet, those will get funded only AFTER my Duran fund has been met.  Some might think that it is crazy but that is my preference.  I figure that I can put a little bit away each month to feed my fandom.

Another aspect of going to Duran Duran concerts that I have is the fact that I have a touring partner, a buddy, a partner-in-crime.  I have someone to go to shows with and someone who I travel with.  That is huge.  Here is a little secret.  The main reason that I started hanging out at Duran Duran message boards was to find someone to go to shows with.  I knew that none of my close friends where I lived was into Duran.  Thus, I had to seek elsewhere and was lucky to find someone I have a ton of fun with!  Could this be the problem for some fans?  This is part of the reason that Rhonda and I do what we do here.  We are hoping to help others make connections and friendships with other fans.  We were lucky that we did.

What am I missing?  What else might stop someone for going to see Duran Duran live in concert?  To me, there is nothing better than going to see Duran Duran live.  Nothing.  I would love for everyone to be able to experience a Duran Duran show for themselves.

-A

Dear Duran Duran: About those Residencies…

Dear Duran Duran,

I had a lot of fun on this last little road trip of mine. Three shows is far more than I’ve had since August of 2012, and it was great seeing everyone on stage, right in front of me. I’m still smiling at the memories and cannot wait for more!

This time, Amanda and I, along with our friend Heather, drove ourselves from Hollywood to Berkeley and back to Rancho Mirage. While it was merely three shows, it felt like five due to the amount of driving and mileage covered. When I got home, I was ready to never see my car again. Alas, I live in Southern California and divorcing my car at this point is impossible.

My problem is this: you are killing me. I love you, but you’re killing me. Rest assured that while I am well-aware I’m probably the “loudest voice” due to this blog (which I’m told reaches a much larger audience than I think), I know with 100% certainty I am not the only fan feeling this way these days. When you come to the states on tour (and I am specifically referring to the states because it is where I live), your tours are designed in such a way where it is nearly impossible for those of us who wish to travel to see more than one show in a single trip to do so without attempting to kill ourselves in the process.

I don’t know if…or why… your promoters are unable or unwilling to see that you have a core group of people who actually do like to see you more than once on a tour, or maybe we’re such a small group that everyone thinks we don’t matter…but we’re still there, supporting! I personally know of a great number of fans who have simply just given up and stopped traveling to see you. Maybe they don’t even bother seeing you unless you come right to their town. Maybe they don’t even bother then. Attrition happens when your audience is in their… gasp…40’s. I know you still like to call us “kids”. I appreciate that, especially as I’m staring my 45th birthday in the face, and about to write another check for my 18-year old daughter’s room and board at university.  Not feeling kid-like this morning, really…but thanks!

The issue at hand is simply that when you come on tour, we want to pack in as many shows as we possibly can. For me personally, it’s not worth it financially (don’t get me wrong – you’re worth it, it’s just the whole “I have to pay for college, and for my family to eat” thing!) for me to fly all the way across the United States to only see you once or twice, never mind the time spent flying. In the last few trips Amanda and I have done, we’ve logged over 1,000 miles driving each time. (I think we drove 1600 miles in 2012 to go to 4 shows in the Southeast, and when you were here just recently in California we did about 1200 miles. I’m tired just thinking about it.) I don’t think anyone can say to Amanda and I with a straight face that we’re unwilling to do hard work for our fun.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the US isn’t particularly well-designed when it comes to their public transportation. While we have trains, they’re not particularly effective, and don’t even start with me about our buses. While one might take a train from London to Edinburgh and/or Glasgow to see a show in the UK and it’d take a full day…if I tried to do something similar here in the states, it’d take me 3 days to go that same distance by train, although admittedly some parts of the US are better about than others, but overall? Trains suck here. So we’re stuck either driving or flying. Flying is atrociously expensive unless you’re lucky, fly into cheap places, and plan well in advance. Driving is still far cheaper, but incredibly taxing.

Here’s the basic “tour” for Amanda and Rhonda: Fly into starting city/airport. Get rental car. Drive all day, get into a city in time to rush to the hotel, throw on concert attire and grab food on the way to the venue or the pre-show fan party we’ve got planned. Have a great time during and after the show, collapse for a few hours rest, and repeat again and again. Fly home, and in about 2 days, end up sick because once again we’ve burnt the candle at both ends.

So what to do? Miss shows? Skip shows so that we’re not exhausted?? Stop traveling altogether and just be happy when we can catch one close to home?  (Admit it, you’d miss me silently mouthing, “No, no, no!” and ducking during “White Lines”; or smirking, rolling my eyes, and shaking my head, before singing “Hungry Like the Wolf” with you, right?)

I still fall back to the same suggestion I had back in 2012 after I came home from the last tour. Why can’t you do more than one show in a city before moving on? Rather than have to travel (surely it has GOT to be tiring for Nick to be up before noon in order to be on DuranDuranOne) from place to place and hitting tons of smaller cities – why not pick destination cities in the US and perform at least a few shows at a time before moving on? People could fly, drive, take a train, etc to come into the city, and those who want to stay on in order to attend all of the shows in that destination, or visit with Duranies, go to a few pre-show parties, or flat-out take a vacation in the process would be able to do so. It might even encourage MORE fans to travel, and even if a fan couldn’t get to said-city for the first show, they might if there were more than one.  As a positive by-product, it’d allow for a lot more parties and get-togethers to happen. Who doesn’t want that?!?

I know at least a few of the arguments against residencies: they don’t allow for fans from all over to come unless they’re willing to travel, ticket sales may falter, it’s difficult to find theatre space willing to rent for consecutive nights, there’s a challenge in covering the entire US when you boil down a tour to only a few cities…etc. Let me try to address some of these issues. Granted, I’m just a very outspoken fan who likely needs a new hobby at this point, but at least I can try to articulate from my point of view.

In theory, I suppose when a band only pick a few cities to play it seems to make it difficult for fans who aren’t able to travel. However, I don’t see where it is any different from when a tour is announced and states like Tennessee or Nebraska are not included. People still have to travel. Is it more or less enticing to travel for one show, or three in the same city? Admittedly, ticket sales may be more of a challenge – I say that because I really don’t know. Although, I have to wonder if it really is any different to play three or four shows in one major city than playing three or four shows in smaller cities where fewer people may be willing to travel or pay to see a show. It isn’t as though Duran Duran doesn’t have an audience. Heck, this BLOG proves otherwise, even when you’re not actively touring or “in the news!” And yes, the US is huge in area and mileage/time needed to travel from place to place. I always laugh when people from other parts of the world complain about the amount of shows the US has booked on a tour. This is a big country. In order for me to get in my car and drive from Dana Point to the Atlantic Ocean, it would take me about four days. Five if I’m being realistic about needing to stop for food, gas, etc. People here in this country, for all of the reasons I just listed above, cannot really get to more than a few shows in a single trip. That’s exactly the point.

Maybe I just need to buy a Daily Duranie motor home. 

Never mind….

I’m not necessarily saying any of you in Duran Duran should plan a nine-date residency in Palm Springs; but I don’t think the idea of doing three or four shows in Las Vegas before moving on to Chicago for three or four dates, and then on to Boston or Toronto for four more, is really a horrible idea. It would give the band more down time to relax, less traveling overall, and it would likely present more enticement for fans less able and/or willing to travel for single shows reason to do so. And Daily Duranie would definitely make the trip(s)…because SOMEONE has to keep the fans busy before and after the shows, right?!?

(If one of you would just let my husband know…that’d be great!)

Truth: I have never planned a tour for a band, nor do I wish to begin now. I only know what it is like to BE a fan, and in particular, what it is like to be a Duran Duran fan. I can only offer suggestions that seem reasonable at the time. (granted, I am also the fan who has suggested, multiple times now, that you drop Hungry Like the Wolf from your setlist AND to make Dom Brown a permanent member. Apparently unreasonable suggestions. Who knew?!?) Yes, I had to get that dig in about Dom. It’s been a while, and somebody has to be on his side…. <wink>

Meanwhile, I wait for the ever-exciting 2016 tour announcement. Might I suggest (again, another suggestion…will I ever stop?!!) announcing this over the week of Thanksgiving here in the US. I’m going to be on vacation for that entire week, and likely sans cell coverage!! I’ve missed getting the sort of voice mails from Amanda that go a little something like this:

“Rhonda? You are NEVER going to guess what that band (I am censoring this for you, Duran Duran…only for you…) has done now.  Tour dates. Don’t worry, I will do what must be done! Just know that we’re going to shows, good luck telling Walt!!”

I’ve yammered on enough. I hope you get lots of rest during these few weeks off (right? you ARE taking time off, right?!?), and while I’m at it, remember that Amanda and I have been very good fans. Lately. 🙂

Love,

Rhonda