Tag Archives: Duran Duran tours

9-Inch Singles

Every once in a while, we are thrilled to have someone write in and ask if we still accept guest blogs. Rest assured, WE DO. We love handing over the proverbial microphone to somebody new! If you feel particularly passionate about a specific Duran Duran topic, or you want to share your own point of view – don’t hesitate to write an article and send it to our gmail, we’d love to hear from you! 

Today, we are thrilled to present a brand new guest blogger – Mark Viens – who shares a new point of view about those all-important set lists.  Thanks Mark!  – A & R

By Mark Viens

I’m a lover of live music. I try to get out and see someone perform as often as possible, even if it’s just a local band in a bar. Having just come off a seven-day stretch where I found myself at three excellent concert tours, plus the touring production of Hamilton, I’m going through some music withdrawal. Usually, I have at least one in the queue, so this is a bit of an odd feeling.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I started poking around. Taking a second look at what bands are headed to the Boston area in the coming months. Acts that may slipped under my radar. That’s when I noticed Nine Inch Nails are coming in soon. They are booked for two shows at the Wang Center. The Jesus and Mary Chain are their opener. I’ve never seen either of them live, but was a casual fan of NIN in the 90’s. I still have Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral on CD around here someplace. Being one to do a little research, I popped over to Setlist.fm to see if some of my favorites were in their rotation. You never know which bands suddenly decide to stop playing their earlier work. I was near stunned by what I found.

Before I dive into what surprised me, let’s back up a bit. I’ll preface by saying I know this complaint comes up often among the Duran Duran fan base. The band we all love tends to play the same songs night after night once a tour is underway. Maybe changing one or two songs out, and modifying the order slightly. Some fans complain that they skew too much toward their newer music. Others will say they are bored with the chart toppers, and lack of deep tracks. People will go to three or more shows, then be hugely jealous of others who went to a show where a track like Hold Back the Rain made the cut.

I’ve defended this in the past saying Duran Duran are playing to the 98% of people that don’t go to multiple shows during a tour. Adding that their songs require a bit of extra prep and practice. That they need to be well-rehearsed to play along with a sequencer track of atmospheric sounds. That they are artists first and foremost, and are always going to want to present their latest works to the public. That they need to cater to the casual fans as much as their ‘regular’ fans since they will always outnumber them at a show. Wait, which band am I talking about? It could certainly be either!

What was I stunned about with Nine Inch Nails? As of this writing, in 33 shows performed so far in 2018 they have played 63 different songs.

(1) Rewind to the last years that Duran Duran had a considerable number of shows on tour. In 2016 they had 60 shows playing only 22 unique tracks.

(2) In 2017 they played 27 shows with exactly 27 songs.

(3) Keep in mind, both bands only play in the neighborhood of 20 songs a night.


Attached is a setlist of four recent Nine Inch Nails shows. Two cities, two shows each, on back to back nights. One pair of performances in DC, and another the month earlier at Red Rocks Amphitheater. They seem to have no issues with mixing things up on back to back nights. They leave out huge songs from their repertoire (Closer, Perfect Drug, etc.) one night, and go ahead and play them the next. The only thing constant among these four shows is finishing the main set with Head Like a Hole and finishing the encore with ‘Hurt’.


Playing multiple nights back to back at a particular venue is something Duran Duran do from time to time. However, it’s been six years since John Taylor said “More performances in fewer places”,(4) but the band hasn’t really acted on that idea in a meaningful way.

The boys from Birmingham could learn something here as they are (hopefully) planning for a tour to coincide with ‘DD40′. They don’t always need to play wall-to-wall hits to appease the masses. It really is okay to leave fans, die-hard or casual, wanting more.

Could they reach the point of making it clear ahead of time what the shows will be like? Maybe announce a series of two-night stands playing the complete first album plus another 10 or 12 songs one night, then the next night the Rio album with an even slightly different assortment of songs? I’d be at both, you can count on that. Maybe the band will even entice a few of those casual fans to snag a ticket for a second night before they pack up the gear and leave town.


Mark is a Graphic Artist and a long-time fan of Duran Duran. His first concert was on their 1984 Sing Blue Silver tour, and he has seen the band live on nearly every New England appearance since then. Mark currently lives in New Hampshire, and isn’t afraid to travel to see a show.

Duran Duran History: Orlando 2001 and More

On this date in 2001, Duran Duran played at the House of Blues in Orlando.  This show was part of the Up Close and Personal Tour.  Were any of you lucky enough to attend this show?  I was not there.  In fact, I did not attend any show during that tour.  During 2001, I was a bit busy as I was teaching full time and attending graduate school.  This makes me think about a couple of little mental games I like to play with my history students.

What If?

Thinking about that tour, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had attended that tour.  Would I have had amazing, life altering experiences?  What would my fandom be like now?  Would I still be a fan today or would I have gotten it all out of my system?  Of course, like my students, I cannot properly answer the question without thinking of context.  If I attended this tour, does that mean that I would have been active in the fandom?  Would I have met Rhonda earlier than I did?  Someone else?  Would my Duranie friendship group be a lot different?  If I had to guess, I suspect that I might have known and had some friends within the fandom but I doubt any of those friendships would have been like the one I share with Rhonda. (I know what many of you are thinking…thank goodness!  The world could not handle another blog like this!  Certainly, vodka suppliers are relieved that there isn’t another friendship like ours!)  If that’s the case, then I bet I wouldn’t have had as much fun.  Therefore, I doubt that my fandom would be like it is today.

What Tour?

Another question I like to ask my students is about which era they wish they could have lived through.  So, I apply this question to my fandom.  Which tour that I did not see do I wish it did?  Would it be the Up Close and Personal Tour?  I know that this tour allowed the fans to get pretty close to the band and included a lot of small venues.  All that sounds great to me…but John Taylor was not part of the band.  So, I might not choose this tour.

What about a tour like the Sing Blue Silver Tour of 1984?  I was too young to attend and this, of course, was at the heart of Duran’s popularity.  If I attended that tour, would I be able to fan out in a way that I don’t now?  For example, would I scream myself to losing my voice?  Would I faint over a look or a glance my way?  What would it have been like to be around that level of fan hysteria?  Would I have loved it?  Found it fascinating?  Wanted to run from it?  I’m not sure.  So, I don’t think I would have chosen that tour.

Honestly, if I had to pick one, I might go to the first US tour.  I would have loved to have seen some of those early days.  Right now, the band is at the top of their game when it comes to live shows.  I would have love to have seen them then.  What were those live shows really like?  How did the crowds react?  Did they get what they were witnessing and how huge the band was going to get?

What about the rest of you?  What tour do you wish that you attended and why?


I’m Looking Out the Window…

I hate February.  I think I say that every year.  If you went back and looked at blog plots from February from last year or the year before or the year before that, etc., I’m sure there are sentences that are very similar to my first sentence.  My students are going a little stir crazy as it has been months of cold temperatures and little sunshine.  I’m dying for spring break but it is months away.

In thinking about this, I realized that the last few Februarys have also been quiet on the Duran front, too.  The band has not toured during the month of February since 2005.  Yes, they have played a few shows here and there in February but not a real tour.  Before that, they did play a few shows in February in 2001 and 1993 with longer tours only during the years of 1994, 1989, and of course, 1984.

Ah, yes, 1984 is the year of Duran-mania.  We all know about that year, that tour.  After all, we all saw Sing Blue Silver, right?  This scene always pops in my head when I think about Duran touring during the winter:

I bet that drive to Pittsburg (That is where they were headed in that scene, right?!) was a tough one.  (I recently drove right past Pittsburgh in the middle of the night in the worst fog ever so I can relate.)  In watching that scene, I always wondered if they feared that they wouldn’t make that show.  This, of course, makes me consider why they might not schedule many tours during February.

Winter can be harsh.  Traveling is certainly unpredictable during the this season.  I worried about the weather in making plans to see Duran around New Year’s in DC.  What if the weather sucked and flights got canceled?  What if I couldn’t get to O’Hare?  I had the same concerns in 2008 when I went to a few shows in the Northeast during December.  Luckily, the weather cooperated both times.

I guess the band could tour just in warm places during the winter in order to avoid potential weather pitfalls.  Then, they would be assured that they could get to the shows  without a problem.  That said, others might not be able to get to those shows as easily.  Perhaps, they realize that there is a group of Duranies who are willing to travel to see them when they can.  Their audiences are not just made up of local or nearby fans.  Some part of the crowd consists of people who traveled to go.  Therefore, tours during the winter could be problematic.

Really, I have no idea why Duran has not toured in the winter in the last ten plus years.  It could be that weather factor or something else.  As much as I understand the potential reason(s) why, I find myself wishing that there were shows coming up in a week or two.  Maybe, it is just that I’m anxious for the shows in March.  Perhaps, I just want a break from a reality that is beyond exhausting at this point.  Whatever the reason, I’ll try to hang in here until the shows get started.


We’ll Be Singing: Duran Tours

Now that I’m off of work for winter break and officially done with all the various tasks I needed to complete for Christmas, I can start to think about the upcoming Duran shows!  As we know, the band is due to play in Cancun on the 29th before moving on to the Washington DC/Maryland area for shows on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  2017 will feature more Duran show as two have already been announced (the shows in Rancho Mirage at Agua Caliente in California) and more are expected to follow.

When the shows in California were announced, many/most Duran fans expressed surprise.  Haven’t they played enough in the States, many wondered.  Obviously, fans outside of the US felt disappointed that nothing was announced in their neck of the woods.  I, for one, can understand that feeling.  After all, is there anything better than seeing Duran live?!  I personally don’t think so!  That said, is the move to return to the United States for a third year unusual?!  Let’s find out!

When looking at the history of Duran tours, I feel that there have been different eras from the early days with the Fab Five, those middle albums of Notorious, Big Thing, etc. following the last of the tours with Warren after Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Currently, we are living through the post-reunion tours that began immediately following the Astronaut album.  How much has the band toured since the reunion?  How much for each album?  Where did they go?  Let’s find out!


Astronaut was released in October 2004.  The band played shows that fall, according to the timeline on the band’s official website:

October 3, 2004 – Columbia Halle, Berlin,Germany
October 11, 2004 – The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, USA
October 12, 2004 – The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, USA
December 2, 2004 – The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Star 94 Jingle Jam)
December 3, 2004 – Cox Arena, San Diego, California, USA (Star 100.7 Jingle Ball)
December 5, 2004 – Sony Studios, Culver City CA, USA (Bailey’s – The Set)
December 6, 2004 – The Pond Theater, Anaheim, California, USA (Star 98.7 Not So Silent Night )

If you analyze these shows, they played 7, 6 of them were in the US.

Then, of course, they toured a lot during 2005.  They shows were split into different parts of the world.

1 show in January in Europe
45 shows in February-March in North America
29 shows in June-July in Europe
16 in July-August in US
3 shows in Japan in August
4 shows in September-October in US
1 show in December in Argentina
9 shows in December in Europe

That is a lot of shows–108 shows in total.

2006 saw more Duran shows:

1 in January in the US
1 in February in Italy
1 in August in Monaco
1 in September in Hong Kong
6 in September-October in Europe
10 in October-November in US

That’s 20 shows in 2006.  Add to the 2004 total and the 2005 total and it equals 135.  82 were in North America (61%).

Red Carpet Massacre Tour:

2007 saw the release of the album in November.  The band played shows around the release:

14 shows in the US in October-November
1 show in Argentina in November
2 shows in Europe in December
5 shows in the US in December-January

Total of 22 shows with 19 in the US.

2008 shows:

1 show in Italy in February
8 shows in New Zealand and Australia in March-April
5 shows in Asia in April
23 shows in North America in April-May
20 shows in Europe in June-July
1 show in the Middle East in October
9 shows in South America in November
8 shows in North America in December

Total number of shows:  75 with 31 in North America

2009 shows:

1 show in Russia in June
6 shows in US in June-July
2 shows in the UK in July

Total number of shows:  9 with 6 in the US.  Total number of shows for RCM:  106 with 56 in North America.  The band played less shows for Red Carpet Massacre with slightly less percent in North America at 53%.

All You Need Is Now:

This album was partially released in December of 2010 and fully released in 2011.  Shows began in 2011 to support the album.

2011 shows:

3 shows in the UK in March
22 shows in North America in March-April
3 shows in Europe in May
4 shows in the UK in September
25 shows in North America in September-October
1 show in Brazil in November
11 shows in the UK in December
1 show in Ireland in December

Total number of shows for the year:  70

2012 shows:

8 shows in Europe in January-February
1 show in the Middle East in March
3 shows in Asia in March
6 shows in Australia in March
6 shows in South America in April-May
14 shows in Europe in June-July
1 show in Asia in July
11 shows in the US in August

Total number of shows:  50.

Total number of shows for All You Need Is Now:  120, which is more than Red Carpet Massacre and less than Astronaut.  The percent of shows in North America was 48%, the least amount of the three.

Paper Gods:

Paper Gods was released in September 2015.  The band played shows that fall.

2015 shows:

1 show in the UK in September
8 shows in the US in September-October
11 shows in the UK in November-December

Total shows:  20 shows

2016 shows:

20 shows in North America in March-May
3 shows in the UK in May-June
6 shows in Europe in June-July (5 in Italy)
28 shows in North America in July-September
1 show in the UK in December

Total shows:  58 (with 1 more to go!)

The total number of shows (so far) for Paper Gods:  78 with 72% in North America.


Clearly, Duran Duran usually plays more than 100 shows per album cycle.  Therefore, it is not surprising that the band plans to play more in 2017.  What is interesting and different is the amount of shows in North America.  Since the band reunited in the early 2000s, they have played about 50-60% of their shows in North America.  During the Paper Gods Tour, however, that percentage has increased to over 70% with more shows planned.  Therefore, it isn’t the number of shows that is surprising or note-worthy but where they are playing that is.  While I love the fact that I, along with my other North American friends, have had many chances to see Duran, it would logical and fair for the band to try to reach other parts of the world after the spring US shows.


I’ll hold on to the memories

Funny thing while writing this post earlier…I had just finished this 800-word blog and saw that I needed to delete one single word. I navigated to the word, hit “delete”, and the cursor moved, deleting each letter. Then it kept going. No matter what key I hit or how much I screamed (because you know that I was), the cursor kept going. 700 words later, I finally got it to stop. Well, that’s lovely.

I really don’t know what I hit, but it was user-error of epic proportion. So, I did what any human on a time-constraint might. I said several four-letter words, and slammed my laptop shut. So here I am, back for round two!!

Real life has been “challenging” as of late for me.  As those tests mixed with a few frustrations surrounding getting tickets for shows, I’ve found myself starting to think more and more about selling the tickets I had (or asking Amanda to sell them) and just not doing any shows next year.  Too expensive, too stressful, too unfair, and real-life problems are not sorting themselves out fast enough for me. So off and on I’ve considered that perhaps it is time for me to sit this one out.

This thought was in my head quite a bit over the weekend and truthfully I’m still not sure what I need to do. I am hoping that by not doing anything right now and just letting it all sort of “stew” during the winter holidays, perhaps after the first of the year the right answers will come. Like anything, it’s complicated.

As these thoughts were floating around in my head, I went about my business until I came across a quote posted on Anna Ross’ FB page.


I stopped and read the quote, and then really thought about it. Oddly, I haven’t been listening to a lot of music lately.  Even when driving back and forth to take my kids to school – I’ve kept the radio off and driven in silence. (I needed peace) Even so, the quote hits home with me. It isn’t just about hearing the music, although sometimes the music is great. It’s the memories.

No matter how many times I’ve heard some songs live – new memories seem to be made each time.  One example I can give, and I tend to hesitate greatly with this one, is “Hungry Like the Wolf” (cue groaning). I was so sick of hearing that one live…until the All You Need is Now tour when Dom and John started coming to the front of stage to taunt…..err “play”…..part of it. I almost look forward to it in the set list now! “Save a Prayer” is another good example. I have seen it played many times and while I’ve always liked it, my memories of the song were mainly hearing Simon ask us to light up our mobile phones, that is, until the last time I saw it played at Agua Caliente. When I think about the song now, I think of driving all the way to Berkeley, back to Palm Springs, and then to my house. 1000 miles gives you a lot of time to think, rethink and overthink the simplest of things.  I remember Amanda reading me texts from friends while I was driving late at night, or walking to dinner and navigating uneven sidewalks in Berkeley while reading and answering email. “Wild Boys” takes me to the morning after the Agua Caliente show when  I drove like a crazy person from Palm Springs to LAX in order for Amanda to make her flight. It rained most of the way – which is pretty unheard of during October in So Cal – and that didn’t help me make-up time. “Pressure Off” makes me think of a party, complete with confetti cannons – which is a perfect description of the last tour in many respects.  I can’t really even think of “White Lines” without laughing at the memory of me ducking down behind a friend as Simon did his infamous water trick.  Farther back in my mind, I think of listening to John’s “Fields of Eden” as Amanda and I traveled in the UK by train, and “Secret Oktober” will forever remind me of being in Brighton – making it to that first UK show ever for me – and having the band break that one out.

The music would not be the same without the memories of people, places and things attached. The thoughts of those people, the places I’ve gone to see them, and the things I’ve done with them make me smile, even through some of the more painful portions of life.

I might not have all of the answers, but when I think about all of the fantastic memories I have from over the years I’ve seen Duran Duran – and all of the people I count as friends as a result, I don’t know how I could even think of missing shows next year. We will see.


My heart it screams: Duran Duran fandom

This is not my day to write for the blog, and I know that. I also am well-aware I should be teaching math right about now to my youngest, who…as I write about Duran Duran fandom…is standing in her bedroom (supposedly getting dressed) and truly belting the song “Last Night in the City”.  She’s seven. So there’s that. I figure I’ve got at least another 45-minutes before she wanders out here again, wondering why I haven’t called her “to class.” So I keep writing…

Today started as any other “normal” (I laugh at that word) day in my house. It’s my husband’s birthday, and I have a lot to accomplish before the family gathers tonight to celebrate. I baked a cake at 7am this morning…as one does.  But then I decided to check out Facebook and Twitter, and down the rabbit hole I went.  I’m glad I did, otherwise I would not have stumbled upon this FANTASTIC fan reaction video that I’m going to share right here – and I insist that you stop whatever it is you’re doing to watch it. RIGHT NOW.

I’ve sat through the video “a few” times now…obviously not so that I can critique her comments, or so that I can accurately assess her Duran Duran fandom. Definitely not. I sat here watching and smiling, and nearly tearing up, because this girl – Sophie – reminds me of myself when I was young. I look nothing like her (she’s way cooler than I was at 17), but she reminds me of that easy youthful way I embraced the band. She reminds me of WHY.

Sometimes Amanda and I take Duran Duran and our fandom incredibly seriously when we shouldn’t. Sometimes that comes with having to deal with all the behind-the-scenes intricacies of owning a blog read by a lot of people. Other times, it comes from over thinking, and still many more times it comes with being self-conscious about how I must look and sound to others. I forget to actually BE a fan, I suppose.

Sophie, on the other hand, hasn’t forgotten. She react in the way that ANY of us might, and she posts it publicly for all to see. In my head and heart, I have to hope and believe that her natural reaction means more to the band than any award – any Grammy, any MTV EMA or Q Award might. The Duran Duran fandom is their legacy, that reaction is what they leave, and will continue leaving, in their wake, and it is beyond beautiful.

Thinking back to the recent shows here in California, I know how I felt and behaved. The “fan girl” still lives and breathes within this heart and mind of mine, rest assured. But there’s something fresh, innocent, and validating about seeing a second generation Duranie (and by all means – she embraces the full meaning of what it is to be a Duranie) have the same natural reaction that I might. I don’t know, for me, watching her reaffirmed how I feel. I wanted to stand up, cheer and HUG her because she gets it, and she shows it to the whole world. I need to bottle some of her enthusiasm for later use.

In addition to Sophie, who I would love to interview (I mean it, Sophie – if you’re reading – send me an email because I would love to chat with you for the blog!), I also stumbled upon two other fantastic blog posts on thesassologist.com that I need to share.

The first is on fan girls. Amusingly enough, I ran upon this blog post just before I saw Sophie’s video. Must be a theme today or something…  I don’t know when it started to be a bad thing to BE a fan, but it is apparently especially bad to be a fan girl. The stigma can be horrendous at times, and if we thought it was bad back when we were teenagers, it’s even worse at 45. As an adult, I recognize the girl(s) described in the blog…because I see many of them at the shows I go to. Heck, I think I actually WAS one of those girls at the Agua Caliente show as I stood with my elbows on the stage, marveling at the fact that Nick could see my every reaction and actually smiled in my general direction, or that John was just a few feet from me. Or that Simon was within spitting distance… 😉 So I had to chuckle because the post is written as to remind the adults that it’s OK for teens to fan girl a bit. It’s OK for 45-year olds to fan girl too…we applaud that sort of thing around here.

As an aside, the author of The Sassologist apparently works for Katy Perry’s management team – and it sounds like she must help run the fan forums. She must help to do contests and meet and greets, because she specifically refers to those things in the posts I read. She has a unique vantage point – one that I am completely envious of – because she talks about making people’s dreams come true. I so get that. Amanda and I obviously don’t work for the band, but we definitely do our bit to foster community here, and we want to do more in the coming months and years. More than anything else we do, I love seeing friendships be made because of a party we put together or a convention we planned in order to celebrate being Duran Duran fans. I can’t even imagine how gratifying it might be to run an entire fan community or facilitate contests and things like that on top of what we already do – but I would jump at the opportunity for sure!

The second post is about seeing your favorite artist(s) multiple times.  On a personal level, this article hits a home run. I almost cringe when I will mention to my family that I’m going to be traveling or that Amanda is coming to visit, because undoubtedly, the next reactions consist of, “Again? Don’t you get tired of seeing them?” and “Doesn’t it cost you a lot to go to these shows?” To which my answers are always, “Yes.” “No, I don’t get tired because every single show is different, even if they play the same exact set list.” and “Yes. Yes it does cost a lot for me to go, but it’s something I really enjoy doing for myself.”

There is obviously a lot more that goes into my replies to the family, because annoyingly, I feel like I must somehow justify myself. I’ve seen the band something like 34 times now or so. More than some, and a lot less than others. This blog and those duties (like our pre-show parties and meet-ups) aside, if I didn’t love going to see Duran Duran, I wouldn’t go. Every time I see them, it’s different. They play the same basic set list each show for the most part, even if the songs are in slightly different order – but anyone who has ever gone to more than one show on a tour knows that every show is different.  The audiences are different, venues change, cities change…and the fans who go to the shows change. But I like going, and although I’ve commented here that the travel is kicking my ass (and it does tend to do that), I still love going. The expense is more problematic for me right now, but there is still so much I want to see happen with Daily Duranie.  We’re working to create a community by doing these fan events before the shows, writing blogs, running contests and even planning conventions. I need to do whatever I can to keep that momentum going. My family doesn’t really understand.

That’s the beauty of this wonderful community-at-large, we DO understand one another….as these videos and articles I’ve shared prove. I appreciate being able to smile my way into another weekend as I continue thinking about what it really means to be a fan. Excuse me for butting into Amanda’s blogging days, as I steer myself back to the task at hand: teaching math to my youngest!