Tag Archives: Duran Duran US tour

We’ll Light Up the Land

If only people had seen the texts between Amanda and I yesterday….

My fingers flew fast and furious over my phone yesterday, as Amanda and I began an impromptu session of “US Tour Planning, 2016 Edition!” Even as we countdown to the beginning of the first leg of the US tour dates, Amanda and I are still trying to figure out which end is “up”, in some respects. We have some tickets to some shows. We would like tickets to some other shows…and we need tickets to still others. It is a mess, basically. Yet, we know that as time wears on here, we need a plan. I was pretty happy swimming along in a sea of ambiguity, until I realized that if I didn’t have a basic plan in my head – my kids were going to steal the time from me and I wouldn’t be able to get away. As it is, the summer feels like it will be remarkably shorter than in previous years, so I felt like I needed to get serious and make a plan.

As we texted back and forth, one thing became clear: I was going to be gone for quite a bit longer than I’d realized   initially told my husband. I know it isn’t cool to speak of the spouses, and we all pretend we just decide for ourselves we’re going to shows and that’s that. Let me get real here for a second. It is a big deal for me to leave for any length of time. A long weekend is doable and I daresay that’s gotten to be “easy”.  My husband works incredibly long days right now, but he still does have his weekends, so those work most of the time. Five days means that I’ve got to leave a significant schedule of events and the kids have to be covered, particularly during school. My six-day, second trip to the UK was a major undertaking, primarily because I was overseas and it wasn’t that easy for them to reach me at the time, and all of the kids were still in school. My husband had to take off time so that I could go. My first trip to the UK was nine-days in length, and my husband in particular acted as though I was leaving him permanently. We literally passed one another in the airport because as I was getting in, he was leaving for Taiwan for a week.

I’ve never been gone longer. 

So when I counted up the days and realized I was not going to just be gone for a week, but rather ten or eleven days…and that was just the first trip, because at the end of the month Amanda would be coming to California for several more days worth of shows and touring, I took a deep breath. This was going to require finesse. Empathy. Care…..and a remarkable sense of good timing (one that I do not always have, actually). I was going to have to casually catch him off guard, in a great mood, and word my request carefully. This was going to be a challenge.

At that precise moment, I heard the bellow of an angry man upstairs, going through our cell phone bill. Questions began to come flying: “Did you hear that sales guy tell us he was giving us the ‘buy one – get one free’ special?? Why are BOTH new phones on our bill, Rhonda??” Oh boy. This was not that time. I said as much to Amanda, who at that point was more than ready to start planning, commenting on how thick the tour binder would be for this trip (she IS the planner out of the two of us!!).  With our hope to go to Toronto, we’d even be leaving the country!! As we continued to text back and forth, my texts mostly lamenting the challenge ahead, hers mostly sympathetic with  a whisper of “just tell him!!” (I don’t blame her)

I hedged, knowing that I’d get nowhere. Fast.

I sat stewing as I continued thinking of other options. I could skip going a couple of days early as I’d planned, instead squeezing in time with my sister between the shows and in one day following the shows at Ravinia, assuming I get tickets. I didn’t like that idea because I owe her a real visit unencumbered by Duran Duran, yet I don’t have frequent flier miles the way I once did – so I have to optimize my trips. I could skip out after Chicago, but I already have tickets to Detroit (our seats suck though and I could sell them).  I could just not bother with Toronto since we don’t have tickets there currently, but Amanda really wants to go to see them in Canada and our friend Heather has tickets to that show. Besides, what is Daily Duranie if we’re not together??? No, I was going. To all of it.  One way or another. I swallowed hard, trying to fill myself with confidence and resolve for the task ahead. In the meantime, I could hear my husband typing away on his keyboard, so I wandered upstairs. He was chatting with the cell phone company about our bill. At first it seemed he was getting nowhere, but suddenly he turned and smiled. Smiling? That’s a decent sign, I thought. I sat down cross-legged on the carpet (my favorite place to sit, by the way), figuring I’d wait it out. I continued “planning” with Amanda, agreeing that since we didn’t know about “tomorrow”,…we only knew about this tour, this album, etc….we needed to just go for it. No regrets. Do as much as we can, without going overboard. (to clarify: “overboard” to us is probably very different from “overboard” to you, dear reader. We also write a fan blog about this band. On a daily basis, no less. Get it?)

Just as I arrived to this point of clarity, Walt (the husband in question), pushed his chair away from the desk, triumphant. He starts to make plans with me for the rest of the day, very happy with his outcome. The cell phones will not be thrown through windows, nor will we take up an online smear campaign about the cell phone company or service just yet. I quickly surmise that this is my moment, throw caution to the wind, and launch into “the executive summary” of how long I need to be gone in July and why. I’ve learned that fewer words are better than more when it comes to Walt. He will ask questions as time goes on, and I will need to have those answers at the ready…but for now? Short is best! He looks down (I’m sitting on the floor, remember), peers over his glasses at me, and says “OK”.  I know I will come to pay for this in a variety of ways later, but at least in this moment…I win.

Triumph!!

I don’t know if I’m willing to put our itinerary out here, primarily because as I mentioned, tickets have not been secured for all shows, and I’m trying to leave the door (window, gate, etc.) open…just in case. (“Just in case” could mean anything from finding a long-lost relative willing to pay for me to go to shows for an entire month AND tell my husband I’ll be gone – “keep dreaming, Rhonda”, I know!! – to other shows being announced, to just about anything else under the sun.) What I can say is that I’m going to Chicago in July to see my sister, catch up with Amanda, perhaps run into some other Duranies, and maybe even see a band in the process. I don’t know for sure, because tickets have not yet gone on sale, nor do I know how many body parts I would need to be OK in parting with in order to be able to afford to attend. It does sound like there will be a healthy group of Duranies in Chicago for this two-day lovefest of the Paper Gods, and we will definitely plan a pre-show extravaganza to get the party started! We do not currently have tickets to Toronto, but we’d really like to go there – it is a city neither of us have ever been, and I happen to know that there is quite a contingent of Duranies making the trip. If we’re lucky enough to find tickets, it seems like a pre-show meet up would not be out of the question. At some point, I will fly home to Southern California, presumably to rest up before Amanda flies out here and we begin the process once again, catching shows in California for the final portion of the US tour.

The bottom line is that Amanda and I will be together for most of the month of July. We are going on a big trip, and we’re taking the fan community with us…whether you’re going to be at shows in person, or reading from afar. There will be parties, laughter, set lists (because you know we’re not going to let that band get away with Hungry Like the Wolf  or Ordinary World again, right???), photos of drinking sessions…and probably quite a few photos of scenery and driving because well, we’re going to be doing some of that along the way. Let it not be said that we didn’t live the Paper Gods US tour to its fullest here on Daily Duranie, and we invite you to come along for the ride! Join us here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!

-R

Paper Gods 2016 North American Tour Dates!!!

I received the most interesting phone call yesterday at about 5pm my time. I was in my car, driving frantically from Office Depot, of all places, back to pick my youngest up from her singing lessons. I was pushing it, time-wise, and cursing while waiting for a lengthy traffic light to change when my cell phone rang. Normally when this happens, I ignore it unless I happen to see who is calling – so it was just dumb luck that I noticed it was Amanda. I had exchanged texts with her earlier, so I couldn’t imagine what it was she needed, but I answered the phone.

She seemed a little too joyful for what was about 7pm her time, so I immediately knew something was up. Naturally, and I really should have guessed this, but the dates for the North American portion of the Paper Gods 2016 tour were emailed to members of DDM. (Did I not warn all of you to get your membership??!!)

“Honestly Amanda. ONE HOUR. I left my computer for ONE FREAKING HOUR.” 

Amanda laughs, of course, because more often than not – this is how our “tour planning” begins. I would swear I’m always in my damn car, without any way to really check the calendar or have any sort of visual reference as to what being told to me. All I’m thinking of in the moment as she’s listing the tour dates: A. Gotta stay in my lane and not get into an accident. B. Why in the hell does this have to happen NOW?

Somehow, I make it to pick up my daughter, and get us to the grocery store to buy food for dinner (yes, I’m that organized…which means I’m not at all…), then back to my house to prepare said dinner. All the while in nearly a full panic as I try to understand and commit to memory that Durham is in April, Washington DC is happening on my 21st wedding anniversary (not gonna even attempt to go to that one), Chicago is NOT in the spring, but instead in July…when both Amanda and I are as free as birds (Not to be taken literally…), and they’re even coming to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, which is five miles from my house. FIVE MILES! I don’t even know if that’s what the amphitheater is still called – they change names constantly – but I haven’t seen the band there since the 90s when I was still in college. I don’t really even have to take the freeway or toll road to get there and on a clear day I can SEE it from my street!

For the first time, Duran Duran managed to not only book a tour during a time of year where neither Amanda nor I need worry about scheduling – but they’ve even managed to NOT have dates during May or June – which are disaster months for the both of us.  At first, we bantered about going to shows in Florida during the spring, but ultimately we agreed that we couldn’t do them all – and since it was easiest for both of us to travel during the summer, we would do what shows we could during that time. July it is!

Before I get much further, I just want to take a minute to be thankful.  Duran Duran made our choices difficult this time, but not because there wasn’t anything to choose from. No…just the opposite, really! Most of the shows are centered around weekends (I’ve seen many say they’re during the week, but I didn’t find that to be the case in the shows I considered), they’re during a time of year when Amanda and I can both be away from our homes, and I personally think they’re in great places. But no, they can’t cover the entire country, and yes, there ARE really outstanding places left out completely. There is no winning this game for the band unless they spend the better part of the year traveling here.  That said, it was nice to HAVE choices, and quite frankly it was nice to have dates at all.

Yeah, I know the pre-sales are tomorrow and that Christmas is a couple of weeks away. This isn’t the first time that’s happened, and its definitely not the first time we’ve been given less than two days until a pre-sale begins. Optimal? No, it’s not. I am not a fan of Ticketmaster and even less so of the scalpers who will likely leach the tickets before I even have a chance to find decent ones. I’m disappointed that DDHQ decided to go that route, but I’m not in charge and I don’t know how the system works for them at all. There’s always going to be something, and there’s always going to be someone who can’t buy tickets for one reason or another. I’m also well-aware that we’re going to be doing pre-sales for shows that are over six months away. That does seem excessive, until you look at other bands who do the very same thing. To be fair, none of us know how tours work for Duran Duran. I would imagine that deposits have to be made on some of these facilities, people need to be paid, etc, etc…and that money has to come from somewhere. So, pre-sales have to happen. Yes, it sucks and YES…I DO wish they would give us more than 48 hours to make decisions. It isn’t ever going to be perfect.

Additionally, and more importantly at least in my mind, we’re lucky we’re getting shows at all. I may be the only one who feels that way, but I’m still going to take a minute to say it here publicly. We’re fortunate to have dates to even consider. There are many other fans in many other places of the world that would love to just be given the opportunity to go to a show – much less have Amanda and I do parties and meet-ups, so I can’t complain about the system not being perfect for everyone. I see a lot of grumbling and complaining, both good-natured and otherwise, and I just wonder if we’ve taken the time to acknowledge how lucky we really are to have Duran Duran coming here to tour again. After all, this isn’t a band who stays on our “Top Ten” charts for long, if at all. This isn’t a band who has a ton of radio play here, either. Thankfully, they still come here because our market is valuable to them, and I appreciate that.

We’ve already heard from many of you out there, asking us where we’re going, suggesting we come to this show or that one, hoping we’ll set up meet-ups and pre-parties everywhere we go. Rest assured, the time for planning and partying will be coming soon. I can hardly wait to start getting sleep so that I can stay awake the entire month of July to see as many of you as possible!!

After major negotiating and planning with my cohort, we do have some shows in mind. Chicago speaks to both of us because we love that city and there are two dates there. We’re hoping to make Detroit and Toronto as well since I can fly out do those dates in a single trip. We’d really like to do Vegas, as well as Irvine and Chula Vista, which means Amanda would fly out to me and then we’d road trip those together. That’s a lot of shows, and to be perfectly blunt – it’s expensive. We would really love to be able to plan pre-show parties everywhere, because we see the difference it makes when people come to a party for fans, BY fans before the show (and after the show, too!). The reality is, we just can’t unless we win the lottery, find wealthy benefactors, or suddenly figure out how to turn this into a business so that our costs can be covered.  Until then, we do what we can, and we sit a lot farther back! As the tour gets closer, we will keep everyone updated on our plans for parties and meet-ups here, on Facebook, Twitter, and our message board.

In the meanwhile, I extend the best of luck to everyone with pre-sales tomorrow. May your ticket prices not bankrupt you, your seats be fantastic, and good vodka be ever close at hand.  😉  (Ok, maybe not the vodka for a lot of you…but I figured while I was at it, I’d just throw that in there…)

-R

PS – can you believe we’re all doing this again?!?