Tag Archives: Fox Theater Oakland

Duran Duran History: July 7th Live Dates

Interestingly enough, when I look at my personal Duran Duran calendar, I notice that I have seen Duran Duran play more in July than any other month. Is that because of me–because other months don’t work as well? Or is it because they tour more in July? While I admit that it is by far easier to see concerts in the summer for me, I tend to think that Duran does play a lot in July. They certainly choose the summer to perform a lot more than say…January. I would figure that it might be easier on them, too. There is less of a chance of a problem, weather wise, in the summer. There are more options for venues, too. Anyways, what about this date, in particular?

In order to answer that question, I went over to the band’s official website to check out the complete tour. Here’s what I found.

  • July 7, 1987 – Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN, USA
  • July 7, 1993 – Sports Palace, Mexico City, Mexico
  • July 7, 2003 – Jo Hall , Osaka, Japan
  • July 7, 2007 – Wembley Stadium, London, UK ( Live Earth)
  • July 7, 2008 – Birmingham Nia, Birmingham, UK
  • July 7, 2009 – The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • July 7, 2012 – Skopsko Kale Open Air, Skopje, Macedonia
  • July 7, 2017 – Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

Interesting. While there were many other years that featured tours in July, this date was often a day off. Despite that, there are a few in this list that seems significant.

The first one that jumps out to me is that one in 2003 in Osaka. All right, Duran historians, what makes this one so important? It is, indeed, the first one of the reunion tour! It was the first time the Fab Five played live together since Live Aid. A DVD of the show was created and you can see many of the songs on YouTube, including this video:

Every time I watch clips from this show, I get goosebumps. I am not sure that it is the most amazing performance ever but it is the first time since Live Aid, since 1985. I know that I never thought I would see them together again and I’m sure that I was not the only one. I can only imagine how magical it was to be there!

The next one that grabs my attention is Live Earth 2007. It was a show to benefit the fight against climate change. The thing I remember is that Duran was the only band to play at both Live Earth and the previous week’s tribute to Princess Diana. I, for one, appreciate the heck out of the band when they do things like this. I know that some fans might not be as excited but I like that they show that they care. I found a clip of this, too!

The last show that is significant for me is that show in Oakland in 2017. While that show is a bit tainted for me due to my horrendous hangover, I did think the show was fabulous! I think the highlights for me and lots of others were Hold Back the Rain and Ordinary World. It is amazing how much adding one fan favorite into the setlist adds life into a show.

Of course, the other real key moment was the introduction to Ordinary World as Simon dedicated the song to his mom who had recently passed away. I can pretty certainly say that there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.

All in all, this date in Duran history seems to be filled with some significant shows and moments. Do you have any memories from any of these shows?

-A

Time Flies…

One year ago today, I saw Duran play at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California.  Two years ago today, I left for Chicago to begin my summer Paper Gods tour.  As I sit here in my living room, I am thinking about how quickly time has flown by and how much can change in a year or two.

July always represents the middle of summer to me.  I’m no longer trying to grasp a schedule or let go of the baggage that typically follows a school year.  I’m not worried that the next school year is around the corner or that my to-do list is still way too long for my liking.  In thinking about Julys of the past, each of them give a different flavor.  Three years ago, my mom was battling breast cancer and my summer was spent taking her to chemo and trying to clean up my parents’ house to sell it.  Then, two years ago, the Paper Gods tour took up the big focus.  Last year, when I attended the shows in Oakland and San Francisco, I can now recognize how I used those shows in an attempt to grasp any joy and fun I could.  I needed that.  I needed that more than I knew.

In thinking about the two shows and that weekend as a whole, I have fond memories.  I remember drinking wine with Rhonda both the first night in and at a fabulous Italian restaurant for lunch.  Those times weren’t wild and crazy but appreciated.  Then, there were the wild and crazy times dancing at the Cat Club.  (No comment from my friends…)  The shows themselves were amazing despite the little or not-so-little things that didn’t go well.  For Oakland, we managed to be upfront due to the Telegraph Room that I had researched and had contacted both Ticketmaster and the venue itself to get tickets for.  Somehow, I survived that day while having one of the worst hangovers in my life.  San Francisco resulted in middle of the venue location, which served us well, too.  Yeah, in thinking about that weekend, I cherish the little moments like a wave in a hotel lobby or painting shoes lime green.

Now, there are no shows on the horizon.  There are no plans for fun besides getting together here and there with local friends.  In some ways, I desperately wish that I did have something to look forward to, to keep me going.  On the other hand, part of me feels that it would just be distraction that I cannot afford right now.  In looking at my upcoming calendar, it is filled with political events and activities.  Soon enough, I will be running weekly events to try and reach local voters.  Election Day 2018 is just around the corner.  On top of all that, I have to be available for my parents.

In thinking about the past summers as well as the present one, it is funny that I think of them all through the lens of what Duran is doing.  While there have been some activity with things like private events and documentaries this summer, overall, it has been quiet.  It almost feels like the powers that be understand that as much as I would love to have some fun Duran related plans, that I’m needed elsewhere.  I can only hope then that they will be ready with something amazing just when the time will be right for me.  I have a feeling that it will be the most amazing, special time.  Something tells me that I will really need it then.

-A

Paper Gods Tour: The Final Leg

I know the final leg of Paper Gods #Duranlive is coming because I see the tweets from DDHQ.  The posts with a stage shot, sparking my anticipation a bit. I look at the calendar and recognize that next week at this time (I’m starting to lose track of what day of the week it is – which is WONDERFUL), I’ll be nervously packing up the last of the things I need and getting ready to drive up to Los Angeles to pick up my copilot for this final leg!

What a road it has been, and not all of it smooth or easy to navigate. In a lot of ways, I can’t believe this is really the last leg of Paper Gods.   It seems like just a few months ago that Amanda and I received the full album and gave it a good listen. Even less since I picked Amanda up from LAX and drove to our hotel near the Hollywood Bowl (apparently it’s been long enough for me to forget the name…), or since she and I hung out at the W in Los Angeles, or drove over the Canadian border. I don’t know where the time went, but I have to say, I think I really did love every minute of it!

Paper Gods, for me, wasn’t an easy sell. I didn’t fall in love at the first listen. Falling somewhere in between Red Carpet Massacre and All You Need is Now on a musical level (for me – your experience will be different and that’s wonderful!), I didn’t have that immediate bonding that I craved. It took time and patience, which was something I wasn’t expecting. I wrote many a review, and spent a lot of time trying to pinpoint what I loved, and what fell short.  Even so, it would be unfair not to recognize the musical genius within. The hard work is evident, and it is very clear that the band went full-throttle with heart, soul and everything in between to finish.

On the upside, the touring here in the states has been nothing short of phenomenal. The Hollywood Bowl, Ravinia, Red Rocks, shows on New Years Eve and New Years Day, but to name a few. Absolute craziness. Shows were announced without warning, and it’s a good thing I take blood pressure medicine religiously, because one never knew what would be announced next.

On the other hand, there’s the rest of the world. A handful of shows in Italy, a few in the UK, Lollapalooza in South America, Gran Prix in Singapore…and a scattering of others. The rest of world pretty much missed out. Yes, there are a million verifiable reasons why the tour shook out this way, none of which provide much in the way of solace for fans who have been waiting. I might also gently suggest that the band saying “We really want to go to the Far East!” or “Hoping to hit Australia and even New Zealand!” probably didn’t help, although, if one really listened and read through the lines, particularly just before the album was announced and the band was saying they probably would not get to a lot of places on this tour and that it would be shorter, maybe there wouldn’t be as much of a surprise. Even so, as a fan, I have to wonder what is really going on. No conspiracies, but to leave out the rest of the world seems odd. Promoters work to get the band booked places, and I have a difficult time believing there is no demand for them in say, Japan. Or Australia. Or anywhere in Europe besides Italy.

Here we are, standing ever closer to the edge—together. We’re near the end of one album cycle, one final leg of the tour left, not entirely sure of what will follow. There’s talk of the studio, of a three-year celebration of the 40th anniversary (I still have a hard time typing that number. It feels like a mistake and I have to remind myself that yes, it really has been that long.), of a musical, and still many other fans believe that band is going to retire and they’re on their way out. None of us really know what will come next, until the band tells us. So while I’m anxious to go see the shows next week, I’m also slightly apprehensive of the unknown. After all, I’ve had a lot of fun and I don’t want it to stop!

Nagging thoughts aside, I get the feeling we’ve only just gotten started.

-R