It’s Monday, the beginning of our first full week being back to school, and I’m relatively uninspired. This whole “going to school every single day” thing may take me some time. (We are ex-homeschoolers!)
I was looking at a calendar that Amanda made for me (she makes one every year for us – I love it because the calendar includes pictures and dates that are important to the two of us!), and saw that on this date in 2012, we were driving to Atlanta to see a show!
Driving on the autobahn
The show was at Chastain Park, and it was part of the All You Need is Now tour. The night before, we’d been in Biloxi, Mississippi to see them play at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. I remember that the drive from Biloxi to Atlanta felt ridiculously long. We’d gotten up and out on the road quite early, but by the time we came rolling into Atlanta, we realized we were under the gun. We had to hurry to get ready and get ourselves over to the restaurant/bar named Shout, where we were hosting a meet up that night before the show.
The meet up was fun, and we had a decent-sized crowd of enthusiastic, excited Duran Duran fans gathered. I can remember chatting as we waited for food to arrive (as I recall, that took a while!), and before we knew it – the party bus we’d hired to take us to and from the venue (parking is tough up at Chastain Park!) had arrived. It never felt like we had enough time to relax and chat on this particular road trip – probably because we drove 1600 miles or so over a four-day period, which was insane.
Both Amanda and I were thankful we’d organized the party bus/shuttle as we saw the line of cars waiting to get in (and later on…out) of the neighborhood leading up to the amphitheater. It had been raining that day, and I distinctly remember feeling like I’d entered a steam room as we waited for the band to take the stage that night.
Despite the crazy amount of driving we were doing on that road trip, I had a lot of fun. Amanda calls it one of our stranger trips – and I suppose she’s right in some ways. In hindsight, I see it as one of those roadtrips that sounded right at the time we’d organized it, but in practice – nothing went quite as planned. Even so, I saw a part of the country I’d never been to before, and met Duranies I’d only previously chatted with online. I still can’t get over the crowd we had show up in Durham for our meet up there. We took over a wine bar just a few blocks from the venue, and it was the most fun I’ve had outside of the conventions I’ve attended.
Losing my way as the night gets long
I remember specific instances from each show, too. In Biloxi, we were at the front for the very first time. I gripped the rail with a white knuckle grip that I only loosened about halfway through the show. Amanda and I will always recall that show as being a sort of out-of-body experience. We were in the front, but I felt like my body was rooted directly to the cement floor under me. We’ll just call that ‘nerves’.
In Atlanta, it was the drippy stage roof. It sounds like a strange thing to remember, but there Amanda and I were, dancing like fools in front of Dom’s spot in the second row. There had been rain on and off all day, but by that time – the rain had slowed down to a sprinkle that came and went throughout the show. It was just far enough back to where the roof line was directly over us. All was fine until I felt a drip hit my heck and then roll down my back. Then again, and again! I couldn’t escape them, and every so often, I’d feel another hit, which would make me shiver a bit as I danced and tried to forget the feeling of being in a steam pit!
Durham was in their performing arts center, which is beautiful. After the show, Amanda and I found ourselves in the back of the venue, waiting for the band to come out. They eventually did – and it was a thrill to see them wave to everyone as they left, even turning around to wave out the windows of their vans and SUV’s as they were driven away.
I bought into the dream
Our final show on that trip was Portsmouth in Virginia. I loved this venue because it was set right on the water, but also disliked it because the stage was so high and our chairs were so close to the stage that we either kinked our necks looking up, or stared at the blank “wall” of the stage in front of us. Another tour had come and gone, and the next day we were driving back to Raleigh so that I could catch my flight home.
This was the tour where we had spent many hours outlining a writing project, and the one where I’d had the nerve to suggest we host a convention.
Makes me wonder what crazy idea I’ll come up with next!