Tag Archives: Harvey’s Lake Tahoe

Guest Blog: Lake Tahoe Review

By Shonda Talerico Dudlicek

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know the words?

It was the last night in the city and everyone came to party. And it was a full moon and Friday the 13th.

It was enough of a weird combination to prompt Nick to “grope” Simon at the end of the show, for Simon to forget the next line in “The Reflex” and say: “I don’t know the fucking words,” and for Simon to miss catching his tambourine, only to see it bounce out into the audience, never to return. 

Duran Duran played the final evening of the summer series at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys and they were clearly in the mood for fun. Sure, Simon declared we were the best audience on this tour. I’ve seen them enough times to know this is a common refrain. But this performance brought out the best of our band.

Songs strayed from recent lineups and well-rehearsed beats, with touches of remixes that reminded me of the old 12-inch singles.  

And why not add those riffs to songs that we’ve memorized? Duran Duran was notorious for releasing album after album of remixes after remixes. Let’s hear some of them! John gave us some funkier bass lines on “Planet Earth”, and Dom threw in some even-more-Andy-like guitar licks on “Sunrise.”

Which is to say that the last few times I’ve seen them on the never-ending “Paper Gods” tour – New Orleans 2019, Las Vegas 2017, Atlanta 2017 and Minneapolis 2016 – the shows seemed more rehearsed with precise timing. Who amongst us doesn’t yell out “Switch it on!” during “Planet Earth” or “1-2-3-4” or “Uno, dos, tres, quatro!” during “Rio?” We’ve got “Arena” and “Sing Blue Silver” etched into our brains, so our responses are Pavlovian.

But first, the negatives I must get out of the way that really have nothing to do with the band, and more with the venue. 

Harveys posted online a few days before the show about the bag policy. Only clear bags and clutch-sized bags would be permitted. My trusty crossbody concert purse – the one I use to tie my concert tees to the strap, in which I can easily slip my Hasselblad zoom lens attachment in a side pocket so I can clip it to my cell phone for those breathtaking close-ups – was banished to the car. I had to stuff my wallet, ticket and phone into pockets of my jeans that were now constantly pulled down by the extra weight. 

I was really ticked about leaving my camera attachment behind, especially when I rely on it for concerts and was depending on it for photos for this guest blog.

But I was pleasantly surprised to see Duran Duran take the stage only 20 minutes late, an improvement from so many shows. No opening act, no booing from impatient fans, which especially wounds my soul.

The band jumped right in with “Hungry Like the Wolf,” a song traditionally farther down the lineup or even at times as an encore. It was a great burst of energy that other shows lacked that began with the choir opening and “New Religion” and the title track from “Paper Gods.” The first New Orleans show had a fan pass out after three hours of waiting, and those of us around her tried to get security’s attention at the Fillmore just as Simon took the stage. Kinda cast a somber note on that show.

In Lake Tahoe, we were treated to all the concert favorites you’d expect (see the set list). “A View to a Kill” and “Wild Boys” seem to strain Simon’s voice with each passing year. But after these songs, Simon’s voice always springs back to life. I’ve been at shows when he was fighting some malady and his voice wasn’t as strong or maybe be moved around less. But tonight, Simon was the host, and he was clearly out to show us a good time. 

There were a few odd moments: Simon brought up a fan who held up a YES sign in reply to “Is anybody hungry” at previous shows and had her sing part of “The Reflex,” Simon recited the poem “The Thread” with no explanation before launching into “Ordinary World” and ended another song with three simple words: “Little Red Corvette.” Why? It just ended there. Making a statement? They performed “Purple Rain” at a show in Minneapolis a few months after Prince’s death, which made sense, but this did not.  

“The Reflex” had playful banter with Simon striding back to Nick’s kingdom and when Simon asked “Why?” Nick replied, “Because it’s Friday the 13th!” The crowd went absolutely wild.   

Pensive John on the bass during “The Chauffeur.”

The last couple shows Duran Duran trotted out some deep cuts, gems like “The Seventh Stranger,” “Friends of Mine” (the last two I saw in New Orleans and the former brought me to tears) and “Anyone Out There.” Not tonight, which was a little disappointing, but we were treated to “The Chauffeur,” which had been shelved for my last few shows, and “Planet Earth,” both huge favorites of mine. They ditched the “Space Oddity” add-on and the NASA graphics post-July were absent. These both have run their course. But I would have liked a song or two from “All You Need is Now,” one of my favorite albums from start to finish and a memorable tour.

Simon has a spanking good time during encore “White Lines.”

Some veterans of the “Paper Gods” tour may tire of “Pressure Off” and “White Lines,” but honestly, the energy both tracks evoke from the band are throwbacks to when we were younger. The band just crackles with both performances. And the dreamy scenes with the stark B&W video of the band in “Pressure Off” is a highlight of every show for me. Yes, “White Lines” is a cover and yes, with only 17 songs Duran Duran could choose so many others. But the band genuinely has so much fun performing this one.

“Wild Boys” encore is always a crowd favorite.

The band took a brief break after “Girls on Film,” which made me worry we wouldn’t get a full encore. Don’t you always think that? “Oh no, what haven’t they played?” “What might they skip?” Instead we were treated to four songs instead of three: “The Universe Alone”/”Save a Prayer,” “Wild Boys” (with lots of extra guitar riffs from Dom) “White Lines” and “Rio.”

Speaking of “Save a Prayer,” Simon added a nice touch: “Is there anyone in the audience who doesn’t know the words to ‘Save a Prayer?’ Yeah, well, you’re standing next to someone who does. So we want you guys to sing the whole song with us.”

Having fun at the end of the show and the four-song encore.

And that we did, from the days of holding up lighters to waving cell phones. From old school to today, Duran Duran brings the joy, the party, the emotion. Impossibly so, they get even better with age. They never sounded stronger and the frequent grins from Nick show this was more than just another gig. We all felt and embraced it. 

Yes, that’s the usually reserved Mr. Rhodes “groping” Simon after “Rio.”

Set list for Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada:

“Hungry Like the Wolf”
“I Don’t Want Your Love”
“A View to a Kill”
“Come Undone”
“The Reflex”
“Last Night in the City”
“The Chauffeur”
“Ordinary World”
“Notorious”
“Pressure Off”
“Planet Earth”
“Sunrise”/”New Moon on Monday”
“Girls on Film”
“The Universe Alone”/”Save a Prayer”
“Wild Boys”
“White Lines”
“Rio”

Shonda Talerico Dudlicek is a Duranie all the way from junior high in 1982 when she first heard “Hungry Like the Wolf” on B96 in Chicago. She even dyed her hair various shades of red to keep up with the ever-changing hues of her favorite keyboardist. She was reprimanded for covering her school uniform with homemade DD buttons. She’s never seen the original lineup live, but saw Power Station in 1985 and the Strange Behaviour tour in 1987 … then enjoyed her middle-aged renaissance with the “Astronaut” tour. Lake Tahoe marks her 16th Duran Duran concert – she thinks, because every time she counts, she remembers yet another show. A journalist/writing instructor by trade, she’s never met or interviewed the band and admits that it’s probably for the best because she would likely faint. 

Now I’m Lying Here Waiting: September 2019 US Shows

Here I am, I’m a dotted line

By now, you’ve likely heard that Duran Duran is coming back to the states this summer and doing additional dates surrounding the KAABOO Festival in Del Mar, California. (It’s a tiny little town just north of San Diego).

The additional shows are as follows:

September 7 & 8 at The Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada.

September 10 & 11 at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.

September 13 at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s Casino, Nevada.

Cut the corner, stick me to your door

So, let’s just address the very large, pink-spotted elephant in the room and get it over with. Yes, they’re coming back to the west coast. Yep, this is the third time they’ve played Vegas, and not only Vegas but the same venue in the past 18 months. I know, I know, they’ve played America a lot lately. I am feeling like I need to apologize to the rest of the world, and yet these choices in places, dates, and venues have absolutely nothing to do with me personally. I just am a fan who can potentially reap the benefits (or deplete my bank account by purchasing tickets).

Obviously, these are business decisions. The band has mentioned before that they don’t have a lot of input with where they tour or play gigs. Somehow, I suspect that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier, and I have to respect that. I am ever hopeful that they play in other places besides Denmark, Iceland and the west coast of the US.

That said, could it be that this third set of shows at The Chelsea is Duran Duran’s version of a residency? In the past, Amanda and I have commented on the potential for Vegas residencies here on the blog. Many artists do them. Duran Duran is not one to blindly follow the current, instead – they do their own thing. Could it be that this is their idea of playing several shows in the same place without committing to the same venue and city for weeks on end? It’s not really a residency, but I have to ask – how often do you see artists playing the same venue three times over the course of a year and a half that aren’t playing residencies in some form or another? Food for thought.

I’m a man who stepped off the path

The other, slightly less obvious (?!) elephant has to do with ticket prices. I’ve seen many fans experiencing varying levels of sticker shock since yesterday. Here are the levels of VIP ticketing and pricing being offered:

There are three VIP packages available for these 5 concerts. Members can purchase a maximum of two (2) tickets per person for Las Vegas and four (4) tickets per person for Saratoga and Lake Tahoe.    

1) The Ultimate Front Row Backstage Tour VIP Package. $600 + Ticket Price:

  • 1 Front Row Ticket
  • An exclusive “behind the scenes” escorted Backstage Tour
  • Unforgettable pre-show on-stage photo opportunity 
  • A limited edition autographed Duran Duran photo
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
  • An exclusive to Ultimate package stylish logo’d Toiletry Bag
  • An exclusive to Ultimate package logo’d bluetooth speaker
  • Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing rechargeable headphones
  • Logo’d stainless steel tumbler

NOTE: There is no meet and greet associated with this package. Details of the backstage tour will be emailed no later than 4 days before the show. The merchandise will be mailed.  

2) The GOLD VIP Package. $175 + Ticket Price 

  • One Premium Ticket in rows 2-8-
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
  • Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
  • Logo’d stainless steel tumbler

There is no meet and greet, experience at the venue or parking associated with this package. Merchandise will be mailed.  

3) The BRONZE VIP package. $65 + ticket price

  • One Premium Ticket (typically in rows 9 through 20)
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard

There is no meet and greet, experience at the venue or parking associated with this package. Merchandise will be mailed.  

We will also offer regular pre-sale tickets which you can purchase on its own (not part of any package)

The world spins so fast

I’m going to be blunt: You want to sit in the front row? You’re gonna have to pay, and pay dearly. The law of demand and supply is in effect here. It’s going to be painful, and we’re all going to hate it. However, if you want to be in the White Lines Spit Zone, or stare deeply into John’s eyes as he’s playing Come Undone or Hungry Like the Wolf, it’s going to cost you.

Me? Oh hell no! I’ll happily sit a few rows back so that I can keep paying my son’s college tuition! (it’s not any cheaper than VIP, I’ll say that much!)

I might fly off

So with that, we’re back to the pre-sale anxiety jig. Will I get tickets? Are they going to be too far back? How many shows can I feasibly get away with buying? Watching the Ticketmaster countdown clock tick down to go time… It is definitely a love/hate relationship. Are you with me?

On the other hand, seeing shows added made for a very lovely Mother’s Day. Seeing as my darling husband went to the trouble of printing out an online Mothers Day card for me while I was out at the crack of dawn feeding our chickens and cleaning their coop….I am ready to buy ALL of the Duran Duran tickets.

Well, not really all of them. After all, there’s a two-ticket limit for Vegas and a four-ticket limit for the Saratoga and Lake Tahoe shows.

Meanwhile, my mother arrives tomorrow for an extended visit, I have a house to clean, groceries to buy, a bed is being delivered, hotel and pet kennel reservations to make, and a graduation to attend this weekend. It is crazy…as usual!

-R