Tag Archives: Irvine Meadows Amphitheater

In the Rear View Mirror – Irvine Meadows 2016

On this date in 2016, Duran Duran played the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, California.

Incidentally for me, this was right by my current home. Not more than a fifteen minute drive at most. The amphitheater was a mainstay in Orange County, being one of the sole places to catch an outdoor gig with bigger names than might play one of the (many) community outdoor concerts in the area. To the band, Irvine and the surrounding area probably just looked like Land of the Planned Community. Cookie-cutter homes, all with Spanish tiled roofing and manicured lawns. Mundane. Boring yes, but still home to those of us who live here.

Just so you know, I can’t wait to get out of here and have a home in the hills, somewhere far north of the traffic and crowds, but that’s another story for another day.

It was only two years ago, but the snapshot in my head from that night is of my youngest, sitting a few rows away with my husband. At the time she was eight years old, and was so excited to go see Duran Duran that night!  Her favorite song at the time was “Last Night in the City”, a fact that both amused me and made me apprehensive for the teenage years yet to come. She loved singing it at the top of her lungs in the car when we’d drive to and from school, cultivating her inner-diva as she would regularly hit Kiesza’s high notes, much to my surprise. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your view), she has entered more of an “emo” phase now. Preferring dark clothes, absolutely no dresses of any kind, and anime over Duran Duran videos. It’s an adjustment, and it’s a journey.  deep cleansing breath

I remember sitting with Amanda before the show.  I think we might have been among the first to arrive in our section that night. In fact, the cover photo for this website is from that show, taken by my husband. We were excited, as we always are, but it felt a little bittersweet, too. This was our second to the last show for that summer. It felt like we’d been in “tour-mode” for weeks, and I think we could feel the let-down coming on. That’s always painful, but it was made a little less-so that night by someone peering at us from side stage and giving us a wave before the show started that night. Apparently, we’d gone to enough shows that summer to be recognized, which is kind of funny. Hey, at least he didn’t send security out to remove us!

It was a fun summer. I loved the road tripping that Amanda and I did together. I have never laughed harder than when we were filming a few of the YouTube videos we posted.  These days, when my life is in a bit of a disarray and Amanda is very busy with her own missions in life, 2016 feels like a long time ago.

I know that for a lot of fans, the Astronaut tour holds special meaning. It is when many met one another, and traveled to different corners of the world to see the band, and one another. For me, the Paper Gods tour is similar. I saw more shows this tour than any other, went to new places, and made many new friends. I couldn’t have asked for more than that. Since 2016, Irvine Meadows Amphitheater has been torn down and replaced by condominiums. There’s a new amphitheater called Five Points that has opened up in the Irvine Great Park. I hear it’s nice, but I can’t help but wish they’d left Irvine Meadows alone. Nothing ever stays the same forever though, does it?

A tour is just a snapshot. Just as we can look back at Duran Duran photos and place them in a timeline based on outfits and hair color, we can do the same with a tour.  I wonder how any of us would characterize the Paper Gods tour now that it’s in our rear view mirror?  Maybe that’s another blog for another day.

-R

 

San Diego State University 1993

Well friends, I’m sad (in some ways) to say it, but it is the end of summer for me. As you are reading this, I am sitting in my first of two staff meetings in San Diego this week. I was up and out the door before dawn this morning, which is certainly not my favorite way to begin the day.

As a result, this blog was written earlier than normal, and since it is August with little real band news to speak of, I’m taking a quick look back in history. On this date in 1993, Duran Duran played at San Diego State University in California as part of their No Ordinary Tour.

I don’t mind mentioning that this date was four days before they played in Irvine at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater.  I went to see Duran Duran in Irvine with my childhood and college friend Stacy-Ann, and my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) went with a friend of his – each of us had bought seats before we started dating. It was the one (and ONLY) time that he had better seats than I had to a Duran show. Good times, and he never lets me forget it! I was back on the lawn while he proudly sat a couple of sections closer to the stage!!

Another tidbit since I’m thinking about it – last summer Duran Duran  played at Irvine Meadows just before it was demolished in October.  Those of us who live in the Irvine area (I live about 7 miles from where it once stood) fought very hard to get the Irvine city council to consider putting in another amphitheater at the Great Park of Irvine. It’s the perfect place for such a venue, and quite frankly – we need something for adults in this area!  The council agreed, and we can see heavy-duty construction taking place, which is wonderful. Never know, maybe someday I’ll be seeing a Duran Duran show there!

Have a great week, everyone!

-R

 

The Wedding Album was released on this date in 1993!

My first thought as I sat down to write this blog was that I graduated from college in 1993.  Today, that feels like a million years ago. I don’t know quite what it is about those mid-90s for me, but the years and memories all blend together. Not quite a black hole, but not quite distinct vivid memories, either.  Unfortunately for me, that includes The Wedding Album.

Sure, I remember hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio.  Who wouldn’t?  It was the first time in many years that Duran Duran seemed to be on heavy rotation. I also remember blasting “Too Much Information” in my car as I would drive home from school.  So, I know I must have bought the CD at some point.  I can remember wondering why on earth they (the band) went with the album being self-titled again, because it seemed so confusing. As it was, I always called their first album, well…their first album, as opposed to Duran Duran by Duran Duran. Why not just give it a name?  Turns out, we did it for them anyway. Everyone I know calls it The Wedding Album. I even capitalize and italicize it as though that’s the way it’s meant to be!

Where was I?  Oh yes, very few memories of this album when it came out. It is true. I suppose in some way, my experience is indicative of where I was in my life at the time. I was months away from graduating from college. I was trying to find a job, dating my boyfriend (who eventually became my husband), commuting a ridiculous distance back and forth to school each day, and I guess I really wasn’t paying as much attention to Duran Duran as I once did…or would again in the future.

I can tell you a few things about my own feelings about that album from day one, though.  To begin with, I really liked “Ordinary World”. My husband even learned the guitar part well after we were married and moved back to California because he knew how much I loved it. However, my favorite song on the album, both then and now, is “Too Much Information”.  I also liked “Come Undone”…and for me, those were really the only songs that hit me off the album.  I played it all the time in my car, but I found myself hitting repeat on those songs and skipping much of the rest.  All I can say is that we all have our favorites.  I’m glad the album propelled Duran Duran onward, because they’re still with us today as result.

From what I’ve read over the years, I wasn’t the only fan that was consumed by real life during this period. I wish I had more memories. One thing I do remember – very vaguely – is going to see Duran Duran play at Irvine Meadows later that year. I went in August, and I sat…wait for it…on the LAWN.  My friend had bought tickets for the two of us to go see Duran Duran together as a graduation gift.  I was excited to see the band – I think it was only the second time I ever saw them, actually.  I knew we’d be way back from the stage but it didn’t matter much to me, at first. However, even back then going to shows wasn’t without some sort of drama.  My boyfriend was more than a little annoyed that he wasn’t invited, and so he went and got his own tickets – much closer to the front – and went with one of his friends. This, my friends, was the one and only time that Walt has ever had a better seat at a Duran show than I’ve had, and HE WILL NEVER LET ME FORGET IT.  Good times!

That’s probably why I barely remember the show or much from this era – I blocked it from memory.  😀

-R

 

Duran Duran in Irvine

Last night, we attended the Duran Duran show in Irvine.  It was a special show for us for a couple of reasons.  First, we took Rhonda’s daughter to her first Duran show.  Little Ms. Sabrina went armed with a sign and a message as you can see below!

Sabrina's sign

If that wasn’t enough, it was also our 30th show together!  We talked about all of this and more in today’s video.

We figured that we shouldn’t leave it there so we interviewed Sabrina to get her take on the show!  From what we heard, another Duranie is being formed as we speak!

Today, we will head up to Hollywood to meet up with a friend of mine who is also in the area.  Then, we will try to prepare for our very last show for this tour at Chula Vista on Tuesday.

-A

Duran Duran Summer Tour 2016: The Sequel!

I am currently glancing nervously around my house as I sit here composing this blog posting. Later tonight, Amanda arrives, and then we prepare ourselves for the next set of shows we are attending together on our Duran Duran Summer Tour 2016. The final four we’ll do on this leg of the Paper Gods tour. (I stopped just short of saying it’s the last four we’ll do for the entire tour because well, you never know. Maybe.)

At this moment, my house looks like we just moved here. Likely because my oldest just moved out this past weekend and took some of my old furniture with her. This only poses a problem because we now no longer have couches in our formal living area, nor do we have furniture in her old bedroom. I have no time, no money (thanks to Duran Duran! Ha ha!!), and really no plans to figure out what I’m going to do with her old room until I get back from my own vacation at the end of August. But hey, at least there’s more room around here!

If that weren’t enough (and it is really is), I’m also trying to find time to help my mom. As most know, she lost her partner last month to a heart attack. All of us are still adjusting, and the agonizing last few details, such as cleaning out his apartment, need finishing. I will no sooner drop Amanda back off at the airport, and I’ll be packing up our trailer for a huge camping trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. In many ways (as per the usual), I have no business leaving this house to see Duran Duran.

Never mind that for me, I’ve continued to put aside the idea that this might actually be the last bit of travel I do for this band, at least for the foreseeable future. To begin with, I continue to hear that they’re planning to tour other parts of the world next year. So that’s 2017, in a nutshell. After that, I’m not sure what they’ll do, if anything.

Isn’t that idea strange? When I was a kid, I was blissfully unaware of anything really being final. I mean, it never occurred to me that they would someday stop recording. I suppose that’s also why when Roger and Andy left, I was so shocked. The thought just hadn’t occurred to me prior.  But then they reunited, and because I had already lived through band members leaving once, I knew it could happen again. Andy left a second time, and since then, I won’t lie—with the close of every album “cycle”, so to speak, I wonder if they’ll dare to try it all again. I want them to keep going, but I admittedly try to prepare myself that they will not.

Fans get furious when we—Amanda and I—even type those words here. No one wants the story to end, least of all us. I mean, think about it—what use is Daily Duranie if there’s no band?!? So before anyone accuses us of wanting them to quit, think before you type. On the same token, we’re not blind, and we recognize they could easily quit now and never look back. I wish I could will myself back to never thinking about it, but nowadays the question just seems to hang in the air, and I cannot tell you how many times I am personally asked the question—“Do you think they’ll record or tour again, Rhonda?“—at every single meet-up or event we attend.

I wish I had a crystal ball. I know that when I go to these last four shows of mine, each time I hear the little bit of “New Moon on Monday” that they’ve incorporated into their set, I’m going to try to live in that moment and not think about anything else. However, even as I type right now, I know there’s going to be a teeny piece of me (one that will probably try to grow bigger with each passing show) that is going to count down the amount of times I will still get to hear that song live. Four, then three, then two, and then one. And then what?

I am really not very good at endings. One of the most difficult things I had to do when writing the manuscript was finish the conclusion. The story shouldn’t end. I never want to write those words: “The end.” So I won’t. I am hoping for more shows, musicals, ballets, and/or work to come from people like Anna and Dom. I’ll be planning another convention for next August in Chicago, blogging each day, and writing more books. Yes, more books!!  And when the band says they’re recording again, I’ll smile.

Duran Duran Summer Tour 2016: here we come for part deux!!

-R