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.