Tag Archives: Irvine

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

 

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