Tag Archives: Lollapalooza Argentina

John Taylor’s 2017 Year-End Katy Kafe!

Another day, another year-end Kafe!

I missed this one yesterday, my apologies…but if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s new to you!  John Taylor stopped into the Kafe yesterday to round out his 2017. I suspect John was fully prepared because he took no time in zooming through what I would call his “digest” retrospect of 2017.

World Event

Not Brexit, not Trump, but the Swedish church (and I appreciate that!). Did you know that a few weeks back, the Church of Sweden announced that they would effectively be taking gender identity out of its teachings? Essentially saying that God is God. It is not male, nor female. I remember hearing this news exactly ONE time, and it was merely whispered in passing here in the US.  Not exactly headline news, and yet at least in my opinion, it absolutely should be. I’m glad John mentioned it!

Personal Event

Have you heard Zoe Nash’s new single, “Rather Die”? Better yet, have you seen the video?  John (and of course Gela as well) are very proud of Zoe’s work, and last week, Duran Duran even helped to promote “Rather Die” on social media (“relentlessly”, John adds).

As a parent myself, I get it. How could I not? Zoe has quite the voice, and an attitude to match. I’ll say this much, if she were once shy, you’d never know it now! Good for her.

Movie

John says he is a British Boy at heart, and he loved Dunkirk. He also really liked Blade Runner – calling it a boy’s movie.

I still haven’t seen either one. I’ve got work to do.

Book

History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund. Just in case anyone was wondering – this novel is definitely not about wolves.  It isn’t a study of nature, at least not the nature and behavior of actual wolves.

Television

John mentions three shows: Mindhunter, Godless, and The Crown.

I haven’t seen Mindhunter or Godless, but The Crown is my favorite show. I watched the entire series, and I wondered if it would seem “as good” for those who live in the UK. I mean, I’m American, and so we have this strange fascination with anything “Royal” I suppose. Just speaking for myself, I own entirely too many books about the history of English royalty, and even more telling, I own too many books specifically about their jewelry collection!  So while yes, that series speaks to my inane curiosity, I had wondered how a British person might feel about it. Apparently the show is really good no matter where you’re from!

I have to laugh and make a comment – it is very clear that Katy loves Stranger Things! In both of the Katy Kafes I’ve written about this week, she brought up Stranger Things and asked John and Roger if they’d seen it. I know a lot of fans love that show, but I didn’t take to it at all. Not my thing, I guess, even with Girls on Film in the soundtrack!

Music

This is the one topic John seemed to struggle with and didn’t have a clear answer. He says that 2017 wasn’t a great year for him with music (meaning finding music that he really loved), but then says that’s really his fault – he just didn’t listen enough. He does give quick mention to the newest Jay-Z (4:44) album, though.

DD Moment

These are the topics that always interest me most. I mean, sometimes I get great book and movie suggestions, but truthfully as a fan and a blog writer, I do like knowing how the band feels about their year. It is great insight!

John mentions exactly what I would have guessed, saying that the crowd in Buenos Aires for Lollapalooza was “massive”, which it certainly was. Makes you wonder why they don’t play that country more often, really.

But then, John takes a turn and speaks a little more personally. He mentions the loss of Simon’s mom, whom he says, “She was mom to all of us”. He talks about how Simon was so brave to share his emotions during such a difficult time, and I agree. This inspired the band, particularly because as most know – this is not the type of band to come out and do that. (Be so open on an emotional level)

I’d have to agree wholeheartedly. I think that’s also why it struck me. Duran Duran doesn’t “do” that sort of thing on the same level that other bands might. They are British, and I think that’s a cultural thing  for them in the same way that my husband’s family do not talk about “feelings”. Ever. They stick to shallow pleasantries, and for someone like myself, who wears her cold, dead, heart on her sleeve (pure sarcasm right there), it is seen as an inappropriate weakness that makes me “less-than”.  Yay! I digress… Back to Duran Duran, they have also been celebrity and elevated to God-like status for so long, that they’ve had to protect themselves along the way. Hide the “real” you, make up your own fact cache (sound familiar?), hell – even go by a stage name, because the person you are on that stage isn’t who you really are otherwise – all of that was left behind when Simon walked to the microphone and told us about his mom, and sang Ordinary World.

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t take that moment lightly. That was a side of Simon I’d never really seen (although I will say that one single moment when he came to see us outside of the studio in 2011 and told us about his voice and cancelling the tour was close).  That beautifully vulnerable moment came from such pain. I won’t forget. I can’t.

John also mentions the show at Budokan in Japan with Nile. They remember that Budokan was the place where Bernard Edwards played his final show and ultimately died, and John says that he finds those moments important. He explains that they’ve been playing these songs for a very long time now, and as a band (and probably personally as well) they have to find “new levels of meaning” all of the time.

I would think that most fans have some understanding of that and can relate. I certainly can. I see so many of their songs, the mainstays in their set, so differently now than I did even two years ago. That alone has been a fantastic experience.

Finally for this topic, John brings up being able to experience Japan with his daughter Atlanta. He says that going on that trip with her made him see Japan as though it was the first time again, and you can hear the love and wonder in his voice. I loved it!

2018

John says he’s got an open mind about next year. Unlike previous years where he already knew they had a set schedule, it sounds like 2018 will bring a little more flexibility when it comes to time. He talks about the continuing work on the musical he is working on with  Nick, although he isn’t sure if that will come to stage in 2018, and then he also mentions the studio with the band.

Don’t get TOO excited, Duranies. While John says he is looking forward to getting back in and writing, and that the band has been talking about the studio, they are doing it in a “casually fluid” sort of way.

In other words, I wouldn’t get your lawn chairs set out on the sidewalk out in front of the studio just yet, unless you rather enjoy sitting through all of winter waiting for them to arrive.

-R

Lost in a Crowd: Why are audiences different?

I’m in research mode again, and for some reason, that always makes me a little more inquisitive about the human condition…or the fan condition, since that’s appropriate here!

I wrote about Lollapalooza yesterday, or at least about the crowd. Admittedly, I’m at least partially fascinated by it because I’ve never seen anything like it at any of the shows I’ve been. No, I don’t go to festivals, and but even if I had—I just don’t think we draw the same sort of crowd. But, I wasn’t sure, so I checked!

As a sort of baseline for myself, I started with what I knew. I couldn’t find a firm attendance number for Voodoo Fest in 2006, but I do know that the following year’s crowd shattered all previous records at just over 100,000 for the three days.  That tells me that however many people stood watching Duran with me the year before, it probably was not as many as Lollapalooza in Argentina. This was not a surprise, but I decided to go check Coachella’s figures.

According to Forbes.com, Coachella averages about 99,000 on each weekend (it runs over two weekends).  Lollapalooza is at 300,000…but this is the US Lollapalooza, because the article was comparing US music festivals in terms of attendance, ticket price, and cost to hydrate (water bottles).

 

So in terms of attendance, I was wrong. They’ve played to nearly the same amount of people here on occasion.  I just don’t remember it being such a big deal. Do you?

Before someone emails me, yes – I read John’s book and yes, I saw he mentioned it in there. I can remember when John alluded to being on the bill for Coachella right on Twitter and there was no denying his excitement. I remember seeing the show online, and I remember the band commenting about how cool it was, too. So there is that. But somehow, I felt like Lollapalooza was different. I wasn’t there, but I’ve seen the show. I really watched the crowd whenever the camera panned over them. It was very different from anything I’ve ever seen.

First of all, I think my (American) culture very much plays into this. I’d love to say we’re a peaceful people. I’d love to say we’re full of love and joy….and to some extent, we are and do. But, we’re also big into territory and personal space. We build fences around our property. (no political comments necessary) We like to know that what is ours, is ours alone. I don’t find that Americans are an especially “huggy” sort of people. I tend to stick out my hand before I ever offer a hug, for instance. Here, we hug our friends and people we love, like family. Other countries hug, go for a kiss on the cheek, or even both cheeks. We’re not used to that so much here. Suffice to say, if I’ve hugged you, it’s because we’re good friends and I care about you. I’ve had to get used to the fact that Duranies are pretty huggy people!  So, at festivals, and even GA shows, while most other cultures don’t mind being on top of one another for hours on end, it (can) make an *American’s skin crawl.

In watching the footage from Argentina, I saw a lot of generally good partying going on. People clapping, hugging, laughing… I think that happens here too, but maybe to a lesser extent?  I don’t know, at the shows I’ve been to (and I have been to more than one festival in my life, just to be clear), it seems as though while MOST people are there to have a good time, there always seems to be a group of people who, for some reason, are out to ruin it for everyone else.  I can point to any number of things that ignite that behavior: drugs, alcohol, anger…lack of space, lack of food, etc.

Anger is a weird thing here because it seems like for any celebratory thing that happens, it creates anger as some sort of side effect. I don’t know how often this happens in other parts of the world, but I know it happens here frequently enough to take notice.

I suppose to most people, this type of thing isn’t very interesting, but to me it is, particularly because I think it may influence fandom. My friends from South America tell me that there is nothing like the audiences there, and I really just want to understand why that is the case.

Maybe what Amanda and I need to do is research audiences!

“Sorry honey, I have to go on a business trip around the world to research audience reactions and see what correlations exist between audiences and cultures.” 

Somehow, I doubt he’d buy it, but it’s an interesting thought.

I will still end with the same thought I had yesterday: I wish our audiences could excite the band as much as the Lollapalooza audience did the other day. While I personally am not anxious to be in a crowd of that magnitude, I would love the band to see how much they are loved here in the states. For as often as they visit the states, it would be nice for them to feel that same sort of gratitude from us.

-R

*The caveat being that I’m finding younger generations—younger festival goers, for example—are a little less “this is YOUR space and this is MY space” than say, I might be.  My kids don’t have quite as big of a hang-up about space (among other things), for example. I have some theories about why that may be, but I’ll save that for another day.

 

 

Of Crime and Passion, or Mosh Pits and Survival…

What defines “passion”?

The last festival I attended was Voodoo in 2006. My memories of that show are pretty graphic. I’d walked onto the festival grounds with Amanda, our friend Sara and my sister that morning, thinking we were so smart. We’d bought general admission tickets, and figured we’d wait through the day, securing spots in about the second row or so.  All was fine until late afternoon, and then things quickly turned ugly. It wasn’t long before we were no longer congratulating one another, instead calling ourselves idiots while ruefully laughing.

At one point, I turned around to see the hell that was behind me. The crowd went back as far as my eyes could see. I made a silent pact with myself to never turn around again, no matter how bad it got. (I’m more than slightly claustrophobic and that was a sight I never needed to see) About that time, My Chemical Romance took the stage, and we went from a mildly calm crowd to a mosh pit. I would not use the word “passion” to describe the scene. No, instead I would describe it as a cauldron of anger, and I was floating in the middle of it, right alongside Amanda, Robin and Sara.

It’s one thing to be in a mosh pit at say, a club the size of the House of Blues. You feel people push and shove and you just step aside. It’s not a big deal. It is entirely another to be in a crowd of tens of thousands and feel the wave of energy overtake you. I remember feeling as though it was similar to being in the ocean. Nothing was going to stop that wave, and I was either going to go with it, or it would mow me over, and I’d drown. The trouble is, there isn’t much to hold on to, and I’m of the opinion it is rude to grab onto someone I’ve never met and hope for the best while quickly introducing myself.

“Hello, my name is Rhonda, and I’ve never wanted to be in a mosh pit. Chalk this up to a crazy idea to see Duran Duran…a band I am starting to have second thoughts about supporting, if I’m honest. I’ve got two kids at home, and honestly I just want to survive. Help me!” 

That wasn’t the route I took. Mostly, I just fell into Amanda, Sara and Robin and hoped we weren’t all going down for the count in the process. I stumbled a lot, tried to not to fall down completely and made a lot of bargains with the universe.

“Dear God, if you let me live, I swear I will NEVER go to another festival again.” 

“This stupid band, WHY did I think this was a good idea???” 

If that weren’t enough, there were the crowd surfers. Bless their evil little hearts. I couldn’t care less if someone wants to live out their fantasies of being carried by people they don’t know, as long as I’m not involved. However, that’s not what happened that day. People came by, surfing away—and they expected you to hold them up while they might grab and pull your hair, kick you in the head, not-so-playfully slap you, or use their razor-like long nails to scratch your face—which is exactly what happened to me that day.

Never did I expect to leave a Duran show with a scar, but I earned one that evening. It’s very faint and blends in well, so most people don’t notice. I’ll never go to another festival again unless I’m invited to watch from backstage, and since that’s not gonna happen, I’m good right here at home. It’s not a lack of passion that keeps me here—it’s a little bit of fear (well, more than a little, really), and a whole lot of sanity. I didn’t enjoy having my face scratched, or holding on for dear life while the crowd surged. The fact is, I like going to shows. I love cheering for Duran Duran. I’m not interested in blood loss, among some other personal atrocities I haven’t mentioned, while doing so.

At this point you’re probably wondering why I’m telling this tale. Well, for the last week or so, I’ve seen tweets from Duran Duran and others, talking about how amazing a time they’ve had at Lollapalooza. By now, you’ve also read about how passionate those fans are, and that they played in front of 95,000 fans in Argentina. On one hand, I’m glad that they’re having such a great time. On the other, are they really any more passionate than the rest of us…except that they seem to be en masse?

It’s a word I’ve seen used a lot this week by various band members…including my personal favorite…and I just have to wonder what that word really means. Let’s face it, I live in the US, and overall, it’s easy to be a fan here. The band performs a lot in the states. We don’t have to wait decades or even more than a few years at most between shows. Does that mean we’re less passionate as a result? I’m sure some fans around the world would say yes. But is that a fair statement? Just because it’s easy to be a fan doesn’t necessarily mean there’s less passion or loyalty. On the other hand, it is very difficult to argue against the sea of people who screamed for the band in Argentina, and I am not taking anything away from those fans anyway. Sure, you can look at the crowd and say that they weren’t all there for just Duran Duran…but they sure look and SOUND like they are, and the videos I’ve seen don’t lie. It’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen, and while I think it looks amazing from the stage, I am still relieved I wasn’t there. I can feel my heart begin to race just thinking about being in that crowd, and not in a good way, but that’s just me.

The fact is, I have to remind myself when I see tweets about how great those audiences have been, that for the band, those big crowds keep them going. It might not be very fun or exciting for them to play in front of 3,000 people (even if I’m having the best night of my life at the time), particularly if they’re playing in a casino where chunks of the audience were given their seats because they’re high rollers at the casino, or won the tickets from the radio. On the other hand, when you’ve got 150,000 music lovers screaming for you, of course you’re going to come away feeling energized, ready, and wanting for more. Those shows are what keep you going. It’s no contest, even if you’re like me, and want the band to love coming to where you live to play. I know the audience in Rancho Mirage, or anywhere else I’ve seen them lately,  didn’t even come close to in comparison.

In America, as much as we die hards love Duran Duran, it’s an uphill battle for the band, and they know it. We know it, too. Doing festivals here can be tough work. They don’t necessarily “fit” with every festival, and the crowds can be very fickle. Other countries don’t seem to have quite the same problem. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that America would ever draw the same sort of audience for them as they had in Argentina for Lollapalooza. That makes me sad, but it’s the reality. I’m sure it makes Argentinian fans wonder why the band doesn’t take advantage and tour there more often—and thankfully, it’s not my job to figure that out!

So are those fans really more passionate? Individually, I doubt it. I think a Duranie is a Duranie, no matter where they live. I’m not convinced enough to say that I don’t have the same passion as someone else, because we all do whatever it is that we can do. We all love the band. However, there’s no denying that crowd, and I’m glad Duran Duran got to experience that type of energy. They deserve it.  While I don’t wish I had been there, I do wish that our audiences created that same type of energy for the band.

Good luck Atlanta, Florida and North Carolina fans. Have great shows, and give ’em what you’ve got!

-R

 

Duran Duran Announces Lollapalooza X3!

Who wants to go see Duran Duran in late March/early April???  I know, I know – EVERYONE!  Of course, there’s a catch. Four of them, actually.  (Strange coincidence, I am sure.) The first is, the shows are in South America. The second, third, and fourth catches are that the shows are festivals, as in, they are performing at three Lollapalooza festivals in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

Our South American friends are wildly rejoicing and celebrating, as they should. It is not that often that Duran Duran comes to visit! I also see though, that some are disappointed that at least for the moment, only festivals are being announced. I can certainly understand why, and I’ve seen the outcry for dedicated shows.

The fact of the matter is though, no matter how much loyal fans despise the idea of festivals—they draw a crowd. The band will play in front of many more people who way, and getting their music into the ears as many potentially new fans as possible is the name of the game. That is a bitter pill for longtime fans to swallow, I know.

Something gets lost in the translation when you’re needing to camp out just to grab a spot near the stage, and you have to stand through ten other bands before your favorite takes the stage.  Many of us have reached the mid-40’s now, and our knees are not what they used to be.  In fairness, had our US tour been all festivals I would have curled up in the fetal position and died. I could barely do the shows WITH seats!  In this case, they are moving quickly through Brazil, to Argentina and on to Chile. In order to see the band three times, a fan will need to be willing to travel and not spend a lot of time lingering in any one place – and one had better enjoy festivals.   I wish you all well.

I do have the show lineups should anyone be interested and potentially enticed into traveling to South America.  Me?  Oh heck no, I’ll be here at home, working off my debts from the last tour!

-R

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