Lately, I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic. During my spare time, I have been on YouTube, watching snippets of video from DD shows I went to, or videos I haven’t seen in a while, like “Nightboat”, “Careless Memories”, or even “Falling Down”. Nearly every day I check our history spreadsheet to see if anything noteworthy pops up that I should share, but it is rare that I’ll sit down and watch videos, much less go in search of them. I guess for me, they might be a needed source of comfort. Or else, I’m just super bored with packing and cleaning. There might be a bit of that, too!
Today I noticed that on this date in history, back in 2010, Mark Ronson played the Lovebox Festival. I realize that might not be so special, but his guests definitely were! Mark invited Simon and Nick on stage to perform “Record Collection” from Mark’s album with Business Int’l, and then John and Roger crashed the party to play “Planet Earth”.
I am one of those pesky Duran Duran fans that loves Mark Ronson, and I especially adore Record Collection. It is an album that I have to be in the right mood to play, but when I put it on, I’m never disappointed. I was thrilled to see Simon and Nick performing it with him and yeah, it was another one of those times where I kicked myself for not being there in person.
Sorry for the video quality – I didn’t take it! I recognized the video owner’s name, and she is a huge DD fan. I can understand her jubilance! Check out Mark, who can be seen in the back sporting what I believe should be a very recognizable outfit to any Duran Duran fan who has spent any kind of time watching old music videos lately!
The next video, of course, is “Planet Earth”. You may have heard that one before.
Now, this video isn’t necessarily the greatest either, some of it taken from the audience with hands and arms in the way. I love that the camera scans the stage, and if you look closely, you may just see MNDR on stage – she too was involved as part of The Business Int’l for the Record Collection album.
I loved watching these again. It is difficult to believe this happened eight years ago today. I don’t know about anyone else but it only feels like a few years ago at most. Crazy, right?
I love the internet. I was set to write a simple blog about how two years ago, I was driving north on Interstate 5 in California, headed to Berkeley. Paper Gods was still new, the touring cycle had just begun, and I was freaking excited to be on the road. I knew what I was going to write, the words were readily available in my head, and then I opened my browser to get to Daily Duranie.
Lately, I’ve noticed Daily Duranie has been taking longer to load (on my laptop at home). This is not a site problem, it is a “my laptop is nearly eight years old now and that means it is a complete DINOSAUR” problem. Impatient as usual, I opened Tweetdeck to see if it load properly, which it did. I scanned my timeline and saw something that caught my eye, which led me to an article on Pitchfork about TOKiMONSTA.
For those who don’t recognize the name, TOKiMONSTA was the opening act who toured with Duran Duran last summer in the US. Her real name is Jennifer Lee. Amanda and I sat and watched her a few times at the shows we attended, and while her music is very different from Duran Duran, we liked it. I can remember one show where MNDR came out onstage and sang one of her songs, which I thought was really cool. I didn’t mind sitting and listening when she came out on stage, and I can remember making a mental note to buy some of her music when I got home. I never did, mainly because life smacked me directly in the face once I got home last summer and I completely forgot about all else in the process. Sound familiar?
So what drove me to click on the Pitchfork article then? Well, it turns out that not long before she toured with Duran last year, Jennifer had brain surgery for a very rare brain disease called Moyamoya. After her surgery, she lost the abilities to walk and talk, and couldn’t even hear music (to her it sounded like noise). So the young woman I saw on stage last summer was a walking, talking, miracle of a DJ.
Somehow, reading the article made me think back on last summer a bit.
I remember how Amanda and I watched her last summer and agreed that she was very quiet. Her music was fine, but she just didn’t address the audience too much beyond that. Reading that article today reflected a completely different side to her sets that I didn’t know existed. Those shows were a triumph for her in every way, which in turn reminds me that we never know for sure what’s really going on backstage. Amanda and I comment all the time that we fans tend to forget that John, Roger, Nick and Simon are human. They’re not circus animals, they’re people. Turns out, that sentiment might be widespread.
“I think people sometimes forget that artists are human. We all go through really terrible things and face hardships. Being able to play Coachella three months after having the surgery was very significant to me. If I can do something like this, anyone can.” – Jennifer Lee (TOKiMONSTA)
Lune Rouge, the soon-to-be-released third album by TOKiMONSTA, is filled with songs written after her recovery. It is one I am making a note to purchase.
I got word of the official announcement that Duran Duran will be playing on New Years Eve AND New Years Day this year in National Harbor – a new development just outside of Washington DC. The venue (The Theater at MGM National Harbor) is 3,000 seats – so it is intimate, and the casino (MGM National Harbor) will provide just the right atmosphere for late night festivities in order to welcome 2017. It sounds like just the plan for Duranies on the east coast, or anyone willing to make the trip.
As you are reading this on Tuesday morning, the pre-sale for the show dates are likely already taking place. You can find ticket prices and details here.
No, the tickets are not cheap. These shows are taking place on New Years Eve and New Years Day, which are both holidays, and events typically sell at a premium. I can’t blame them even if I can’t join them! The hotel (MGM National Harbor) is also very expensive – stays for that period of time are ghastly prohibitive to many Duranies unless you are willing to share a room with twelve or more of your closest buddies, but I hear there are other hotels in the area, too. Good luck!
I’ve seen many a complaint, as always, ranging from the price of the shows (with Ultimate VIP – a guaranteed front row seat – the tickets could easily reach $600, but cheaper tickets are available), to the fact that yes, these shows are once again in the US. I am empathetic to those outside of the US, because it is true – they have spent a good portion of time here lately. I know it is a difficult truth, but the fact is: the band makes money here. Duran Duran is not a charity, and they don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. They sell tickets here. The music industry is here. It is what it is. I do wonder if the band is really going to be doing shows in Europe or anywhere else net year, but at the moment…I’m more curious about something else entirely…
Is Nick going to be appearing with the band?
In the past, this would not have even been a question. In fact, I feel a little silly for even wondering because, well…this summer was just a fluke, right? Of course he’s coming back. Right?
However, after missing the entire leg of shows this summer, the question still hangs in my head. I didn’t have to wait long to see if anyone would ask. When the subject came up yesterday on Twitter, Katy responded that she did not have the answer to that question at this time.
You mean, there really IS a question hanging in the air about this?! I guess for me, I’m sitting here wondering how Duran Duran can plan shows without even knowing if their keyboard player is going to be there. But then I remember that MNDR played the entire tour, and did a fantastic job. Even so, wasn’t that really just a one-off thing, or is this “something” really more of a permanent deal? Or maybe, it’s that Katy answered honestly. She didn’t want to say yes or no because it wasn’t something that had been discussed yet. I can see that. I mean, you can’t really commit to something you don’t know. Perhaps by the time this is published (I’m writing ahead!), all will be known and this will be a non-issue.
I guess the one thing I know for sure is that at some point, Duran Duran should choose to come clean on this and say whatever it is that needs said, even if that’s to say that of course Nick is going to be performing. Having the question hanging in the air is worse than having the words out there in black and white. Fans have the right to know who is going to be playing keyboards before they shell out a handful of money to see another gig.
Amanda and I have openly chosen not to press the issue with Nick because we accepted that he wanted whatever he needed to do kept private. We get that. I get that. To be clear, I am not requesting that the band give any more details besides whether or not he is planning to appear. This isn’t about privacy, or Nick’s health…or needing to know every last bit of minutia. However, if he isn’t going to tour with the band, I think it’s time to just say so. I believe this is owed to their fans and the people who have stuck by them through several guitarists, drummers, and even bass players over the years. I think the fans have more than proven their staying power, and dammit – we’re pretty supportive when given the opportunity.
I just want to say a very quick but heartfelt thank you to everyone and anyone who has taken the time to write a blog about their concert experience while the band has toured so far. Obviously, Amanda and I can’t be everywhere, but we really want to be able to bring the touring experience to everyone. So, we truly thank everyone who has helped out with that by writing up their own tour experience. We can’t thank you enough – because YOU are what makes Daily Duranie special.
With that in mind, we have a post straight from Durant, Oklahoma this past weekend to share! Thanks to Kim-Loan McDuffie!! -R
Also, if you are viewing this on a cell/mobile phone or tablet, it is quite possible that you are seeing some photos sideways. While WordPress is responsive, it is unfortunately not always THAT responsive for mobile – and since I am not really a webmaster or a website builder, I can’t fix it. Sorry!! -R
By Kim-Loan McDuffie
The last two shows for Duran Duran in North America were in Durant, Oklahoma. (Ironic, right? DURANt) Dallas is but just over an hour away from here, so we bought tickets to the Sept. 7 show, but it was changed to Sept. 9 after we bought tickets, so that worked out better since it fell on a Friday night instead of a school night! Grown up girls sleepover time!!!
The town of Durant is a quaint little country town with a large casino/resort/entertainment complex. We checked in early that Friday for a day of relaxing, fun and dinner before the 8:00 show (no opening act). This particular weekend was gold for any fan that wanted a run-in with the band or crew members since they all stayed on premises for the entire weekend. The resort was big yet small enough for multiple run-ins with everyone since we all had the same set of elevators if you stayed in the grand towers or suites. There were Duran Duran folks poolside, outside, inside, and at the restaurants. The last blog I did for Daily Duranie was about our meet and greet with JT, so this time I will give more details about the actual concert, but I do have to say that this weekend was just as exciting as our last experience, if not more spectacular.
I had purchased 12 tickets total (going out with a bang!!). I gifted a pair to a fellow volunteer Wish Granter for the Make A Wish foundation, he’s been such an amazing person and friend who has never seen a DD show. I also invited 7 friends for a sleepover and saved a last pair of tickets on the floor to do a random act of kindness.
Before the show started, I walked upstairs toward the back of the venue and found an older couple who sat way in the back and asked them if I could upgrade their seats. They were shocked and so excited, and high fives were exchanged, then 8:10 hit and we got seated for the show. The remaining 8 tickets in my hands were 1st and 2nd row seats scattered into the middle and JT side of the stage, and this way smaller venue made the close seats feel even closer! The American Airlines Center in Dallas holds well over 20,000 while Choctaw in Durant holds a mere 3,000. It made a huge difference, this concert was so intimate but still felt big!
The last show in April had Nick Rhodes at the keyboards, and this show has MNDR. I didn’t notice a huge difference, but I did miss Nick’s presence and energy. The sound was still great but there was just a little musical magic that only Nick brings. The rest of the members brought their A game, everyone was all smiles and great energy.
On the subject of energy, Simon was very much perfection this night! In April he had some throat and coughing problems, but this night, he was on point. Simon was just happy and fun! His banter was silly, he started the evening with a joke about if we all had ordered Papa Johns pizza for dinner, since there were Papa Johns flyers and advertisements all over the resort. That made us all laugh and his smiles and happy energy took us through the entire show.
Simon’s voice was as gorgeous as ever, as was John’s bass slapping, Roger’s amazing drumming and Dom, Simon W. and MNDR’s musical support. I was seated front row right below Dom’s spot. We were only separated from the stage, just two feet away, by a metal barricade. My hands easily touched the stage. We were able to see all their expressions, movements and steps. This close to the performers, I could feel their personal energy and passion for their craft. There was a point when Simon and John were together on a singing part and I don’t know if someone did something silly or a little mistake was made, but we could see the genuine laughter between the two friends. That gave us the warm, touchy feelies.
Simon also gave us all the same giggles and overwhelming school girl crush feeling when he introduced Come Undone with his usual naughty banter. Only Simon can say Viagra and Cialis in his British accent and make us all crazy. He whispered an additional naughty remark that had the women in the crowds swooning, and the men laughing. We were in the direction of Simon’s smiling and glances at one point during his singing that brought us back to our teenage crush feelings. Tonight, everyone felt like Simon was serenading them directly. That’s something that a true front-man with so much onstage charisma can only do.
JohnTaylor (I still have such a bad habit of always saying his first and last name, he’s not John or Mr. Taylor, it always comes out as JohnTaylor, even when I speak with him, I’m such a dork!) was the bass god that he’s earned the title to. When Simon did his usual introduction of JT, the crowd followed in Simon’s chant of “Play that f-ing bass, John!” so loud, so cheerful and with so much joy and energy! He was more smiley, happy and was as JohnTaylor-y as can be. When JohnTaylor smiles, it always feels like it’s aimed at you, because he has the best smile! I spoke with some male friends after the show and they were even saying they have man-crushes on JT after seeing him at this show. Now that is what you call stage presence if the straight men fall in love with you too.
Let’s not forget about our man behind the drum kit. From my spot, I could see Roger plenty, his seat positioning was many times right in our direction. I’m not shy, so I waved a couple of times and was reciprocated with a wink and smiles. His beats were hot, and energy was sweet and great.
The last song brought feelings of sadness and happiness. We were so happy to have been in this moment and feeling, yet sad it was over. I did spend most of my time singing, dancing, swooning and taking in all the sights and sounds. They looked happy, refreshed, and all so gorgeous and they sounded great…. I was so thankful to have spent my time watching and listening, knowing it would be the last concert for a while. I’m also glad they added The Reflex to the set list, it was so good! I only wish that had sung The Chauffeur like they did in some other cities, it’s my very favorite song and hearing it live is at the top of my list of wishes.
The Wild Boys thanked the crowd for a spectacular tour and great night, bowed and said goodnight…. I waved goodnight to the stage and was also able to grab Roger’s hand as he shook some hands on the way out. The lights came on and it was an aftermath of a ton of confetti and deflated giant beach balls all around to sadly remind us it was over.
This show was better for me because I made the choice to pay more attention and take in the concert experience knowing it would be the last show for a while. The fact that the room and stage was much smaller and we were that much closer to the performers made this night just over the top. It was worth the cost of the tickets, even if there wasn’t an opening act. Everyone on stage was incredible and gave this performance their all. John Taylor had told us earlier that day that he really loves performing, loves the feeling of bringing the music and excitement to his fans. He said hopes to do this over and over again and for as long as possible, as this is truly his happy place. I believe that, and he proved it this night on stage.
My biggest regret? Well, my biggest and only regret was that I wasn’t smart enough to plan ahead to buy tickets and rooms for both show nights. I bet the last show must have been incredible if the next to the last show was so amazing. Regardless, I am still so thankful for the two shows I have seen this year, both experiences were enough to make teenage me so jealous. 2016 has been some Duran Duran dreams come true.
All photos courtesy of Kim-Loan McDuffie
Loan (pronounced “lawn”) McDuffie, has loved Duran Duran since seeing her first video on MTV! Like most people her age, she tries to keep up with the new music but always goes back to 80’s music and anything from Duran Duran. Simon Le Bon was her first crush, but this year after my first concert and meeting them, it’s fair to say she has crushes on them all! She is a mother, wife, business owner, and volunteer/children’s advocate and fundraiser residing in the Dallas suburbs.
Today marks the official end to my summer. It isn’t that the calendar states September whatever to indicate the beginning of fall or that my students arrive in my classroom tomorrow. It is, for me, though the last day before I go into that classroom and prepare it for students. Yes, kids, this teacher is going back to work tomorrow. (Please note…the utter enthusiasm…HA!) Before I do that, I want to take one last, long look back to my summer and, more specifically, the summer tour! Following in our touring tradition, I give you all our summer tour by the numbers!
Miles Driven: 2348
We drove a LOT. I mean A LOT. For the first leg, I drove from Madison, Wisconsin, to Toronto and back. During the second leg, Rhonda drove from her place in Orange County to Paso Robles to Vegas to Chula Vista back to Orange County. It is definitely the most we drove for any “tour”. I can speak for Rhonda when I say that we are SO thankful that we have days and breaks in between driving.
8 Shows: (1 extra for each of us)
During this summer leg, we saw 8 shows together and one extra separately as Rhonda went to the LA show in May and I drove up to Minneapolis. I know that some might think this is excessive. My response to that is simple. We did just as many shows during the All You Need Is Now Tour. They were just split up more. (Logical response, right?!)
We stayed in 7 different hotels in the following places: Chicago, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Toronto, Tinley Park, Paso Robles and Vegas. I generally like staying in hotels but they are a killer on the pocketbook!
Like the hotels, we were in 7 different states or provinces: Wisconsin (just me) Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, California and Nevada. Those places remain standing. As for their vodka supply…perhaps, not so much!
Those Damn Pants:
If you were reading our blog while we were on tour, you might
have seen a mention or two (hundred) about John Taylor’s pants. I won’t go into detail other than to say that they were not my favorite and I saw him wear them for 5 shows (Chicago night 1, Detroit, Paso Robles, Vegas and Irvine). Call this acknowledgement closure on my end. I promise. They will never be mentioned again.
Holy Confetti Batman!
Our summer tour began without the confetti at the two Chicago
shows. We missed it terribly. The other 6 shows more than made up for it!
Average Number of Drinks:
Uh…I thought about doing this one as just a straight up number but I figured that it might scare people (or me!). Let’s just put it this way. We had quite a few vodka tonics. Maybe we had more than a few. Some might say we had a lot. So, I think we averaged between 4-5 per day. I think. Maybe. We apologize to all of those cities that had to replace the vodka after we left.
One of our touring traditions is to suggest a setlist for each show we go to. This time, we gave the band a break on the first leg since Nick was not there. By the second leg, we felt confident that MNDR knew how to bring it leading us to suggest a setlist or four. Of course, the fifth one was the one we actually got, you know…from the band, on stage!
4 Official Meet-ups:
We organized and hosted 4 official pre-show meet-ups in Chicago (both nights), Toronto and Vegas! We had a good time and were thrilled with the turn out!!!
2 Bloggers on Tour:
Sometimes, touring can be lonely.
Sometimes, touring can be tiring.
One Wristband Given:
For this tour, we had new wristbands made with the idea being that sales of them would go towards next year’s convention. Many people at our meet-ups bought one (or more than one!), which we are truly thankful for. I am forced to admit that I did give one away, but just one…to this guy below.
One Future Blogger:
The Irvine show had a special attendee. We are hoping that she will be ready to take over for us one day!
One Awesomely, Amazing, Durantastic Tour and Summer!
I have had other summers that featured touring but nothing quite like this one! I felt like I was on tour for literally most of the summer and when I wasn’t on tour, I was either getting ready or recovering from it. I’m anxious to go it again, but I doubt it will be any time soon. That said, I’m willing to plan for an East Coast show, though…
Last night, Duran Duran posted the following on social media:
If you haven’t had a chance, read the terrific Yahoo Music interview with MNDR, where she talks about her experience touring with Duran Duran. We’re happy to announce she will be continuing on the Paper Gods tour for the remainder of the N. American dates!
As you might imagine, the fan community reacted. As I looked through the comments on both Twitter and Facebook, I found 4 basic types of reactions.
MNDR was great at ____________ show and the keyboards are in “good hands”
My worry has increased since Nick has been gone so long that it must be serious. Can we please have an update about what is going on?
Happy? Why use the word ‘happy’? Who is happy about it?
So upset that Nick won’t be at ______________ show. Expected him to be there when bought the ticket.
None of these reactions surprised me. Whenever some upsetting news is given, people respond with all sorts of emotions. It happened in July when the announcement first came that Nick had to return to the UK and it has happened now. I can’t blame anyone for his/her reaction as they are all very human responses.
MNDR Was Great:
I have to admit that I would probably fall into this camp. Both Rhonda and I have mentioned numerous times over our shows this summer that we thought she did a fabulous job. I still think that. Does that mean that I preferred her over Nick? Of course not. It just means that I was happy that the shows could go on and that the quality of the music was not harmed significantly by a replacement. Many of us have held tickets to canceled shows in the past. There is not much worse than that. If the band had canceled, when would they be able to return? Who knows? They might not have and if they did, would I have been able to attend the show(s) then? Who knows again? Having MNDR fill in was the best choice, I believe.
I totally understand people’s concern. We all want everything with Nick to be fine and for him to attend the shows. Yet, we know that he is physically fine based on the Katy Kafe that was posted on the 10th. Clearly, he wishes that he could be on tour but he has something to take care of. Who I know what that is? No. Do I need to know? Not really. I look at my job. Do I tell my students every time I need to be gone from work? No. I don’t tell them anything that won’t effect their classroom experience. If it doesn’t affect the job, it doesn’t need to be stated. I understand why people want to know. They care. They worry. Yet, clearly, this is something that Nick wants to keep private. As hard as it is for all of us who care about Nick a lot, I think we have to try and respect that wish. I know that it is much easier said than done.
Ah..word choice. As someone who writes a blog, I am well-aware of how ONE word can upset people. Those who are upset about the use of the word, ‘happy’, do you really think that DDHQ means that they are happy Nick is gone? Or do you think they are happy that someone good can stand in so the shows don’t have to be canceled? Again, as someone who writes and puts thoughts out there to be consumed by the public, I wish people were a less little critical and assume that there was nothing but good intentions behind it.
Again, I totally understand those people who have tickets to shows and expected Nick to be there. I, too, would be upset. Heck, I was upset that he wasn’t at my shows. Again, though, I ask that people assume positive intentions. Nick and the DDHQ didn’t do this to anger people or frustrate ticket buyers or to dupe people out of money. Things happen. We don’t have to like it and we can be angry at the situation but I don’t know that the anger should be directed at the band or their team. I also ask people about the alternative. Would people really prefer the shows be canceled only to possibly NEVER happen? Yeah, the situation sucks. For sure. Yet, I believe that something is better than nothing.
On that note, I continue to send love and support to Nick and his family with whatever it is that is being dealt with. Clearly, there are a lot of people out there doing the same.
Duran Duran Appreciation Day was a little extra special this year. Not only did fans show how much love there is for the band all over social media, but DDHQ posted a new Katy Kafe. This one featured Nick! His presence in the Kafe was VERY welcomed by many as the concern for him has been growing since his departure from the tour in early July. I have heard many fans ask questions anxiously of anyone and everyone who might know something, anything about what is going on with him. This questioning, generally, has been done out of love and concern as it is hard for people to sit back and be patient when worried. Others have attempted to reassure by stating that no news is good news and that Nick is where he needs to be. The real reassurance came this week, though, when fans could actually hear Nick’s voice for themselves in the latest Kafe. Hearing his voice put a smile on my face, too! Soon enough, I was itching to capture the highlights here on the blog. Of course, if you want to hear it all (and I know you DO!!!) and without my commentary, then make sure you are a member of DuranDuranMusic.com.
Update on Nick’s absence:
Nick reminded everyone that he had to leave the tour to return to England to deal with a family matter and that this was the first time that he had to miss dates. He is a little concerned that if he doesn’t return soon that Simon will take over the lead for the most times on stage with Duran Duran. He described it as “relinquishing his crown,” which I thought was super cute! Then, he apologized for not being at the shows but thrilled that MNDR could stand in for him. He misses everyone but isn’t sure when he will return. He felt strongly that the show was in a good place with the lights, the production, the setlist, etc. so he really didn’t want to cancel dates. (As someone who attended shows, I’m couldn’t be more pleased that they didn’t cancel!)
Nick is writing and producing their album with them and has been over the last 9 months. The plan is for him to finish when they resume working in September. He has been enjoying working with them because they are young and open. Clearly, the implication is that they aren’t jaded about the business like others who are older or more experienced might be. This is the first band Nick has worked with like this since the Dandy Warhols. Speaking of projects that he has been working on, he and John hope that the writing for the musical is done this year as well. (So do I!!) Interestingly enough, Nick says that the Bloom Twins work really quickly, the opposite of Duran Duran.
August 1st marked MTV’s 35th anniversary. Nick talked about how awesome the channel was when it first started. The channel was started by “young, vibrant, passionate” people who really had a pulse on what was happening. Whenever Duran showed up, MTV just went with whatever idea Duran came with. For example, Duran brought Andy Warhol with them one day and that was cool with MTV. Later, though, the channel shifted to be less flexible and even later became “game show” like. (Like with so many other things in my life, I find myself wishing that I could have been there to witness those experiences Nick talked about with MTV in person.) Nick and Katy discussed the possibility of MTV rebooting to once again show videos. Both didn’t think that was going to work despite Nick’s obvious sadness over the loss of what MTV was. (I feel his pain as I’m sure most of the people reading this do, too.)
BBC Music Day:
Duran participated in this by playing a show from the Eden Project, which is an attraction focused on plants from different environments, that was then broadcasted for people in the UK to see. (It is on YouTube now, if you want to watch it for yourself.) Nick hasn’t seen the broadcast and isn’t very good about watching his own shows. He does like that the band was able to participate in something new, though.
Nick sent his appreciation to everyone who has come to see the band on the Paper Gods tour, to all the fans who have been with them “forever” and to all the new fans. He describes it as “quite a journey.”
When discussing possible dates for 2017, the Far East, Australia and South America were all places mentioned that they need to get to since they haven’t been there yet during this tour. I’m sure that would make MANY fans very happy!!!
Overall, we didn’t get much in terms of scoops or new information about what is going on behind the scenes. That said, I, for one, was very glad to hear Nick’s voice and to know that he isn’t giving up his day job anytime soon! That is something we can all appreciate!
After all of the years of seeing Duran Duran, I finally got a VIP package for the Camden New Jersey show! I had hoped for the front row with the back stage tour, but that sold out, so I was happy to get the 2nd row with the cocktail hour and a nice package in the mail.
The day arrived Thursday, and I left work early to get into the parking lot a head of time. Some folks were there tailgating and one fan was playing “Paper Gods”, so I shut my car off as that is what I had on.
The VIP cocktail hour was great. I met a fan, who like me, had a seat alone, and was it was also her first time doing all of this. I also saw a friend I have not seen in over 20 years, which was great!The food was actually good, with a vegetarian choice of a main dish. We also had a private restroom which came in handy later between Chic and Duran Duran!
I missed MNDR, my cousin saw her ( I did miss her not sitting with me as usual, she and her hubby were a bit further back) and said she did a good job DJ’ing dance music.
(ed note: we’re a little confused as to whether Tokimonsta or MNDR DJ’ed and/or played keyboards at this particular show. There have been a few pictures that seem to show Tokimonsta at the keyboards.)
Now, on to the show. I got to my seat as Chic was being announced. I was super excited to see there was no front row seat in front of my second row seat, and I was closer to the center than I thought; I wound up right in front of Dom when Duran came on.
I have to say, Nile R. and Chic blew me away!! I was surprised how many songs he wrote for various artists, and since he produced, “Let’s Dance” by Bowie, they played that as well! I was super excited when he smiled at me as I was one of the few folks there in my row! He really has a great smile. He mentioned his battle with cancer, and they did “Get Lucky” ; starting off slow, then getting into it! He dedicated it to folks who struggled with cancer as well. They had folks on stage from the audience for their last number “Good Times” and it was neat seeing children and seniors alike up there.
So next up, was of course Duran Duran. A security guard asked where I was siting when I crept up to the gate as close to the stage as you can get, and I was pleasantly surprised when he said since there was no front row seat in front of mine, I could stay there!
Most folks know the set list I am sure by now, so no surprise they opened with Paper Gods, which was fabulous! By “Hungry Like the Wolf” I had my chance to show Simon my sign, “Simon, you still got it!” This was the first time I made a sign and felt like a teenager. He strutted by, looked at it, and smiled at me. Well, I could end this review right here! Somewhere in cyberspace there is a photo of me with it—a photographer took a few of me, but I have no idea who he was with.
The energy of the band was incredible. Being in front of Dom was a treat, he smiles at you the whole time. Like most folks, I was sad Nick could not be there, but MNDR did a fine job, and did not do Nick’s bit on “The Reflex” but had us do that.
When Nile Rodgers took the stage, there was a tender moment with Simon as Simon said how they truly love him and they had a hug on stage. It was great seeing him play on stage with the band, and it was cool when he was next to Dom as the ladies near myself and I got another smile from him during “Pressure Off”.
I loved the “New Moon On Monday” thrown in with “Reach up for the Sunrise”. I can’t remember when I heard them play that last, so it was a treat.
The David Bowie tribute actually made me cry and seeing the beautiful photo of him on the screen was wonderful. Simon also threw a “Little Red Corvette” line at the end of “Save a Prayer” for Prince. That was also incredible, he talked about the horrible things going on in the world, telling us all to be optimists and have hope. Saying that if not, “the world will go to shit”. Right on, Simon!
Being a Philly girl, I loved the exchange Simon had us do with the Jersey folks, he would yell “New Jersey” , then “Philly “, then agreed we were all beautiful people. He then reminded folks that Philly was were Duran played “View to a Kill” live first at Live Aid. John also went on about Philly toward the end of the concert. Yay, Philly!!
Anna and Erin were great on vocals. The mike for Simon W.’s sax went in and out during Rio, so I felt bad for him there! This was when the beach balls came out; I did not see them at first; weird thing about being in front; after seeing video of the show, I realized that I did not see a lot of the light show type things as well. I got a shriveled up beach ball to take home to my kids thanks to a security guard. I also loved the confetti for “Pressure Off”. I had read a review of a show where they did not do this; maybe due to the venue? I am so glad they did it here, it was magical.
It really seemed like the band enjoyed themselves on stage. Simon really talked a lot to the crowd and joked around. I saw fans young and old—old as in older than me, so I was impressed, ha ha!! I love their new album, and so glad they are touring.
One thing I missed—they played nothing from the previous album, including the title track, “All You Need is Now”. I am assuming they really could not fit it in. I am not upset they are not shaking up the set list much as it was solid. Seeing them so many times, you usually hear something different every tour.
Oh, and lastly, for Rhonda and Amanda, JT did NOT have those track pants on, whew!
Eileen is a big fan of Duran Duran and Daily Duranie is so pleased that she agreed to share her review with us!!
Wow. It is hard to know where to start with today’s blog as I have much to say! Last night marked the second Duran Duran show of this leg of the Paper Gods tour and the first show for us. What an incredibly fun night!
Our night started fairly early as we had planned a meet up there at Ravinia before the show started. Since we had not been to Ravinia before, we didn’t know much about where to meet, how to tell people where to find us, etc. Even though, we arrived shortly after gates opened, the lawn was mobbed with people ready to spend the late afternoon/evening there, enjoying food, drink and the company of family and friends. Luckily, we were able to pick a spot right behind some concession stands near the walk way separating the pavilion from the lawn. People were able to find us and much conversation and laughter ensued. Our raffle went well and many were able to pick up a new Daily Duranie wristband or two! Based on the success of yesterday’s meet up, we look forward to tonight’s!
By 6:30, our group separated as we were all more than ready for the show! Of course, we wondered how the show was going to go since Nick was absent but had nothing but we had confidence in both the band and MNDR. We were not wrong. I’m not going to lie. It was weird to look up and not see Nick Rhodes standing behind the keyboards. There were times during the show that his presence was especially felt, such as during the Reflex when Nick normally answers the question of “why don’t you use it” or at the end of Notorious. It goes without saying that we continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and hopes that he is able to return soon. That said, MNDR had good energy and seemed to have fun, which I appreciated. I liked how John went up to the keyboard riser a couple of times to check in with her. I’m sure that she appreciated his support and the support from the fans.
Overall, it was a good show! As with any Duran show, there are moments during the set that stand out. Interestingly enough, I felt like the real stand out song last night was Last Night in the City. Good energy throughout the entire song. The other song that worked really well last night was Notorious. The band was all front and center and seemed to be having serious fun, which I adore! Plus, who doesn’t love the addition of Nile Rodgers! I managed to capture a moment with the photo below.
Beyond those song highlights, there were good JoSi moments and fabulous DoJo, which I appreciated immensely. I have to also say that the band did a really good job moving across the entire stage. While I’m always really happy to have John play right in front of where I am, I recognize that he has to play to everyone and I thought John, Simon and Dom did a nice job moving to every area of the stage. They also did a good job trying to get the crowd to join in with the usual singing, clapping, shining cell phone lights during Save a Prayer (which was dedicated to Nick Rhodes, by the way). That said, they had their work cut out for them as the crowd was tough.
I truly believe that the crowd makes a big difference in how any show will go. If the audience has a lot of energy, that energy is fed to the band who then feeds it back to the crowd. If the crowd isn’t into it, the band has to work that much harder. I truly do feel like that was the case yesterday. While I saw many fans totally into the show, dancing and singing to every note and every word, I saw empty seats, even up front. I saw many people come and go like watching the band was just an afterthought. Many people just sat down. I think the cause of this is simple. Ravinia is one of those venues who have subscribers, people who buy tickets for the season and then pick and choose which shows to go to. Thus, not everyone in the audience is a serious Duran Duran fan. Many people could be casual fans who just know a few of the band’s hits. For those people, they sat when they got tired or didn’t know the new tracks. This type of set up means that the band really had their work cut out for them and they performed well despite the extra challenge.
Nile Rodgers is my new hero:
After Nile and Chic performed a solid set, Nile took time to shake hands with fans before exiting the stage. I used that moment to slide on up to the very front. He reached his hand down to me to shake it. Instead of shaking his hand, I asked him to take one of our brand new Daily Duranie wristbands. He took the wristband and immediately placed it on his arm causing me to have a super big smile on my face.
While I found that moment to be pretty awesome (as I did when John and Dom got and wore their wristbands!), the even better moment was when Nile came back on stage to join the band for Notorious and Pressure Off. As soon as he came on, I saw that he was still wearing the wristband. I appreciated that he took the wristband but wearing meant more.
Other random thoughts:
I must comment on a few other things that caught my attention, in some way. First, I must comment on Simon’s look last night. As you all know, Simon isn’t my “favorite” band member but he was looking good. Not only is the hair looking good, he was sporting an earring and eyeliner! My friend, Julie, joked that he was wearing eyeliner out of sympathy for Nick. It’s an idea that stuck with me. Hence, the name of the blog post!
Second, I missed a couple of elements from the fall shows. I missed the confetti during Pressure Off and, believe it or not, I missed Danceophobia. I had been looking forward to watching John dance during that song and had to make do with his little punches during Girls on Film.
The band also had an addition at the end of the show with having giant beach balls during Rio. While it was fun to see people in the audience hit them or seeing a band member or two hit/kick them back out into crowd, I found them distracting. I was watching the balls more than I was focused on the song. Rio deserves my undivided attention.
Overall, the band did well and I had a ton of fun at our meet up, during the show, and hanging with some friends after the show. It was a really fun night, which reminded me of why I love touring and going to Duran show SO much. Now, I can’t wait for tonight!!!
I arrived in Chicago yesterday afternoon to join my partner-in-crime who flew in two days prior. Last night, we enjoyed a night on the town with a good dinner, drinks at a couple of our favorite bars before dancing the night away at an 80s alternative night. (The club played Rio and The Chauffeur!) Of course, in between our rounds of vodka tonics, we were alerted to the big news from the Duran camp. Nick Rhodes had to go back home due to a pressing family matter. Here’s the official press release in case you missed it:
Regrettably, keyboardist Nick Rhodes will be leaving the current Duran Duran tour tomorrow for a short period of time, to return to the UK to attend to an urgent family matter. The band have just embarked on the third US leg of their Paper Gods tour, which kicked off last night in Nashville. They are currently in Chicago, where they play two nights at the Ravinia Pavilion (Friday July 7 and Saturday July 8).
Standing in for Nick will be long-time friend and collaborator, artist MNDR.
Speaking this afternoon from Chicago, Nick said “I am devastated to be missing even a single date on this tour. We are having such an amazing time and the shows have been some of the most exciting of our career. I will be back as soon as I can but know, in the meantime, that I am leaving both the band and fans in great hands, with the fabulous MNDR.”
Not surprisingly to anyone who knows us, we spent much of the night discussing and processing through the news. Our first thought and the one that we most often returned to was concern for Nick and his family. We recognize that Nick would not choose to leave the tour for anything less than “urgent” as stated above. It goes without saying that our thoughts are with him and his family as well as our love and support.
Our thoughts also turned to the shows, the tour. Many Duranies are already giving their thoughts about the band’s decision to play here in Chicago with MNDR. Some were just relieved that the shows will still happen while others believed that the band should cancel these shows and any other shows until Nick returns. Others just worried about upcoming shows, wondering if MNDR is prepared to stay subbing, no matter the duration.
Before I give my two cents on the band’s decision, I want to recognize that I have NO idea all of the factors that goes into making a decision like this. From my perspective, as someone who has tickets to not only the shows here in Chicago but later in the month, I’m glad that they are going ahead with the show (and I assume the other shows as well). It isn’t easy coordinating a trip, saving money, etc. If they were to cancel and re-schedule, there is no guarantee that I (or Rhonda) could even attend at that time. Once the school year starts for me, I can’t just take off whenever I want. (Shocking, I know.) I think their decision to keep the shows going reflects that the band understands that shows are a big deal for fans. And, yes, they are a big deal for them. I can’t imagine the process it is to cancel and reschedule. I believe, though, that they don’t want to disappoint people. I also know, as someone who traveled all the way to the UK in 2011 only to find out that the shows were canceled how devastating that was. I personally do not want to go through that ever again.
All that said, I recognize the fact that the show will not be the same without Nick. I’m sure that the chemistry on stage will feel and be very different. We will definitely miss him. After all, he usually seems pretty entertained by us, especially when we do everything in our power to avoid Simon’s spit during White Lines. I am thankful that MNDR is available and willing to sub for Nick. I can’t imagine that job is an easy one and to do in short notice is impressive. After having seen her when she opened for Duran in 2012, I’m confident that she will do just fine.
So tonight, the show will go on. Duran Duran will take the stage minus Nick. We will miss him terribly but we are also thankful that MNDR could step in. I suspect that we will cheer a little extra loud today, giving as much support for the band, for MNDR and most importantly for Nick.
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!