Tag Archives: Paris

A terrible day for music fans: Las Vegas

I didn’t sleep last night. I’m sure I am not the only one. I had just settled into bed and turned on our TV at 11 o’clock to catch the news, when the reports of a mass-shooting in Las Vegas took over the normal newscast. I immediately checked Twitter (frankly, social media reacts much faster than even television news in Los Angeles), and saw that chaos had overtaken the Strip, if not the city.

I sat up for hours, unable to sleep. I watched the initial iPhone videos that came over Twitter. I could hear the seemingly incessant gunfire exploding over the crowd of music lovers enjoying Jason Aldean’s set at the Route 91Harvest Music Festival. I was honestly shocked by how long it took people to realize what was happening – probably because when one attends a concert, the last damn worry should be whether or not you’re going to die in the process.  That was pretty much the only thing I considered as the news unfolded. I could barely remember which of my friends lived there, or who could possibly be affected. All that continued running through my head as if on a treadmill, was the thought that no one should ever have to lose their life at a concert.

It isn’t my intention to turn Daily Duranie into a gun-debate. I’m going to leave that to social media to hammer out. In the meantime, I’m going to mourn the people who matter.  Mandalay Bay is my favorite hotel in Las Vegas, and concerts are my refuge. Again, I am sure I am not alone. I’ve spent a lot of time in Las Vegas seeing my favorite band over the years, and seeing images from last night gives me chills to the core. I am a music lover. The people who attended this festival are music lovers. Getting home safely at the end of the night or weekend just doesn’t seem like something that should ever be in question.

It is getting to the point where it is harder and harder to leave the house without a contingency plan in place for the worst case scenario. I actually think twice before going anywhere. This Friday, I’m going with my husband to see Coldplay at the Rose Bowl. At one point, I might have grumbled about the seemingly crazy rules about purses and bags. Now? I’m not bringing anything but my ID, and I hope they search the hell out of the crowd. I don’t even LIKE Coldplay that much! I’m just doing my wifely duty. I very much dislike that I’m second-guessing whether or not I should even go.

I remember writing after the massacre at Le Bataclan and throughout Paris. I have never, ever been more freaked out than I was that afternoon, purely because the band had performed in Paris earlier that day. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I was “that person” who begged Dom to tweet just to say he was safe. He was the only one I knew that might check Twitter, and I had to at least try.  It was ridiculous on one hand because I don’t even know these people that well, and on the other, they’re my favorite band. I’ve known them  since childhood, dammit! (Again, I KNOW I’m not alone.) The lump in my throat was significant that day. I could feel the panic rising as each moment went by without an update from a band member, or Katy, or even DDHQ. I never want to have that feeling, ever again. Yet, here we are.

My heart goes out to those who have lost family members. I feel for the people who live in Las Vegas and have to pass by the venue. I’m sorry for those who lost their lives, or who were hurt—emotionally and physically. I hate writing these types of blogs. There aren’t words, and I have no reasons. I’m not particularly good with platitudes. I’m sad today, and I’ve hugged my youngest a lot more than normal. My other two are away at school, so the little one is getting all of the hugs.

I also wanted to apologize for the semi-superfluous post that originally went out this morning, given the circumstances. I had written today’s blog ahead of time, and it wasn’t until it was far too late that I recognized it would post before I was able to stop it.  I’m sorry if it appeared that Amanda and I didn’t care as a result. We very much do.

As I tried to find the right words to close this post, I got word that Tom Petty has passed. He was only 66. What a terrible day for music fans.

-R

Music Wins

It isn’t every day that I feel like I’m on the winning end of something, but today – or last night, rather, I did feel a little uplifted. Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris, and I must admit it is one show that I wish I could have attended. I’m not even a EODM fan, but their cause matters to me because I love music.

Not all that long ago, I remember sitting at my computer. I’d just finished watching Duran Duran play at the Eiffel Tower, and I was monitoring Twitter while working on a project with my kids for school. I began seeing tweets about something going on in Paris, so I switched on the TV to CNN. It was then that I heard about the attacks at the soccer game and Bataclan, along with other restaurants in Paris. Naturally my thoughts went to Nick, John, Simon, Roger and Dom….which led to the longest half-hour (or so) of my life, as I waited to hear that all was fine. That was a terrible afternoon and evening, even after seeing that all members of Duran Duran were fine. Average, regular people – concert goers like myself or anyone reading, had just gone to see a band play, and didn’t go home.

That night sticks with me. Here I am, sitting at a computer about half the world away – nowhere near Le Bataclan or the terrorist shootings, and I still feel the pain. A certain part of my utopia was crushed that night, because when I go to a concert, I leave the world at the door. That is my time to reflect on nothing but the music, and like anyone else, I treasure that time. I am sure many, if not everyone in attendance to see EODM that night, feel similar.

Then there is EODM. I can’t fathom their pain, or their anxiety about playing live again. To be engrossed in a performance and then look up to see a massacre like that must have felt like something out of a horror movie. But it was of course, all too real. How does one go on from that? I don’t have any clue. But they did.

So last night in Paris, the band played on. There were 2,800 people gathered at The Olympia, including 900 survivors and family members from the attack, which killed 89 “friends of the band” in the club that night. There were counselors present, and from everything I’ve read, it wasn’t about sadness, but about moving on. During their first encore, they played their cover of Save a Prayer. I know that had I been there – it would have been impossible to remain stone-faced and dry-eyed.

It isn’t my interest to comment on gun control, or the laws of other nations on this blog. I leave that stuff at the door here just as I do when going to a concert. Jesse Hughes – the lead singer of EODM, said something that I think sums up my thoughts perfectly. “I don’t really care about guns,” he told CNN. “My weapon is a guitar.”

Music wins.

-R

If We Take It For Granted-Duran in Paris

Yesterday, Duran Duran played in Paris.  They were there for the 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching global event to draw attention to the issue of climate change.  They played one song, shown below, around 6 pm local time.

I thought it was a fitting choice, at the time, to draw attention to the song (assuming it really is the next single off their album, Paper Gods) and because the lyrics seemed fitting.  We should not take the planet for granted.  I like that.

In a few hours time, though, the song and their presence there took on a whole new meaning as terrorism ripped through the city, killing well over a hundred people and injuring many more, leaving a city, a nation and a world in shock.  When Rhonda texted me to alert me of the news, it did not take long for me to connect the dots.  Terrorism in Paris?  Duran Duran was in Paris!  My first thought turned to the band and their safety.  Many Duranies on social media echoed my thoughts and my fear.  The hours of not knowing seemed an eternity as Rhonda passed information on through text messages as I tried to pay attention in my meetings at work.  I kept wondering if it was better for me to be busy, to be unable to turn to the 24 hour news cycle or if it would be better if I could attempt to gleam some nugget of news to reassure myself that it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.  Thankfully, at about 5:30 my time, Dom tweeted that he had safely returned to London and he believed all of Duran was safe.  Soon after that, DDHQ sent a tweet stating, “All safe.”  Despite being surrounded by colleagues, I couldn’t stop myself from letting out a few tears.

Not surprisingly, after leaving my colleagues, the first phone call I made was to Rhonda.  We had been sending text messages back and forth but it wasn’t the same as hearing her voice.  Of course, being together in person, would have been better but we did what we could to at least offer comfort to the other and send our love.  After all, times like these, is when you are reminded not to take your loved ones for granted.  We both recognized that we could have lost any or all of the band and their crew.  It could have been them playing the concert in which terrorists entered the venue, took hostages and killed many as opposed to the band, Eagles of Death Metal.  It could have been our fan base getting conflicting reports about whether or not the band members were present and accounted for.  It could have been friends of ours at that concert hall.  It could have been us.  My heart goes out to Eagles of Death Metal, including the band, their crew, their families and their fans.  I know that Duran is thinking about them, especially since they had recently seen and performed Save a Prayer together on the show, TFI Friday, as EODM had covered the song previously.

As I sit in my living room on the morning after, I find myself thinking about the lyrics to What Are the Chances and how those lyrics were more than fitting yesterday and not just because of climate change and the health of the planet.  Like the song says, “The world does not explain” and “We are lost in the flow and looking for answers”.  Those lines ring true today in a way that they didn’t yesterday at this time.  We don’t really have good answers and we are looking for them, for an explanation.  What we do know is that we can’t take anything or anyone for granted.  This past week really taught me this from having this VERY close call for a band that has such a large hold of my heart.  This past week also saw my beloved mother finish the last of her treatments for breast cancer after suffering through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  I hope it was just a very close call for her, too, and that through her fighting, she defeated cancer once and for all.

Thus, on a day like today, when the world stands and mourns with Paris, do yourself a favor.  Don’t take anyone for granted.  Tell those you love that you love them and, if you are lucky enough, to be geographically near them, give them a hug, too.

-A