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.