Tag Archives: Ravinia

It’s the learning of this journey: Fan Events

Hi everybody!!

I’m writing to you this morning from a lovely hotel room in Kalamazoo Michigan. We stopped here last night on our way to Detroit for the show tonight.  Leaving Chicago was kind of sad—it is one of my favorite cities, and it is also where my sister lives. I took one last parting photo as we inched our way by on the highway, thinking about how long it might be until I can return.

I needed my sister this week, probably more than she realized.  We hung out, talked a lot, and she gave me some much-needed advice that I plan to follow on more than one topic.  Amanda and I had agreed to leave and drive last night rather than wait until this morning because I didn’t want to feel rushed getting to the show. That didn’t make it any easier to say goodbye and get on the road and I found myself a little emotional as I hugged my sister knowing she wouldn’t be going back to California with me at the end of the week.

Our meet-up turn out isn’t always huge. Some can be, but many of them have been less than 20 of us, gathered together. We make due with limited resources, and are thankful for each and every person who decides to join us. I also think it takes a certain amount of nerve to take a deep breath, walk up and say hi to people you’ve only chatted with online. Take it from me, I know that sense of anxiousness well. Walking up to a group of people and introducing myself is one of my least favorite activities, right up there with taking tests of any kind and say, having cavities filled.  It isn’t any easier for me to host these fan events, either. It takes putting myself out there, being “on” even if I’m tired or not feeling well, and being more extroverted, which certainly is not my style.  I just want to say thank you to everyone who comes to hang out with us!

At our last pre-show party, several friends we made at the Durandemonium convention in Chicago attended. What strikes me about these women is that before the convention, most of them didn’t know one another. Since that fateful weekend, however, I’ve seen news of their gatherings and travels. It is nice knowing that they bonded at an event Amanda and I organized.  One of this group had volunteered to help on the committee even though she’d never gone to an event like that before. Shy and not very confident, she was eager to help. Since then, she’s gotten married and really has started her own life. She seems far more self-assured now, although I know she’d probably argue with me—but I have watched her blossom and I silently encourage her to keep going.

Towards the end of the party, we took a picture together and she spoke with Amanda and I. She told us how thankful she was for these fan events and the things we do. She mentioned how we brought these people into her life, and how that made her feel. We have had people send us notes thanking us before, but never something like that. Raw from emotions that I have been keeping just under the surface, I found myself with a large lump in my throat, choking back tears.

Life has been rough lately. I haven’t even given myself time to grieve my family’s loss. Touring is probably the last thing I should be doing right now, but here I am. I knew I wanted to see my sister, Amanda and my friend Heather. I knew the band would be great. I just have all of these feelings bottled up that I don’t know what to do with. Listening to this wonderful Duranie tell me that I made a difference in her life and brought her friendships and things blew me away. I think I’ve been on the verge of tears ever since. Here I am, struggling, and she gave me such a gift that night. She’ll really never know, and these words don’t do it justice. I needed to hear what she said that night. It reminded me that fandom isn’t about how many shows you’ve attended or how many times you’ve met the band.

If anyone wants to know why I do these fan events (or any of it really), they can talk to Kim. She is the reason. It’s not because I make money. (uh, no)  It isn’t because I thought I would get closer to the band. (Never met most of them beyond a quick hello at a signing) It definitely isn’t because I want to be a big name in the fan community. I do all of this stuff because it is a way for me to give back. I found Amanda through being a fan. I want other people to have that same chance. It’s that simple. The band happens to provide the soundtrack for all of that.

-R

 

Chicago Show #2 Review!

I wanted to think of a catchy title but nothing is hitting me this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I guess I could have named it the weird but wonderful Chicago show number 2.

The Smoke/Fog Machine:

Within the first few minutes, we knew that the show was going to be super entertaining.  The band came out to play Paper Gods with the smoke/fog machine enveloping the stage, creating a very cool atmosphere.  Yet, last night the smoke machine didn’t turn off when it was supposed to.  It kept going and going.  Poor Dom Brown couldn’t even be seen.  I was impressed that he could continue to play in the midst of it!  As soon as we all realized that the fog machine had a mind of its own, we started laughing.  Soon enough, Simon and John were laughing, too.  Thus, right away, we knew that this show was going to be a funny one!

Clothing changes!

I’m not going to lie.  My friends and I have spent quite a bit of time the last few days discussing John’s…pants, you know the ones he has been wearing most of the time at the shows.  They look like track pants with an orange stripe up the side and a length that is questionable at best.  Clearly, we do not love these pants.  Thus, as the pants came up in conversation, we began pondering whether or not we should offer to take him shopping or if we shouldn’t buy pants ourselves and toss them on stage for him to wear.  Yet, last night, the man wore different pants!  Text messages expressing our delight were quickly exchanged.  We all approved of these other pants!!!

Simon also appeared in a new white jacket, which also met our approval.  That said, the man wore a new hat during White Lines that we had to wonder about as you can see below.IMG_2747

Again, seeing Simon in this sparkly pink hat alerted us that this show was something to behold!  Perhaps, there is a connection between this moment and another Simon moment that happened on this exact date in 2009.

We have to wonder when is the madness going to end??????

Those Damn Beach Balls:

Speaking of madness, again, giant beach balls appeared during Rio.  Many of them found their way to the stage where the band would gleefully punch, throw, or kick them back out to the crowd.  At one point, John’s microphone stand almost fell over from one while he was singing into it.  Then, just a couple of minutes later, he sent a beach ball into the audience, knocking the stand completely over.  It was all distracting.  Where do I watch?  Am I watching the band?  Watching the balls to ensure that I don’t get hit on the head with one?  Even after the song ended, the crowd and band continued to toss them back and forth.  Craziness.

Holy JoSi, Batman!!!

Oh my.  I’m still reeling from all of the fabulous JoSi moments last night.  Honestly, there were SO many that I wondered if I had taken a time machine and it was 2005 all over again.  On top of the frequency of those John and Simon moments, they were also longer and…dare I say…more quality.  Longer eye contact, for example.  At one point, Simon walked over and kissed John’s shirt, which was the mouth from Rio.  Well, then.  Simon even grabbed at John’s collar to pull him closer.  Let this pattern continue for the rest of the tour.  Please.  I beg the Duranie gods!

Song Highlights:

Both Rhonda and I are REALLY loving New Moon on Monday.  For both shows, it just adds something to the show.  I love how it connects Duran’s history with more recent Duran.  I also thought Pressure Off was great, but I missed the confetti terribly.  Wild Boys was great fun!  I have also liked I Don’t Want Your Love both nights.  Last night, though, I noticed that while Simon introduced the song, John and Dom were mouthing the words that Simon was saying.  Clearly, they have heard it a time or two.

There were a couple of moments that reminded me of times past.  First, during Planet Earth, I had heard that the crowds had not been shouting “switch it off” anymore.  Well, we proudly did.  Last night, John saw us yell and responded by saying, “That’s right!”  On top of that, Simon ventured off the stage to encourage the crowd to sing the “ta na na” part of the Reflex.  If that wasn’t enough, Simon also messed up the lyrics to not one song but two (Hungry Like the Wolf and Save a Prayer).  Again, we wondered if we didn’t go in a time machine?!

Ravinia and the Crowd:

While these two shows were great fun, I’m for one glad to be moving on to different venues.  While last night’s crowd was way better, there were still so many people there who were NOT there to see Duran Duran.  It is hard to remain excited when you hear people say things like, “Who’s Nick Rhodes?”  On top of that, the venue is far from the city, from downtown and a serious pain in the ass to get to and from.

Overall:

I would have to say that Friday’s show was probably a better performance but last night’s show was way high on the entertaining side.  They seemed more relaxed and that they were having fun.  We look forward to seeing how things go for the next couple of shows in Detroit and Toronto.

-A

 

Sympathy Eye Liner: Chicago Show Review #1

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!

Pre-show Meet-up:

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!

Our meet up!
Our meet up!

Nick’s Absence:

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.

Song Highlights:

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.

Having fun during Notorious!
Having fun during Notorious!

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.

The Crowd:

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.

After Nile took the wristband
After Nile took the wristband

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.

Nile wearing the wristband
Nile wearing the wristband

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!!!

-A

The time has come

After a late night, it was really nice to sleep in this morning—a luxury I rarely allow myself at home. When I woke up, I realized that today is the day!  Amanda should be driving in and other friends will be arriving. Tonight we will celebrate the beginning of our Summer Tour 2016.

Amanda and I will celebrate the completion of our massive rewriting project.  We made it to July, and Ravinia is happening tomorrow night!!

I did see a few posts from people who went to the Nashville show last night. Seeing that the show wasn’t rained out made me happy. No one likes seeing that happen. Everyone said the show was great, but the comments that stood out most to me were the ones about the friendship we share. I love seeing other people give testimony to things Amanda and I have felt for many years now.  The love of a band brought us all together. That’s amazing.  The music is outstanding, but the real gift has been the friendships we’ve made along the way.  I love seeing other people react similarly.

Right now, I am so thankful for just being here and having the chance to celebrate with everyone, I still couldn’t care any less about what the band is playing tomorrow night. Something about the past week or so has really been a kind of wake up call to just enjoy the moments. I keep telling my sister and my friends that I just want to have fun and not worry.  Just breathing and not thinking too hard has been a relief.

Every single time I’ve set out on one of these road trips, no matter the length,  I’ve learned something more about myself. I suppose this is all as much about personal discovery as it is listening to great music and losing my cares for a couple of hours each night.  This time, it seems that I’m learning how to live in the moment and not the little things get me down.  (And I haven’t even been to a single show yet!)

I hope to see many of you at the meet ups we’re doing, or at shows along the way. If you aren’t already following us on Twitter, you might join in—I’m sure Amanda and I will have plenty to say, some of which might even be printable!  We also have an Instagram that definitely be filling up too.  We’re ready to take everyone along on this road to insanity!

The rest of my morning includes preparing for Amanda’s arrival and getting this show—Summer Tour 2016—on the road!

-R

A Little Ray of Comfort: Summer tour 2016

Let’s get this party started!!!

Today is the day!!  As you read this, I am likely on my way to LAX, bound for Chicago. The next few days will consist of spending quality time with my sister.  During the latter part of the week, Duranies will be invading Chicago. I can hardly wait.

It has taken quite a bit to get to this point. The past few months were crazy.  Every time I think I’ve caught my breath, something else has come up and knocked the wind out of me. There have been several moments where I’ve considered just staying home. I have much to worry about here, but I also recognize this might be the last time, at least for a while, that I really can get away.  (And, I need the break.)

I’m excited to begin this tour. I really am! I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be able to focus on myself.  I’m looking forward to hanging out with friends.  So for me, the next ten days (yes, TEN glorious days), are going to be about relaxing and taking time to breathe.  We all need that once in a while.

I also need the reminder that yes, things really are going to be OK again. Somehow, getting together with dear friends—both those that really know me and those guys up there on that stage that have very little idea of who I am beyond just being a face in the crowd—will be healing.  I need it.

I haven’t talked to other friends or fans about what I’m hoping to do,  what I want to get out of the shows, or even what I want to hear played. Weirdly, two or even three weeks ago, I could have easily launched into a diatribe about how their setlist should include this, that, or the other.  But when it comes down to it, particularly after last week—all I want are some good shows. I don’t care what they play. I don’t even care what they wear. I just need the band to take me on a trip away from reality for just a little while.

Duran Duran has been the one true constant in my life since childhood. I suppose when I think about it, their music is a safe place. It’s a comfort and reassurance I could use right about now.  I can’t wait to see everyone.

See you on Friday, Duran Duran. 🙂

-R

 

As If We Have the Chance To Live It All Again

This is one of those days where I have nothing to say. So I’m going to ramble, and hopefully I’ll find something here in the impending mess to print.

A little about me at the moment: I am about eight days away from embarking on my “tour.” For the longest time, I saw the trip as a reward for writing 6-8 hours each day.  Amanda and I told ourselves for months that we were working really hard and planning to party in July. Then something happened at the beginning of June that made me rethink going altogether. The details don’t matter,  but it’s been a downward spiral since—and precious little has to do with the band itself.  I really didn’t even want to think about going. I didn’t want to be excited, I just wanted to get through it, which yeah – is WEIRD, even for me.

Even so, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister, friends and a favorite person or two. Those thoughts kept me going.  And then last week I started feeling better about the trip as a whole. There’s a lot going on here at home but I kept trying to remind myself that I have FUN when I am with my friends. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to look at the forest when you’re stumbling through the trees.

I leave next Tuesday to spend a few days with my sister, then I’ll see Duran Duran in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.  Oddly, I have had an uneasy feeling about this trip since the beginning of June.  Then this weekend happened.

On Saturday morning I got a text from my mom. She’s at the hospital with her partner/friend/boyfriend/etc (is it obvious that I’m confused about their relationship??).  Turns out, he has been suffering with “heart burn” for two weeks, except it wasn’t heart burn. It was symptoms of a heart attack. A widow maker heart attack, no less.

The details aren’t great. He was very lucky that my mom brought him to the hospital when he did, but he waited far, far too long. He’s on a ventilator with more tubes going in and out of him than I’ve ever seen. His heart, liver and kidneys took a big hit. They’re doing everything they can for him and giving him every opportunity to improve…whatever that means.  I keep telling myself that every hour makes a difference, and things can change and improve quickly.  I am writing this before I go to the hospital today, and they tried some things over night that could make a difference. I didn’t hear from my mom during the night, so that has to be a good thing, right?

This is not my mom’s first rodeo. We lost my dad just over eight years ago. We’ve been very thankful that this man has been there for my mom, and now we are trying to be there for him, but the situation is sticky.  He and my mom aren’t married, but he has designated her to make decisions while he is unable to do so himself.  In other words, it’s a nightmare scenario in a multitude of ways. I worry for her because none of us were ready to go through this type of grief again, particularly her.

On one hand, I want to run far and fast and get the heck out of here. Fight or flight?  I’m ready to fly, thanks. I just don’t feel like I have the fight in me right now. On the other hand, my urge to stay and control are strong. (Yes, I am a control freak. This is why I don’t usually get along with other control freaks, I guess.) The next few days are going to be stressful. While I’d really love to be getting excited by this trip, my mind is elsewhere, sick with worry for my mom.

I don’t really know what all of this means, and there’s no real “Duranie” moral to the story here, although I will say a few things in general:

  1. Pay attention to your body and get check-ups.  Burying your head in the sand does nothing. Heart burn that comes up out of nowhere isn’t a good thing – better to go and find out that it’s really heart burn than ignore it. For every second someone experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, a cell is dying. My mom’s partner went two weeks before getting help. Not good.
  2. Have the guts to write-up your Will (and/or trust…or even your final wishes). Your loved ones will appreciate it in the end. Trust me.  The very last thing anyone wants to do while they are grieving is try to figure out what your wishes might have been, or what legal rights they have to make those decisions, if any.
  3. Live your life to the fullest. Life is not forever. Watching my mom  my mom go through this type of horror twice has taught me well. You get one chance: take it. Make sure you tell the people you love how you really feel and mean it.

I’m off to meet my mom at the hospital.  Please feel free to think positive thoughts and send good juju my way.  My family could certainly use it about now, particularly my mom.

-R

 

 

And we can dance together: Pre-Show Parties!

I tweeted yesterday that whenever the @dailyduranie twitter is blowing up on my phone, I know the time is coming.  TOUR time.  Pre-Show parties are planned and happening!

I leave California, bound by plane for Chicago’s Midway airport in about two weeks.  So yes, tour time is coming! I can hardly believe it. It seems like six months has flown by since we bought pre-sale tickets, although I know it’s been less.  I’ve been busy, to say the least. Funny how writing will make the time fly right by.

Yesterday, Amanda and I spent a few hours solidifying details for the Daily Duranie pre-show parties we are hosting for this tour.  We can’t be everywhere, but we’re hosting what we can, in between moments of just being fans ourselves!

We’ve Got Wristbands!

We will have wristbands and raffle tickets for Duran-items for sale at all of our pre-show parties, so bring cash with you.  The proceeds will go towards our convention fund (save the date: we’re doing another Durandemonium August 10-11 2017!)

July 8 & 9 (Ravinia – Chicago)

For both nights of Ravinia, we are hosting pre-show gatherings on the lawn area by the pavilion where the band will be playing.  I’m including a map with the area to look for us (and our Daily Duranie sign), but you should know a few other things as well:

  1. Gates open at 4pm for Ravinia
  2. Our gathering begins at 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
  3. We will have a couple of blankets and towels but you might want to bring one of your own to sit down on.
  4. This is BYO-everything.  We’re just meeting and coordinating as a group to hang out and mingle before the show.
  5. Food is available at Ravinia, but it is also common to bring your own picnic – it’s whatever you want to do.
  6. We are meeting somewhere on the grassy knoll area that is directly behind the pavilion seats. If you walk in the main gates and go past the Martin Theater (should be on your right), we’re going to be closer to the pavilion, also on the right side.  See map for details.
  7. Look for the Daily Duranie poster!

7/13 (Molson Amphitheater – Toronto)

We’ve set up a group reservation at the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto, which is near the Amphitheater. For this party, we definitely need your serious RSVP on the Facebook event page for this gathering (link provided below)  Please do NOT RSVP if you’re not going to the show, do not live anywhere near the US and/or do not plan to be there that night. We love that everyone wants to be with us in spirit and we appreciate that – but please do not RSVP unless you are seriously attending.

The party will begin at 4:30 pm at the Hard Rock in Toronto, and it will be a blast!  Depending upon the number of people planning to join us, we’ll either do a large table or do more of a stand-up table and mingle set-up.  The Hard Rock has been awesome about working with us in the past and so we really appreciate their ongoing support for our parties!

7/29 (Mandalay Bay Event Center, Las Vegas)

For this event, we are still coordinating the timing with DDM so that our party will not interfere with the VIP Cocktail Reception taking place that evening.  What I can tell you though, is that we’re going to do our own Happy Hour/Cocktail gathering at Eye Candy in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  This is simply for drinks and chatting, and the venue was chosen for its central location and very open seating (the bar opens at 3pm, and my best guess is that we’ll meet-up around 4:30 if not a bit earlier).  Pro tip: there is no food available at this bar, so you should plan and eat accordingly!

Naturally, we’ll keep everyone updated as much as possible from here, but for the most accurate information and to let us know if you’re coming to any of the parties we’re hosting, please see the Facebook events page….and spread the invites to your friends!  The more the merrier!  Please let us know you’re attending.  We can’t wait to see as many of you as possible!

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

 

-R

We’ll Light Up the Land

If only people had seen the texts between Amanda and I yesterday….

My fingers flew fast and furious over my phone yesterday, as Amanda and I began an impromptu session of “US Tour Planning, 2016 Edition!” Even as we countdown to the beginning of the first leg of the US tour dates, Amanda and I are still trying to figure out which end is “up”, in some respects. We have some tickets to some shows. We would like tickets to some other shows…and we need tickets to still others. It is a mess, basically. Yet, we know that as time wears on here, we need a plan. I was pretty happy swimming along in a sea of ambiguity, until I realized that if I didn’t have a basic plan in my head – my kids were going to steal the time from me and I wouldn’t be able to get away. As it is, the summer feels like it will be remarkably shorter than in previous years, so I felt like I needed to get serious and make a plan.

As we texted back and forth, one thing became clear: I was going to be gone for quite a bit longer than I’d realized   initially told my husband. I know it isn’t cool to speak of the spouses, and we all pretend we just decide for ourselves we’re going to shows and that’s that. Let me get real here for a second. It is a big deal for me to leave for any length of time. A long weekend is doable and I daresay that’s gotten to be “easy”.  My husband works incredibly long days right now, but he still does have his weekends, so those work most of the time. Five days means that I’ve got to leave a significant schedule of events and the kids have to be covered, particularly during school. My six-day, second trip to the UK was a major undertaking, primarily because I was overseas and it wasn’t that easy for them to reach me at the time, and all of the kids were still in school. My husband had to take off time so that I could go. My first trip to the UK was nine-days in length, and my husband in particular acted as though I was leaving him permanently. We literally passed one another in the airport because as I was getting in, he was leaving for Taiwan for a week.

I’ve never been gone longer. 

So when I counted up the days and realized I was not going to just be gone for a week, but rather ten or eleven days…and that was just the first trip, because at the end of the month Amanda would be coming to California for several more days worth of shows and touring, I took a deep breath. This was going to require finesse. Empathy. Care…..and a remarkable sense of good timing (one that I do not always have, actually). I was going to have to casually catch him off guard, in a great mood, and word my request carefully. This was going to be a challenge.

At that precise moment, I heard the bellow of an angry man upstairs, going through our cell phone bill. Questions began to come flying: “Did you hear that sales guy tell us he was giving us the ‘buy one – get one free’ special?? Why are BOTH new phones on our bill, Rhonda??” Oh boy. This was not that time. I said as much to Amanda, who at that point was more than ready to start planning, commenting on how thick the tour binder would be for this trip (she IS the planner out of the two of us!!).  With our hope to go to Toronto, we’d even be leaving the country!! As we continued to text back and forth, my texts mostly lamenting the challenge ahead, hers mostly sympathetic with  a whisper of “just tell him!!” (I don’t blame her)

I hedged, knowing that I’d get nowhere. Fast.

I sat stewing as I continued thinking of other options. I could skip going a couple of days early as I’d planned, instead squeezing in time with my sister between the shows and in one day following the shows at Ravinia, assuming I get tickets. I didn’t like that idea because I owe her a real visit unencumbered by Duran Duran, yet I don’t have frequent flier miles the way I once did – so I have to optimize my trips. I could skip out after Chicago, but I already have tickets to Detroit (our seats suck though and I could sell them).  I could just not bother with Toronto since we don’t have tickets there currently, but Amanda really wants to go to see them in Canada and our friend Heather has tickets to that show. Besides, what is Daily Duranie if we’re not together??? No, I was going. To all of it.  One way or another. I swallowed hard, trying to fill myself with confidence and resolve for the task ahead. In the meantime, I could hear my husband typing away on his keyboard, so I wandered upstairs. He was chatting with the cell phone company about our bill. At first it seemed he was getting nowhere, but suddenly he turned and smiled. Smiling? That’s a decent sign, I thought. I sat down cross-legged on the carpet (my favorite place to sit, by the way), figuring I’d wait it out. I continued “planning” with Amanda, agreeing that since we didn’t know about “tomorrow”,…we only knew about this tour, this album, etc….we needed to just go for it. No regrets. Do as much as we can, without going overboard. (to clarify: “overboard” to us is probably very different from “overboard” to you, dear reader. We also write a fan blog about this band. On a daily basis, no less. Get it?)

Just as I arrived to this point of clarity, Walt (the husband in question), pushed his chair away from the desk, triumphant. He starts to make plans with me for the rest of the day, very happy with his outcome. The cell phones will not be thrown through windows, nor will we take up an online smear campaign about the cell phone company or service just yet. I quickly surmise that this is my moment, throw caution to the wind, and launch into “the executive summary” of how long I need to be gone in July and why. I’ve learned that fewer words are better than more when it comes to Walt. He will ask questions as time goes on, and I will need to have those answers at the ready…but for now? Short is best! He looks down (I’m sitting on the floor, remember), peers over his glasses at me, and says “OK”.  I know I will come to pay for this in a variety of ways later, but at least in this moment…I win.

Triumph!!

I don’t know if I’m willing to put our itinerary out here, primarily because as I mentioned, tickets have not been secured for all shows, and I’m trying to leave the door (window, gate, etc.) open…just in case. (“Just in case” could mean anything from finding a long-lost relative willing to pay for me to go to shows for an entire month AND tell my husband I’ll be gone – “keep dreaming, Rhonda”, I know!! – to other shows being announced, to just about anything else under the sun.) What I can say is that I’m going to Chicago in July to see my sister, catch up with Amanda, perhaps run into some other Duranies, and maybe even see a band in the process. I don’t know for sure, because tickets have not yet gone on sale, nor do I know how many body parts I would need to be OK in parting with in order to be able to afford to attend. It does sound like there will be a healthy group of Duranies in Chicago for this two-day lovefest of the Paper Gods, and we will definitely plan a pre-show extravaganza to get the party started! We do not currently have tickets to Toronto, but we’d really like to go there – it is a city neither of us have ever been, and I happen to know that there is quite a contingent of Duranies making the trip. If we’re lucky enough to find tickets, it seems like a pre-show meet up would not be out of the question. At some point, I will fly home to Southern California, presumably to rest up before Amanda flies out here and we begin the process once again, catching shows in California for the final portion of the US tour.

The bottom line is that Amanda and I will be together for most of the month of July. We are going on a big trip, and we’re taking the fan community with us…whether you’re going to be at shows in person, or reading from afar. There will be parties, laughter, set lists (because you know we’re not going to let that band get away with Hungry Like the Wolf  or Ordinary World again, right???), photos of drinking sessions…and probably quite a few photos of scenery and driving because well, we’re going to be doing some of that along the way. Let it not be said that we didn’t live the Paper Gods US tour to its fullest here on Daily Duranie, and we invite you to come along for the ride! Join us here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!

-R

New Paper Gods Tour Dates Announced!! Shamir to support!

This Monday morning brings gifts of the Duran Duran tour date variety, as a couple additional dates were added to the Paper Gods tour calendar this morning. See below:

January 25th, 2016

DURAN DURAN ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL 2016 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

CHIC FEAT. NILE RODGERS AS SPECIAL GUEST ON SELECT SHOWS; XL RECORDING ARTIST SHAMIR ANNOUNCED AS SUPPORT IN 7 CITIES

TICKETS ON SALE THIS FRIDAY

January 25th, 2016 – (Burbank, CA) – Multi-platinum superstars Duran Duran today announced that they have added additional shows to their eagerly anticipated upcoming North American Paper Gods Tour, which visits arenas and amphitheaters beginning in March. Tickets for the newly announced dates go on sale starting this Friday, January 29th.

The band have also announced that XL recording artist Shamir will appear as support on 8 of the dates. The Las Vegas native released his debut album, Ratchet last year, featuring the singles “On the Regular” and “Call It Off.” Recently, Shamir recorded an acoustic cover of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” (click here to listen). Also on the bill for most of the shows are previously announced special guests CHIC, featuring Nile Rodgers. Rodgers served as a producer on Paper Gods and has enjoyed a long collaborative history with Duran Duran.

The Paper Gods Tour kicks off on March 25th in Niagara Falls and is divided into two legs. The first runs through April and the second begins in July and runs through early August. Please see below for all upcoming tour dates. Every ticket bought online for Duran Duran’s 2016 headline tour includes a standard physical copy of Paper Gods. After purchasing tickets, fans will receive an email within 24 to 48 hours containing album redemption instructions. Festival dates, Niagara Falls, and the Puerto Rican shows are not included. 

Duran Duran Fan Community members will have access to pre-sale tickets and VIP packages for the July 6th Nashville concert beginning Wednesday, January 27th at 10am local venue time. An allocation of excellent seats will be held and made available to Fan Community members for the Highland Park shows on July 8th and 9th on April 18th at 10am CST before the public onsale on April 26th. Please visit www.duranduranmusic.com for details. **

Paper Gods was released worldwide on September 11th and bowed at No. 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart, earning Duran Duran its highest-charting album in 22 years. The album returned to the Top 20 upon the band announcing the Paper Gods Tour in December.

Duran Duran’s 2016 Paper Gods Tour dates are as follows:

03/25 Niagara Falls, ON, Canada Niagara Fallsview Casino
03/26 Niagara Falls, ON, Canada Niagara Fallsview Casino
03/28 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center+
03/30 Saint Augustine, FL Saint Augustine Amphitheater+
04/01 Miami, FL Miami Open Experience
04/02 Tampa, FL MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre*+
04/05 Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center+
04/07 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena*+
04/08 Washington, DC Verizon Center*+
04/11 Montreal, QC Bell Centre*+
04/12 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center (New York City area)*+
04/15 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena*
04/16 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion*
04/19 Dallas, TX American Airlines Arena*
04/22 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater*
04/23 The Woodlands, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion*
04/24 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center*
04/29 San Juan, Puerto Rico Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot

07/06 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater*
07/08 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Pavilion* (Chicago area)
07/09 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Pavilion* (Chicago area)
07/11 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre (Detroit area)*
07/13 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheater*
07/17 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center (Boston area)*
07/21 Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion (Philadelphia area)*
07/23 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center (Minneapolis area)*
07/24 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre*
07/29 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center*
07/30 Irvine, CA Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (LA area)*
07/31 Chula Vista, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre (San Diego area)*
08/03 Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena (Phoenix area)*

*denotes show with CHIC FEAT. NILE RODGERS as Special Guest
+denotes show with Shamir as support

** Duran Duran in Nashville, TN on July 6 at the Ascend Amphitheater with CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers: Public on sale begins at 10am local venue time on January 29th

Duran Duran in Highland Park, IL at the Ravinia Pavilion on July 8th and July 9th with CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers: Public on sale is April 26th (time/ticketing link TBA). 

www.duranduran.com

So it is that Duran Duran will be playing at the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville on July 6th, and as many anticipated – the Ravinia Pavilion on July 8 & 9th.  Unfortunately, as is typical, the internet is abuzz with comments from many disappointed fans about the Ravinia dates due to the subscriber practice for that venue. Basically (as with many other outdoor amphitheaters around the country), it sells tickets in advance to its season ticket holders – leaving what is typically a much smaller pool of tickets available for fan community pre-sales and/or public on sales.

The fan community, however, does say that they have excellent seats available for members (pre-sale), the question truly is how many for each evening. Those seats, available through the VIP packages offered to members of DDM, are priced at $150.00 + ticket price. (so you pay for the regular cost of the ticket plus an extra $150 for the VIP fan community package, which includes the Paper Gods CD, a beach towel, a canvas bag and a laminate)  They guarantee a ticket in rows 1-15.  Again to be clear: for these shows, there is no breakdown in VIP category – they are offering one tier of ticket for $150.00 plus the cost of your concert ticket that can get you a seat anywhere from front row to the 15th row.

Grass seats, however, are usually plentiful. For those fans willing to sit in the back and hear the music without necessarily being close to the stage, these should be easily procured during the public on sale date.

Fans may remember that Ravinia dates were included in the previous All You Need is Now tour back in 2012 but were cancelled late in the tour due to illness. One can only wonder if perhaps these dates were a requirement by the venue based on those cancellations, or perhaps Duran Duran enjoys the venue. Either way, fans have two nights to choose from at Ravinia, and hopefully all will find seats!

Additionally, Shamir has been added to the bill as an opening support act for seven shows in April. Shamir is known for doing a cover of Hungry Like the Wolf that has been applauded for being a sort of “folk song” answer to the original.  Reaction from fans upon reading that Shamir was added has been very positive this morning. Personally, I am going to need to do some music appreciation homework….

Lastly, even as a US fan, I have to wonder if/when dates for Europe and the rest of the world will be added to the Paper Gods tour for 2016. It is no secret to me that Duran Duran will have toured here twice, and while I recognize many throughout the world like to say that the US is spoiled and that we think of no one but ourselves – that is simply not true. (by the way we don’t plan the tours, so any complaints need not be hurled in the direction of fans anyway) It is already nearly February, with no visible sign in sight for any other tour dates being added, although my fingers and toes remain crossed for all involved. It would seem that surely they’d have to tour the album in other places besides the UK and US, but I’m merely a blogger. I only know that I continue to see and read pleadings from fans in Europe and elsewhere, hoping for their own chance to see the band in 2016. I hope their wishes are answered.

-R