Every year on this date, June 17th, I think about the “Fan-Only” show that was held in New York City in 2007. I cannot help it. It always pops into my mind because it was such a memorable show/experience. In the past, I have talked about it in relation to Red Carpet Massacre as it was the fans’ introduction to much of the album. It took place during a time in which the fan community was split between those excited by the album that would feature Timbaland producing along with Justin Timberlake and those nervous about not feeling like a Duran album. I mentioned about how the fan events surrounding the show were much more fun than the show itself. Yet, I have never really zoned in on the idea of a special show itself.
At the time of this fan only show and years following, I couldn’t get passed the show as it was plagued with problems with sound, mistakes with lyrics, a seemingly unenthusiastic band, etc. Now, though, I am ready to put all of that behind me. It happened. It wasn’t pretty but the intention behind it was good. I’m not sure that I ever acknowledged that before. Let me back track, in case you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. In the spring of 2007, DuranDuranMusic announced that the band would play a show for members of the band’s paid fan community only in New York City on June 17th. As part of this show, tickets would be assigned via a lottery after fans requested what type of tickets they would be interested in. Likewise, the fans could vote on an extra song from a list of five or so songs.
At the time, I remember just being excited about the whole thing as a fan. Who wouldn’t want a show just for fans?! I figured that the crowd there would be into every song, every word. Did I hope that the band would play more obscure tunes since the crowd would just be “die-hards”. Sure. Did I stop and think about what they would need to do to mix up their setlist? Nope. Of course, the idea of fans only became a bit more problematic when it came to assigning tickets. A lot of fans wanted VIP tickets. A lot more wanted them than were available. This meant that someone or lots of someones would be disappointed. Yet, what was the alternative? Not give out VIP tickets? Just have general admission? Again, the idea behind this show was great, but…nothing can be perfect.
Back in 2007, those little pesky details frustrated me. They bothered me so much that I stopped thinking about the purpose of the show. The band and the powers that be wanted to do something nice for the fans, to show appreciation for us. I don’t know that I ever really acknowledged that idea before. I appreciate that they cared enough about us to want to do something special for us. Of course, the details on top of a less-than-stellar show clouded that fact for me and others.
This leads me to think about the fact that the band’s 40th anniversary is coming up. Will they attempt to do something like a fan only show again? Should they? If someone had asked me this question a couple years ago, I would have firmly said no. I would have mentioned all of the details that frustrated fans like me on top of a show that left something to be desired. Now, though, I think I could separate the intent from the execution. No event, no matter how well thought out or how well planned will be perfect. They cannot be. I realized that when planning our convention or meet-ups. No organizer can make an event flawless. It is impossible. Yet, now, I can applaud the attempt, the meaning behind the show. Maybe a special show isn’t the way to thank fans. Perhaps, there are lots of other ways to show gratitude towards those people who have been supporting the band over the years. If the band and their people do decide to do something special for the fans, I promise to not focus on any of the imperfections but instead appreciate the sentiment. It’s the least I could do.