Duran Duran played in Russia last night as an exclusive performance for Louis Vuitton to celebrate the LV exhibit at the Strelka Institute in Moscow. Not a bad gig to have on the books, I must say.
Here’s the setlist, courtesy of Setlist.fm:
View to a Kill
Hungry Like the Wolf
Girls on Film
The band, along with most of the usual cast of suspects gathered in Moscow, although Simon Willescroft is already back in London at this point, going straight from the plane to stage as he finishes up his run of “Woman to Woman” shows before heading to Iceland. However, Erin Stevenson didn’t join Duran Duran on stage this time.
Currently, Erin is performing with Janet Jackson during her Las Vegas residency! While I know she will be missed by DD fans, it’s a fabulous opportunity for her! I mean, it’s Janet. Can’t really get bigger than that, and good on Erin for landing the gig!
So that leaves us wondering who is sharing the stage with Anna! We didn’t have to look very hard, as Anna spread the news herself via Instagram and Facebook.
“Brilliant show tonight in Moscow with Duran Duran. Introducing the brilliant Florence Rawlings on bv’s She smashed it xxxxx”
Anna Ross, Facebook, 6/17/2019
Florence is a stunningly beautiful vocalist from South London, who was born after I graduated from HIGH SCHOOL in September 1988. Good lord, the band is hiring children!!!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system and I’m over the shock….what else did I learn about her? She stood out as a star vocalist early in life, at the age of 13. It wasn’t until she finished her A-levels that she was signed to Dramatico Entertainment and began performing in earnest.
In 2009, she performed at several festivals including Isle of Wight, Wireless, and Guilfest. Perhaps more of interest to Duran fans – she has performed as the lead singer of Clean Bandit (2014) and is now a part of their touring band. She has recorded one album – A Fool In Love.
Usually, Duran fans are great at embracing new members of the touring band. I saw a few of my friends have already liked her Facebook page. I have no doubt that Florence will feel like part of the (extremely) large family in no time at all! Welcome to our slightly crazy, dysfunctional family, Florence!
Today, I’m taking a self-imposed break. I saw that DDHQ had asked fans for their favorite tour book, and remembered how much I loved the one for Paper Gods. As you can see below, it is far more than just your average picture book commemorating a tour!
Have a wonderful Monday and I’ll be back tomorrow!
So, I cracked opened the Paper Gods book that my ever-fearless partner-in-crime-and-everything-Duran-Duran sent me for Christmas!
When I opened this particular present, I was delighted because I’d heard it was well-worth the £20, and I hadn’t ordered it myself because I just wasn’t sure I needed it. I own a few of their tour books from the past, and while they’ve always been a sort of “Oh, that’s really nice to have”, I wasn’t positive about this one. All I could think of was that it was 120-pages of photos, and did I really need a book of photos in my collection? I wasn’t sure. I wanted to see more of it in person before making a decision and I didn’t know when or how that might happen. Sometimes, a book like this needs a little previewing, you know? (It’s too bad DDHQ doesn’t know a fan website that could do that kind of thing for them every once in a while…..) So when I opened the gift and marveled at how big the book really is…and then began thumbing through it, I realized just how much I needed a book like this in my collection!
And…it’s not really so much of a tour book, although there are certainly a plethora of pictures in there (even some of Dom, Anna, Jessie & Simon W!). I would describe this book as being sort of the Encyclopedia-of-Anything-You-Wanted-to-Know-About-Paper-Gods-But-Figured-You’d-Never-Be-Able-to-Ask.
First off, the book is big. It’s not your basic 30-page tour book that’s mostly pictures (although yes, there are plenty and I mean that). At 120 large format pages (13.25″H x 9.5″W), it’s a bit of a monster…and I mean that in a fantastic way!
There’s actual writing in this one, and not just a welcome note from the band or anything like that. There are interviews, thoughts, feelings…lists of words or phrases I can’t quite figure out yet (but trust me I am enjoying the process of trying!), and I’m not even halfway through it yet! Each of the band members gives a full-length interview about the book (and believe me, these are not short answers to questions), and they also interviewed Nile, Ben Hudson and Josh Blair. They even talked creative with Nick and Alex Israel, the artist who did the front cover of the album!! I AM IN HEAVEN AND I’M NOT COMING BACK!!
I love that they took the process of recording this album and thought to have a book made for people like me. People who basically dreamt of being a fly on the wall during the entire painstaking process: everything from those first jamming sessions at Dom’s studio down to seeing their reactions to the art for the cover. The book is really something very special, indeed.
If the interviews and writing doesn’t grab you, the photos certainly will. This book is art…and if you needed to have large format photos of each of the band members, here they are for you to gander at will. I really love how each of the band members has a black and white full-page headshot, along with what I can only describe is a sort of silver “giclée” shadowing overlay printed on a heavier, plastic-like sheet. Way cool. And if you like stickers – they’re included too!
As I said, I haven’t even read through it all yet. I had to stop myself at 11:15 last night because I needed to get some sleep, and even after I put it down I kept thinking about what I’d read. In many ways that Amanda and I will get into later as we dissect this book from cover to cover on the blog (oh yes – it’s happening), I think the book makes me see the album with a completely different set of eyes, and I’m curious if my ears will pick up anything different too.
My only problem with this book is simply that they really should have marketed it differently. It’s such a great piece of Duran-memorabilia, you’d think they would have gone to more trouble to alert the fan base to it, you know? Seems like they could have used a resource…such as this very website, thankyouverymuch…to get some enthusiastic words out to the fan base and beyond. Amanda and I have a certain knack for grabbing the attention of the fan base when it comes to things like this, and let’s face it..the book is also a freaking steal at £20. (That is $28.91 USD as of this morning)
Let’s just talk about that price for a second before I settle back into my chair and read a bit more: for less than $30.00 US, you can have a large format, coffee table-sized book on Duran Duran (It is paperback). Everything from what some might describe as “lickable” photos (I certainly wouldn’t say that..,coughs…but hey… I may have heard the term used before somewhere…) to in-depth discussions of the music and process. For the more abstract-minded amongst us, there are poems and lyrics and lists to read and ponder, as well as the aforementioned photos, both posed and from live shows (from the last year). I can’t really get over the value on this one – it’s the best bang for your buck I’ve seen in quite a while.
Like nearly everyone reading, I own a lot of Duran Duran books. I’ll go one further and say I own a lot of books period, but particularly within the realm of fandom and music history of this particular band – I own a lot. This is a book that any fan of Duran Duran should have in their collection, and I’m thrilled (and shocked!) that they’re not charging the $50 or $60 that the book is really worth, even as a paperback.
Run out and grab a copy while you can! As I said, in coming weeks Amanda and I plan to do several blogs about the interviews and other writing within the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is running off to order their own copy right now…so go get it!
Meanwhile, I’m going to settle back in my chair and read Nile’s thoughts on Paper Gods…
One comment I’ve heard over and over about the band is that they probably laugh all the way to the bank. Yeah, some of us feel as though the shows are of good value at $300-400 (and sometimes more) for those great VIP seats, but I see plenty of comments otherwise, too. Even I’ve had my “OK seriously guys, how much more cash do you need??” moments.
It’s hard. I love Duran Duran. YOU love Duran Duran. We want shows. We want to have great seats. We also need to eat, pay bills, send children to college, drive cars, and so on. While I know that there are plenty of other acts out there wanting $400 just to get in the door to the venue, much less sit near the front, I also know that it’s painful to buy more than a show at a time to see Duran Duran unless I don’t care where I sit.
Let me be clear: I CARE. I care too much, as my husband might say.
It’s easy to throw an “off the cuff” comment out on Twitter or Facebook about how we’re paying for their retirement, or that we’ve paid for their kids’ boarding school. Naturally, most of those comments are made in jest. For instance, I realize it takes more than my dollars to buy a Picasso or an Aston Martin. I often wondered what kind of mansions they all must own or the lives they must lead when they’re not on stage. Even as an adult, I didn’t start really considering their costs to actually operate until around the All You Need is Now tour.
It can’t be cheap. Think about all of the people they’ve had work with the band. Those people don’t work for free. Timbaland, Mark Ronson, even Nile….all of them are in or have been in demand over the years. Collaborations, even with Janelle Monae or Lindsey Lohan, couldn’t have been for free. All of that studio time, the mixing, the engineering, mastering, etc… it all costs.
Then there’s the touring. Ah yes, the touring. When I was in England, I was surprised by how austere the touring was there compared to here. Many times, the band could (and did) travel from their home to where ever they were going to be. Here in the states, they use a private jet. That isn’t cheap at all even if the band gets a good deal. Here, they stay in pretty nice hotels, even if they put the crew up somewhere less expensive. Speaking of the crew – they pay all of those people, right? Everyone from the guy who has to take care of all that cabling (my worst freaking nightmare!) to the techs and beyond gets paid. Lighting, sound, audio/visual, and everyone in between get a pay check. There’s also Dom, Anna, Erin and Simon W. to consider…. I’m fairly certain none of them donate their appearances for free!
Those things I’ve mentioned are merely a drop in the bucket. The minutia of touring, right down to the copying and printing that needs to be done, all takes money. Every last paper clip, button to be sewn, guitar string and costume, all takes money.
So, when I see that last year’s Paper Gods tour (2016 in case you’re unsure) grossed 16.1 million here in the states .I’m surprised, for a few reasons, actually.
First of all, according to Pollstar, who compiled a list of last year’s 200 top grossing tours (Duran Duran ranks at 74), the average ticket price to a DD show was $68. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my average ticket price was “slightly higher”…like about $300 a show, give or take. As I said earlier on Twitter, the average ticket price for someone who doesn’t know much more than Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf was probably $68. For a die-hard fan? $300 if you want near the front. I alternatively laugh and then cry…
Secondly, the band played 44 shows in 40 cities. That’s a lot. They grossed (that means before their costs), on average about $400,000 a show. Not as much as I might have thought, really. (The band should not see this as an invitation to raise prices!) When you consider that figure is before anything else is paid – it becomes clear that no, this band isn’t really laughing all the way to the bank after all.
While I still feel fleeced from time to time – in a kind of a “Hey, congratulations Big Fan – you love us so much that you’re going to pay way more than others on average to sit near us” sort of way, it’s kind of the way things go. Demand. Demand, demand, demand. We want them, we’re going to pay for them. Welcome to Economics 101. I can’t blame them for making a living, particularly when I do the math myself and realize they’re not making as much off of these shows as we might think. 16.2 million before paying all of the bills for things we know, and then the stuff we don’t even realize might not leave a lot….and I am sure they had to share some of that with Chic, too!! Sure, they’re making money. It’s their job in the same way that wrangling children and making copies is mine. I just happen to enjoy the fruits of labor an awful lot!
We were fortunate to get a couple of different reviews for the DD show at BB&T Pavilion in Camden NJ – this one coming to us from Cindy Koller. Thanks so much for sharing, Cindy!! We welcome any and all reviews of DD shows, so if you feel inclined to write – let us know! -R
By Cindy Koller
The dawning of July 21st brought a lot of excitement. I had just returned the night before from a brutal 10 hour drive north from Myrtle Beach. I was ready to have some fun, and I knew the Duran Duran concert would fit the bill nicely, so to speak.
I am a fan of 33 years and this would be my twelfth show over a 29 year span. Duran has never disappointed me and always puts on a great show, so I knew it would be a fantastic night. I gathered two of my Duranie friends and made the 90 minute drive to Camden: a city with “a tricky reputation” as Simon would say later that night.
An additional fun fact was that by a pure happenstance, an old Duranie friend I had not seen since high school was going to be joining us for the show, instead of my son. She has attended many shows over the years, from The Dead to Dave Matthews to John Mayer. She is a regular attendee of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Yet, she had never seen Duran live. She would bring a whole new realm to my experience that night.
I was actually excited to see CHIC a little more than Duran, as I have liked them since 1979 and had never seen them live. Their music is part of the foundation of my musical taste that would eventually lead me to Duran. I love Nile Rodgers and just could not wait to see him perform with his band.
We arrived at the BB&T Pavilion, and after getting our refreshments, we entered the venue. It is an open air amphitheater, with 7,000 seats under the roof and a large lawn area beyond. I had purchased tickets 5 rows from the stage, on John’s side. I was beyond thrilled! As we walked to our seats, TOKiMONSTA was just finishing her live DJ set. She soon took her bows and my small group chatted while we waited for CHIC.
The venue was still half empty as CHIC was announced, but they were nonplussed. And the set they performed was sheer perfection! Nile and his band were tight and obviously loved performing as they put on one hell of a show. Both female singers were great, but the one named Kimberly gave all of us chills! Her voice was so warm and full of soul. Fantastic! They played a few of their hits and launched into a set of hits that Nile had helped pen, like Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out, Philly’s Sister Sledge’s We Are Family, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and the highlight, Bowie’s Let’s Dance. CHIC was absolutely phenomenal! I can see why John Taylor says they raise the bar for Duran’s performances.
Another small intermission while CHIC’s gear was broken down was another chance to just enjoy my friends and the atmosphere. CHIC had definitely gotten us in the mood to groove, so by the time the smoke started to emanate around the stage, we were ready to party!
With the first thunder crack, I actually looked behind me, to the lawn area behind, wondering if the bad weather that had been threatened had arrived. But with the next crack and the light flash, I knew it was Duran’s opening. The lights went down and soon I could see some silhouetted figures moving across the stage, one headed right towards us. I watched as John slipped his bass on to his shoulders and I felt the surge of electric excitement as they were about to launch into their set. Paper Gods filled the venue followed by the screams of the crowd. The stage lights came up and we were off!
Now, I will admit I have been one of those fans complaining about the lack of change in the set list. It really hasn’t changed much since the AYNIN tour, but I have to say, it just works. The others with me were thrilled with the song choices, and probably would have been disappointed if “Rio”, “Come Undone”, or “Hungry Like the Wolf”had not been played. I always grouse before the show, but once I’m there, the setlist is golden!
So, needless to say, song after song, I danced my behind off, enjoying the performance masters that are Duran Duran. Nick was still absent, but TOKiMONSTA filled his spot for the first time and she did quite well! Every moment was to be savored and I did my best to do so. It was a warm and humid night, but that did not stop us from singing and dancing along.
Encore time and “Save a Prayer”was dedicated to those who have experienced the craziness in our world today, lost loved ones to the craziness or just feel the world is a frightening place. Terrorism touches us all now and cell phones were held high in solidarity.
Simon bantered with the crowd about Camden, since it is in New Jersey, but is also directly across the Delaware river from Philadelphia. Were we a Philly crowd, or a New Jersey crowd? I still think Philly won the scream vote. He danced and turned and frolicked about the stage, seeming to defy his 57 years. And yes, he caught his tambourine!! (I watched him clock himself with it in 2008 and always hold my breath whenever he throws it.)
Roger was the solid man we all know him to be, his drumming precise and on beat. Dom was his phenomenal self, playing his parts perfectly. Anna and Erin, two fantastic singers in their own rights, were great and loved to get the crowd involved. Simon Willescroft sauntered about the front of the stage for his sax solos. Am I leaving someone out?
Oh! John Taylor! Of course I could not forget him! Since we were seated directly in front of his bass speakers (!), every note went right through us. Literally. When he went to his bass synth for Last Night in the City, the others in my party were shocked! Why yes, John now has a synth in his arsenal. He smiled and danced and seemed to be having a fantastic time. The only curiosity was why did he leave his leather jacket on all night? He wore it through the whole set until they reemerged for the encore. The man had to be sweltering! And he had the last words of the night, as he mentioned all of the Philly venues Duran had played in over the years, thanked Philly for “the long fucking journey with Duran” and promised to see us again soon. At least he got city/state the loyalties right!
All in all, it was a fantastic show that was over much too fast.
I asked my high school Duranie friend to give me her impression, as it was her first Duran show. Here are her thoughts (with permission):
“Having the opportunity to finally see Duran Duran live and in person was amazing! Seeing those boys come running out on stage and performing Wild Boys, brought up nostalgic memories of loving this band to the point of obsession. They were fun and energetic, seeming to never slow down! This was a high energy show, with no low points to speak of. I see many concerts, and this show was the most fun I’ve had. Every song delivered the appropriate goose bump effects.”
Funny, even though it was my 12th show, Duran still brings out the goose bumps in me too.
Cindy Koller is a mom of two (raised to be Duranies, of course), that has been a Duran Duran fan since July of 1983. (33 years!) She lives with her husband and teenage kids in Western Chester County, Pennsylvania, about 75 minutes outside of Philadelphia. She is a letter carrier in Kennett Square, PA who is lucky enough to have a TAYLOR Street on her delivery route!
I don’t know how other bloggers handle readers or their comments, but Amanda and I like to try to stay engaged with people. So, we do tend to read the things being said on Facebook and Twitter, as well as comments sent directly to our blog.
One of the very best comments I’ve read…probably ever…was something posted in response to a blog I wrote a couple of days back regarding the show at Agua Caliente. I tried to put my feelings about that night into words, and even though I’m still not sure I conveyed it all properly, many readers seem to not only grasp what I was saying, they chimed in with their own feelings.
“I always tell people, ‘I am the real me when I am at a Duran concert’ .” – Nicky Pryer, Facebook
A simple, thought-provoking statement, and I can’t get it out of my head.
Nicky’s statement sums up exactly how I feel. I’m not just a fan. I’m a mom, I home school, and I’m a wife among many other things…but I’m also a musician. I’ve played clarinet since I was 8. I’ve actually PLAYED at the Hollywood Bowl before. (Yes, on that same big stage.) I practiced for hours upon hours each day and it was my entire life outside of school. My life goals were two-fold: 1. Become principle clarinetist for the LA Phil. 2. Become an orchestra conductor. I was very, very, serious about my craft, and auditioned for the now defunct junior philharmonic when I was 11. I made it the first time, and I remember the conductor telling me how unusual it was, but that I was very, very, good. The pressure was enormous for me and I constantly felt like I needed to measure up to expectations. When I got to high school, I decided to quit the orchestra and play in the school marching band instead, and my entire life changed accordingly. I ended up doing pretty much the exact opposite of what I thought I’d be doing now: I stay at home, I’m married…and I have kids. Three (and a husband) more than I’d ever thought about when I was 12 or 13, actually. I didn’t even play the clarinet in college. Now, my playing is only done in private, and really if I’m going to be honest, those short moments (who can really practice with kids around?!?) are the times when I feel the most like myself. It is the one thing I do that doesn’t get shared, and is completely and utterly for me. I love that. For my fortieth birthday, my family bought me a new clarinet. It wasn’t just your average student version – it was a professional, very expensive model. I cried when I opened it because I will likely never play on a professional stage again, but I treasure that darn thing to pieces. I’d sell my Duran Duran collection before I’d ever sell that clarinet – just to show its importance to me. Music courses through my veins and continues to be my lifeblood…and when I go to see shows, particular Duran Duran, I feel flickers of that coming through.
I could write this particular post from the angle that I’m normally just your basic mom, or that I revert back to my inner-teen when the band comes on stage…and for the most part, that would be appropriate and pretty real-life. But for me, those descriptions would still leave something untouched. Yes, of course I scream for the band. Sure, I clap, dance, and even bat my eyelashes with abandon, but there’s more going on than just fan-girl adoring (and I say this knowing it is true for many, if not most of you out there). When I stand in front of the band and they are playing, I am able to block out everything else and just hear the notes and words, and I recognize myself again. I think many of us are that way, and this is just MY version of that story.
Recently, I tried to describe my feelings to someone by saying that when a song is played well, even though I know that I am one of thousands in the room, it feels as though I’m the only person there and that it’s being played just for me. I have no doubt that the person I said that to thought it was “just” an adoring fan girl moment for sure, but that isn’t what I meant at all. I won’t lie, it kind of makes me gag a little that it was taken that way (I should’ve known better), and also irks me that I didn’t explain it better so they’d get it and take my comment seriously. That person doesn’t know me well enough to understand that I said that as a musician – not as a fan, and yes, that difference DOES matter to me in this particular situation. I meant that those notes become a part of me. I can SEE the music as they’re playing it. I think about the key signatures, the dynamics…the chords… and it all transports me away from the person I am now, away from being a fan, back to JUST the music…which is really at the very heart of who I am.
Please don’t read this post thinking that I’m trying to say that I experience the shows more seriously, or differently than others. Anyone who has stood next to me at shows knows, I go as crazy as anyone else! (Trust me – I adore the band like anyone else as I stand staring at Dom’s striped socks inches from me, or I watch Nick grin down at me as he starts in with the chords to Hungry Like the Wolf. Or maybe when I see Roger twirl his drum stick in Wild Boys, or when John waits for us to shout “Switch it Off in Planet Earth…or when I watch Simon point to John as he sings the line “big sky” in Sunrise. I am a fan, and live for those moments!) I can only say that when I start feeling like the “Real” Rhonda, someone who I kind of think I left behind in high school or maybe even college, I’m only thinking about the music. How it looks. How it feels. How it makes me feel. Even when Simon Willescroft plays the sax in Rio, I’m standing there paying rapt attention to the keys and how he sounds, considering why it might be that some nights it sounds better than others. Or I think about why I prefer the sound a straight soprano sax makes compared to the hooked neck one he has used in Tiger Tiger. (Sorry Simon!) Then I remember that I gave up playing professionally years before, and sometimes, that makes me sad.
Seeing Duran Duran isn’t entirely about leaving my responsibilities behind or reverting back to that little girl who hung their posters in her bedroom. No, sometimes it’s about remembering how much I love music. How much I love playing. Sometimes it’s about feeling inspired to practice, or using some of the music theory I’ve learned to write a review…or even just hearing the notes or bass line a little differently than I heard it on my stereo at home. Seeing John smile at the audience makes me smile and glow in turn, but those precious few minutes when I am past all of that, and my head is completely and totally submerged in the music – that time is golden above all else, and it is when I feel the most like me.
Having recently read Amanda’s and Rhonda’s top 10 Duranie fandom moments, I wanted to share my own top fandom moments. So here are my top five Duranie fandom experiences, in no particular order:
My first Duran Duran concert
October 17, 2011 at the Tower Theater, Philadelphia
Having been a fan for almost 30 years it was a surreal experience. I still have trouble putting those feelings into words. My seat was on John’s side of the stage and I was just mesmerized from start to finish. I remember being in a trance almost the entire time and just staring at John. I mean, staring. I felt like I was a young teenager again, plopped in front of MTV and was engrossed in their videos. The show was better than I could have imagined. I remember telling myself that I should look at Simon and the other people on stage and take in the experience, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of John. And at the same time, I was also trying to capture as many moments as I could with my camera. Of course in hindsight, I wish I had put my camera down and absorbed as much as I could that night. Little did I know that it would not be my only time seeing the band that year. In an uncharacteristically impulsive move, I saw them again eleven days later in Boston.
Seeing the band arrive at the Tower Theater
I went to that Philly concert by myself, so I got there a bit early and killed some time in the pub across from the venue. I met some other fans and we had all decided to skip most of the opening act (Neon Trees) and head to the theater between acts. As we were leaving the pub and walking across the street to the theater, a white van drove past us and went down the alley to the backstage entrance. Very quickly, whispers turned to excited-yet-still-low-key squeals saying that it was the band. My initial thought was No Way! They must already be there at the venue. Well it turned out I was wrong. We tried to be cool and saunter over to the alley to catch a glimpse, and our suspicions were confirmed. They waved hello in response to some brave fans who called out their names. I was in Duranie fandom heaven, and I hadn’t even entered the theater yet.
Turning lemons into lemonade in Atlantic City
I planned my summer vacation around this show (August 25, 2012). My friend Stephanie and I wanted to attend a show on that summer tour together, but she ended up going to see them at Foxwoods the night before and I chose AC because I could visit some nearby family. That choice was a critical one for me because she got to see the band and I did not. As we now know, they ended up cancelling this show in Atlantic City as well as the remainder of that U.S. tour. I found out the news like many would-be attendees did: at a bar in the casino, within an hour of the start time. It was another surreal Duranie fandom experience, but in a sad way.
One amazing opportunity did rise from these ashes though. After commiserating with other Duranies and trying to make the most of the situation, we heard rumblings that some of the band was in one of the other bars at the casino. Sure enough, I ended up meeting Dom Brown, Anna Ross, and Simon Willescroft (saxophone). I had a lovely chat with Dom about his solo work. So for not being able to see the band live, the night gave me my only chance (so far) to meet members of the band.
JT’s book signing in Toronto
2012 was turning into a tough Duran-year for me. I also missed John’s book signing in Toronto. Regrettably this one was my choice though. It was the day that Superstorm Sandy was due to hit land, and although I was nowhere near the direct path of the storm, it did cause some pretty severe weather in western NY. After a lot of debate and even a little heartache, I decided not to make the drive to Toronto out of safety concerns. I think I avoided Facebook and other social media for a week because I didn’t want to see what I had missed out on.
But somehow the Duran karma was looking out for me again. Not too long after missing the chance to meet JT, I won a signed copy of his book from DDHQ. Of course it wasn’t the same experience I had hoped for, but I do treasure it nonetheless.
The controversial Duran Duran & Steve Aoki show
June 20, 2012 at Terminal 5, New York City
Oh I know the controversy this show caused. I read the fan forums and the criticisms both before and after the show. You can look them up yourselves. I am grateful for the experience no matter what. Perhaps another time I’ll write about my entire experience, but in a nutshell, it was a one-of-a-kind Duranie fandom experience that I don’t regret one bit.
I truly ventured out of my comfort zone for this one. I went to New York City for the first time. I was a guest of a Duranie who was looking for a +1 for her ticket. I had faith in a fellow Duranie, but it was still a risk to put my faith in this stranger in NYC. It all worked out just fine, and we met up outside of Terminal 5 in time for the show. We ended up being among the first group of fans they let in, so we got pretty close to the stage. And as Steve Aoki says in the video that captured the essence of the evening, I had no idea what was about to unfold. Yes, I got cake on me, was sprayed with champagne, and many sweaty, annoying 20-somethings bumped into me with little regard for my safety. But I also got to meet some awesome Duranies, witness a new arrangement of HLTW, sing Happy Birthday to John, and even watch the band watch Aoki from backstage. And even though it was a short set, it was a unique Duranie fandom event that I’m glad I took a risk on.
Do you have a list of your Duranie fandom moments? Share some in the comments below!
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!