Tag Archives: Steve Aoki

To be a fly on the wall…

There are times when DDHQ will post something, whether it’s a video, a picture or even an article from an online magazine, and I’ll wonder what it must have been like in the room at the time. I’m sure a lot of fans have wondered what it was like backstage as the band hammered out the setlist…or how awkward it REALLY was for the band when they filmed Girls on Film. Maybe you’re more like me, and wondered what it was really like in the studio when they recorded with Timbaland. Or maybe you are curious about what it’s like in those few minutes right before a show when they’re all backstage but can hear the audience screaming?

Today, for #watchitWednesday (catchy hashtag!) DDHQ posted the video from the Steve Aoki “See What Unfolds” concert from Terminal 5 in New York City. I don’t even remember what year it’s from – but I can tell you it was during the All You Need is Now “era”, so to speak.  We did a couple blog posts on it, here and here, where you can get an idea of the insanity that night.  As a refresher to those who have forgotten, basically Steve Aoki did a remix of my very “favorite Duran Duran song ever” – Hungry Like the Wolf (what else could it possibly have been?!?) and then had a concert where it was performed live.  I was not AT the show, but I can tell you what I know:

  • The band was there.  😀
  • Cake
  • Champagne
  • A raft (?!?)
  • There was pushing, shoving, and Duranies seemed to slip on the cake that was thrown AT them by Steve Aoki, and fell down (there’s a pun in there somewhere, I just know it.)
  • MANY Duranies did not like the remix.  (I did….I don’t know what that says, but I did like it, and I still do. It’s catchy and fun.)

Here’s the video from that night that DDHQ shared this morning:

Funny thing: I’m not sure I ever really watched the video until this morning. I must have at some point, I’d assume, but I’ve definitely forgotten. While I would not have wanted to be in the front…or anywhere on the floor for this show…I think it was fun for the Steve Aoki fans who were there. Expectations were both a good friend AND enemy for this show because while Aoki fans knew what was about to go down,  Duranies had their own ideas…and the two didn’t mix well, particularly combined with champagne on a concrete floor.

Even so, as I watched the video, I wondered what the band thought while they were up on stage that night. I’d seen a few comments from the band (and I think even Dom may have mentioned the show –  back when they all used to tweet and actually engage!) saying that they thought the night was fun. This is one of those times when I wish I were a fly on the wall backstage though, or in their heads as they happened to look up and see cake and champagne flying through the air at their fans…or when they saw people slipping and falling.  Maybe they didn’t even see that happen, and to be clear: I am NOT finding fault either way, I’m just wondering what they were thinking as they watched it unfold on stage. I know in the video there’s not much shown of that sort of thing. All you see are people in the front (presumably Steve Aoki fans, because let’s face it: I’ve been to “a few” DD shows in my lifetime and I’ve never seen that many young kids up front at a gig unless it was a festival) being completely carefree and having a great time. Whereas most of the comments I saw and heard from Duranies after the show had come from a much more cynical place….presumably because we are not young kids used to going to see EDM gigs. We’re Duranies. We’re used to being up front. We are used to cheering for the band and having to stand our ground so that other Duranies don’t try to take our spot. We’re not necessarily used to battling it out with kids half our age who look at the idea of raving or moshing as a big love session. They live for “the drop” and we live for JoSi. It’s a very different thing.

Where IS my “Get Off My Lawn” hat, anyway???? 

Let’s take it from another angle: what did Nick think when the idea of Steve Aoki remixing Hungry Like the Wolf came up? Did he cringe or did he look at it as the opportunity to have the dust shaken off the song? I wonder about Simon – how did he feel about being autotuned  so much? What about John? My guess is that to the band, this was just another opportunity to reach a new audience. I wonder how the rehearsals went – I mean, the remix is very different from the original song, so how did that work live?  That said, I wonder how many of these “opportunities” come up where the band just has to say no. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

If you could be a fly on the wall at any point in their career…where would you have wanted to be and why?

-R

More Top Duranie Fandom Moments

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

Fandom Memories - PamG

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!

-PamG