Tag Archives: Texas

Today in DD History: San Antonio

Some days, there’s not much to say…this is one of those days. I’ve got an orientation to be at in under an hour, packing to do, and a house to clean. It’s a busy day.

On this date in 2016, Duran Duran played in San Antonio at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts. This date was included on the Paper Gods tour.  Who was there?

My favorite thing about the Paper Gods tour had to be the confetti. I know that sounds like a corny thing to say, but it made the shows into parties, and who doesn’t want to party with Duran Duran???  To this day, when I think back on the tour, I think about the confetti cannons and how beautiful the venues would be as I’d take a second to peel my eyes away from the stage long enough to see the clouds of confetti billow in the sky and then gradually float down onto the crowd. I remember watching it all and thinking of the juxtaposition. Confetti calmly drifting down upon a frenzy of jumping, screaming bodies. What a scene, and I loved every minute.

On the other hand, not quite sure I miss being pelted by giant beach balls. There I’d be, watching Rio, trying to sing along, and if I wasn’t alert, a beach ball would come out of nowhere and bonk me on the head. That said, I did rather enjoy hitting the ball hard enough to send it back onstage…..

Such fun. Those memories will get me through my tenuous morning as we get back into the school spirit here.  Have a lovely Thursday, everyone!

-R

Go Directly to the Voodoo with DD in Austin Texas!

Ed note: We’re always looking for willing bloggers to share their concert experiences!  Today we have a guest blogger from the UK sharing a tale of his adventure to the US for a recent gig!  

By Nigel

When DD hit the scene I was in my early twenties. I bought their first two albums , I still think the first album is their best, followed now by Paper Gods. Through the nineties, DD were on my radar, with songs like “Ordinary World” striking a chord. I also remember a small TV concert with Emma Bunton (Baby Spice)  while I sat on a sofa. I don’t remember hearing of reunion gigs in the early nineties,  but I do remember “Sunrise” being released.

Then in  mid-2015, I saw A Diamond in the Mind on TV.  I was impressed with their fantastic live show. Dom and Anna on stage enhanced the whole performance.  Songs like “The Reflex” with its longer intro sounded even better than the original . After a few plays of the classics I slowly began to enjoy the new songs like “Girl Panic”, etc. This led me to see if any other new material was about.

The timing was perfect because Paper Gods was to be released in September, followed by a world tour.  I decided on going to my first DD concert and set about learning all the songs on Paper Gods.

My first DD gig was to take place on December 10th in  Bournemouth, only 80 miles from my current home, and also my second home town having spent all my childhood holidays in my parents caravan nearby (Simon said at the concert that he had been nearby in Canford Heath in his early years, maybe we met on the beach 50 years earlier?).

As I arrived at the concert I was aware that the audience was still mainly female, but there were also couples and some mums and daughters etc. Being a straight male at my first DD concert on my own, I felt at ease with the crowd around me, as I was about to sing every word to all the songs. I have to say the atmosphere from ten thousand middle age women screaming was quite exciting!!  I was hooked. (Why had it taken me thirty years to see this, I wondered?) The concert was amazing!  In my opinion, Duran are still at the top of their game due to their fans, their songwriting, and their performances

After the show, I met some great Duranies at  Bar So, just opposite the concert venue.  Whilst chatting to some lovely ladies from Southampton, we were joined by a guy from the US (Boston, actually), dressed in a green superman cape.   He joined in with our conversation and appeared to be known to most people in the bar. I had a spare ticket to see another great British band the following night in Bournemouth. (Status Quo)  I offered the ticket to my new friend in the cape.  The following night was a real laugh with an American who had never heard of Status Quo. (they opened Live Aid).  At some point, he suggested that I should come to the US when DD tour next year.  I thought to myself, what a great idea for a holiday!!

After an email from my new friend in USA, I decided that Austin, Texas would be ideal for my next DD concert. With Chic supporting it meant that my two favourite bands ever would be on the same bill! I bought two tickets, and my best mate Stuart agrees to join me for a lads week away in Austin.  Time to party!!

We arrived in Austin two days before the concert and partied on sixth street.  We went to Buffalo Billiards, along with a very posh bar at the JW Marriott.

Friday marked the day of the show.  We took a taxi for $50.00 to the 360 Amphitheatre, and we weren’t sure if we could get a taxi back.  Our British phones weren’t working, so we had some residual fear in the backs of our minds that maybe we would be stuck there all night.

Before the show we had a drink.  Two ladies from Tulsa ask if they could join us as we had spare seats.  I answer, “Of course!!”  The conversation began about DD. They asked,  “Are you from England? That is a long way to come!!”  After some great banter, friendships were made with Dannette and Petra. Petra is a JT fan and told me that JT’s middle name is Nigel.  I corrected her by explaining it was his real first name, which amused her friend Dannette greatly!

My two new lady friends, Dannielle and Petra. Courtesy of Nigel
My two new lady friends, Dannielle and Petra.
Courtesy of Nigel

We then convinced them to give us Brits a lift back into Austin after the show . They were going to search the hotels to find DD.  I told them about my other new friend  in the green cape and said that if he was at the show, he would probably be in the right hotel with DD !!
The concert began and Chic took the stage. Nile sang “Get Lucky” as well as all the classics, which was fantastic!  The last song was “Rappers Delight”,  and people from the audience were also on the stage.  I looked up and there was my man (the caped crusader from Bournemouth) in a high visibility jacket. (He owed me a favour for that free ticket in Bournemouth!)   During the intermission before DD took the stage, I tracked him down in the crowd.  We spoke and I was able to get some “after show information ” from him.

I realize it was going to be a great night, worth traveling 9,000 miles!   The DD concert is even better on a hot Texas night, with a full moon over the stage during “Hungry Like The (were) Wolf!!”  Tributes were paid to Prince (Simon’s first to him) as well.

After the show,  we met our new lady friends from Tulsa. Petra was trying to get backstage with the wrong pass, and Dannette phoned to tell her I had good information from the caped crusader!!
We left the venue for the hotel in Austin.  In our best English accents we attempted to teach two girls from Tulsa how to say “Bon, Simon Le Bon”, with no American accent!! We were all having such a great time!!
As we arrived at the hotel, security was tight, but I was ready.   There was only Valet parking,  and so after one lap of the car park,  I hop out (of the car).  With my English accent in a Texas hotel, it was “obvious” I was with DD, right?  The car was parked for us, and we walked to the bar, closely followed by the caped crusader, (now known as high visibility man !!  ) And….. ooh yeah…. SLB along with the rest of the DD entourage, etc.  Our two new lady friends were in heaven, and admittedly I was feeling pretty good too !!  My mate Stuart is not a Duranie, mind you, and found it all to be a bit funny.

Me, my friend Stuart and Dannielle and Petra photo courtesy of Nigel.
Me, my friend Stuart and Dannielle and Petra
photo courtesy of Nigel.

The caped crusader joins us for a drink and SLB is on the next table.
What a night!   We lived life to the fullest!!  Good times on a DD adventure!!!

Nigel was born in 1961 in Swindon Wilts Uk. (Swindon is abNigel Thumbnailout 20 miles away from Salisbury. He thinks he read somewhere that JT has a house near Salisbury but he’s never seen him shopping…and he wonders why did he change his stage name to John??)  His musical tastes through the seventies were probably similar to DD.   Bowie, Queen, and T. Rex to name a few. His first concerts were quite heavy metal: Deep Purple, Judas Priest. In the later seventies he also liked Disco: Chic and Earth  Wind and Fire (who he saw in concert early in the eighties).

 

 

A Night to Remember in Dallas

As Amanda and I are STILL out on hiatus (June 15th is coming…), we are happy to feature a guest blogger sharing her experience at a super special meet and greet experience at the Dallas show in April.  As always, we warmly welcome guest blogs.  We also wish to remind our readers that the views and experiences shared by guest bloggers are not necessarily representative of the those held by this website.  -R

 

By Kim-Loan McDuffie

I wanted to share our experience at the April 19, 2016 Duran Duran concert in Dallas, TX.  We are Duran Duran fans who have NEVER seen them in concert… growing up as a child in the 80’s meant that we were able to fall in love with the music and with the band members, but not quite old enough to attend a live show.  When Heroes for Children (a local non-profit dedicated to raise funds to help families of children fighting cancer) announced an auction for a chance to meet John Taylor of Duran Duran and 2 floor tickets, I literally jumped at the opportunity!  The week ticked by and the bidding war went up until the last second but I managed to win it… we scored the ticket package AND all the money went to help children with cancer!

April 19th came, my friend and I eagerly counted the minutes until the concert.  We had the special arm bands and tickets in hand, and at 7:45, we were escorted backstage to meet John!  Honestly, my friend and I had crushes on Simon, we were a little disappointed that the meeting didn’t include him, but we quickly changed our minds as the evening went on.  Into a nice lounge area in the back of venue, we were sat at a table… ALONE.  It was not a group setting type of meet and greet, it was one-on-one time with John Taylor!  When we realized the enormity of the situation, we went to the beverage station where they had snacks and drinks, where we opened the bottle of white wine to calm our nerves.

A few minutes later, in walks the unbelievably handsome John Taylor, hair spiked up and casual in jeans and a t-shirt.  He smiles and sits down and we just looked each other in awe, jaws wide open.  His tour manager (she was so nice!) had told us that John was as sweet as he was good-looking, and she wasn’t lying.  I broke the ice and asked him how he was doing, was he tired from all the touring?  He said that it was not bad at all and they had the weekend off before this show.  What did they do with a quick weekend off during a tour?  They went to go see the movie The Jungle Book.  We giggled like school girls because my response was, “So you go up to the ticket window and say hi, I’m Duran Duran and I need 4 tickets to The Jungle Book”,  He then laughs and said that it doesn’t happen like that, they buy tickets without introduction and go inside.  The movie didn’t impress him, he said it was a little different from he expected but he was nostalgic for the original version.  Much like the rest of us, who knew?

About 5 or 6 minutes passed and his manager came back to escort him out until he said “Do you mind giving us another 10 minutes please?”  So John Taylor was so entertained by two Dallas girls who must have babbled and talked his ear off.  He asked us about our kids and what we did for a living or for fun, and we told him about our roles as advocates and leaders in the area for children born with heart defects.

My friend and I “work” as non-salaried volunteers for Hope 4 Tiny Hearts, a foundation to raise funds for pediatric congenital heart defects.  I’m known as The Heart Fairy as a volunteer and supporter at a children’s hospital, and I am a Wish Granter for Make A Wish.  Once he got the back story as to why she and I were so active with children’s services and saw pictures of my son after his first open heart surgery, he looked a little sad.  Oh my gosh, I thought,  if I make John Taylor cry, I’ll hate myself.  So, I quickly showed him photos of my son today.  He’s doing well and looks good even though he will have to have another heart surgery.  What was so touching and made us just fall in love with John Taylor’s heart was the fact that he was just so genuinely nice, he wanted to know that my son was ok.  The warmness and kind, positive energy of his just fills a room.  Somehow our ten minutes fly by and he has to go get ready to be on stage soon.  “Are you ladies joining us after the show to come back and hang out?”  We had the blank stare of a new-born puppy who can’t find its momma, so John laughed and asked his manager to grab us a couple of VIP passes.  “But let’s get the girls some photos before I leave.”  Yes, let’s!!!  He took as many photos as we wanted, but we weren’t gonna be greedy and ask for prom poses like we had imagined, ha!  Off down the long hallway John went, we got our passes, walked from the behind the stage area on to the concert floor.  We had to sit down because our legs were wobbling from the entire experience.  We met John Taylor of Duran Duran and he was more amazing than we could have imagined.  Instantly, she and I forgot that we had crushes on Simon… until Simon took the stage.

JT loan

There was a concert.  My friend and I were still in a daze as to what just happened and what will happen after the show, so honestly, we could not get into the music.  The entire show for us was like “Did we just meet John Taylor and are we really going backstage to meet the rest of the band?” along with the irrational fear that some crazy fan will steal the VIP lanyards off our neck if we weren’t careful.  Sitting third row on John’s side, we were able to catch him smiling and waving at us a couple of times (and we had to sit down for that to fangirl) and the couple of times Simon looked our way during the show was enough to make our blood pressure rise.

simon onstage loan

josi loan

Once the concert was over, there was a group of maybe 16 people brought to the same lounge area where we met John.  The band members and the others (sax player, guitar guy and gorgeous back up singing girls) trickled in and made their way around the room to say hi.  Eventually Simon made his way to our side of the room, and boldly, I waved him over to our table.  We were told that he was on strict orders to not talk to save his voice (he was battling a cold/laryngitis, and he won’t want take photos that night), so we just wanted to see him up close.  Wow.  All 6’2” of him towered over us, so we sat back down and he kind of bent down to hear us better.  The ironic part was that we wanted to hear his accent and him talking just to say anything to us!  I told him he sang well and how happy we were to finally meet him.  He made a lot of silly faces and gestures to make us laugh, and said we can take a picture.  We each got huge bear hugs from Simon Le Bon (swoon!) and he let us take a group selfie with him, and individual bear hug pictures.

loan simon

 

Luckily, Nick Rhodes walked past us and we said hi and asked for a photo, and kindly he allowed us to!  As for the last Duran, as he was on his way out of the room, I caught his glance and asked the super shy Roger if we can get a photo with him. He said of course, chatted for a second while we took the selfie photos with him.  He said that I looked nice tonight, and I said that I can say the same for him!  He was freshly showered and dressed in a cute blazer, looking more like a school boy than a 56-year-old.  Up close, he is even cuter in person!

bandmember shots loan

By then, we didn’t get to say hi or bye to John, he left the room before the others.  Standing by the door, I saw each member exit the room.  When it was Simon’s turn, he waved bye to me and as I extended my hand, he actually grabbed it and gave it a couple of squeezes as went into the hallway.  And just like that, the evening was over.

In my wildest dreams, I never imagined an experience like what I had.  Duran Duran knows how to treat their fans.  Their show (what little of it that I remembered) was amazing and their patience and understanding of how much it means to us to get a photo/ hello from them is apparent in how nice are to the fans.

My friend and I promise to pay more attention to the concert the next time we go.  Front row.  In September.  Because we are Duranies for life now.  Thank you John Taylor and Duran Duran for being so wonderful!

 

loan thumbnail

 Loan (pronounced “lawn”) McDuffie, has loved Duran Duran since seeing her first video on MTV!  Like most people her age, she tries to keep up with the new music but always goes back to 80’s music and anything from Duran Duran.  Simon Le Bon was her first crush, but this year after my first concert and meeting them, it’s fair to say I have crushes on them all!  She is a mother, wife, business owner, and volunteer/children’s advocate and fundraiser residing in the Dallas suburbs.

I wish I was on that plane

Can’t really beat a great review, and from what I’ve heard all over from fans who were there – the Duran gig at ACL/Formula-One for FanFest was amazing.

Let’s be honest: we’re all dying for shows. I don’t know if the band really gets it or cares, but fans miss them. GREATLY. It’s been a whopping three years since their last tour, and if you’re not from the states or didn’t hit one of those shows on the final leg of the All You Need Is Now Tour (or if you had the bad luck of having your show canceled), it’s been even longer since you’ve seen them. I have a sneaky suspicion that at this point, even a lackluster show with Hungry Like the Wolf on continuous play would have been universally cheered, even by me….but make no mistake – this was a solid show by anyone’s standards, and I’m posting a link to a review by Austin City Hall to prove it!

Daily Duranie had several friends in attendance at the show while the two of us (Amanda and I) sat at our individual homes silently weeping into our vodka tonics (ok, perhaps that was just me. I’m not sure what Amanda did on Saturday night.). It was fabulous to see Twitter and Facebook inundated with photos and even videos from the show.  While I wiped my tears and sniffled a bit, I checked out videos and pictures and felt like I was there. (almost)  Admittedly, I wish I could have gone, and the experience of sitting at home and getting the play-by-play the next morning only makes me more resolute to get to shows next year. If they tour. (PLEASE TOUR. SOON!)

Ah yes, I can almost taste the desperation lingering in the air around me….I feel the days of pre-sales, cursing, cocktails, and road trips almost upon us….

Until then, here’s some fun to keep you going (special huge thanks to Michele McKeever and her husband for being ROCK STARS and taking so much video!!!) I organized it all into a playlist, and if I get time – I’ll try to organize it in order of the set list that night.  Enjoy!!

-R