Tag Archives: The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Happy New Year 2018!

I drove home yesterday morning from a wild weekend in Vegas. I’m always tired at the end of a weekend like that, but yesterday I was also stressed (I have been writing that word a LOT lately and I really hope that settles down some in 2018).  But more on that later.

The weekend was fantastic. I saw friends, rocked out with a couple of different bands, and for a short time, forgot all about anything else and lived in the moment. I do have a list of people to thank and acknowledge, so bear with me. I know that we’ve already thanked these people but I’m doing it again because they deserve it!!

  • Thank you to Jason for offering up his Hard Rock Live to us for our Daily Duranie meet up. Above and beyond the call of duty in every single way. I don’t know how to return the favor. We can’t thank you and the management team enough for your kindness and hospitality. You made my whole weekend, and I’m not even kidding about that. (no offense Duran Duran, I’m getting to you…I promise!)
  • Thank you to Noelle Kahn for being a ROCKSTAR and jumping in to help Amanda and I out with selling raffle tickets that night. As we said in our video, logistics at these events are something we tend to forget about. If we’re busy selling raffle tickets and wristbands, it makes it very difficult for us to be good hosts. So thank you X 1000.
  • It was fantastic to meet Durandy for the very first time, and to see Kitty (Gimme A Wristband) again. They continue to inspire and remind me why I do this, even when sometimes I feel like none of it matters to anyone but me.
  • Lisa (I am being vague on purpose, but I hope your feet are doing better than they were on Saturday night when I last saw you!), both Amanda and I want to thank you for your kindness.  I know you probably feel like what you and your friend gave us was just a little thing, but it was not. People will go nuts. However, what we really appreciate even more, are the words of support from both of you. It matters more than I can properly articulate.
  • Lori and Suzie, I adore you both. I’m glad you’re my people and I hope that continues for a very long time…. you get me and haven’t even stopped to have me committed yet. Thank you for just going along with my obsessive behavior and letting me figure it out for myself that it was going absolutely nowhere. It was a good fantasy while it lasted. 😀
  • I feel very lucky to have friends that have my best interests at heart. Those of you who “show up”…whether in person or from afar, matter so much to me. You’re there when I need you, and I just want to look you virtually in the eye, since I can’t always in person, and say thank you. I mean it. You all know who you are. The hugs, the chats, even the quick smiles and waves in passing helped me to de-stress.
  • So glad I got to meet so many friends, readers, and twitter pals!

So about that show. Yes, we were in the sixth row, and yes, they were great seats. Nothing I’m about to write should get in the way of that fact. Our distractions of not one but two near-fist fights in the aisle next to us, as well as the constant persistence of people trying to get closer to the stage and the sea of people in front of us who insisted on seeing the entire flipping show through their iPhone as opposed to just watching it with their own eyes definitely provided challenges to enjoying the show.  And then there was the family of four – two parents and two very young children – behind me who were very upset when the concert started and everyone stood up. They left after the first two songs, and I felt bad because the wife clearly wanted to stay, but the husband was furious with Amanda and I because we stood up. I saw a lot of the show by peering into the space under the very tall gentleman’s arm in front of me,  as he held up his phone to video. I had to laugh, because in the end, it didn’t matter. I was seeing Duran Duran live onstage over New Years weekend! I am incredibly lucky, and I know it.

I especially enjoyed Hold Back the Rain because I could see the video screen on the wall behind the band, which showed a collage of pictures of a much younger Duran Duran. I won’t even lie about how emotional I felt when I thought about how that was my childhood up on that screen. I still have trouble getting my brain to accept that the people up on that video screen are in fact the same people on that stage…because there’s no way I could ever have gotten even this close (in proximity at a show) to those guys. There’s no way that I could possibly operate a website dedicated to that band. They were the Gods of my teen years. My brain does not compute!

If that weren’t enough, the sound was FANTASTIC. I’ve sat much farther back at some shows and yet the sound has been less-than-optimal, even if it should have been mixing well at that point.  Of course, when you’re in the front, you hear a lot from the monitors themselves and the sound doesn’t mix well at that point either. However, from where I was sitting this time, it was incredibly clear. Louder than heck, but clear. I had the chance to hear subtle things in the music I hadn’t before. Dom’s guitar part in Hold Back the Rain, John’s bass in the same song, even Sunrise and the tiny snippet of Universe Alone sent shivers down my spine. I loved the show, but there was something else on my mind that night.

Right before the show as we stood having a drink in The Chandelier, my sister-in-law texted me letting me know that my niece was in the hospital. She had been going upstairs and suddenly fainted, falling straight back and hitting her head on their tile floor. She is my only niece, and I adore her. It’s the kind of accident that a parent would have on replay in their head forever, because you want to rush to grab them but can’t get there in time. She’s in ICU now with a skull fracture and a slight brain bleed, but the most frightening part is in the process of evaluating her, they discovered an irregularity in her heart beat. It is a little more involved and more serious than I need to explain here, but she is seventeen, and is getting a pacemaker. 2018 needs to be a healthier year for my family. Enough is enough.

After the show, I tried to put my worries aside and enjoy the final evening out. Easier said than done, of course. Even with a couple of distractions, I had made the decision to get up early the next day and drive home. By 2am, my exhaustion took over and I went to bed, even though I still had people I wanted to see.

It is difficult for me to admit, but this time, the show wasn’t the highlight of the trip for me. Before anyone complains, let me explain. That doesn’t mean the show was bad or that I’m slagging off on the band. In fact, it wasn’t at all. It was just that this weekend, I really needed my friends, people who actually know me, not just the Rhonda who runs Daily Duranie with Amanda, or Rhonda-the-Duran-Duran-fan, but ME.  There might not be many people out there like that, but there are some, and I think they know who they are. I have pictures with people I haven’t seen in many years. I received great big bear hugs from wonderful, generous, kind, fans and friends who care about me. Each one filled my heart and reminded me that I belong with this fantastic tribe.

I had time to stop thinking about how awful the last quarter of this year has been and instead, look ahead to the possibilities of 2018. In truth, the band contributed. Simon said nearly those same words before he introduced Ordinary World. They helped me. I think they even helped him. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, but the one thing the New Year seems to do – crazily so without fail each year – is give hope for better things to come. Right now, I’ll take it. ]

Happy New Year everyone. I hope I see many more of you this next year, even if the band doesn’t do many shows.  We may or may not have an idea up our sleeve to pass the time … stay tuned.

-R

Touring, Traveling and Thoughts

I am so sorry that today’s blog is super late.  It was travel day for us.  In fact, I am still traveling.  Currently I am on a bus in route to Madison after my flight to Chicago from Vegas.  The flight was great and I hoped to get some sleep or write this blog but it didn’t happen.  I watched a movie, played some games but spent a lot of the time thinking.  This is not surprising as most trips and most tours get me thinking.  Some of it is because there is always lots to think about but some of it is that real life doesn’t offer a lot of time to process.  Here is a little of what I was thinking about, in no particular order.

  1. Rhonda and I continue to make good touring partners.  We have for over a decade.  This weekend we began to ask why.  We talked about doing a little blog in the future where we dive into why.  Spoiler alert—it will be filled with some of our usual ridiculousness.

  2.  I am super grateful for our friends and those who support us and what we do here.  Special shoutout to our roomies.  Suzie and Lori have put up with us this entire 2017 Paper Gods tour.  That equals a bunch of shows, a few different cities, many make shift mini-bars, a bunch of cups with lids and lots more.  They have been so easy to tour with and have definitely made it more fun!  Besides, they understand our love of vodka.

Then, of course, we gotta thank Jason who helped with the meet up  on Friday.   It was such a good time and people were so appreciative and supportive that it has Rhonda and I seriously considering a convention for next year.  Watch this space because we are going to need some support to get it to happen.

Then, of course, we appreciate every one who reads the blogs, responds to us on social media, etc.  For me, each and every comment, subscriber, supporter keeps me going when I question if what we do matters to anyone.

  1.  That band.  I am sure that everyone is wondering what we thought of the show.   Highlights:  Amazing sound last night.  Simon sounded strong and Dom’s playing stood out.  The setlist was mixed up in terms of the order of songs.  I appreciated that as it kept me guessing, which I loved.  The performance highlight was definitely Hold Back the Rain.  If you can find it on YouTube, do yourself a favor and watch it!

Challenges:  These were our challenges ONLY.  We had two big guys right in front of us.  Thus, we had to keep moving our heads to see all of the band. Totally not their faults but where your seats are at a concert matters.  Likewise, the venue itself made things worse by having chairs and rows so close together.  It was hard to move and dance especially when the row in front of you keeps pushing it back, giving you even less space.  A similar problem happened a section over resulting in a actual physical altercation.  Talk about distracting!

That said, I am not complaining- just pointing out why it wasn’t the best show for us.  I am sure that others depending on their seats had an amazing  experience.  We are glad about that!  Plus, that isn’t to say that it was bad—-far from it!  It was a great—It just was not as great as others.  Yes, we have been spoiled.  I  acknowledge that we have been very lucky.

  1.  Last but not least.  As we say goodbye to 2017, I have to acknowledge how important the shows I went to during this year were to me.  They were my beckon of hope, my escape and what kept me going literally.    I am forever grateful that I was able to go to the ones I went to.  It scares me to think  what my year would have been without them.  I might have to find out this year.  I hope that those shows, my fandom and my friends be family empower me through 2018.

On that note, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.  I wish you all an amazing new year that brings you health and happiness!

-A

“Live” From a Hallway Around the Corner from The Chelsea

Since we’re together, we decided to do a video blog!  We don’t mind saying it took us five times before we finally got through the first sentence without laughing (no idea why)…and we were recording this in what amounts to a hallway around the venue, but you know, it’s the thought that counts!

Short but sweet…enjoy!

-A&R

Vegas: We Have Arrived

Surreal.  If I had to use one word to summarize this year, it would be surreal.  This trip, the fact that I’m in Vegas to see Duran Duran seems pretty dang surreal, too.  Part of me cannot believe it.  Still.  Part of me thinks that I must be dreaming.  Nonetheless, we are here and we have enjoyed some of what Vegas has to offer.  As a friend of ours said yesterday, “pace yourselves,” and we are trying to do just that.  Yes, the keyword is “trying.”  Our twitter feed from last night might say otherwise.

I arrived in Vegas yesterday afternoon, after what always feels like a long trip, to meet up with my partner-in-crime who had driven.  After enjoying a late lunch at the restaurant in the Monte Carlo and checking into our room, we did what anyone else in our situation would do…wandered over to the Cosmopolitan to get the lay of the land.  From there, we found ourselves with a little goal for the weekend, which, of course, is to try every bar in the place as there are many.  I’m kidding…mostly…kinda…not.

Anyhoo, we enjoyed a few vodka tonics (maybe more than a few), a nice meal and lots of laughter.  That is the thing that I always realize when Rhonda and I are together for any purpose, but especially on tour.  We can make each other laugh like no other.  I know that our sense of humor is not always appreciated, or even understood, by readers of the blog, but we can always crack each other up.  This can easily be seen by any of the outtakes we have of our video blogs, when we have made ourselves cry from laughing too much.  Maybe someday I could post some of those.  Now, that I’m kidding.  We wouldn’t want to scare people that much!  Anyway, I’m grateful for the laugher, the release of the stress and crap that we deal with on a daily basis these days.  We needed that badly.

After much giggling over tour memories or silly things the band has done, we danced some at Mandalay Bay’s covers band.  The best part was that they played like almost every song from Nile Rodger’s set from the Paper Gods tour!  This reminded us of more good times.  No pun intended.  Finally, we called it a night knowing that the next two are bound to be on the crazier side of things–to put it mildly.  Tonight, we have our little meet up/holiday office party at the Hard Rock.  If you are coming and RSVPed for the comedy show before hand, doors open at 7 pm!  Duranies should check in, get a wristband on the third floor  The Duran dancing portion starts afterwards at 9:30!  We cannot wait!!!  At the meet up, we will have Daily Duranie wristbands available and perhaps a raffle or two to win some Duran goodies!

Then, of course, tomorrow is the show.  I still cannot believe that!  Super excited!  On that note, Rhonda and I better get organized in our new room at the Cosmopolitan while we wait for our friends, Lori and Suzie, to arrive.  As always, if you check out our social media (especially Twitter), I’m sure you might see more of our adventures.

-A

Las Vegas here we come!

Since I have to leave fairly early for Vegas tomorrow, I decided I’d better blog in advance on Wednesday night. This will post on Thursday morning, so our readers can enjoy while I’m driving through the desert!

Amanda and I are getting to Vegas a day earlier than our other friends, primarily so that we can get some much needed work…and relaxation done! So, I’m driving out this morning, and Amanda arrives later on.

I’m excited about having a little getaway. It all still feels a bit surreal, probably because of the holiday rush – I’m still recovering from Christmas and yet here I am packing to go see Duran Duran in Vegas, of all things!

It would seem that we have quite a crowd ready to invade Hard Rock Live for Late Bar on Friday night at 9:30. If you’re going to be in Vegas, you should definitely make plans to come to where the party is going to be that night! Great music, fun people, lively atmosphere, and it’s Vegas.  If you haven’t already told us you’d like to be included on the list for the comedy show (same place, just prior to Late Bar) and you want to go, please send us a note TODAY so we can add you!

On a personal note I feel a bit guilty going on a trip like this. Things haven’t been the greatest at home, and although my husband and son are taking this opportunity to go do “guy-stuff”, and my two daughters are going to hang out, I still feel bad leaving right now. That said, I need a break. I don’t think I’ve ever been this stressed out. I like it when life is fairly settled. The uncertainty is not fun, and while sure – life can be a great adventure – I’d be much more “up” for it if we knew where Walt (my husband) would be working. The first quarter of 2018 is going to be rocky, that is for sure. I just need to breathe.

Yep, definitely need this break. It’s going to be short, but I’ll take it.

On another note, did anyone see the song DDHQ posted today? It was sort of an odd Watch it Wednesday given that it doesn’t have a video, but they chose Planet Roaring.

While I have said that I don’t care what the band plays anymore, I will admit that I, among many other fans, would love to see them do this one live. Sure, it’s a “bonus” track, but it is such a great one. The words lend themselves so well to calling out to fans – and despite what the band seems to believe about this Vegas show – there are going to be a LOT of fans in that audience on Saturday night, and the venue isn’t that big! Play this one and they’d be liable to have an entire group of fans singing it right back at them.

The problem here is that the band just has too many good songs. It’s a good problem to have.  It’s just a shame that in order for them to take full advantage of their enormous catalog of music, they would need to change-up their show fairly often, which is pretty laborious (so I hear).  So while I may be singing Planet Roaring in my heart…my head is humming Hungry Like the Wolf and loving every minute of it!

Off to finish packing – and yes, Amanda and I will be tweeting and checking in from Vegas as much as possible. Check our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!!

-R

Christmas – The Recovery (otherwise known as Boxing Day)

Good morning, world.  Did you survive Christmas…or as most of the world calls it, Monday? Today is what Canada, the UK, and a few other parts of the world call “Boxing Day”.  We don’t really celebrate that here, at least not in the same way. We use the day to recuperate and, perhaps venture out to return things that didn’t fit or were the wrong “thing”. (thankfully we won’t be participating in that ritual today!)

I did, but just barely. My youngest, who has never, EVER woken us up early to do gifts on Christmas, ceremoniously barged into our room precisely at 7am.

“Wake up, wake up, it’s Christmas!  Santa was here! Wake up, wake up!!”

I shot up from my pillow as though I’d been struck by lightning. It took me a minute to realize what was going on, especially given that I felt like I’d just gone to sleep a minute ago (actually I climbed into bed at 2am). But that’s how my day started, and although I was still very tired, I was glad she was excited enough to wake us up.

The rest of the day was spent unwrapping, cleaning, cooking, and talking with family. I fell asleep on the couch at 10:30, went up to my bed at 11, and didn’t hear a single thing until 7:30 this morning. I’m still tired.  It was a nice holiday, and today my feet will hopefully recover as I switch gears from Christmas to Las Vegas! As I look around, taking inventory of everything that needs accomplished before I leave, I find myself wondering why in the hell I thought this was going to be a good idea. I have so much to do, and I go back to work next week!

I don’t know when Duran Duran and/or Duranies are leaving for Las Vegas, but I will drive in to Vegas on Thursday morning. Today is Tuesday, and I think this is my recovery day in between events. I’m gonna need to find some energy between now and when I arrive in Las Vegas on Thursday, that is for sure.

So, today will be spent getting some much needed writing done. I also need to get real about my wardrobe. Much to my dismay, flannels and slippers are probably not appropriate attire for a New Years weekend concert.  I’m also going to need to deal with my hair color. The list goes on.

I think I’m also going to play with my new coffee maker, which came with some sort of crazy milk frother attachment, take a nap, and play some Mario Kart with my youngest.

One thing I am not doing today though, is cooking. That’s probably going to be a shock to a few people around here, but they can figure out how to use the microwave for once. Mama is done!

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

-R

 

‘Twas five days before Christmas…

…and all through the house, too many creatures were stirring (yes, I mean the cats. And kids. The dog too, I might add) in the very full house. Mama (that’s me) is dressed for the day, along with Papa, but all the kids are still cat-napping (except for the oldest, because her inflatable mattress – yes, we’re really THAT full here – decided to leak. Not good.). I’d love to say something about a long winter’s nap, but the truth is, we’ve been up since 7.  We’re both pretty stressed about a number of things, and let’s face it – who needs sleep anyway?

One good thing about going to Vegas next week, is that I’m going to Vegas next week to see a lot of my friends! I desperately need to see them right now, and yeah…Duran Duran, too. One very strange thing about going on a road trip to see the band at this time of year is that I haven’t thought much about it. I know I should have bought new clothes or something…and as I said the other night on Twitter, instead I’m fully prepared to show up to that fancy Vegas gig at The Cosmopolitan in flannel jammies and fuzzy slippers. I may get thrown out, but I’d be comfortable in the process. 😀

Hmm. Perhaps I’m taking this whole “we’re like FAMILY” thing a little bit too literally. No reason to scare people, I suppose. Although, the idea of wearing flannels and a pair of neon green trainers to a Duran show makes me grin a bit.

The truth is, I’m really stressed out about life right now. I’m fine from moment to moment, but when I start thinking about January and February, or what is coming down the road, particularly if it takes Walt a while to find a new job – I can feel the panic begin to rise.  Sometimes writing the blog can distract me, but this morning, it’s not happening. I cannot recommend this as a good way to go through the holidays, and yet my family has done it before. Seven times, actually.

Basically, I need the diversion that only a great concert and time with friends can provide, but the last thing I can really put any amount of time, effort, pain and/or suffering into at the moment is my wardrobe. I’ll come wearing clothes (you all can thank me later). The band should just be ready to make me forget about reality, if even just for a little while. If memory serves, they’re pretty good at doing just that.

-R

 

Miami Live Stream Reactions

Wow.  Today has gotten away from me.  After finishing up grading papers, ordering Christmas presents and doing some household chores, I realized how late it was!  On to bigger and better things…did you get a chance to tune into the Duran show in Miami for SiriusXM last night?  I did!  I have to admit that it increased my productivity significantly, which is probably why I was able to get through all my grading!  That’s the solution to my problem!  Let’s have Duran play live every night with a live stream in order to get through everything I need to do. I love it!  On top of my efficiency, what other reactions did I have?  Here are my very random thoughts, in no particular order.

Super Small Show:

Based on the pictures of the venue and the pre-show with Lori Majewski and Richard Blade, it is clear that the venue was ridiculously small.  I think they said something about how the capacity was around 250 before they added the mixing board.  Wow.  Lori commented about how she had never seen them in such a small place and how Simon would be able to see and touch each member of the audience.  I am right there with her.  I, too, have never seen them in such a small place.  The smallest place I ever saw them  probably held around 1500-2000 people.  Obviously, I, for one, would love, love, love to see them in a venue this size.  I haven’t had a chance to see/hear from anyone who was there, but I have to wonder.  Was it amazing?  Was it everything you thought it would be?

Live Stream:

As I stated earlier, I loved that the show was live streamed for all of us to enjoy.  That said, it only made me want to see them live more.  It felt like a giant tease to me.  I could sense the performance, the crowd, etc but it felt removed, through a filter of some kind, something.  As someone who knows the power of Duran’s live show, it left me aching for the real thing.  Sometimes, I could hear the crowd and sometimes I couldn’t so I couldn’t get a proper read of how the show went.  For example, Simon encouraged the crowd to chant, “play the f’ing bass, John,” during the intros and I didn’t hear anything.  I assume that some fans there were chanting but I don’t know.  Likewise, I kept wanting to turn up the volume to get that all encompassing feeling that I get at a live show but couldn’t get there.  Needless to say, I suspect that I will really let it go with excitement in Vegas.

Set List:

I have heard that some fans were annoyed by the lack of set list changes as they played pretty much what they had been playing in the summer/fall with the exception of having Mark Ronson join them for Pressure Off (with a little extra of Uptown Funk.  How cool!).  I have two thoughts on that.  First, this show, like the ones coming up in Vegas and Dubai, are not officially part of the Paper Gods Tour from what I understand.  They are not part of something new either.  I wouldn’t want something brand new to be attached at the end of a big tour.  I would want something new as part of a new cycle or as part of some anniversary celebration.  These shows are not that.  Second, and probably more importantly, I could complain about the set list until the cows come home, but I won’t..  (For the record, people, when I left a note about Planet Earth, that was a joke.  A joke.  I was not really mad or upset.  I just wanted to give a little grief.  For fun.)  It just isn’t worth getting upset over.  Right now, at the end of 2017, I have WAY bigger issues to worry about.  I go to Duran to have fun, to escape from real life, etc.  I no longer want to ruin that fun with complaining about the set list.

3 Week Countdown:

Speaking of that escape from real life, I leave for Vegas in less than 3 weeks.  I’m not ready.  At all.  I have some idea of what I will be wearing but not totally.  My travel plans are generally set.  But the tour binder has not been started and won’t be until the Christmas to do list is done or until winter break starts.  Needless to say, I’m not feeling very ready.  On the other hand, as my friend, Suzie, said last night, she is starting to get that Duran feeling.  Last night, I felt that, too.  My excitement level increased dramatically!  I have started a countdown!  I cannot wait to see my friends, to exchange gifts with Rhonda, to forget about reality for a few days.  Our Late Bar party should be a blast, too, for those coming to the area for the show.  Details can be found at our event page here!  All in all, it should be an amazingly fun time!  I cannot wait!!!  I hope the city and the band are ready for us!!!

-A

No rest for the weary?

When I last saw Duran Duran in July of this year, the shows were bittersweet. Of course I enjoyed seeing them. I always do. Yes, I’ve seen them perform that same setlist or very similar many times now, and in tours past I would comment on how I’d wish they’d change it up. I still have moments where I wish they’d pull something completely different out to surprise me, and sometimes – they have!  I don’t have a clear answer about why my attitude changed, only that it did. Instead of wishing for other music, I started really enjoying just being there with them and being thankful I can hear “Hungry Like the Wolf” one more time. My sadness came from knowing that it would be the last show for a while. I tried not to let that drag me down and soaked up as much joy as possible.

I assumed it would be at least a year or two before I saw the band again. Albums take a while to write and record, and who knows what would go on during the interim? Then of course, the show in Las Vegas was announced, along with one in Miami Beach for Sirius XM, and now Dubai in February.

First of all, I’m not going to Dubai. Let’s get that out-of-the-way right off the bat. I love Duran Duran. I love traveling. However. Yes, that one word says it all. HOWEVER. I’ll just be here cheering them on from home. Even I have my limits. As does my bank account, and these days, that limit is pretty darn narrow and close to home.

Second of all, is there no rest for the weary?  I asked that yesterday as the Dubai show was announced. I asked the question partly in jest, purely out of my surprise that they’re continuing to announce the odd show here or there. I figured that once the Paper Gods tour was complete, the band would drag themselves home, take several months respite, and go from there. I remember hearing that they would go back into the studio toward the end of this year for “fun”, and I also remember hearing that they might go into the studio next year to start the recording process once again, but I figured they’d still take time off. Thoughts of the upcoming 40th anniversary lingered in my head, and I figured the band would at least want to rest up before beginning that craziness. The lesson here, is to never assume anything about this band!

During the last hiatus in between All You Need is Now and Paper Gods, Amanda and I were anxious and ready for that band to hit the studio on Day One and keep going until a new album was placed in our hot little hands. This anxiousness wasn’t because we are part-time slave drivers, but because we had so much fun with All You Need is Now that we couldn’t stand the idea of that ending for long. Selfish? Probably, but our hearts were in the right place.

Fellow fans and readers were less-than-thrilled with our eagerness, saying that they didn’t mind having time in between projects and tours, and neither should we. Bank accounts needed refilling, and many cited that they had other priorities. “The band needs to rest!”, we were chided, over and over again. We started to feel bad that we missed “hanging out”—if for only two hours as they are onstage while we dance in the audience—with this crazy band we’ve loved since childhood. This time, I see plenty of people commenting on their anxiousness, eager to see any sign of studio work happening. Fans are excited by the prospects of the upcoming anniversary, even though the band themselves have not said much with regard to what fans might expect. It is a very different time in 2017. No one says much about the possibility of the band being tired from touring and performing, and that surprises me. What is different this time around?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea that the band isn’t going away, and that they seem to be doing a few one-off shows here and there. After all, we blog about them each day, and having things to write about makes my job far more interesting. I’m cheerfully surprised that it might not be several years before the world has the opportunity to see the band again. I love that fans are excited that they’re continuing to do a show here and there, and I’m tickled that so many are anxious for studio time and new music to be released. Equally, I am beyond thrilled that I will may have the chance to see my friends and the band again. I once told Dom that I was sad it would be five years before I likely saw him again, and that didn’t seem right.  It looks like it wasn’t right about that at all, and I don’t mind one bit.

My bank account, on the other hand, is very concerned. I’m a little surprised there’s not a giant “lock” emoji on the photo of my iPhone banking app at this point. I might just be imagining it, but I am pretty sure I see frowning faces pop up whenever I check my balance before making a purchase, concert-related or not!

Oh well, can’t make everybody happy all the time, right?

-R

November 2017 Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

Not much makes me happier during a lull than an invitation to listen to a shiny brand new Katy Kafe pop up in my news feed! This month, John takes a quick time out to chat with Katy, and I’ve got the highlights from the November 2017 Katy Kafe for you. Keep in mind, this is purely what I picked out, and with DD40 coming up – it might be time to get a membership to DDM so that you can stay up with all of the news that is sure to come!

What’s happening?

John comes to us from “the studio” in London, where he is working with Nick on a side project. Now whether this side project is the musical they’ve mentioned before, or something else, I’m not sure. John just says “it’s very different from what they’ve done in Duran Duran”…and I guess we’ll have to wait to hear more about it.

He mentions that they are going to be in Moscow (which they were earlier in the week) for the BRAVO award announcements where the band got back together and performed.

Ring in the New Year, Vegas-style

Katy also mentioned the upcoming Eve before New Years Eve show in Las Vegas, and asked John if he likes performing on New Years Eve. Emphatically, John answers with a quick, “YES” saying that he likes not having to worry about what he is going to do to entertain himself that night, and then almost just as quickly he adds a hasty, “but this is not on New Years Eve, it is the 30th, which means New Years Eve is still a problem that will have to be worked out.” Katy asks the question I was wondering myself, and that was whether or not John would stay in Vegas for New Years, to which he said he doesn’t know yet.

Apparently, Duran Duran has played on New Years Eve quite a bit over the years, citing the Savoy show in ’82 or ’83, and then the shows they did just outside of Washington DC last year in National Harbor. The band likes being on stage for New Years, and well….we really kind of like having them there, too!

There was a quick mention of whether this was really a final, final, Paper Gods date and John corrects Katy, saying that no, Paper Gods is finished. This is a standalone date. That leads to the obvious (Well, it’s obvious to me, anyway) follow-up about the set list. Will it change? John contends that they have to “err on the side of crowd favorites”. So, if you went to any of the Paper Gods shows and enjoyed hearing songs like Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film, and any of the rest of those hits that have been in previous set lists, there is good news: you’re gonna love this one too! He does say that it might be less interesting for diehard fans – and while I can’t disagree, I can say this: most of us already know this, and guess what? WE BUY TICKETS ANYWAY.  Why? Because it is exactly the type of party we all want to be at, and the party is what we make it!

Just imagine what we’d do when/if one of them came out and said it would be a show that no diehard should miss?!?

I shudder to consider the stampede…or how Ticketmaster might “handle” the demand.  Moving on…

What about 2018?

Here is what I find most interesting about this band: every single band member has a different story about the studio, and it’s comical! Since August, I have heard they’re going into the studio at the end of the year for something “fun” from Roger, something about going in after the new year from Simon, and now John says they’re “hoping” to go back in…with no real time specified.

So I don’t think anyone really knows. And that’s fine. Odd, but fine.

John does say that an album next year is unlikely. Given my experience as a fan of this band, I’d go one farther and say it’s nearly impossible. I’d be shocked, probably to the point of needing oxygen, if the band actually came out with even ONE SONG this year, much less an entire album.

In the meantime, John says they’re talking about the possibilities for recording a new album, including who they might be looking to collaborate with, or where they will record – insinuating that perhaps London might not be the birthplace for the next one.

This led to a question from Katy who asked if the band were to stumble upon that perfect song right away, would they release a stand-alone single or just wait for the album. Speaking purely for himself, John said maybe – citing that the marketing isn’t very good for one song. You don’t get TV or magazines for a single song, typically, so the promotion isn’t quite there. He surmises that they just have to be open to whatever happens.

Paper Gods

Looking back over Paper Gods, Katy wants to know if there are any songs that John wishes they had played. He mentions two that he wishes they had played more: “Universe Alone”, which they played towards the very end of the tour (and I have often wondered why they waited so long), and “You Kill Me with Silence”, which they only played once, at the Jimmy Kimmel show in Los Angeles.  He says that it is hard to find a spot for mid tempo songs in the live show because you only want 2 or 3 of them.  I get that, although I think YKMWS was overall a difficult song for Simon because of the wide vocal range it requires.

John says that he still feels the album was the best since their reunion, but quickly says that he knows they always say that. (and they do, but I get it. Besides, if you didn’t think you were improving as a band, wouldn’t you have quit by now?? Funny how clearly it all makes sense now as opposed when I first asked about why they say that!)

I know there are fans out there that completely disagree, and some that herald Paper Gods as being the best the band has ever done. There is no accounting for personal taste, I suppose. John adds that he doesn’t want to put down the others, citing both AYNIN and of course, RCM. I’ll just say that we all have our favorites, and from the outside looking in, I think the band learned a lot from Paper Gods. They grew professionally, and perhaps personally. That’s not a bad thing after thirty-five years in the industry. John ends by saying that while the album “took some doing”, they’re all “quite proud” of something that is definitely a “Duran Duran album”.  A thought that is neither stupid, nor self-indulging. John is right when he says it ticks off all of the boxes of what one would expect from Duran Duran, whether it is your favorite album or a little less-than. It’s quintessentially Duran, and we like that!

Simple, short and sweet – John bids his farewell until the year-end Kafe, which we are rapidly approaching. Does not seem possible!

-R