Tag Archives: Toronto

Happy 58th Birthday Simon!

So as I write this on Wednesday, Simon’s birthday is tomorrow. He will be 58, which is mind-boggling.  I would swear we miscounted. He doesn’t seem 58. He doesn’t look 58. Must be all that good clean living, right?  <big toothy grin here>

I don’t know how many more of these stories I’ll have for members of Duran Duran. It isn’t as though I run into them every day, but I do have one this year with Simon that I don’t think I’ve written about on the blog before.

This past summer, I saw Duran Duran in Toronto with Amanda and our friend Heather, whom I’ve mentioned on the blog before. Many times, actually. (Hi Heather!!) The three of us went to the show and then went to a nearby hotel for after show libations. As we sat in the lounge, we saw Dave come through and look around. I kind of figured that a band member would come in after that, and sure enough it wasn’t long before Simon stepped in.

Here’s the thing. Simon makes me nervous. Granted, I am shy (in person) to begin with, but he genuinely freaks me out. I never know how he’s going to react, and as such, I try to steer clear. I stay in my seat, I order drinks, and in a lot of ways I just hope the sofa opens up and swallows me whole.

Not that long after Simon came into the lounge, he does the unthinkable and starts walking over towards us. Got to tell ya, my brain couldn’t quite compute what was happening. I mean, walking out way? I’d have thought there was someone on the other side of the room – but we were close to the corner. Nope, he was headed towards us. I didn’t know what to do, so I got up. Drinks had arrived, and feeling like I needed something in my hand, I grabbed mine as he started to address us.

Except that he wasn’t addressing us. He was talking to Heather. This made me smile. Heather hasn’t been to many shows. She went with Amanda and I to the Hollywood Bowl, UC Berkeley and Agua Caliente last fall, and then to a show in Canada (Montreal I believe), and then to Toronto with us again. Yet, Simon knew her by name and was quite insistent he’d met her before.

He had no idea, however, who Amanda and I were. Not that I think he should – in fact, I was kind of relieved he didn’t, even though Amanda and I had met him in Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel after the David Lynch show and he knew who we were then. I even looked him in the eye and told him my name, and said “You really don’t know me, right?” To which he solemnly replied, “No”.  I had to repress my grin as he then toasted each of us on a lovely evening and went about his way. He was nothing but nice and respectful.  He left Heather over-the-moon by recognizing her, and Amanda and I giggled for many hours over the entire scene.

Never mind that not two weeks later, Simon saunters up to the front of the stage with a full mouth of water during White Lines, begins swirling it around in his mouth like he would during a wine tasting, looks right out at us….and swallows the water…because it is a verse too early, and I think he knew that. So during the right verse (or was it chorus?) he goes back, gets the water, comes to the front of the stage….and douses us.

I will miss moments like that. I’m glad the memory is vivid enough to last me a while.  😀

Happy Birthday Simon. You still freak me out a bit, and I’m honestly not sure if you like Amanda and I, hate us, or just really enjoy teasing the hell out of us…but I enjoyed seeing you on stage this summer and you made the shows fun for me. Thank you!

-R

Molson Amphitheater Toronto Review

Well, these four shows went fast.  Last night I attended my final show before heading back home for about ten days before Amanda makes her way to California.

I don’t know about anyone else, but when you’re doing anything more than one show, I think the last show can be tough. On one hand, you’re excited to be there. I mean, it IS Duran Duran up there on that stage. Who doesn’t love that?!? On the other hand, it’s hard to force yourself to just live in that moment (or at least it is for me).  Last night was no different, although every time I’d feel a little bittersweet I’d remind myself that Amanda will be coming to California before I know it.

The show opened strong with Paper Gods, and I really don’t think there was any slowing down from there. The one thing I will say about this tour is that the show is incredibly tight. The band definitely has the setlist and production down, and most of the time they make the entire show seem effortless.  I can’t fault them for that, although yes—I suppose for those of us who are attending more than one show, it makes the night predictable.  That said, I can honestly say that I didn’t stand in the audience thinking “And ____________ is next” each night. I enjoyed each song as it came up, and didn’t think beyond that.

I’ve said it before and will say it again, MNDR has done an outstanding job. I realize there’s been some question as to how much of Nick’s part she’s really playing up there—I don’t honestly care—but she’s also very engaging with the audience. Granted, it’s not the same as seeing Nick’s knowing slight smiles and smirks, but she gets the audience clapping and seems to make eye contact as well.  I don’t know that they could have found a better person to fill the role in his absence.

Clearly, Simon and John were happy to be in Toronto.  Both made positive statements about the venue or the city and how it’s been one hell of a journey.  I’m no Canadian, but I must agree. Yes, yes it has.

Complete with confetti (by the way, Amanda and I were seated in front of the cannons last night, which meant that by the end of Pressure Off we were completely blanketed—and we loved it) and beach balls, the show was every bit as much of a going away party (for us) as it was a celebration of our 40th show.  We had a great time, and for a few hours, I really did forget all about the other stresses in life.  I’d call that successful.

So now, Amanda and I head back to the Chicago-area. I will head back to California tomorrow and attempt to detox myself (!) for the next ten days. Yes, there’s been quite a bit of debauchery on this trip. It has been wonderful to meet new friends, hang out with Amanda and Heather, and just breathe. I always hate this part, where I have to say goodbye to people I care about, but on the other hand—I get to do round two very soon.

One final parting thought: not long ago I had come to terms that this might be my final long trip away from home. It is very hard to leave, especially for this length of time. I thought I was done, to be honest. I love the band, but I’m at a point in life where something has to give. I can go away without being gone for the better part of a month, I suppose. I’m four shows in to the eight I plan to do, and while I know my situation with home and family hasn’t changed, I find myself wondering how on earth I’m ever going to survive without the trips, the touring, and my friends. This band is addictive.

Thankfully, I can file that thought away for a little while longer.

-R

Crowds They Gather

We have one week before we get to see Duran Duran live in concert at Ravinia in Chicago!!  In the middle of April and May, I didn’t know if I would make it to June, forget about July.  Here we are now.  Tour time is around the corner, approaching quickly!  Over the years, Rhonda and I have developed a number of touring traditions.  In the last five years or so, one of the biggest traditions is to organize meet-ups before shows.

In 2011, we held a party in London.  During the summer of 2012, we had meet-ups before each of the four shows we attended.  That was tough.  We felt like we were literally running from one place to another, from one event from another.  We were traveling daily to each destination and instead of being able to take our time, we couldn’t.  We had to be responsible.  Yes, we took the task on ourselves because we know how important meet-ups can be.  They are great for all of the fans in attendance who get to meet or see each other!  At each one I have hosted or attended, I witness the same things.  Fans share stories and pictures.  New pictures are taken.  Excitement increases.  This, of course, translates to more energy at the show, which has got to feed the band’s energy.  The example we always give is the Durham show in the summer of 2012.  Of all the shows we saw that summer, it was by far the best.  We can’t help but to think that the large turnout for the pre-show meet-up was part of the reason.

By the end of those summer shows, I was tired, though.  I truly do like and feel VERY comfortable organizing events (I’m a teacher, after all.  I organize lessons and classrooms everyday.  I’m also a political organizer, which means setting up and running campaign activities.  Organizing is in my blood.)  That said, these meet-ups are work.  Someone has to contact venues and communicate with them.  Someone has to put up the event pages on Facebook.  Someone has to answer questions from people attending.  Then, sometimes, there is more to it.  For example, this time around, we will need to create some sort of sign for the Chicago meet-ups.  We have raffles planned with Duran merch!!  There are details that need to be taken care of.  Plus, it means that we can’t get there whenever we want.  We have to arrive in time to set things up and we have to be “on” during the event.  My point is that during the summer of 2012, it was exhausting to always have to be responsible and working.  I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted.

This time, then, we decided to find a balance.  We only planned meet-ups in places that we won’t be traveling to on the day of the show.  Our travel will be more relaxing this way.  We won’t have to worry about arriving at some special time.  This means that half of our shows together will have meet-ups and half won’t.  Yes, we recognize that meet-ups are great fun and enhance the show.  We also appreciate the need for fans to meet each other to develop and reinforce community spirit.  We want to honor that.  Yet, we also owe it to ourselves to be able to relax some and just have fun.

So, what does all of this mean?  It means that we will be working as event coordinators or whatever you want to call us to ensure that the meet-ups in Chicago (both nights), Toronto and Vegas will be great for all those attending.  When we are not working, we will be fans just the rest of you.

One aspect of these meet-ups that we are particularly excited about is our brand new wristbands!  We will have a few of the old ones (the ones that John and Dom have!!) for sale as well as metallic silver and glow-in-the-dark purple ones!  The proceeds to these sales will be to go to the convention we are planning in Chicago for the weekend of August 11th (around Duran Duran Appreciation Day) in 2017.

There is still time for you to RSVP for these events!  Here are our event pages with all of the details:

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Hope to see you all on the road soon!

-A

As If We Have the Chance To Live It All Again

This is one of those days where I have nothing to say. So I’m going to ramble, and hopefully I’ll find something here in the impending mess to print.

A little about me at the moment: I am about eight days away from embarking on my “tour.” For the longest time, I saw the trip as a reward for writing 6-8 hours each day.  Amanda and I told ourselves for months that we were working really hard and planning to party in July. Then something happened at the beginning of June that made me rethink going altogether. The details don’t matter,  but it’s been a downward spiral since—and precious little has to do with the band itself.  I really didn’t even want to think about going. I didn’t want to be excited, I just wanted to get through it, which yeah – is WEIRD, even for me.

Even so, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister, friends and a favorite person or two. Those thoughts kept me going.  And then last week I started feeling better about the trip as a whole. There’s a lot going on here at home but I kept trying to remind myself that I have FUN when I am with my friends. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to look at the forest when you’re stumbling through the trees.

I leave next Tuesday to spend a few days with my sister, then I’ll see Duran Duran in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.  Oddly, I have had an uneasy feeling about this trip since the beginning of June.  Then this weekend happened.

On Saturday morning I got a text from my mom. She’s at the hospital with her partner/friend/boyfriend/etc (is it obvious that I’m confused about their relationship??).  Turns out, he has been suffering with “heart burn” for two weeks, except it wasn’t heart burn. It was symptoms of a heart attack. A widow maker heart attack, no less.

The details aren’t great. He was very lucky that my mom brought him to the hospital when he did, but he waited far, far too long. He’s on a ventilator with more tubes going in and out of him than I’ve ever seen. His heart, liver and kidneys took a big hit. They’re doing everything they can for him and giving him every opportunity to improve…whatever that means.  I keep telling myself that every hour makes a difference, and things can change and improve quickly.  I am writing this before I go to the hospital today, and they tried some things over night that could make a difference. I didn’t hear from my mom during the night, so that has to be a good thing, right?

This is not my mom’s first rodeo. We lost my dad just over eight years ago. We’ve been very thankful that this man has been there for my mom, and now we are trying to be there for him, but the situation is sticky.  He and my mom aren’t married, but he has designated her to make decisions while he is unable to do so himself.  In other words, it’s a nightmare scenario in a multitude of ways. I worry for her because none of us were ready to go through this type of grief again, particularly her.

On one hand, I want to run far and fast and get the heck out of here. Fight or flight?  I’m ready to fly, thanks. I just don’t feel like I have the fight in me right now. On the other hand, my urge to stay and control are strong. (Yes, I am a control freak. This is why I don’t usually get along with other control freaks, I guess.) The next few days are going to be stressful. While I’d really love to be getting excited by this trip, my mind is elsewhere, sick with worry for my mom.

I don’t really know what all of this means, and there’s no real “Duranie” moral to the story here, although I will say a few things in general:

  1. Pay attention to your body and get check-ups.  Burying your head in the sand does nothing. Heart burn that comes up out of nowhere isn’t a good thing – better to go and find out that it’s really heart burn than ignore it. For every second someone experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, a cell is dying. My mom’s partner went two weeks before getting help. Not good.
  2. Have the guts to write-up your Will (and/or trust…or even your final wishes). Your loved ones will appreciate it in the end. Trust me.  The very last thing anyone wants to do while they are grieving is try to figure out what your wishes might have been, or what legal rights they have to make those decisions, if any.
  3. Live your life to the fullest. Life is not forever. Watching my mom  my mom go through this type of horror twice has taught me well. You get one chance: take it. Make sure you tell the people you love how you really feel and mean it.

I’m off to meet my mom at the hospital.  Please feel free to think positive thoughts and send good juju my way.  My family could certainly use it about now, particularly my mom.

-R

 

 

And we can dance together: Pre-Show Parties!

I tweeted yesterday that whenever the @dailyduranie twitter is blowing up on my phone, I know the time is coming.  TOUR time.  Pre-Show parties are planned and happening!

I leave California, bound by plane for Chicago’s Midway airport in about two weeks.  So yes, tour time is coming! I can hardly believe it. It seems like six months has flown by since we bought pre-sale tickets, although I know it’s been less.  I’ve been busy, to say the least. Funny how writing will make the time fly right by.

Yesterday, Amanda and I spent a few hours solidifying details for the Daily Duranie pre-show parties we are hosting for this tour.  We can’t be everywhere, but we’re hosting what we can, in between moments of just being fans ourselves!

We’ve Got Wristbands!

We will have wristbands and raffle tickets for Duran-items for sale at all of our pre-show parties, so bring cash with you.  The proceeds will go towards our convention fund (save the date: we’re doing another Durandemonium August 10-11 2017!)

July 8 & 9 (Ravinia – Chicago)

For both nights of Ravinia, we are hosting pre-show gatherings on the lawn area by the pavilion where the band will be playing.  I’m including a map with the area to look for us (and our Daily Duranie sign), but you should know a few other things as well:

  1. Gates open at 4pm for Ravinia
  2. Our gathering begins at 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
  3. We will have a couple of blankets and towels but you might want to bring one of your own to sit down on.
  4. This is BYO-everything.  We’re just meeting and coordinating as a group to hang out and mingle before the show.
  5. Food is available at Ravinia, but it is also common to bring your own picnic – it’s whatever you want to do.
  6. We are meeting somewhere on the grassy knoll area that is directly behind the pavilion seats. If you walk in the main gates and go past the Martin Theater (should be on your right), we’re going to be closer to the pavilion, also on the right side.  See map for details.
  7. Look for the Daily Duranie poster!

7/13 (Molson Amphitheater – Toronto)

We’ve set up a group reservation at the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto, which is near the Amphitheater. For this party, we definitely need your serious RSVP on the Facebook event page for this gathering (link provided below)  Please do NOT RSVP if you’re not going to the show, do not live anywhere near the US and/or do not plan to be there that night. We love that everyone wants to be with us in spirit and we appreciate that – but please do not RSVP unless you are seriously attending.

The party will begin at 4:30 pm at the Hard Rock in Toronto, and it will be a blast!  Depending upon the number of people planning to join us, we’ll either do a large table or do more of a stand-up table and mingle set-up.  The Hard Rock has been awesome about working with us in the past and so we really appreciate their ongoing support for our parties!

7/29 (Mandalay Bay Event Center, Las Vegas)

For this event, we are still coordinating the timing with DDM so that our party will not interfere with the VIP Cocktail Reception taking place that evening.  What I can tell you though, is that we’re going to do our own Happy Hour/Cocktail gathering at Eye Candy in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  This is simply for drinks and chatting, and the venue was chosen for its central location and very open seating (the bar opens at 3pm, and my best guess is that we’ll meet-up around 4:30 if not a bit earlier).  Pro tip: there is no food available at this bar, so you should plan and eat accordingly!

Naturally, we’ll keep everyone updated as much as possible from here, but for the most accurate information and to let us know if you’re coming to any of the parties we’re hosting, please see the Facebook events page….and spread the invites to your friends!  The more the merrier!  Please let us know you’re attending.  We can’t wait to see as many of you as possible!

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

 

-R

Buy the Concert Tickets

March 25, 2016. For most readers of this blog, that day kicked off Duran Duran’s 2016 North American tour supporting Paper Gods. For me, it was an unforgettable day for a different reason.

I am fortunate enough to have great tickets to three of the July shows for the Paper Gods (see you in Toronto, Boston, and Camden). So when Duran announced the Niagara Falls shows — just 1 week after I spent all that money on the July shows, mind you — I had a tough choice to make. Niagara Falls is only 1.5 hours from home, the shortest travel time to any Duran shows for me to date. Not to mention, the shows were on a weekend and kicking off the 2016 tour. That never happens for me!

But as much as I wished I could go to the Niagara Falls shows on March 25-26, I knew the right thing to do (financially) was to pass on them. I already spent too much money on the July shows. My best Duranie friend was going to one of the shows, and I’ll admit it was tough to stay excited for her. But of course I wished her good ticket karma on the presale and hoped to hear some great stories.

Then, on Wednesday evening, March 23, I came across a post on Instagram from Prince announcing two shows in Toronto on Friday, March 25.  Concert tickets went on sale the next morning. Holy sh!t. I knew that he usually announced shows only a day or two before the performances, and that was part of the reason why I followed him on Instagram and Twitter. But I never expected one this close to home. And by “this close” I mean 3 hours away. When I saw the ticket prices, I nearly fainted. These tickets were more expensive than almost any ticket I’ve bought for a Duran show. But hey, odds were low that I’d even get a ticket, so if I got one I’ll figure out the rest. And if it didn’t work out, I could still try to get a last-minute to Duran’s show that same night or the next night in Niagara Falls.

I’ve had good ticket karma for the last 6 months so I hoped it would hold out for just one more show. When I got to work Thursday morning, I promptly blocked off my calendar for 10:00 so that nothing would interrupt this chance (c’mon, you’ve done it too). In my 9:30-10:00 meeting, I exhausted my telepathic power to make the meeting end early. When it finally broke up around 10:04, I busted out of the room and went right to my desk to log in and try for a ticket. And then I got it: 4th row, just off to the left. (By now Ticketmaster must know I prefer John’s side.) I think I blacked out a little after I clicked “Purchase”.

My logical brain was saying “You chose NOT to see the opening night of Duran Duran’s tour but you spent nearly three times that amount on concert tickets for Prince? What happened to saving money and spending wisely?” But my heart was saying, “Life is Too Short, Buy the Ticket!” As much as I love the boys, I knew I needed to take this opportunity and see Prince.

Buy the ticket

I’ve seen this photo making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, and it was my mantra when deciding to go to three Duran shows this summer. Trust me, I’m not well off financially. And I wish we all had enough money and the luxury of seeing every concert we want to see. But sometimes you need to realize what you want out of life and do what you need to in order to make it happen.

So as I drove along interstate 190 on my way to Toronto on March 25, I could see Fallsview Casino and Niagara Falls off to my left and I wished the boys a good show. It was a little heartbreaking to know they were this close and I wasn’t going to see them, but knew in my heart I had made the right choice. I reminded myself that on this day, I needed to keep heading north and see one the last artists on my concert bucket list. Little did I know that it would be the 2nd to last show he’d perform.

Today I mourn with the world at the loss of this gifted virtuoso. And I call myself fortunate to have been able to see him just a month before he passed away. You may think that my recollection is glowing only in hindsight; trust me, as soon as Prince walked out on stage, I knew I had no regrets in my decision to buy the concert tickets. It was an amazing, impressive, and entertaining performance that I’ll never forget.

-PamG

Today in Duran History – Toronto

On today’s date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  This date was included in the All You Need is Now tour.  Neon Trees opened for the band.

Set List:

  1. Before the Rain
  2. Planet Earth
  3. A View to a Kill
  4. All You Need is Now
  5. Blame the Machines
  6. Come Undone
  7. Safe
  8. The Reflex
  9. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  10. Girl Panic
  11. Is There Something I Should Know
  12. Tiger Tiger
  13. Careless Memories
  14. Leave a Light On
  15. Ordinary World
  16. Notorious
  17. Hungry Like The Wolf
  18. Sunrise

Encore:

  1. Happy Birthday (For Simon!)
  2. Wild Boys
  3. Rio

To top it off, we’ve got a video of the encore:

-R

 

Today in Duran History – Simon Interview 1987

On this date in 1987, Simon Le Bon was interviewed on CFNY 102.1 in Toronto.  This interview took place a couple of days before Duran Duran played in that city as support for David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour.  Did anyone see a show from that tour?  I would be interested to see how both Duran was received by serious Bowie fans and vice versa.  I saw David Bowie when he toured with Nine Inch Nails in the mid-1990s.  I was shocked and appalled that the audience stood and were into Nine Inch Nails but sat or left during Bowie!  I wonder if other people noticed something similar with Duran Duran during this 1987 tour.

Of course, when I think of promotion from this era, I think of Three to Get Ready.  Part One is below and shows the band communicating with the media!

-A

Today in Duran History – Toronto 1982

On this date in 1982, Duran Duran played  at Concert Hall in Toronto, Canada.  This show was part of the Rio tour, which was divided into two halves, in order for the band to be the support act for the Blondie tour.  Interestingly enough, this was not the band’s first time in Toronto as they had played there in 1981.

Since this is an older show, I could not find a setlist or clips of the show.  Did anyone attend this show?  What was it like?  I know this much.  Every time I post about a show from Duran’s early days, I find myself so wishing that I had the ability to go back in time to attend all these shows!

-A