The End of the US Tour and Embracing the Now

Last night marked the end of the US tour as the band played the final, official show in Atlantic City.  (Yes, I know they are doing some sort of gig in Atlanta tomorrow.)  In many ways, this tour was like any other and, in some ways, it was very different.  It was a usual tour in that the same discussions popped up that always pop up.  People debated setlists, stage setups, ticket sales, album sales, clothes, and more.  People bought tickets and many traveled to one or more shows.  Pictures and videos were posted.  Excitement was felt throughout the fan community.  In those ways, it was a standard 6 weeks tour of the US.  Yet, to me, it felt very different than any other tour.

I remember that there is a scene in Sing Blue Silver where John, I think, talks about how that 1984 was never an assured tour.  I always thought that was a strange quote.  As a kid watching that documentary, I thought he was making a really silly statement as the band was the biggest, most popular band in the world.  What did he think was going to happen on that tour?  What did he think was going to get in the way?  I still don’t have answers to those questions about that tour but I certainly do if I apply that statement to this tour and, frankly, to any tour in the future.

When these tour dates were announced, Duran’s future seemed questionable.  Many people wondered either openly or to themselves about if these dates were actually going to happen.  I saw people consider various shows and decide not to even try because they felt so uncertain about whether or not they would actually happen.  After all, this tour was following a spring and summer in which Simon lost a significant portion to his range, which resulted in tour cancellations.  I could not blame anyone for being cautious.  Then, the shows started and they seemed…well…less than normal in the beginning.  The sets were short and there was information about the band cutting songs in the moment.  For me, and others I’m sure, this raised many alarm bells.  Would Duran be able to perform these dates?  If they did, would they be as good as what people have come to expect from them?  I remember feeling very anxious while I waited for my show.  In some ways, this feeling of anticipation reminded me of years ago when I was SO excited to tour.  Yet, it was different as this time fear was present as well as excitement.  Anxiety was the word of the day.  I didn’t want to voice my concerns because I didn’t want others to feel what I had been feeling and I thought that if I said them out loud they would become more real, more possible.  Luckily, they were able to make it to my show and perform.  They were able to perform all of the shows they have scheduled.  Beyond that, it seemed that they got stronger as the tour went on and became more normal. 

What was interesting to me was watching those fans who were still fixated on things like ticket sales and album sales.  I couldn’t relate.  I get wanting the band to be successful.  I want that, too.  Yet, it seemed to me that they were focusing on less immediate concerns.  None of those external elements of success would be important if they couldn’t perform and if they couldn’t get back on track.  Thus, while I didn’t feel like last week’s Chicago show was the best ever, I still thought it a victory.  They were able to play for two hours in a way that we have all come to expect of them.  To me, that was enough.  Will someday I begin to demand more?  I’m sure.  I think there is a lesson here, though, and one that I don’t want to forget.  The album’s name was a reminder to all of us to appreciate the now and I thought I was doing that in December when the iTunes version came out and I thought I was doing that in April when I saw them in the Midwest but I wasn’t.  I don’t think I really started to do that until I realized and realized deep in my gut that Duran will end someday.  That someday might be years or decades away but it could be tomorrow.  I didn’t really get how important the now was until I almost lost something precious to me, to all of us. 

For many people, yesterday marked the end of a chapter in Duran’s history and in their history as a fan.  For Rhonda and I, it marks the end of the US part and the break before the UK tour.  Did I ever think that I would be going to the UK to see them perform?  Not really.  I went in May because my friends wanted to go.  I figured that it was a good time to do it.  Now, I’m going back because I might not have the chance ever again.  I don’t want to regret something despite the financial cost, despite the time away from work, despite the time away from other aspects of life and more.  I now know what it means to embrace the now.  I’m sure that there will be people reading this blog and thinking that we have it so easy.  We don’t.  We are sacrificing to make this happen.  Frankly, we had to sacrifice to make Chicago happen.  Shows and tours don’t fall into our laps.  The band doesn’t play in our backyards (they are welcome to, though!) so we have gone out of our way for this tour that just finished and for the tour that will be coming up.  This way I know I won’t have any regrets when the end does come.

-A

15 thoughts on “The End of the US Tour and Embracing the Now”

  1. I'm feeling sad today. I guess I feel that a big part of my current Duran life is over ('we'll try not to show, how frightened we are'.) But really, I think to myself, could that be it for me seeing Duran Duran? Three shows in seven months was a dream come true.

    For now, They've pulled out of the U.S., and who knows when they will be back. I'm enjoyed reading about every show and liked knowing the boys are in my country for this time. I have tickets to the cancelled and rescheduled London O2 show, but it's going to take a windfall and a super obliging husband to head back across the pond.

    And so for now, I look for John's Tweets. And read what you two have to say. I'll be living vicariously through you when December comes. Thanks for keeping it all alive.

  2. I can definitely relate to how you are feeling. I have felt it many times and will again after the UK. I will then turn to others for their stories. We will also do our best to keep the fandom flame burning.

    -A

  3. They sure don't play in my backyard either.
    I don't live in a Nothern Hemisphere country that they regularly tour. In fact, they have never toured where I live.

    I don't consider the idea of 'no tours' meaning they no longer exist. I don't expect concerts and I don't expect albums to be released where I am. That's my reality. I just wait for 'you tubes' of overseas tv shows and concerts. I don't expect any 'duran duran music' contests that I can enter (realistially) because I wont be able to claim the prize. I don't expect meet and greets. I just hope there's an album I'll be able to download (usually a few months after the rest of the world) and some footage.

    It gives me a totally dfferent perspective to you. I can't really relate to your blogs – as interesting and great to read as they are (thanks!) – you simply tell stories I can't relate to.

    The concept that 'they'll be back' as they bounce from side to side across the 'pond' is strange to me.

    When the band do retire (a long way off I hope!) I am sure those of us not residing in the US or UK will take it easier as we are used to being so removed.

    Have a blast in the UK.

    I live vicariously…

  4. Anonymous- What is interesting to me are the people who choose not to go to shows that can be reasonably gotten to. I'm sure you would glad travel 2, 3 or 4 hours to get to see them. Yet, I know many people who think that is too far. That was more of the attitude I was addressing in this blog. Yes, unfortunately, the band does not tour everywhere. For me, I'm willing to go out of my way to get to a show within a reasonable distance, which clearly 4 hours is for me.

    On a slightly different topic, what keeps you going as a fan if you aren't getting shows and even the albums aren't always available?

    -A

  5. I would have definitely traveled if the band had been within 4 hours of me. I think that's a reasonable drive. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen this time around. But I'm happy with the times I did see them and I appreciate those concerts with all my heart. I still can't believe there was no St. Louis show. SO disappointed.

  6. Being in Canada we are adjusted to having to travel hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to see the band. DD haven't played in Western Canada since 2005. So I guess it's all what you allow yourself to get used to! We're taking full advantage now since we suspect this may be our last opportunity, and I want to take in as I can. 🙂

    TG

  7. I'm surprised there was no St. Louis show as well, Robin. I don't get their tour planning, to be honest….

    then again…I don't really get their management in general…but we don't dare get me started on that issue. 😉

    Happy Birthday Robin, BTW! 😀 -R

  8. What keeps me going as a fan? The music. I love it. I have loved this band since February 1981. I waited over 20 years for the first show and that was a ten hour drive.

    Just a four hour drive would be amazing. Much easier than a visa, international flight of 25 hours, passport, speaking a different language and using a different currency. Hotels, flights – meh! That's a given. 😉

    Mind you traveling internationally is great fun – if it can be tied in with a holiday. But a 25-30 hour flight is a bitch and not something you can do for a four day break away.

    Simply, I have no expectation of concerts. I just love the music. I would love to see them live, but the reality is I probably won't.

    So you guys keep going to those shows and sharing your adventures with us – a huge number of fans – who are a bit cut-off. 🙂

  9. Where in the world do you live?!? Now you've got me guessing because your English is perfect (as in better than mine by far and it's my native language, so I'm told!) …which means nothing in todays world…but it gives me absolutely no clue as to where you're from either…Australia or New Zealand maybe??? Did you tell us before and I've missed it? Sorry if that's the case! I have to say that I wouldn't hop on a 25 hour flight just to see Duran Duran either. That's crazy and makes my little flights to the UK seem like nothing. (to me, they are a major undertaking. I'm not cut out to be a world traveler right now!) Your experience in fandom definitely puts a whole new prospective on what it means to be a fan. -R

  10. NZ.

    25 hours is actually a 'good scenerio'. In reality (because you can't do a direct flight) it usually takes 35 hours to the UK – stopovers in Asia/Middle East etc. Last time it was 52 hours door to door for me. And a NZD$2700 airfare.
    😉

  11. So what we're saying here is that my memory for geography is still somewhat decent. 😉

    I DEFINITELY wouldn't fly 35 hours to see the band. Love 'em…but you know…35 hours is a long time… 52 is absolutely ridiculous! Wow. I will never complain about my piddly 11 hour flight to the UK again. Well, at least until December 5th when I get back. 😉 I really dislike planes, and your airfare is incredulous, too. Ouch. Talk about spending your retirement.. GEESH.

    That said, they did play NZ in recent time – well, not THAT recent, but within the last what, 6 years or so? I have a friend there who was able to live out her dream and go – I think it might have even been her first show, but I know she lives on the side of NZ where they had the show, too.

  12. Yep, Auckland 2008. It was brilliant. 🙂

    As for those crazy flight times – sometimes I have to do it for work – so it's a case of suck it up and go. It really is tough on the body, and such a relief to get to the detination.

  13. I hope you don't have to fly like that often…and I'm glad you did get to do Auckland. I know you can't hold out hope, but you never know – they could do it again. I've seen John mention Australia more than once, although that's still not quite New Zealand. Not to tease you of course…but you never know! -R

  14. I am a bit surprised. I don't think this is the last record and not even the last shows. I would say yes they're were less people in the shows, but the problem is not they aren't good anymore. The problem is all marketing. When Madonna made her last record there was posters on the bus in my city… I live in Quebec city Canada… Walmart was announcing it everywhere, etc etc. To know that Duran Duran do a new record you have to be a fan. They don,t do huge publicity campain, and they don't go on huge TV shows as Letterman or Jay Leno. The problem is there: they don,t have a huge company backing them. Is it still possible? I don't know. I think they should go with Virgin maybe. It's a shame because they do better music than lot of huge band or artist out there. And the shows a re great. I do believe there is still hope and I blame people who don't go to shows because they are affraid of cancelation. It remember me of an ex-girlfriend who dumped me because she was sure someday I would have dumped her… Think positive!!! oh and by the way I think of a very good line about that: all you need is NOW! All that to put a smile on your (beautiful) face Rhonda, good music will always find a way to be alive

    Patrick

  15. Patrick-I have no idea if this was the last album. I don't think they would necessarily end it because of ticket sales or album sales but things happen. Simon could lose his voice again and it could be permanent. Any of them could get sick. My point isn't to dwell on the end but realize that there will be one so enjoy what we do have now. It is about appreciating and not having regrets.

    -A

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