The Importance of a Fan Community: Shows!

I have been involved in an interesting discussion throughout the day on Twitter.  One of our friends on Twitter suggested that we talk about our fans who don’t participate in the online fan community.  This lead to a discussion on bringing non-fans or non-Duranies with you to shows.  For some people, this has been a positive experience and for others, it hasn’t been.  I can speculate about why some experiences went well and others didn’t. 

Why do Duranies go with non-Duranies to shows?  Well, the answer is obvious, isn’t it?  People go to shows with non-Duranies because either they don’t have any Duranies to go with or because they want to share their fandom with others.  No matter the reason it seems to me that things can either go well or go very badly.  I have to admit that I have gone to shows with a variety of different people.  An ideal show, for me, would obviously be to go with Rhonda.  Why?  On top of being my best friend, we both have the same philosophy about the band, shows, and activities surrounding the shows.  For me, all three elements are essential for the best time.  The first element is clear and was basically what the conversation surrounded on twitter.  I prefer to go with other fans.  I will be even more clear.  I want to go to shows with Duranies and not just people who liked Rio back in the day or can sing the Reflex.  They have to be fans and I think we all know the difference.  There has to be a passion for the band.  They don’t have to know everything I know about the band but they have to have strong feeling for the band and their music.  Perhaps, then, a spark will take place which results in them finding out more about the band.  To me, anything less results in disappointment.  The second element revolves the show itself and how to behave at a show.  I won’t lie here.  I sing (badly) at a show.  I don’t sit down.  I might scream once or twice, particularly after a JoSi moment.  I move around.  I watch the band closely, especially that bass player guy.  Again, ideally, I would love to be close as the experience is enhanced and, generally, I’m willing to pay to be close.  So, what if the person or people you go with, don’t want to pay.  What if they don’t sing or dance?  What if they would be horrified by your behavior?  Again, I think this could end in disappointment even if you go with Duranies.  Lastly, the activities surrounding a show are also important.  I like to meet up with people before and after a show, for dinner and/or drinks.  My post show nights are, generally, not early as I like to go out.  I like to have a good time and a Duran show is the perfect time to do it.  Again, if the person or people you are with, don’t like to do that, it isn’t going to be as fun.  It is quite possible that everyone involved won’t be happy as some compromise to make the others happy but the happy ones aren’t that happy because their companion(s) aren’t really excited.  Thus, to me, all three elements are important.

Of course, there have been times that Rhonda and I can’t go to shows together.  It is one of the not fun parts of living so far away from each other.  During those times, I have sought out different people to go with.  In many, if not most, cases, the night has gone badly.  Sometimes, it has gone so badly that I know it as it is happening.  For example, once, I was unable to watch the show when the person I went with couldn’t handle being among the masses in a GA show.  Other times, it takes a while to really understand what went wrong.  Usually, those are the shows that I have gone with people who like Duran but aren’t Duranies.  In those cases, I have usually had to listen to them complain about Duran did or didn’t do.  For example, one person complained that Duran wasn’t spontaneous enough and actually compared them to Depeche Mode.  For the record, I like Depeche but their setlists, at times, don’t vary at all.  Literally, it is the same songs in the same order every night.  Anyway, I didn’t want to argue with this friend.  Sometimes, the person I have gone with may appear to be a Duranie or a could be Duranie.  Those experiences are the ones that really disappoint when it turns out that the person isn’t and never will be.  Now, of course, not all of my show going experiences with non-Duranies have been bad.  The ones that haven’t been have, at least, 2 out of the 3 elements, though.  My friend, Robyn, has gone with me a couple of times.  She likes Duran but isn’t a Duranie.  At the shows we have been to, though, Duranie friends have been present.  On top of that, she goes to shows like I do.  She will sing and dance, too.  She also likes to go out before and/or after. Yes, perhaps, my expectations play a significant role.  Maybe, others don’t have as high of expectation as I do, which is why things have gone well for them. 

Despite good experiences with Robyn, I truly hope that the people I go to the rest of my shows with me are on the same page with me.  I wish that everyone had people to go with who are on the same page as they are.  This leads me to the fan community.  Isn’t part of the reason fans talk to other fans to make friends in order to have people to go to shows or fan events with?  I know that was the exact reason that I went to the Duran Convention in New Orleans in 2004.  I knew that there was a tour coming up and wanted to have people to go with.  I would love for every Duranie to go to shows with other Duranies.  Perhaps, the fan community can work to have that happen! 

-A

   

4 thoughts on “The Importance of a Fan Community: Shows!”

  1. Actually, I wouldn't know. I've never been to a DD show with fellow Duranie! I thought I had some Duranie friends, but obviously their fan-level has dropped over the years as I couldn't find one who wanted to go enough to fork out the money. I was all set to take my non-Duranie sister, who at least understands my obsession and doesn't make comments like “who sings this song… let them sing it.”

    But then my husband said he wanted to go with me. I warned him ahead of time, told him how things were going to be and if he couldn't handle it, he needed to stay home. He assured me he could handle it.

    I was a little unsure if he truly understood what was going to happen at that show, but he was a charm. I didn't care that he didn't stand and dance the whole time. He didn't complain, and where our seats were he didn't have anyone standing in front of him, just people walking by on occasion, so it worked out well. He dutifully held my binoculars when I wasn't trying to catch a glimpse of Roger (whose head was mostly hidden behind a cymbal), he kept me hydrated, and smiled a lot. I'm sure a bit of that was the whole “she's going home with me, not the band” smirk.

    Maybe one day I'll have the chance to go with some fellow Duranies. Might spoil me, though.

  2. I hope you do get spoiled someday by going to a show with a Duranie! I bet that part of the reason things went well with your husband is your expectations. You weren't expecting him to be Duranie like. 😉

    -A

  3. I've gone with my husband to shows quite a few times. He's a good sport, although I'll admit that when we were in 3rd or 4th row at a couple shows over the past year – I'm pretty sure he smirked at a couple members of the band when they might have looked at me. I couldn't tell if he was smirking because he was thinking “Seriously dude, you have NO idea what she's really like…” or if he was thinking “Heh….she's mine buddy.” (knowing MY husband, it was the former, not the latter! :D) Going to shows with him is completely different than going with friends because we are there for the show, and then we go home. He's not interested in hanging out with people afterward, or doing anything that a fellow fan might do. I can't blame him. For some reason I can't see him being willing to go hang out at a hotel bar or standing outside of the venue for hours. That's just not going to happen with him. I also don't scream my love for the band when he's standing right next to me because that's just weird. Then of course there are the inside jokes, the things that Amanda and I will openly laugh about (I can't ever listen to Leopard live again without laughing…), and he doesn't get any of that. It's difficult to train the husband into being a Duranie…and then again, I really don't WANT to, either.

    This is probably why I go to the extra time and money to travel to see shows. In fact, there have been many shows here in California that I just decide to miss in favor of seeing them somewhere else. That might seem weird to people, but shows here near LA completely different anyway, and it's just not my favorite scene. Then again, I can't very well travel to the UK to see them every time they play either. *sigh* ;D -R

  4. Yes, some things are better kept compartmentalized, I think. I'm glad he wanted to go with me enough to go to two shows, but I'm sure if I had another Duranie to go with, he'd rather do something else in the future. With his crazy job, our “honeymoon phase” was still in full force at the time, so that has a lot to do with his choices. His taste is a little more hardcore rocker than I am. He really liked Andy's cover of Bad Company's “Feel Like Makin' Love.” I'm really anticipating Andy's new album not only for me, but I'm sure it'll be something my husband will enjoy as well.

    I don't think I'm a typical fan at all, any more. I'm pretty darn low-key. I'm just not the type to hang around a venue or hotel. If I ever meet them (or any other celeb) it would be by chance or at some sort of charitable event. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing those things, it's just not me. I am so boring!

    It's not that I don't think I'd enjoy other fans (now that I 'know' some!) either, I guess I just never gave it much thought. I didn't find this online community until after a random Ticketmaster alert came through my email and I learned that DD was coming to town. I had been a prodigal fan so long I didn't know they had a new album out and were touring. I started hunting and pecking around the Internet and lo and behold… the rest is not-so-ancient history now. I feel as though I've found a quaint little subdivision in Duranland.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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