That’s pretty much the only word I can come up with for my feelings at the moment. I’m sitting here at my table at home, in view of my 3 year old on the couch (she’s watching Sesame Street). My house is clean (I am convinced my husband hired a cleaning crew because there is NO way he could have done this on his own after a week of being “in charge” here.), I’m unpacked…and I’m really feeling pretty good today. The jet lag will likely hit later, but given the fact that before I left Scotland…yesterday(???)…I had gotten very little sleep…as in none, I think I might have cured myself of jet lag. Yesterday was not a pretty day, and I don’t mind saying that I’m incredibly grateful that I didn’t run into any members of the band in any airport. It would not have been good and I would not have been pleased.
I need to write the review for Glasgow though, and that’s why I’m here. I tried writing this on the plane between Heathrow and O’Hare yesterday, and you all should send me thank you notes for not posting it. Turns out that I don’t write well on zero hours sleep! I will add a disclaimer here though that this particular review is difficult to write, and not because it was a bad show. Just the opposite. For me, it was the best show I’d ever been to in my entire life, and I mean that. I can’t really review it from an unbiased, un”fangirl” point of view. Oh wait. I typically never do that anyway, do I? (you can laugh here. Really. It’s OK.)
So the question becomes, where to begin? First of all – the venue itself was huge. I didn’t have any idea what to expect, but I suppose I was a bit surprised at just how large of an arena it really was…and quite honestly, it was packed to the rafters! The floor area was enormous and filled with chairs. Our seats? Second row center. Easily the best seats Amanda and I have ever had, and we’re now spoiled for life. I will say one thing about the venue though: no heat. Well, to me it was no heat. It had to have been down below 60 degrees F in there prior to show time. Very VERY cold for someone who is, for instance…from Southern California. I stayed in my down coat (extremely useful for this trip, I might add) up until the second the boys walked out on stage. I was concerned that I was going to be wearing that coat throughout the show, and I can only imagine how good that was going to look from the stage. Good thing that the band had enough warmth and energy to share with the rest of us!
As soon as the band appeared on stage though, everyone ran for the rail, and after a moment of “should we or shouldn’t we?”, of course we got up there and were in second row. That was fine with me because I have a bit of an issue with claustrophobia and wanting some personal space. (yes, I’m American. We like space and I can’t help it.) Even so, we were still middle and that worked perfectly because Amanda has a sort of thing for John and I’m a big Dom fan. Love that guy to pieces and I’m glad he’s still around. Hard to believe he’s been playing with them 7 years now. Amanda and I counted and I have seen Dom with Duran Duran more times than I saw Warren and Andy with them combined. I don’t care that he’s not a “real” member, and if he weren’t with the band, I’d still be a fan of his, he’s that cool. Note to Dom: if you ever come to the US for solo shows….I’m there. Front row. Seriously. (yes, I’m deluding myself that he reads the blog. Excuse the fangirl moment. Thanks!)
*sigh* Where was I? Oh yes, the show. The SHOW! Essentially the setlist was the same as Birmingham with one notable addition – and that was the manga animated cartoon during Careless Memories. It was a version I’d not seen (or noticed?) before – it was a disco version and my favorite part was when the Intergalactic Fan Club arrived to get rid of the bad guy. Of course the fans came to the rescue! The one thing I had trouble with during Careless Memories was deciding what to watch. The band was fantastic, the video was super cool – I couldn’t see everything! I’m hoping someone will have videos up on YouTube… Here’s the thing about the shows. No, the setlists were never perfect. (Hungry Like the Wolf is STILL on the setlist, dang it!!) No, they don’t play the entire catalog. (I would pay serious money for that show. Who wouldn’t?!?) The setlist doesn’t change a whole lot from one show to the next. For me, Brighton was a shining, perfect ray of light that will never, ever be replicated. I think we all know that. That’s not the issue though, and its one tiny part of what makes a really great show. The one thing I learned from having gone to 4 shows in a row is that it takes everything: the band, the setlist, the crowd and even the venue to a certain extent, to make a show go from ho-hum to fantastic. Birmingham was a solid show, no question. My gosh it was hometown for crying out loud. It was the reason I’d come to the UK! Glasgow though, that was off the charts for me. The question is why? What made that show so much better?
Well, to be fair, in my case – I was up front in Glasgow, and I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t at least acknowledge that. Everyone around me were genuine long time fans, and I knew most of them! (That’s a really wild thought, especially when you consider I’m from Southern California and these girls/guys were from the UK and Argentina.) There was a lot of energy up there and you just feed off of that. Not only that, but admittedly – getting a wink and a smile or even sharing some laughs with band members helps too. It makes the show feel as though its FOR you, if that makes sense. When you’re that close – you know when they’re looking at you. Sometimes, they even make SURE you know. 😀 I’m gonna miss that….*more annoying fangirl sighs*
There’s more to it than just that though. The applause was truly thunderous at this show. I’ve only had that happen, where I could hear the echo of the applause, one other time and it was NOT for Duran Duran. (Paul McCartney. MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas. Can’t remember the year but I think it had to have been in 2006 or 2007 maybe?? Best. Show. Ever. I was nowhere NEAR the stage and still felt the electricity. Unreal.) There was no way the band couldn’t have felt it in Glasgow, and I’m sure they did that night. It was truly “knock me down” loud. I loved it. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for them up on stage. Maybe I should have been a rockstar….
Oh yes, that reminds me: Dom Brown if you are reading this (again, delusions can be fun and this is turning out to be the most gushing, most annoyingly icky review blog I’ll ever write anyway so why stop now…)…there was NO way I was ever going to go and sing with Simon for the Reflex. No. Way. Never mind that Simon wouldn’t have ever picked me anyway, but I don’t do audience participation beyond clapping, screaming for drummers, and occasionally singing songs that I typically cannot stand (HLTW) with guitar players. You and the rest of the world can thank me later for not singing. Simon W. better watch out though because I *can* play saxophone (pretty well actually!)….and I kind of want his job. Ha!
What else made the show so much better? Well, I think the real key was the band themselves. I don’t know what it is about Birmingham – but I really found that they seemed uptight at the show. Maybe not Dom so much, since I would suspect that since he wasn’t playing with the band back in the day it’s not the same level of sentimentality as for them, but for the rest of them – Birmingham is where it all began. There is probably this feeling of needing to show those people that hometown boys made it and are still deserving. Its probably nerve wracking for them and I think it makes them a little less comfortable on stage. The show was great, it was really tight, but not quite as much FUN. In Glasgow, they were all over the stage, interacting with anyone that would look their way long enough, and honestly – they simply owned it that night.
I wish them many, many more tours filled with shows like this. It was everything that the fan in me wanted, I did enough squealing and screaming to lose my voice the next day and the excitement I got out of the show stayed with me all throughout my insane day of traveling yesterday. It recharged the fan in me, and in case anyone had been noticing in my writing – I needed that. Sometimes its really difficult to be a fan of this band. I had been ready to hang it up, to be honest. I mean, I’ll always love Duran Duran. How could I not? I grew up with them on my wall, in my stereo, in my head and even in my heart to a certain degree. I think that this past year has been extremely trying on many different levels, and I needed to go and have those shows, those tiny moments where they would do something that would inspire me to go back to the hotel and write. Those moments don’t come often, and yet during that week – I had many of them. I have to thank the band for them because I’m going to finish that freaking book now and get the damn thing published. Then Amanda and I are going to write the next one.
What’s that one about? “How to Survive on Tour. Lessons We’ve Learned Along the Way.”
And then after the Glasgow show , we walked outside and it started to snow. I’m practically allergic to that stuff, so I was not overjoyed! *gasp* In fact, John tweeted…and I think this pretty well sums up what I was thinking that night. “Bloody hell it’s snowing.”
My language was slightly more colorful.