One thing is certain. It is much more difficult to meet the band than it is to go to a show. Now, I know that some of you could point out that it is hard to get either because they never come to your neck-of-the-woods. Very true. My point is that it is easier to get tickets to a show than meet the band, in general. First of all, all it takes (ignoring any geographical challenges) to get a ticket to a show is money. One cannot buy a meet and greet. (I hear the arguments here. Yes, money might help but it isn’t like buying a ticket.) If people would be able to, then I’m sure a lot more people would have met the band. Assuming that meeting the band is a more unique situation, this could make it more worthy to talk about. Yet, I don’t have the feeling that “meeting” the band is as unique as it could be. Now, I haven’t taken any sort of poll but it seems to me that while a lot of people haven’t met the band, a lot have. More than half of the fanbase? I don’t know if it is that high, especially depending on how one’s defines meeting, but I suspect it is higher than 10% of the fans who are reading this blog, commenting on our daily questions, and really participating in the fan community. So, while I think it is rare, it isn’t that rare. On the other side of the coin, I’m willing to bet that a lot of people can talk about their favorite Duran show. Heck, I bet most of us hardcore fans would have a show or 10 we could talk about. Clearly, if we continue to go to more shows, at least one show must have been good. Why don’t people want to talk about it? Isn’t Duran’s music interesting? Aren’t their performances note-worthy?
I don’t have the answer. Is the band or members of the band more important than their music? I doubt anyone would openly say that. I’m sure that most people would argue that they love the music first and foremost and there is no reason to doubt the truth to this. Yet, the music isn’t what seems to grab people’s attention. Maybe, this has more to do with fame and celebrity than it does with Duran, specifically, or Duranland. Would the same be true for people who went to see many plays with one’s favorite actor or actress? Would it be more notable to meet that actor than it would be to see those plays, no matter how fabulous the performances, storyline, set, etc. are? Maybe. Yet, at the same time we were posting those wonderful meet and greet stories, I heard from fans who had a bad meet and greet. Some examples were that the band members didn’t seem to want to be there. They didn’t look at people or talk to anyone. Other people mentioned how they didn’t even acknowledge fans who had been waiting for them. This leads me to ponder something else…we, as fans, know that the music is consistently good. When you are seeing them perform live, the assumption is that they will do well. The expectation is high but one that Duran continues to meet time and time again. Meeting them, on the other hand, is filled with such high expectations, usually years or decades in the making. There are so many emotions connected that when it goes well, it is understandably important to note.
This leads me to my last question and, maybe, a better question for Duranland. Which would be better or more important to you (without judgement): Having a bad meet and greet or attending a great show? I, personally, feel like I answered this one, in a way. In 2011, I had the chance to be at a bar with a number of members of the band after a show. I didn’t say much to any of them (not my style) but I was thrilled to be standing near Dom and Roger. Yet, that show will not rank as one of my favorites. Why? The concert itself was fine. Decent. The problem was that the show didn’t wow me and the people I was with could have really cared less. Yet, in the UK, I didn’t see any members of the band after the shows and I had an absolutely amazing time. It was a tour of a lifetime. Clearly, being around the band didn’t make it so special. What made it special was how good the shows truly were (mind-blowing!!) and being surrounded by my best friend and other really fantastic people. That’s what did it.
What about the rest of you? What matters to you more?