Unplugged, Mayan Theater, Los Angeles March 2011: This show was in such a small venue, and I think I was in about the 3rd row -give or take (the show was GA) – and just to the right of Simon. It was the first time I saw them perform any of the songs off of All You Need is Now, and despite spending the entire day waiting in the rain and freezing to death – I loved that show. Mark Ronson came on stage and played with them, there were guest appearances from Gerard Way and even Kelis, it was really very, very cool. I loved the idea that I could tweet with my friends who lived across the country and were watching the show as I was there experiencing it live. Never mind the band themselves, who were fantastic.
Chicago, AllState Arena, March 2005: I would have to be crazy to leave this one off of my list. My first VIP show, and the very first time I ever saw a Duran Duran show with friends. I still remember fumbling for my camera as the heartbeat began and the band came to the very front of the stage and just stood there in front of us. I couldn’t even take a photo, I was shaking so badly. The next two hours were spent singing, dancing and having the best time of my life. What stands out to me from this show (aside from the heartbeat) was that Tiger Tiger was played – and I completely lost it. Tears openly flowed, and I think I got the moment that I’d been dreaming of since I was about 13. My inner teen got herself some closure that night. I would have thought then that I had experienced all that I needed to experience with Duran Duran – that anything else would have been a bonus, and as I recall – I am pretty sure I said all of that to my husband when I returned home from that trip. Of course, that was before the blog even started!!
Brighton Centre, UK, November 2011: What a landmark show for me, personally. I am truly surprised that I didn’t stand there in tears for the entire show. We’d come so far (literally) to get there. I kept waiting for the other foot to drop, and for the show to be canceled. You see, Amanda and I had already traveled to the UK in May of this same year, expecting to see some shows. As we all know, the tour ended up being postponed, which meant that we returned back home to the US ten days later, without having seen a single show. Yet we made plans to return….I’m still surprised that I’m still married after that stunt. We bought new shows, sold others, planned a tour and even snuck in a 4th show when Glasgow was announced (we really are crazy). Then it was announced that the very day of our arrival in the UK was going to be a public workers strike which affected everything from the airport to the Tube and beyond. We soldiered on, got on the plane and hoped that Duranie juju would be with us. And it was. We breezed through immigration, got on a train to Brighton and arrived without incident. Then that night arrived, and we found ourselves standing in front of that band in their own country. When Simon sang Before the Rain that night, I really couldn’t believe we were actually there. Then they did something even more amazing – and played Secret Oktober. Amanda and I know it couldn’t REALLY have been for us (we’d been begging for them to play it for MONTHS), but it sure felt like it was. How I stopped myself from crying right then, I’ll never know. The music really means that much, and whenever I start to waiver about writing this blog or dealing with some of the less-than-fun things that come along with being a fan, I think back to how I felt. That moment, probably above most others…was the best I’ve had as a fan. I promise I won’t forget that.
SECC, Glasgow, December 2011: There are some shows that just come together strangely and yet manage to work perfectly, and this one is on that list. We hadn’t originally planned to do Glasgow, but somehow it all came together. We found 2nd row seats near center, and our train from Birmingham to Edinburgh…however long…was just fine. I’d like to do that trip again actually, this time in more of the daylight hours, to see more of the English countryside. I LOVED Edinburgh (where we stayed with Amanda’s friend), and I hope to make it back there sometime – I still dream of those Winter Markets – we don’t have them here in the US and I thought they were so cute!! I’m a sucker for that sort of thing, and so yes – that very much plays into my fairy tale memories of that trip. The SECC has something against heating, apparently (or else my California blood is far too thin…) because I nearly froze to death waiting for the band to come onstage that night. I was worried that I would have to wear my parka the entire night, but sure enough, as soon as they took the stage and we realized we could make a run for the front – we did, and my parka was left on my chair to wait. The SECC was sizable compared to many places I’ve seen the band over the years, and to hear the thunder of the audience that night was incomparable to anything I’d experienced prior. Glasgow loved this band, no doubt about it. The band was on FIRE that night. There’s a saying that I’ve learned from my daughter during her years as a dancer and doing musical theater. Their directors always tell them to leave it all – everything they’ve got – on the stage – and they’ll never go wrong. The band left it ALL on stage that night. It was an epic way for me to end my time in the UK.
DPAC, Durham North Carolina, August 2012: I had 4th row seats ALL the way to the side at this show. I had to angle myself to turn away from the speakers that were right in front of me so that I could see the stage, and more importantly the guitar player in front of us – and security even handed us earplugs. I was determined to have a good time at this show, and I believe that part of the reason that happened was because of the great meet-up we’d just hosted prior to the show. The other part of that reason was pure generosity from others – the man who gave up his spot down front for Amanda and I to be there – and of course my friend Jonee who took pity on me and called me down front. It was a wild, wild night. I have great memories of certain moments of the show when I stared directly into the strings of a guitar, and other memories where we had John and Dom right in front of us playing…and still others of Simon towering over us, and delightful memories of dancing and singing my heart out along with friends. What a great show. I know there are people out there who believe that fandom is between themselves and the band. Nothing else matters or enters into it. Well, that show and the meet-up beforehand, are my examples of why the friendships between the fans matter so much to me. Yes, the show was fun and there’s no denying that – not that I’d want – but what also stands out in my mind are the fellow fans I met. There are people on the Durandemonium committee that I met that night AT the meetup. Those people matter to me. The band is the soundtrack and backdrop, but it is each of us that make this community work. As amazing as they are, the band can’t BE the community – that’s our job.
But man oh man was that guitar player ever amazing that night. Wow. 🙂
I had many, many runner-up shows…I can’t forget the very first time I saw all five together for the first time in Costa Mesa during the summer of 2003, for instance. I saw them again not long after at 4th and B in San Diego – I think I stared at John Taylor, and Roger behind him on the drums the entire night while I pinched myself over and over. There was also the Sears Center show in 2006, when Dom first sold me on being in this band….and a million other shows and moments…it was tough to choose.
I challenge you to find your five!