This week I’ve seen a few tweets from Anna letting us know that she’s getting back into Duran Duran touring mode, posting songs and evening mentioning informal rehearsals. The band themselves have been very, very quiet – only Dom poking his head up long enough to post yet another RIP tweet, this time for Sir George Martin.
As I mentioned, Anna has posted a couple of songs on her FB page this week, and naturally those always seem to get responses from fans hoping out loud that they’ll play one song or another. Not much changes from tour to tour – fans want it all and then some. I would imagine the band could play for hours and we’d still be crying for more, wouldn’t we?
Just today, Anna posted Only In Dreams – a song that was not played here in the US for their tour in October. I realize that some readers may believe I keep track of what is played and when, but the truth is that unless they’ve omitted Hungry Like the Wolf, added Secret Oktober, or played something else I haven’t heard in a while, I’m probably not going to notice, and certainly not when it’s a show I didn’t attend. So I’d forgotten that they’d played Only In Dreams on their recent UK tour in December as I thought to myself that it’s another song I’d really love to hear live. Just as I’d posted that though, another fan or two said that they didn’t think the song “worked” live and that there are plenty other, better songs, on the album.
First of all, I chuckled when I saw the comments because, let’s face it, if you’re Duran Duran – there’s really no winning this setlist thing. People like ME are always going to say they’ve heard certain songs entirely too much, people like some of YOU are going to say that it’s not a Duran Duran show unless you hear <insert any hit they’ve ever had here>. There’s no winning because someone is always going to be pissed off that they didn’t play one thing or another. And truthfully, that’s our problem, isn’t it?
I’ve spent more than my fair share of writing time campaigning for one song or another – I use my platform well (whether it’s effective or not!), but the reality is that the band is gonna play what they want and we’re going to like it and keep going, or we’re not. And if I’m any proof, it turns out that many of us are going to grit our teeth and sing our way through as many shows as we can manage each tour.
Secondly though, I thought about what the person said about Only In Dreams not really “working” live. Interestingly enough, I saw more than one person mention that it’s a relatively slow song and wanes in energy. That can be a hazard for live shows, I suppose. I remember seeing the Red Carpet Massacre tour, and there were a couple of songs from that album that created something of a vacuum in the venue, sucking the energy right out of the room. Once that happens, it’s very difficult to get the audience back “up”. It’s a vicious circle beyond that, because the band feeds off of the crowd’s energy and vice-versa. For me, Only In Dreams is a song I love because it reminds me so much of what it is like to be a fan, but that doesn’t necessarily translate well to others in the audience, and with the song being slower than say, “Pressure Off”…. Well, I can understand if it’s not the set list.
Another song that is often mentioned and hasn’t been performed (to my knowledge anyway!) is The Universe Alone. The song is huge, epic, and probably the masterpiece off of that album. I don’t even know if it is a song they can perform – but it is certainly one that they should. I could go on like this all day, but only the band knows what they are willing and ready to play, and I know that no matter what they play, many of us will be ready to tell them they should have played X, Y & Z instead!
So, if you could have them add a song or two from Paper Gods that hasn’t been played yet, what would you suggest and why?