Ten years ago, Duran Duran was in the midst of the All You Need Is Now era. As many of you might remember, the full album was released in the spring followed by shows in both the U.S. and Europe. Rhonda and I along with a couple of friends traveled to the UK that spring in order to finally see Duran play in their home country. Unfortunately, Simon lost his voice in May, resulting in a cancelled shows and a very uncertain future. We made the best of an upsetting situation for the duration of our trip. Yet, we remained determined. If and when Simon could perform, we vowed that we would go back. Still, as we returned home, we figured that it would be quite a while before we would have to fulfill that promise.
Crazily enough, only a few weeks transpired before Duran announced that these US shows would be re-scheduled for the fall. While that announcement was exciting, it was also nerve-wracking. We had multiple decisions to make. Could we even go in the fall? Would that even be possible? Could we go to the same shows?
Of course, within minutes (or hours? I cannot remember.), Rhonda and I were on the phone with each other, looking at the new schedule. Unfortunately, the shows were no longer in the same order. This meant that the shows we had tickets for were no longer possible to do within a week or whatever time we could squeeze in for our trip. Ugh. The first big decision we had to make is which show or shows to try for. We opted to keep our tickets to Birmingham, for obvious reasons. If we really wanted to see the band in the UK, we should see them there, where the story began. This dictated when we would go. It also told us that the other shows we had tickets for were not going to work as they were all over the place time wise. Therefore, we would sell those and try to get tickets for a couple of different shows.
Within a short time, after searching on message boards, social media, eBay and more, we acquired tickets to two other shows. We lucked out, actually, as these tickets were an improvement from the originals we had. That said, we decided to only do three shows instead of four until I spotted a pair of second row center seats for the Glasgow show. We justified it by staying with my friend who was living in Scotland at the time.
Looking back on this flurry of ticket buying and selling activity, I realize how much I miss it and how much I took it for granted. These days, concert ticket buying, along with every other event ticket buying, feels more serious, more stressful. Don’t get me wrong. We were a bit stressed by the whole process, especially since I didn’t know if I would be able to take off of work but there was still something fun in the challenge. Could we find new tickets? What would they cost? Could we sell the other ones? It felt like a puzzle with a giant reward at the end, which, in this case, was one of my favorite tours of all time.
I have to hope that we can get back to situations in which the only real struggle is whether or not I could get tickets for the shows I want rather than any of the dark clouds of questions or concerns that hang over large events these days. Until then, I will look back fondly at the good times we had a decade ago!