On Christmas Eve, I found myself packing an overnight bag as I planned to stay at my parents’ house for Christmas morning. (Before anyone worries, yes, we are in a bubble, a very, very, very tight bubble. It is so tight that the only people we see are each other. We don’t go into stores at all, even.) Anyways, I didn’t need a huge suitcase or anything like that as I wasn’t going to be there long. So, I searched my closet for the perfect sized bag when I came across this one that I received as part of the VIP package during the 2005 Astronaut Tour. As I pulled it off the shelf and began to add clothes to it, I thought back to when I got the bag to begin with.
As I said above, this item was included as part of the VIP package offered during the spring 2005 Astronaut Tour. As many/most of you know, this tour was really my first Duran tour (even though I had seen them in concert before.). This was the first time that I went to multiple shows and traveled out of town to go to them. I remember how amazing it felt for me to say that I was going to attend five shows over the course of my spring break. It really felt like the Duran gods had smiled down upon me. Because of the multiple shows and the recent finish in graduate school, I could not VIP as much as I wanted. Others attending shows with me were in a similar financial boat as me, including Rhonda, so we discussed the situation and decided which show we would go for VIP for as we agreed to VIP for one show only. For those not in the fan community then, VIP was such that you would buy the package knowing that your ticket would be somewhere within the first five rows but you did not know your specific row or seat. Then, you would receive an item or two of merchandise and a chance to win a meet and greet. You would receive your specific tickets and items when you arrived at the VIP party. In our case, we found out that we were 3rd row in front of John Taylor for the Chicago show, our lone VIP experience. Again, I felt like the Duran gods were smiling on me as I couldn’t imagine a better spot than with my friends, Rhonda and Jessica. Everything around the show felt magical from the hotel we all stayed at, to the multiple parties we held, to the show itself.
Fifteen years later, I still find myself smiling over the experience. As soon as I grabbed that VIP bag to pack for my Christmas overnight, it all came flooding back. On top of the amazing memories with my friends and my favorite band, I still have a super functional and well-put-together bag that feels as brand new now as it did then. While this bag might not seem like much, it definitely added to the vibe of that Astronaut Tour. Now, I suspect that you all might be thinking that I’m losing or have lost my mind a bit but hear me out. It was clear to all of us who received this bag that DDHQ wanted to make sure that to buy a VIP ticket felt special. We weren’t just given any random thing but a bag that not only advertised the tour but would also last. It felt like we mattered as fans, especially as fans who would pay to VIP. Part of the magic of that time was how special *I* felt to be a part of it. There I was with all these other fans who loved Duran as much as I did and a band and their people who wanted to us to feel that love back. Good times, indeed.