Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: Duran Duran in Chicago

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Duran Duran in Chicago

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Friday, October 21st, Duran Duran Played in Chicago

A Short Introduction to My Madness 
Old friends of mine are quite aware of how big of a Duran Duran fan I was growing up.  I saw my first concert in February of 1984 and I have seen them countless times since. Every dollar I had growing up I spent on concert tickets, books about Duran Duran and music magazines - and they were mostly British magazines, like Smash Hits, that I would special order. Every INCH of my bedroom walls were was covered with Duran Duran posters, pictures, memorabilia, etc.

Throughout the 90s and 00s, I met the band several times and it was never a good thing. 1) I get horribly embarrassing around famous people and behave like a moron. For example, once I was back stage at some summer festival show and I met John Taylor. I stood there and stared at him and could not utter a word. Finally, the only sentence I could come up with was, "All my pin numbers are your birthday." I was creepy and weird. And 2) no matter how cool/awesome/amazing the members of Duran Duran may or may not be, they can NEVER compete with the image I have of them in my mind; therefore, they are destined disappoint me and it is best they remain a fantasty.

So...  How Was The Show?
Obviously, I am going to say "IT WAS AMAZING!" because they could get up on stage and play Mary Had a Little Lamb and I would think it was the best thing that ever happened. But, the show was really good. Really, really good.

After missing the House of Blues show back in April, I made sure to buy tickets to the Chicago Theater show - especially because I love seeing concerts at The Chicago Theater. I invited my high school boyfriend with me to the concert - to throw a bit more nostalgia into the mix.

When the set list was announced, there was some Duranie outrage buzzing on Twitter because the band opted to play many songs off their newer album, All You Need is Now . The Chicago set list include: 7 songs from All You Need is Now, 7 "hits" that would appeal to both casual fans and die-hard fans, 4 songs from various albums that would appeal more to the die-hards, 1 instrumental that was played while the Twitter stream was showcased on stage, and 1 random song from their 2004 album Astronaut. A total of 20 songs including two encores - for the full set list, see

What I Liked and What I Wished Was Different
I really liked the energy of the show. The selected songs, though not all my favorites, were mostly high-energy, pop songs that were thoughtfully organized. Duran Duran opened with a new song, Before the Rain, that starts slowly with sounds of string instruments, it is a melodramatic song about broken promises and murdered secrets. Before the Rain created a sense of mystery on stage as the band appeared. Next, they burst into an upbeat version of Planet Earth. To be fair, this is where I lost my mind and I recall very little from this point until they played Is There Something I Should Know (which is fantastic live and they almost always play it live) and I woke up from my happy haze in time for the "Twitter Break".

About half way through the show, John Taylor got on the mic and gave a "shout out" to all the Twitter followers. Next, the band moved aside and a Live Tweet screen was projected on stage. All the tweets using the #DuranLive hashtag, the "official" Duran Duran Tour Twitter hashtag, were displayed as the song Tiger Tiger (an instrumental from 7 And The Ragged Tiger) played. This was exceptionally pleasing for me as I started to Tweet frantically and insisted that Ryan keep is eyes peeled looking for my name to come up on the screen.

My favorites were: 
  • Careless Memories - one of my all-time favorite Duran Duran songs - mostly due to the angry, jilted lover lyrics. 
  • Notorious - I was happy they played one song from the album Notorious since it is one of my favorite Duran Duran albums (Skin Trade being my favorite song) but I think Notorious fit best into the very pop-centric set list.  
  • (Reach Up for the) Sunrise - this was the second time I had ever heard this song, it is from the new album, and it was a great way to close the show. It was so fun and inspirational! 
  • The encore - they played Wild Boys and did a little live mash-up with the Frankie Goes to Hollywood song Relax (Don't Do It)

Little Disappointments:
  • They didn't play Friends of Mine - from their album Duran Duran, I wished they had played this song. Duran Duran played this in '01 at the House of Blues and did a fantastic job live. 
  • They didn't play Secret Oktober - I saw some tweets from other fans wishing they had played Secret Oktober which appeared on the Union of the Snake Single and 12" B side. Every die-hard Duranie wants them to play Secret Oktober and they rarely ever do.
  • I wish they had not played so many obvious "hits" - they played Reflex, Hungry Like the Wolf, Wild Boys, Rio and A View to a Kill. 
  • They could have also skipped Ordinary World, but this must be a special song for the band, they always play it. With lyrics like, "I won't cry for yesterday, There's an ordinary world somehow I must find" and the timing of the release '93 (the absolute downfall of their career), I can't help but think there is a correlation. Actually, on second thought, I take it back, this is a great song, I'm glad they played it. 

My Greatest Disappointment of the Duran Duran Show in Chicago
Like a big idiot, I made the biggest amateur mistake and did not select seats on THE LEFT.  John Taylor always stands on the left side of the stage, I know this!  I barely got to see JT at all!  I was finally able to snap ONE picture of him as he left the stage, it is in black and white because it is a terrible photo.

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