Monday, October 17, 2011

I Fell in Love With Duran Duran All Over Again Tonight!

I've been up since 5 AM. My husband and I joined some friends for a weekend in Virgina. We stayed at a rented house and went to different vineyards and did wine tastings. I mean I didn't because I'm allergic to sulfites but I was there for the camaraderie. I couldn't sleep so I'd been up since 5 which is just what you want for a 3.5 hour ride home and then a concert in D.C.

I've been keeping Duran Duran in business for the better part of 30 years. I've seen them 37 times and when I was in Jr high, I used to save my lunch money to buy their albums, books and magazines, most of which I still have. For years and years and years I bought every album, single, book, scrapbook video compilation and import I could get my hands on. I've got DD sweatbands for God's sakes! I have tour books and signed albums and a photo of Simon's scalp because I got so flustered when he was near. I've bought and made more Duran Duran shirts than I can even remember yet I still have them all. Needless to say, I don't buy tour books and shirts anymore because I just don't have the space for them. There was a day, back before I had my babies that I'd go see them 8 or 9 times on a leg of a tour but those days are gone now. I don't regret them, I loved them but it just is no longer feasible, financially and logistically. Not to mention that finding someone to go to a concert on a Sunday evening is not easy. No one loves them like I do. I'm sure that's not true but no one I know loves them like I do, that's for damn sure! I'm not sure I can remember a time when I didn't love them.

The only thing I can hold against them was the hair. Not theirs, mine. I hold them completely responsible for some of the more frightening, but fun hairstyle choices I made in the early years. I mostly blame John.

I bought our tickets in the pre-sale. I always do. All I need to do to make that happen is come up with the pre-sale code. This time it took me two tries. "Duran" "Taylor" ....check! Ticketmaster should really be more imaginative.

I haven't seen Duran Duran in 3 years. That may not seem like a long time but for me it is. I was pregnant with River when I saw them last and she'll be 3 in a few months. I remember that I wore a shirt that said "Duranie" with a little arrow pointing to my belly. Such a nerd but I loved it! My seats were right up by the stage, right in front of the left side speakers. It was brutal. The beat was so strong that every time John plucked a cord, I had to switch feet just to get one off the ground. The sound reverberated through my body and made me dizzy. Not something you welcome when you're pregnant, but I loved it just the same.

Constitution Hall isn't a big place. It's actually the perfect size for Duran Duran. It's quaint without being too small. I've seen them at Madison Square Garden and while I had good seats, this was nice as well. At this concert I did something I'd never done before, I went in or tried to go in as a Duran Duran virgin. This isn't very easy if you've been singing them to yourself since before you got your period but I made an attempt anyway. I bought their latest CD the day it was released online and I've listened to it but I haven't submersed myself into it like I have all of their other CDs. There are many reasons for this. First, I seriously overdid it for a few years and listened to nothing else. I love them but I love strawberries too and if I ate them everyday for 30 years I would probably need a break. Second, I just don't have time for that kind of submersion. It was easy when it was just me to get up and drive to Atlantic City, Fairfax or Philly to see them and drive right home after, only to get up a couple of hours later to go to work. I just can't do that anymore. My bosses are a lot tougher now and sleeping on the job is not permitted unless I want to wake up with gum in my hair or drawings on my walls. Lastly, my musical tastes have wondered. Not away from Duran but I've opened myself up to new things. While still British (almost always British) I've fallen in love with the likes of Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Mumford & Sons. I've ventured out which I'm not really known for.

So I went to this concert not knowing the words to every song and it was interesting. I mean I still knew a lot of them and obviously the old songs I know like my social security number. It was the first time I didn't know the set list. I made a point to stay away from photos so I wouldn't know what they'd be wearing. It was just a different experience and I liked it. I also enjoyed the concert without taking photos or video. There have been shows where I've taken over 1,000 photos and I just didn't want to do that. I danced and sang my ass off! My ears are still ringing and my throat hurts. As it should be.

They had cameras set up next to everyone's mic and I really liked that. It gave a B&W view of them all night long. I thought it was cool. We don't get enough of Nick or Roger because they're somewhat hidden behind their instruments. Roger is just so friggen cute. I need to see more of his sweet face.

Over the years I have learned that there are a few constants with Duran Duran. First, they are never on time. They're on Duran Duran time, which means late. I can't remember one time when they hit the stage when they were supposed to but I can remember many times when I was in the audience with my friends and laughed about "Duran Duran time." I'm not complaining about when they come on stage because it doesn't matter to me, as long as they come. Also, it is a given that at least once or twice per show, Simon will forget the words. I think he did it 4 times last night. It's weird to be singing along to a song you've known fir 20+ years and the singer flubs the words. Once again, not complaining, just an observation. I've seen him trip on stage a lot too but he didn't do that last night or if he did, I missed it. If memory serves, he almost fell off the stage in Fairfax. Ahhhh, I love that man!

Another thing that I think Duran Duran always have going on is terrible opening bands. I'm sure they'd disagree but there really have been some awful ones. Juliet I liked and Neon Trees were awesome! I think they may be their best opening act ever! I can't think of the list of horrid ones but during the Liberty days they weren't getting great support but I was there regardless. I can't remember the name of the band that gave away pink cassette tapes but they were ungodly. I remember the opening act for Power Station though. The Swimming Pool Qs. Oh God, they were like watching a train wreck at close range. Just horrific! They were so bad that I got hit in the head with something someone threw at them, it may have been a shoe. I'd never seen so much shit fly past my head at a concert, ever.

That's me in the middle rockin' my inner chipmunk.

We got a little lost last night getting into DC with a wrong turn or two so we weren't there very early. We only had to sit for a bit before Neon Trees came on but as we sat there I heard the people behind me talking. I heard the guy say to his friends, "Did you see anyone dressed up like the 80s? I'm surprised we didn't see anyone." WTF? Why would you go to a Duran Duran concert expecting to see people dressed like they're from the 80s? Duran has been around for 30 years! Put down the fucking scrunchies and parachute pants! I think this guy pulled into DC looking for a clown car and was pissed that a bunch of big footed assholes didn't get out. I know most people haven't seen Duran Duran before and certainly not 37 times but show some respect! I don't go to see them to feel 17 again, I don't need Duran Duran for that but they're a really, really good live band. I think their tour shirts are too expensive but that's a whole other issue. I've always though that.


They didn't play every song I would have liked to hear but that's to be expected. I've heard enough of them over the years to be pleased with what I did hear. It was the first time I'd ever seen them that they didn't play Save a Prayer. I kinda knew when Simon picked up the guitar for Leave a Light On that it wasn't going to happen. I've heard SAP so many times that I'm OK with that. I like hearing the new stuff and that really is a beautiful song.

It really was a great show. Simon will be 53 years old next week and you'd never know it. I'd say he looks like a rockstar but he is a rockstar so.... They look fucking awesome! John Taylor is still one of the most beautiful men I've ever seen in life and I know for a fact that the skin of his arm feels like a baby's ass because I've touched him. I've touched all of them, even Andy who has left twice like a fart in the wind. Not that I'm bitter.

I miss Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Rhodes & Lebon but I've been through every incarnation of Duran Duran for 30 years and I've loved every minute of it!

This is a photo of me showing I had love for Andy back in the day. He isn't wearing glasses in the photo on the button on my shirt so this must have been before his light sensitivity kicked in.

I wish I could tell you that the hideous turquoise shirt I was wearing was the worst thing about that outfit but move that table and you'll see a pair of matching moon boots. Ha! I just laughed out loud!

They opened with Before the Rain and closed with Rio and it was magical. They are such a good live band and perhaps I'd forgotten that. It's only been 3 years since I've seen them but I have a 2 and 4 year old so that's in toddler years which is really like 150 years if you think about it. I'd love to take my kids someday but I don't know how to explain "Play the fucking bass John" to a 4 year old. He's just not ready for that kind of grit. Perhaps if I could get them to add a Thomas the Tank engine to the stage set that it would be more plausible but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Simon's voice sounded amazing and I love Anna! She sounds perfect with them and has for years. As the band was standing at the front of the stage saying goodbye, John turned to his right and walked back up to his microphone. He commented "We'll keep coming back if you will" and walked off stage as Simon blew one last kiss to the audience. Ummm, yeah. I'm there.

I'm also passing on the gene.

I'm waiting for the cold to come because I think he's finally big enough to wear my Duran Duran Astronaut scarf!

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