Duran Duran

So, I went to see Duran Duran last night, having only seen them once before back when I was in Grade 10 in the early 90s and they were touring behind their second self-titled album (the one with the wedding pictures on the cover and “Ordinary World” as the big single).

I get there and there is but one decent shirt design, the grey one with the vintage logo with the slanted D a la Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Which the bastards have made $50 versus the other designs being $40.

Overpriced Duran Duran shirt

I grumble and pony up, quashing the annoying voice in the back of my head telling me I could probably get an actual vintage shirt on eBay for that price and I might have more selection to choose from.

Oh, hey, look… $35 including shipping. Granted, it’s not official, and the real vintage ’80s ones are over $100, but still.

Moving on…

Now, I got overzealous in the spring when I spotted the Live Nation presale password and I stupidly ignored my “no floor seats” rule, landing seat 18 in row 25 on the floor, for a mere $144 plus surcharges and taxes.

When I get there, however, seats 18 and 19 are occupied by some couple. I guess that their seats are probably 19 and 20 and figure, meh, whatever, and I plonk my ass down in 20.

Which is all fine and good until I realize that seat 20 in row 24 is occupied by a tall dude, and now I have to spend my show staring at the back of his head.


I guess I should have said something and insisted on switching seats with female half of the couple who was occupying mine, since that blocked view started to piss me off more and more as the show wore on. She in turn could take seat 19 and make her boyfriend take seat 20… it was pretty clear he didn’t know any songs by either band other than “Rio” and I spied him looking up previous setlists on his phone so I’m not even sure if he actually knew “Rio” or just knew that was an easy song name to remember when drunk and pretending to like the band his girlfriend dragged him to see.

But I didn’t want to be a cunt about the seating, so…

Anyway, Chic opened and played the same damn disco song over and over again for an hour.

OK, technically they were different damn disco songs, but that’s a difference without a distinction.

Blurry cellphone shot of Chic live in Vancouver August 28 2016

Great band technically, very tight, but also very repetitive. Disco being disco and all, after all.

And to be fair, not really my thing… because I have on two occasions been quite enthralled with Slash doing 20 minute jam/solos in the middle of “Rocket Queen” and loved every second of it, which I suppose is also sorta repetitive except OMG GNR! and therefore totally not an equivalent thing at all.


Duran Duran’s set:

"Wild Boys" - By leaning over to my left and impinging on the personal space of the dude in seat 19 whose girlfriend had her ass in my seat, I could sort of see around Tall Dude's head.
“Wild Boys” – By leaning over to my left and impinging on the personal space of the dude in seat 19 whose girlfriend had her ass in my seat, I could sort of see around Tall Dude’s head.
  1. Paper Gods: meh. New shit. Not catchy. They’re capable of doing much better.
  2. Wild Boys: awesome, or it would be if I could see any damn thing.
  3. Hungry Like the Wolf: finally it occurred to someone that they have these video screen things and they can use them to put images of the band above where tall people’s heads block short people’s views. (See image at the top of this post.)
  4. A View to a Kill: nice to hear this one. Quite unexpected.
  5. Come Undone: also great.
  6. Last Night in the City: new-ish, I guess, or I’m out of the loop. Catchier than Paper Gods, but still a meh.
  7. What Are The Chances: zero.
  8. Notorious: this was great.
  9. Pressure Off: see #6.
  10. Planet Earth/Space Oddity: nice touch with the Bowie tributes. Also: praise the dark lord, Tall Dude sat the fuck down and I can finally see!
  11. Ordinary World: another great one.
  12. I Don’t Want Your Love: this is one of my favorite Duran Duran songs, so I should have liked it more than I did, but there was something off about it… Came across as more ridiculous than anything else.
  13. White Lines (Don’t Do It): White Guys’ Rap Cover (Don’t Do It). Seriously… Wasn’t there a UN resolution where all the nations of the world came together and agreed to pretend like the whole middle-aged white rich rock stars wasting a whole album covering rap songs thing never happened? Well, at least it wasn’t their version of “911 is a Joke.” Small mercies.
  14. (Reach up for the) Sunrise/New Moon on Monday: Sunrise isn’t a bad song, but New Moon on Monday is much better and I wish they just played that instead.
  15. The Reflex: played as the club remix version, complete with a whole minute of “duh na na na” at the beginning. Sometimes what’s fun in a club remix is fucking monotonous.
  16. Girls On Film: OK, I guess. I was distracted by the video loops of ugly/”interesting looking” fashion models made up with weird blocky colour-outside-the-lines lipstick that even Marilyn Manson would balk at wearing giant stupid hats and resting bitch face.
  17. Encore: Simon’s mini-rant about Donald Trump and the Bataclan massacre and how we should “reach out”… Yeah, that’s worked out awesome for France, asshole. How ’bout you phone Jesse Hughes, since you want to capitalize on having worked with Eagles of Death Metal the week before the Bataclan atrocity and ask him what he saw happen at the Bataclan and whether he thinks “reaching out” will stop the next one? (Simon actually got booed from the nosebleeds when he dumped on Trump, but he tried to act like he thought those boos were for Trump and not him. Idiot… not everyone in that arena came from SWPL Central aka Kitsilano or the People’s Republic of East Vancouver.) Don’t ruin it by talking, Simon… oops, too late.
  18. Encore: Save a Prayer: well, by this point I was pissed off, and not just Simon’s little rant… Ably performed, I guess, but whatever.
  19. Encore: Rio: honestly, this song is overrated… it’s fun in a harmless sort of fluff way, but surely this can’t actually be their biggest hit? I mostly looked at the details in the projections of that famous Nagel image.
"Planet Earth" when Tall Dude sat the fuck down and I had a clear view
“Planet Earth” when Tall Dude sat the fuck down and I had a clear view

Songs I would have liked to hear rather than many of the above:

  • Careless Memories
  • Is There Something I Should Know?: Seriously, why wasn’t this the encore? Or at least in the mix somewhere?
  • Liberty
  • Do You Believe in Shame?: If you want a slow, moody one, far better than “What Are the Chances?”
  • Too Much Information: More relevant than ever this election cycle, even if one hates Donald Trump, but especially if one hates Hillary Clinton.
  • Violence of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)
  • New Religion
  • So Misled
  • The Chauffeur: which they’ve done a few times on this tour

Oh well: lesson learned about the floor tickets, if nothing else. It’d been 23 years since I’d seen Duran Duran live, might well be that long again, if ever.

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