Are you going to any of the North American shows this time around?
Someone on Twitter mentioned a very different vibe for this tour. I can’t disagree. But I’m not sure I’m an appropriate judge. For the past six months, I’ve done very, very, little when it comes to Duran Duran. I think I’ve even missed at least one or two interviews with the band – maybe even more. I’m still on Twitter (@encoresclub), and I still have my personal Facebook page, but I don’t spend a lot of time on either one. I still don’t know all of the words to every song on Future Past, for that matter. Fandom, at least for me, is a lot different in my 50s than it was in my 30s.
Some of that, is natural, I’m sure. In fact, I guess most of it really is, because it wasn’t as though I sat down late last year and forced myself to change…although I did make some very pointed changes. What I mean is, I didn’t “train” myself to stop looking at Twitter, or to even stop reading every single band interview, or tuning in for every radio show in which they appeared. I think I just got involved doing other things here at home. My husband and I have a group of friends that go wine tasting and have BBQ’s and parties. None of them are Duran Duran fans (in fact two of them are huge Jason Mraz and David Matthews Band fans…I love them despite their obvious missteps in musical taste). So, I don’t talk Duran much and that is very different from what life was like back when I was in my mid-30’s or 40’s, when, admittedly – I talked about the band almost every day in one form or another.
I don’t “see” the same people I did back when Duran Duran had a forum (message board), or when so many fans were still actively and regularly participating on Twitter. It seems like everyone, or at least the “everyone” I knew back then, has vanished. Granted, I don’t have the same accounts, and I don’t manage an account for any blog these days either. I haven’t even set up a FB for the new blog, nor do I plan on it. Point being, I feel like the Duran Duran world has gotten considerably smaller, but in reality I think it might be that my own space within that realm that has shriveled.
At least, by everything I have read, it would seem that Duran Duran’s audience is larger than ever, as they sell out shows and fill up stadiums and places in other parts of the world. They’re touring a bit differently, too – seeming to rely on festivals, sharing the bill and financial stakes with numerous other bands and artists. We’re lucky here in the states because they’re doing dedicated shows here, and elsewhere – they’ve done primarily festival gigs. That gives them the opportunity to play in front of gigantic audiences and not having to carry the full weight of the financial burden. Business-wise, it’s an incredibly smart decision. Fandom-wise though, I guess it just depends on who you speak with and how they feel about festivals.
I can honestly say that had they done similar here, I wouldn’t be going. My days of going to festivals ended back in 2006. I just don’t need to come out of gigs without teeth, or having my face scratched up by some idiot crowd surfing above me. The joy of seeing the band isn’t worth it – particularly because that gleeful feeling ends up being sorely diminished in the process. I don’t fault those that still go, by all means someone should, it just isn’t going to be me. I appreciate that they’re not solely going musical festivals in the states, that is for sure, and I don’t think I’m the only one feeling that way.
So is the vibe different this time? I really can’t tell. I know that for me, it is 100% completely different. Yep, a lot of that is my own doing. Again, it is going to be very weird going to a concert for the first time in over a decade NOT being the other half of Daily Duranie. I would be lying if I said otherwise. This trip may end up being an exercise in learning how to manage on my own.
In 2004, I went to New Orleans for the Duran Duran Fan convention – it was called Friends of Mine. Anyway, since then, I’ve always had one or more of that circle of friends in my life, most certainly during the moments when Duran Duran has been active! Most of them have since drifted on, a few at a time over the course of each album or tour. Even so, at nearly every show I’ve attended since, there has been someone from that initial group I first danced, sang, and celebrated with over that fateful weekend. This tour might be the first where there is no one. That feels weird, but it also is okay. I’m not sure I would have said the same a couple of years back.
I wouldn’t be able to tell you if there were other parties going on in any of the cities the band is visiting, other than Las Vegas. I have been told by other fans that Vegas isn’t going to be as fun this time because there aren’t as many people going. That’s an odd statement to make, given that I know the band has sold just as many tickets as usual. Perhaps the point is that not all the “same” people are going this time. Maybe so. I’ll find out when I get there. I know the ticket prices are on the wrong side of insane, and I don’t care about not being in the front. I used to care very much, and now I’m just happy to be in the building.
My energy level isn’t the same as it was even five years ago. That’s the one different “vibe” I definitely CAN recognize these days. I remember having the ability to go days without sleeping, or even eating, and those days are most assuredly in my past. I am much more apt to sit down with a group of friends in a quiet corner and talk for hours than I am to go bar hopping, although I still do love to dance when there’s good music on.
I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, going to dinner, having time to talk, and of course, seeing Duran Duran. I will admit though, I don’t know if I am more excited to see and hear them play new music from the new album, or if I am more excited to just finally be able to see them live again. The past few years have been rough on everyone. I think just being able to be in the audience again, exchanging in that to-and-fro between audience and band, where we each give as much as we get in return, will feel incredibly special. That will be a moment I wasn’t at all sure we’d get again.
So is the vibe different? Probably. I’ll let you know. Maybe I’ll treasure it just a little bit more than I have in the past. Perhaps the first thing on my mind won’t be what they play, but rather the feeling I get when they’re playing. Maybe it really doesn’t matter what crowd is going to these concerts, but instead how and whom I choose to spend my time with. In the end, I think it will still feel just a little bit like paradise.