It occurred to me that I really should cover this a bit more before Monday hits and I’m grumbling about the 95,000 things that can and likely WILL go wrong that morning. (Way to be thinking positive, am I right??)
26 Dates (and counting)
Here they are:
05/28/2023 San Jose CA SAP Center at San Jose
05/31/2023 Seattle, WA Climate Pledge Arena
06/01/2023 Portland, OR Moda Center
06/03/2023 Salt Lake City, UT Vivint Arena
06/06/2023 Austin, TX Moody Center
06/07/2023 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
06/09/2023 Houston, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
06/10/2023 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
06/13/2023 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
06/15/2023 Atlanta, GA State Farm Arena
06/17/2023 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
06/18/2023 Sunrise, FL FL Live Arena
08/24/2023 Sacramento, CA Golden 1 Center
08/26/2023 Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Rena
08/28/2023 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
08/29/2023 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
08/31/2023 St. Paul,. MN Minnesota State Fair
09/01/2023 Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion @ Northerly Island
09/03/2023 Canandaigua, NY CMAC
09/06/2023 Boston, MA TD Garden
09/07/2023 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
09/09/2023 Pittsburgh, PA PPG Points Arena
09/10/2023 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blosson Music Center
09/13/2023 Washington DC Capital One Arena
09/16/2023 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
09/19/2023 Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena
** NYC and LA to be announced
First of all, I think it is fair to say this is a far more substantial tour than the one I had happening in my head. I honestly and truly believed that the 30-date tour Simon had been touting in recent interviews was going to be nine-tenths summer festivals and one-tenth dedicated gig. Easy money (I mean, easier than dragging a full entourage of roadies, gear, personnel, etc across country along with all the planning, promoting, etc that goes along with a tour), not an absolute shit-ton of risk on the part of the band, and they can pretty much play the same set over and over again without people complaining because it’s a festival and they’re not the only band playing!
I’ll still complain, but you know how it goes. Par for course. Moving on…
So where was I? The tour itself, yes. I do see they’re playing places they don’t always go, and still going to places they regularly visit. In my head, it’s a good mix. Don’t tell me they’re not visiting your city, because you know what? I have to drive a minimum of three hours to see them anywhere they’re playing. If I fly, it’s still one hell of a long day for me. The airports nearest me are tiny, I have to pass farms along the way (and yes, I live in California!!), and they really don’t go anywhere meaningful. I’m saving my complaining for the the presales and the set lists. Welcome to my club. Suck it up, grab some snacks, get behind the wheel of your car and let’s go!
How many more?
Let’s recap what I was like when the tour was announced. I don’t even remember what day it was – Tuesday maybe?? Wednesday? It was my friend Lori who texted me bright and early that day – well before I’d had even ONE gulp of hot coffee – saying “Here we go!”
I groaned immediately. I didn’t even have to look at the rest of the texts coming through to know what this was all about. I’d been half-expecting it for weeks now. Isn’t that funny though, as much as I’m sure we all knew tour dates were imminent, there’s always that strange moment when they are announced where you just weren’t expecting it THAT day. Especially not in that moment as I was turning on the shower, getting ready to start the morning. And then? Well, as is typical, the day took a turn towards “completely unproductive”.
The reality for me is that I behave pretty much in the same, predictable pattern each time they announce even ONE show, much less twenty-six. At first, I feign almost a dismissive air. “oh, I’ll look when I have time. I can’t be bothered right now. They’ll keep.”
*sneaks glances at phone while making lunch for a 14 year old*
*looks at clock and realizes they should have left five minutes ago. DAMMIT DURAN DURAN!!! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!
As I’m driving to school in dead silence – mainly because if I speak to a certain 14-year old before I gloriously drop her off in the school parking lot, I might be murdered. Always better to chat after school when she’s at least semi-human – I’m thinking about all the reasons I am not going to these shows. Let’s make a list!
- The dates are in summer. Are these friggin’ outdoor shows again? I hate those. My HAIR hates those!!
- Wait, do these dates fall during my cruise??(yes, I’m going on vacation with the family this summer. It’s one week, and we’re taking a cruise so that everyone, including mom, is happy for a damn change.)
- I swore I wouldn’t ever do a presale again for this stupid band and their damn dynamic pricing.
- Do I even really want to deal with all of this again? Really???
- I’m getting old for this. Shouldn’t I be past all of this dancing, singing, losing my voice and screaming for guit…I mean band members… by now? My bladder and liver are certainly over it!
- How much are these tickets even going to cost? It’s not whether or not I can afford them, it is the principle of it all. I swear, I’m just going to go to the UK instead and see other bands who happen to have gui…I mean band members I like.
- It’s going to be nuts now that they’re Hall of Famers, isn’t it? Whose idea was THAT?!?
So, my mind was busy. So was my phone. It kept buzzing, but I didn’t look. I was driving!!
In the back of my mind though, past all the other thoughts of not going, one thought continued to swirl in my head: Just how many more of these big tours can they really do?
Just for kicks..
Once I got home, I took a better look at the tour list.
I behave in the same way every single time they announce something. First it’s a NO. Then it’s “Well…I suppose I maybe could.” Then this turns into, “Okay seriously, I could do X-amount of shows (X = a number of shows I cannot possibly do, but in that moment, I’m absolutely certain I can be gone for six weeks without anyone even realizing dinner wasn’t made and laundry wasn’t done.) At the same time, I’m surmising that this band won’t be around forever, and dammit I love those guys. It’s all gone a bit gushy for me. My cold, dead soul doesn’t even know how to handle the love I’m feeling for them. Then presales arrive and I remember just how much I hate Ticketmaster, management, and even those greedy bastards in the band (Yes, I said that. The truth hurts sometimes.) Just wait, I promise that shit-show is coming on Monday. I have a therapist on stand-by.
But for now, back to Tuesday mid-morning or whenever the hell this was!
Immediately, I could see that there were shows I could feasibly do without even getting on a plane. I’d be driving for yet another tour, but not so far that I’d curse the band, or call them nasty names while doing it. After all, I’m NEVER doing another road trip where I drive 1300 miles in a four day stretch to see the band all over the southwest US. (Been there, done that in 2012 with Amanda. All I can say here at this time is that we survived.) No freaking way I’m doing that again, and certainly not alone. I began listing dates in my planner, seeing if they even sort of fit in with my schedule.
All the while, I’m trying to remind myself that this is indeed the band that had tickets going well-north of $1,000 for seats in Vegas, and that this is the same band that thought it was okay to short set the audience for one out of the two shows of Halloween weekend. I was so angry I refused to go to those shows and only went to Vegas to support my BFF Jason and Dom for their DJ gig. “Bottom line”, I told myself, “Let’s not get crazy here about tickets”.
My friends are another concern. While I don’t mind going alone to shows, I prefer to be with them. They keep me sane, grounded, and out of trouble. 🙂 Let’s face it, I’ve had plenty of crazy times when I was young and dumb, and nowadays, I’m just trying to be good. Mostly.
Okay, not a lot of the time, but sometimes.
I don’t really know how long I can be away at any given time before my absence is noted. Husband is very busy with new job, the 14 year old has her own social life now (and depending upon when I travel she could easily be back in school since we begin in early/mid August and end the first full week in June ), but my mom is another story.
Even with knowing I really can’t just vanish from real life without causing great distress – and I mean mostly to myself, because ultimately I’m the one left dealing with the aftermath – I know that I’m at the age where I need to do what serves ME. I won’t be around forever. I have spent my entire adult life doing for other people. Even when I’ve thought it was my turn, my plans were shelved to make room for whatever someone else needed me to do. I’ve made choices to keep the ship afloat for everyone else even though plenty of time, I’m underwater balancing it all. Treading water? Who is treading water? I don’t even have time or energy to get to that point yet. I just know that if I don’t serve myself soon, I’m going to regret it. So here I am, looking at concert dates for a band that, as much as I dislike the system they play in, continues to throw me an occasional life preserver.
Sometimes, I even grab on to it, until I catch my breathe and go under again.
Forty-some years in, and they’re still saving me. How much longer can they really do it? I’m still trying to figure out my plan for touring, and what my friends are up to, but the reality is that I may end up doing these dates alone. I just know I need to go.
But, the presales…
I’ll be honest, the idea of having to deal with the drudgery of presales is almost enough for me to say “screw it”. I hate them. I don’t know anyone who likes them, really. It is bad enough to have to go through the process, but when you do it with even the vaguest understanding of the system, how it is rigged against the buyers and that everyone else makes a ton of money out of manipulating your love for music and a band? Well, I feel two things.
One, I’m angry that the system (Ticketmaster) is so unfair, and fucked up beyond reason. Two, I’m so glad I chose NOT to be a musician as my profession. (Even in the classical music world, the system is fucked beyond measure.)
Just today, I was on Twitter and saw that a friend had posted some screen shots of a secondary ticketing marketplace. There were already Duran Duran tickets on sale – in the SECONDARY MARKET – for this damn tour.
Sure, some of you are saying, “That’s impossible!” I can feel the righteous indignation from here on the central coast of California!
It isn’t impossible. I’d argue that it happens more than we think. That said, it is also possible those tickets are fakes and people are hoping that most of us are dumb enough to buy. Trouble is, I think it’s tough to know on these sites, which is why so many rely on Ticketmaster, with it’s own set of problems, and a secondary market to boot!
I think Ticketmaster needs a motto like, “Why sell a seat for $300 when you can get $3000?”
No, of course it isn’t fair. I’m not saying that it is, or that you shouldn’t be mad about it. But it still happens. All. The. Time. The business wants it that way. Hell, even government wants it that way. If they didn’t, they would have fixed it the first time someone tried to stand up to Ticketmaster about it. If not then, they absolutely had the opportunity following the Taylor Swift debacle. They had the hearings – our government is FANTASTIC about having hearings – but nothing ever really gets fixed. Does it really serve anyone other than the not-wealthy music fan to fix it? I mean this way, everyone makes a ton of money. Band, management, ticket service, venue…the list goes on.
If you’re someone who has a lot of money to throw around, you can log onto Vivid Seats or any of a number of other secondary marketplaces, and buy yourself a ticket before the presales even happen. Russian roulette maybe, but hey – gambling can be fun!
Between the emotional manipulation of “verified fan” status (seriously the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen…), and dynamic pricing which is truly just price gouging turned up a notch, presales are getting tougher and tougher to manage without counseling on speed dial. Then there are the typical hassles with presales (not the least of which being that there just aren’t enough tickets for everyone who wants to be in the front!). First world problems to be sure, but then again, this is Duran Duran. They make videos on yachts, and frolic in castles with “fake celebrities”. We *are* first world!
So to those ready and willing to sacrifice their mental health on Monday in order to buy some concert tickets – I salute you. May the odds ever be in your favor, and mine!