Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rio Girl Finally a Duran Duran VIP: Part Two

The Wild Boys

Finally the conclusion to my epic Duran Duran tale. (I've attached the link to Part One of this article if you'd like to refresh your memory: I left off, the crowd of mainly ladies-of-a-certain-age and gay men are going wild with anticipation of seeing the Fab Five.   
The John Taylor smirk

Then Nick Rhodes sneaks onto the tiny stage and hides out behind his keyboards, synthesizers, and Mac laptop where he remains for the entirety of the show, randomly snapping pictures of the crowd with his Canon camera. His personality, very much sly and catlike, came across as he started the first strands of Planet Earth. Then Roger Taylor strides across the stage and takes his place with his head and drumsticks peeking out from behind his drum kit. Dom the lead guitarist slides into his place as John Taylor glides onto the stage right in front of my sister and I. We are screaming out how much we love him along with everyone else. He just smirks his trademark John Taylor Smirk right back at us. He knows he is loved and he LOVES it! Finally Simon LeBon is in his spot, also directly in front of me, at his mike, belting out Planet Earth as only Simon can. Completely UNBELIEVABLE!

For a lifetime and true die-hard Duran Duranie like myself and my sister, Linda, we are in Duran Duran heaven for the next 90 minutes. This is the band that we grew up with, whose life-sized posters were plastered all over our bedroom walls, and whose songs we've memorized for life. If you don't have a band like Duran Duran in your life, you may never relate to this epic experience.

Simon LeBon never sounded better at this concert. A crystal clear and beautiful voice with an amazing range. Simon was just mesmerizing to watch as he's so animated and truly lives these songs. I just stood there watching him while his drops of sweat rained down on me. Yes, Simon sweat!  That's how close we were to the band. His black sequined shirt started off buttoned up but as the show progress those buttons came undone. Hot!

They played all of the favorites: Hungry Like the Wolf, Notorious, The Reflex,  Ordinary World as well as a bunch of new songs off their latest album that is now their number two bestseller after 1982's Rio album. A friend asked me if I thought they ever tired of playing all of their old hits. Duran Duran showed no signs of boredom with any of their material. They showed no signs of fatigue either. Like the rest of us, they shed layers of clothing as the club heated up. Duran Duran concluded their set with an inspiring and heartfelt Reach Up for the Sunrise that had the entire club reaching and dancing!

After a very brief break, the emerged for their encore and the club nearly imploded with Rio, which just happens to be my FAVORITE Duran Duran song EVER. I had to just  stop dancing and snapping pictures to take in the moment. To have Simon sing a line from Rio as I gazed into his eyes . . . something about "I see you on the beach and I see you on tv". A moment to watch and listen to John Taylor as he expertly played his Rio bass solo or to flirt with the incredibly flirty and suggestive Dom the guitar player who replaced Andy Taylor. (That's ok. Linda and I really didn't like Andy anyway. Sorry Andy.) Unfortunately A View to a Kill was a bit disappointing, but they more than made up for it with their classic closer Girls on Film.

That was it. Suddenly the show was over. The band always meets at the middle of the stage for a wave and a bow. Nick came out from behind his wall of synthesizers and Roger Taylor emerged from his drums with his drumsticks in hand, meeting up with Simon, Dom, and John. They are smiling and waving to the crowd while I'm screaming out ROGER,  ROGER, obviously at Roger Taylor, at the top of my lungs. Guess what? He heard me. Roger turns, looks me in the eye with a sweet smile on his face, and hands me his drumsticks. Thank you I mouth while he smiles back and leaves the stage. I'm left holding Roger's drumsticks triumphantly over my head. Does it get any better than this? Not for me as a true Duran Duran fan. An unbelievable ending to an epic concert. I don't think I can ever see Duran Duran live again unless I'm in the front row between Simon and John. 
Elated!!! Moments after receiving THE drumsticks

About a week after this Minneapolis show, Simon LeBon went up for a high note in All You Need Is Now and that note wasn't there. He lost his entire upper range. Duran Duran has canceled the summer leg of their European tour and hope to resume sometime in August. After visits to many doctors and not really know what went wrong, Simon is undergoing physical therapy on his vocal cords.

I keep my drumsticks alongside of my printer by my Mac. All I need to do is look up and remember that Roger Taylor gave me his drumsticks and all is right with the world.

I still listen to Duran Duran nearly every day much to the annoyance of my children.

Thanks to you Linda, my beloved sister for joining me on this crazy lifelong ride of epic proportions. A dream come true. 

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