Reunited Duran Duran Swoon the DPAC Crowd

Reunited Duran Duran Swoon the DPAC Crowd

August, 23, 2012 , by Isaac Weeks

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Walking up to the entrance of the Durham Performance Arts Center, it was clear that the 80s had rolled into town; there was big hair and vintage wear as far as the eye could see. Why, the smell of Aqua Net practically permeated the air. Ladies who hadn’t worn heels to a concert in years walked by precariously balanced on 9-inch monsters, while proudly wearing their finest in satin jackets. Yes folks, Duran Duran was back in town.

The night started with the introduction of the opening act, MNDR. While MNDR in actuality is a duo, the lead singer Amanda Warner tours as a solo artist under the group’s name. This, in my opinion, is a mistake. Perhaps best known for appearing on a single on Mark Ronson’s last studio album, Record Collection, there was an air of vulnerability surrounding her 30 minute performance in Durham. Constantly tinkering with her soundboard between songs, twisting knobs and synching tracks, all I could wonder is if this is what The Ting Tings would look like as a solo effort.

Of course, it doesn’t help that audiences in the Triangle are notorious for shitting on opening acts. This was dance music, performed in front of ladies prepared to have a good time, and only once did I see a couple of women stand up for Ms. Warner, and they did so ironically. For 30 minutes Ms. Warner gave her all for a group of people that could barely muster up a slow clap usually reserved for scenes in teen movies.

All of this changed once the headliners hit the stage. Well…almost. Strains of classical music began to belt from the speakers, while scenes from a silent film flashed across the screens onstage. The audience cheered wildly each time the music waned, only to be disappointed when the volume picked up again. This happened for nearly 10 minutes straight. I began to picture the revolt that would occur if Ke$ha were to begin a concert with a showing of Chaplin’s Modern Times on her next tour. I have to give it to the members of this audience, though; the majority remained on their feet for the moment when the heroes from their youth would arrive.

Finally, the band took the stage. Having seen my fair share of sad reunion bands up close, I have to say that Duran Duran has physically kept it together pretty well since their heyday in the early 80s. Lead singer Simon Le Bon’s vocals are remarkable live, while his appearance now Is best described as Zach Galifianakis a few months into a vigorous workout routine. Bass player John Taylor appears to be the member who has most embraced the rock lifestyle, starting to resemble a ’68 era Keith Richards. The keyboardist, Nick Rhodes, still gives off the air of being put-out by having to perform for a living, barely moving during the entire concert and wearing a perma-scowl.

Once the band kicked off the show with a rousing version of “Before the Rain”, the crowd was moving in ways that it appeared they haven’t in years; call the babysitter, Mrs. Smith was going to be getting home late tonight. This audience was soaking up every ounce of entertainment being handed to them and appreciated it. When Le Bon announced to the crowd that the band had been on the road for almost 20 months straight, there seemed to be an unspoken response from the crowd of, “Feel free to take a break after tonight, but can you please play “Hungry Like the Wolf” twice before you leave?”

The band, starting to sweat profusely in their leather and silver vests made from the corpses of a hundred Member’s Only jackets, dragged a fan onstage to help kick off “The Reflex”. The only problem was, whether from embarrassment or unfamiliarity, it was soon clear this girl didn’t know the words. No problem; the audience filled in the “Da na na na” for her.

After playing a string of hits, it soon became apparent that both the band and audience were ready to call it a night. Le Bon was down to miscalculated disco moves on stage, while the women in the audience were flashing jazz hands because they were running on fumes from dancing for 2 hours straight. Coming back for the encore, the band left the audience with memories of happier days gone by with a stirring rendition of “Rio”, and we all trudged back to our cars, leaving the staff at the DPAC to pick up the antacid wrappers and empty bottles of headache medicines left in our wake.








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  • netposer
    08/24 12:37 PM

    “Hunger Like the Wolf” ??? LOL

  • brian_M2
    08/28 07:21 PM

    An annoyingly, repetitively ageist review of a very good show. Their current music is as good as their older music. Also, that audience was diversity city…it was a great evening, and DD remains awesome.

  • Finn_420
    08/28 10:09 PM

    Funny how this forum asks commenters to “Use some Manners” when posting. The “gentleman” who wrote the above review seemed to have refrained from using any at all. Nice job of acting superior while demeaning both the artists and audience. Wow.

  • Isaac
    08/28 10:17 PM

    Where in the review did I demean the band? I’m honestly confused by the two comments above…

  • Mary
    08/28 11:13 PM

    Finally, the band took the stage. Having seen my fair share of sad reunion bands up close, I have to say that Duran Duran has physically kept it together pretty well since their heyday in the early 80s. Lead singer Simon Le Bon’s vocals are remarkable live, while his appearance now Is best described as Zach Galifianakis a few months into a vigorous workout routine. Bass player John Taylor appears to be the member who has most embraced the rock lifestyle, starting to resemble a ’68 era Keith Richards. The keyboardist, Nick Rhodes, still gives off the air of being put-out by having to perform for a living, barely moving during the entire concert and wearing a perma-scowl.

  • Lee Keyanus
    08/29 08:21 AM

    That was one of the most condescending reviews I have ever read.

  • Irishgirl
    08/30 11:30 PM

    I have to agree with the others whom have commented.  This is a terrible and arrogant review.  I get the feeling you either didn’t stay for the entire show, or you mentally checked out once you walked in the door. Or perhaps you checked out once you got the assignment since any decent journalist would have known that this wasn’t a reunion tour, which is what you implied.  Duran Duran have been producing albums and touring since they formed in 1978. There was a very diverse crowd, and apart from the occasional tour tee and two guys costumed in 80s gear (the mullet was hysterical!), we were not enveloped in Aqua Net and satin jackets teetering on our 9 inch heels as you state. The “rousing” opening song, ‘Before The Rain,’ is a ballad.  We were not doing jazz hands, oh, and it’s the Durham Performing Arts Center.

  • MissNovemberTuesday
    08/31 04:21 AM

    You seriously can’t see how what you wrote was insulting to the band or the fans? Then Raleigh News should rethink your contract. This was complete drivel and in no way represented the show you attended. While there may be a small handful of people in a crowd that size who are casual fans and want to live it up and play with hair and costumes to relive some moment from their youth, any real Duranie in attendance would have been fashionably dressed in an appropriate manner of a night out. The band are in no way a “sad reunion band”! They have never stopped producing new music and experimenting with new styles. They are in no way simply some 80s nostalgia act, either. As for the way they open their shows, and the way they use the screens, Duran Duran has always used multi-media and were pioneers in the use of screens in their live shows. Others took note and followed suit! And that look of being “put out” you say Nick had on his face was most likely from the sheer exhaustion he was suffering due to a viral infection that later caused them to cancel the remaining dates on the tour. The man was ill. It happens to all of us. And as for the “fan” Simon picked to start off the Reflex, I am making no excuses. He occasionally has a knack for zeroing in on the young, pretty, but often clueless blonde in the crowd who catches his eye. Unfortunately, he IS a man and well, they don’t always think too clearly when faced with young, pretty girls.

    Oh, and it is pretty rude to ask US not to use foul language when you do in your own article. Believe me, it has been tempting to return the favour, but I have more class than that.

  • crashmd
    08/31 06:07 AM

    I was at the show and there was definately a more diverse crowd than what was shown via this article. There was a mother with her son who could not have been much above 13 yrs old, one of my friends and I ran into a woman who was 6 months pregnant, there was a young man (late 20’s-early 30’s) who wore a Tshirt from 25 yrs ago, there were even folks that looked more at home at a Slayer or Green Day show than Duran Duran. The view from my balcony seat was just fine & so was the show that Duran Duran put on.

  • Steve
    09/01 10:20 PM

    From someone who went to the show, this is the most inaccurate review that someone could ever write.

    Were you really there? If so, did you pay attention? Apparently not.

    Many people who went to this show who have seen many Duran shows over the years say this is one of the best shows they have ever been to. I would say it certainly the best concert I’ve ever been to by any band.

  • Daily Duranie
    09/02 02:30 PM

    Our review of your review can be found on our website:  http://www.dailyduranie.com  To s.ummarize, this review was filled with poor reporting and bad stereotypes.

  • Michele
    09/02 02:36 PM

    were you even at this show?? that is NOT the concert I remember….I think you may have just dreamed the whole thing because that show ROCKED!

  • Rachel Wilkinson
    09/02 03:29 PM

    Isaac Weeks has made a fool of himself .... The pen is mightier than the sword.

  • Gina Taylor
    09/02 04:36 PM

    Where do I even begin to critique this article?

    First of all, Mr. Weeks… DD is NOT a reunion band… DD has been together for 34 years! 10 years ago, 2 of its former members returned for a so called Original member reunion but that was TEN years ago. I am not sure which concert you were reviewing Mr. Weeks because Duran Duran and their fans have grown and matured and have put away their satin jackets and 80’s hairdo’s. Amongst their fans are a NEW generation of fans who weren’t even born in the 80s. Mr. Weeks, if the band seemed tired to you, maybe it’s because they’ve been touring for almost TWO years all over the world with their 13th studio album! I suggest you try to tour as long as they have been, Mr. Weeks, before you formulate such an ignorant and condascending opinion.

    Comparing John Taylor to Keith Richards is a compliment considering Keith Richards and the Stones have been together for over 50 years and still drawing in the crowds. In fact, Duran Duran was recently honoured by performing for the Olympic games representing England.

    Mr. Weeks, you might be taken seriously as a journalist by your readers if you actually pretended you knew something about what you were writing about.

    Have a good Labor Day Weekend sir.

  • Rachel Wilkinson
    09/02 04:36 PM

    The pen is mightier than the sword and Mr Weeks should remember that when writing such rubbish x

  • ToniTMums
    09/02 05:27 PM

    I see this review as nothing more than a foray into snarky , overly dramatic writing;  almost as if you are getting your feet wet before you sell out your family in the latest cheesy memoir-of-the-week.  Evidenced by the prior posts,  this review of the Raleigh Duran Duran concert seems to be pure fiction.  Were you even there?

  • Kim
    09/02 06:32 PM

    I am guessing that the person writing this review did not observe the concert and its surroundings as well as they should have.  Duran Duran are not a Reunited Band.  I am not sure if you recall them being at Koka Booth in Cary in 2008.  As I walked to the DPAC I did not smell aqua net and I did not see big hair.  I actually did wear a vintage t-shirt with my Duran Duran buttons and felt a little out of place due to no one else was dressed like that.  This was not a room full of people needing antacids.  I met many teenagers that are Duran Duran fans and they were excited to be there. 
    If anyone would like to see the people enjoying the Durham concert as well as any of the many Duran Duran concerts… please see this link for Nick Rhodes photos that he takes during the show. 
    http://www.duranduran.com/wordpress/duran-duran-gallery-nicks-audience-pictures/
    I can not believe you would allow a review of this nature to be published.

  • SheOgre
    09/02 08:55 PM

    While a “review” is typically one’s opinion, normally I would not say anything, but this is more of a person’s rude comments on an assignment he most likely did not wish to complete. Not to mention the rude comments made about the ladies attending the concert. Here, sir, is my review of your article, and I will be blunt, since you seem to like that.

    I suggest, sir, that you do a little research into what you write, before you put it to print. Duran Duran, in its current form, is not a reunited band, as the original guitarist Andy Taylor, is no longer with the band. Also, while I was there at the DPAC, I saw a very diverse crowd. There were men, women and children across all ages and races. While some were wearing vintage wear, I felt quite under-dressed rest of the crowd in my vintage t-shirt.

    Also, I suggest seeing an ENT soon, as it seems that your nose was picking up some smells that clearly were not there…or maybe that was because you had it stuck so high above the rest of us, making jokes about needing antacids, and getting tired. I am sure most of us could still enjoy things ten times better than you ever could, cause we have the experience to back it up.

    As far as the band members themselves, if you can move like that when you are that age, then you can have fun on that stage anyway you want…I saw no miscued moves, and or a perma-scowl. Granted, Nick did not look his best, but given that it was when he was beginning to feel the effects of a viral infection that ultimately ended the tour prematurely. I did see moments in which he seemed to be enjoying him self, and moments when he was concerned with his craft…I tend to look the same way when doing my photography.

    Over all, I think your article showed someone who neither appreciates good music, nor shows at least a smidgen of respect for bands who helped shape the music world for what it is today. Your article definitely showed absolutely no respect for the ladies who were there that night, such as myself. You, sir, owe the ladies who attended this show, an apology, for your rude generalizations and ageist comments. I, for one, weep for humanity, if people with attitudes like yours are all that is left to follow behind as “Mrs. Smith” and the rest of us trudge back to our car, cradling our antacid and headache meds.

  • Cat
    09/02 10:32 PM

    A lazy and condescending review.  This is a band who have been around for over 30 years - not a reunion band.

    Very little of interest to read about the actual music - just sniping comments about the audience.

    Duran Duran have overwhelmingly had positive reviews for the last 18 months during their world tour.

  • Larry Banks
    09/02 11:07 PM

    The days of negative reviews of Duran Duran’s music/shows are as played out as newspapers as a source of information. Were we at the same show? While you saw an 80s themed costume party, I saw a diverse group of people enjoying a well thought out, artistic show. The people that came from all around the country to the pothole laced streets of Durham and paid to see this show had a great time and that’s all that matters.

  • Lori
    09/03 12:17 AM

    Issac weeks you should be ashamed of yourself. Were you even at the concert? This article was full of inaccurate information and insulting stereotypes. This shows what happens when a reviewer goes to a show with a closed mind and already has an ‘angle’ for their review. Do some research next time.

  • Michele H.
    09/03 01:40 AM

    Mr. Weeks, I would like to bring up some points in your article for review.
    Point Number 1—>“there was big hair and vintage wear as far as the eye could see. Why, the smell of Aqua Net practically permeated the air. Ladies who hadn’t worn heels to a concert in years walked by precariously balanced on 9-inch monsters, while proudly wearing their finest in satin jackets.<—-” Where we even at the same show? I saw very few people like this, and certainly did not get the feel that I was at a costume party, which is what you seem to be describing. Stereotyping at its worst, and not to mention not good journalism, not to mention insulting to the good portion of readers that were at that show.
    Point Number 2—->“Having seen my fair share of sad reunion bands up close, I have to say that Duran Duran has physically kept it together pretty well since their heyday in the early 80s. “<—- You ask in an above comment where you have demeaned the band, well read it there in your own words. This comment makes me wonder how much you tried to get out of doing this assignment. You obviously did very little or no research, proven by your choice of words. They are NOT a reunion band, and certainly not a sad one at that. Just because you tried to put a positive spin on things in the above statement, doesn’t let you off the hook. And I haven’t even touched on the later “Keith Richards” and “perma-scowl” remarks. Those are also points at which you “demeaned” the band. So for evidence, I give you your own words.
    Point Number 3—> “Once the band kicked off the show with a rousing version of “Before the Rain”, the crowd was moving in ways that it appeared they haven’t in years; call the babysitter, Mrs. Smith was going to be getting home late tonight. This audience was soaking up every ounce of entertainment being handed to them and appreciated it” <—The song “Before the Rain” is a ballad, not exactly a “rousing” song, which lends more evidence to the thought of you not actually attending the show, or maybe you just hung out in the lobby the entire time?  As for your generalization of the crowd, it is rather insulting, and goes along with the stereotype that you have obviously accepted. While I saw fans enjoying the show ranging in age from about 8 yrs old or so and up, male and female, you saw nothing past your boxed-in blind eyes.
    Point Number 4—>“The band, starting to sweat profusely in their leather and silver vests made from the corpses of a hundred Member’s Only jackets” It would stand to reason that people would get hot under those stage lights, so they would sweat. Only someone looking for something to insult would make it seem as anything other than that. Use some common sense.
    Point Number 5—->“it soon became apparent that both the band and audience were ready to call it a night. Le Bon was down to miscalculated disco moves on stage, while the women in the audience were flashing jazz hands because they were running on fumes from dancing for 2 hours straight. Coming back for the encore, the band left the audience with memories of happier days gone by with a stirring rendition of “Rio”, and we all trudged back to our cars, leaving the staff at the DPAC to pick up the antacid wrappers and empty bottles of headache medicines left in our wake.”<—- As a journalist, one would think that you would have better manners than this, but to basically call a good portion of your readers “old and tired” is not what I would call mannerly. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion as a reviewer, but this last comment proves that all you wanted to do is bash the audience of a great band. I, for one, was NOT running on fumes, and if the band was, that was probably because they have been touring for 20 months! Not many bands will do that kind of a schedule, because it is sheer exhaustion.
    Conclusion—-> Mr. Weeks, I wonder if you were at the show at all. We obviously did not see the same show. If you were there, you arrived with such pre-conceived notions and mind that was locked tighter than Fort Knox, that you totally forgot what your actual job was. There was very little in your article, that was written about the music, or the show itself. You spent most of your time insulting and making snide comments that have no business being in review of this caliber of newspaper. I wouldn’t even go so far as to call this a concert review. This is extremely bad journalism and a poor lack of judgement on the editors part, for allowing this type of obviously insulting “review” to go to print. If this is the quality of work that the Raleigh newspaper prints, I am grateful I do not live in the area, and will make sure to send gift subscriptions to better papers to my family that does live the area.

  • Cat
    09/03 02:59 AM

    1968 Keith Richards was 25 years old.  Wow, JT’s doing well to look half his age.

    ;)

  • Richard Slater
    09/04 02:47 PM

    Duran Duran sucked back in the 80’s and they suck just as bad now.

  • boyfriend of Richard Slater's mom
    09/09 09:23 AM

    So does your mom.

  • Richard Slater
    09/12 12:22 PM

    I never have understood why some people obsess about bands. It is the same with many other over rated bands such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones. You say something negative about them and some childish fans get very upset that their idols have been insulted
    Hey! it is just music. You like some stuff, I like some stuff. I hated having to listen to Duran Duran on the radio as a teenager back in the 80’s. I am glad to let people know that now. There was no way back then to let my feeling be known, other than shouting at the radio. I love the internet!!

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