The cheers that roared from the audience as each song began at DPAC on Tuesday night made one thing clear: people love Duran Duran.
The new wavers from Birmingham have been at it for over 30 years. They’ve been touring about 20 months behind their latest album, All You Need Is Now, but their energy never waned as they powered through a 2 hour set.
While some fans dressed up in their best leg warmers and old prom dresses, the show didn’t feel like a nostalgia trip. It wasn’t a reunion show, a comeback tour or farewell concert. Duran Duran played like a band a the peak of its talents. Yes, they just played the damn hits, but they played them well. They played them like they couldn’t care less about respect. They played for love and the audience gladly gave it to them.
Frontman Simon LeBon, who strutted around in white pants and a silver blazer, was incredibly charming and a better singer live than expected. It was the rhythm section, however, that dominated. It’s inspiring to watch John Taylor play bass (one homemade sign in the audience read, “Play That Fucking Bass John”) and Roger Taylor’s bombardments of tom and snare drums kept everyone dancing.
Looking around at those in attendance, their unbridled joy was evident and heartwarming. How can you not smile seeing a a group of 40-somethings scream, “Ermahgerd!” as the chorus of “Notorious” kicks in? LeBon often let the crowd takeover and sing the choruses to hits like “Hungry Like The Wold”, “Girls On Film” and more. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, to these folks Duran Duran is the greatest living rock band and their performance at DPAC was only more proof.
Earlier in the night, Brooklyn artist MNDR had the tough task of warming up the crowd. Her sternum-shaking dance songs were better suited for night club than for a seated concert hall at 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. The volume at which they were played made many of the songs indistinguishable from one another, but her gumption was admirable as she took the polite applause in stride and never ceased in trying to pump up the audience.
Before the Rain
A View to Kill
All You Need is Now
Blame the Machine
Safe (In the Heat of the Moment)
Union of the Snake
Save a Prayer
White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)
Hungry Like the Wolf
(Reach Up for The) Sunrise
Girls On Film (with extended band introductions and solos)