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Duran Duran Rocks Chicago

Concert Review by Margie C
When I found out Duran Duran was touring in support of their new CD, I returned to my fangirl roots and literally squealed with delight.  Duran Duran was coming to Chicago! I roped my husband into going along, regaling him with useless Duran Duran trivia.Opening for Duran Duran was the Neon Trees.  I can’t decide if I was disappointed or respected them for not wearing a stitch of neon clothing.  A lot of their songs sounded similar but I think that is a hazard of being a relatively unknown opening band.  Their music sounded like retro pop – they would have fit in well during the New Wave explosion in the 80’s.  It’s hard to judge an opening band on one show alone.  I didn’t hate them but I’m not running out to buy their CD.

After a brief intermission, it was time for my childhood fantasies to be played out.  I had no idea what to expect.  Previous concerts by 80’s bands have been let downs.  Given that I paid higher than average for the ticket and that they were still selling out shows, I felt there was only a slight chance at disappointment.  By the time they finished their first song, Before The Rain, any doubts I had were gone. These guys were good.  They played well and they sounded great.

The set list was a mixture of their well known hits like A View To A Kill, The Reflex, Careless Memories, and some newer songs such as All You Need Is Now.   Throughout the years, they have kept the same sound – something to be said for a band that formed in 1978.  New songs blended in perfectly with their classics.

The first song to really get the crowd going was View To A Kill.  That song seriously rocked live.  While Duran Duran’s original guitarist Andy Taylor no longer tours with the band, his current replacement Dom Brown filled the vacancy well.  He played every note like it was his own.  After this point, the concert only got better.  The Reflex was played to an astounding sing a long as was Hungry Like The Wolf.

Simon LeBon really knows how to work a crowd.  He was engaging and all eyes were on him.   Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor appeared to be mostly behind the scenes.  I think the only time I saw both of them look engaged with the audience was when Simon announced the band individually. They looked serious, but not like they were having a bad time.  The clear cut stage leaders are John Taylor and Simon.  Both worked the crowd and spent time on both sides of the stage appeasing fans.

Their stage was not the elaborate sets of the 80’s.  This was simple, with three video screens, lots of lights and four weird video screen faces.  We might have been too close for the full effect but the video screen faces made Simon look like Terrance Stamp in Superman 2.

All in all, Duran Duran’s music, as well as themselves, have held up well in the thirty-something years since they formed.  Their music is solid and they play one hell of a live show.

Watch Duran Duran perform Notorious

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