Singing and Dancing
After the show, I walked away, feeling like my feet were off the ground, my body still filled with excitement, my heart filled with love, my voice non-existent. My only comparison was 1984 so the entire dynamic of Duran Duran had changed by 2000. The passion was still there between the guys, but the energy wasn’t the same. They still had everyone on their feet, singing and dancing. Maybe it was because we were all older.
No Strings Attached
In November of 2000, my parents gave my son tickets to see NSYNC on the No Strings Attached tour at the Kiel Center, a new venue. This was my son’s favourite group at the time.
I got elected to go with him, and our seats weren’t on floor level, but we were directly on the other side of the arena from the stage. The only reason I’m bringing this up is because once the show began, I had a major flashback to 1984 at the old venue right next door.
There were five good-looking guys performing onstage, video screens to see them up-close, and the screams. The high-pitched, piercing screams. I smiled and tears filled my eyes as pictured myself at my first Duran concert. This was exactly what it was like back then. Deja vu, indeed!
Fab Five Back Together
I saw two shows during the next tour in 2005. The original members had reunited and put out another album. This alone made fans and media go nuts. The old fans came back to see the old line-up.
I saw them in Chicago in March and St. Louis in July. The Astronaut tour, or Reunion tour, as some call it. I prefer the first as it was the name of the album, and while I was excited to see the Fab Five back together, I would soon find out in July that the reunion wasn’t the best I’ve seen of Duran Duran. In Chicago, it was at the Allstate Arena. Yes, Duran were filling arenas again!
Kirsten, my best friend, had surprised me with tickets to this show. She was home, visiting from Ireland where she was living at the time.
Astronaut Tour Bus
We drove from St. Louis to Chicago, only to see the super cool custom painted Astronaut tour bus pull into a hotel. We were shaking with excitement at just seeing it!
The night of the show, March 18, we actually got to go up to the bus and had our pictures taken with it, being silly, yet feeling part of the group. We had nose-bleed seats, but who cared? We were at a Duran Duran concert! The stage set up reverted to the original positions of the members they had back in 1984.
This was the first tour with Anna Ross on backing vocals. She has a powerful voice that complimented Simon. Circular light bars of various sizes were above the stage, making wild light shows as they moved and rotated.
Onstage, there were six video screen panels behind them on which different videos were shown to enhance the songs. The most memorable was during Careless Memories. A Japanese anime was shown on the panels, depicting Duran Duran as fighters against the big records label in gory fights, each member taking on the ‘bad guys’ in their own unique way.
The energy level was off the charts! Even without Andy, the interactions, the passion, and the dedication transferred to us, the fans, even those of us in the nose-bleed seats.
A Feeling of Nostalgia
This show just blew me away! Even as I saw my friend off to Ireland at O’Hare and drove back home the next day, I was still on a Duran high with no voice again. They amped up the stage from their last tour.
Five years earlier, it was a simple show with just three members. We were almost back to five. I appreciated it more because I could absorb the dynamic energy that Duran put out. For me, this show changed in appearance and emotion.
It was a feeling of nostalgia that I could embrace and hold on to because the members of Duran gave it everything they got and more.
Thrill on Blueberry Hill
The next show on that tour for me was July 22, 2005 in St. Louis. I won two tickets to that show on a radio call-in contest. I also snagged two tickets to a special acoustic performance at The Duck Room, which was a very small, downstairs venue at Blueberry Hill.
Simon and Andy were the only two there and no cameras were allowed. They did three songs, answering questions and telling stories in between for the host, a DJ from a St. Louis radio station. This was broadcast as part of The River Lounge, a series of intimate, acoustic shows by various artists.
It was so special being on that chair in the front row by a small stage. Andy gave me a guitar pick when it was over. Talk about a precious souvenir!
Later, at the venue, The Fox Theatre, the show was a smashing repeat of Chicago but with Andy back. It was then that I realised how different the three guitarists were.
I didn’t like the ‘reunion’ Andy. Some songs were ruined by him. To me, that changed the feeling of the show. I loved the other members, the crazy light circles, the video panels, the onstage engagement between everyone.
Honestly, I walked away more energetic at the Chicago show than the St. Louis show. Sadly, that is the memory I carry with me as Duran Duran haven’t returned to St. Louis since then.
The shining spark that will remain is that Nick came into the waiting crowd at the stage entrance outside and signed as much as he could, as fast as he could, of the things that were thrust at him. He was the only member to do so.