Red Carpet Massacre
Save A Prayer
A View To A Kill
Second Act - Electronic Set:
Last Chance On The Stairway
All She Wants Is/Warm Leatherette
I Don't Want Your Love
Hold Back The Rain
Hungry Like the Wolf
Reach Up For The Sunrise
Girls On Film
It was a long concert - a good 2 1/4 hours. As a dyed-in-the-wool fan, I was well entertained, however it was quickly evident that a lot of the audience weren't so familiar with some of the less well-known material. The thing about New Zealand is that it's often missed by touring acts, so concert-goers are less picky than they would be in, say, London, where there's a better range of gigs to choose from. They'll go to bands that are well-known, as opposed to waiting only for those they know well. The three girls that went with me knew Duran Duran mainly from their 80's hits, and as a result they were left feeling they hadn't heard enough of the popular stuff.
This probably accounted for the quiet start to the show. But once the band launched into Planet Earth, the place started to jump. It was a fully-seated venue, but nobody was using theirs (unless it was to stand on to take a photo). It struck me how well that song held up, considering it was a hit 28 years ago. By the time the band belted out A View To A Kill, the audience was in full boogie and fine voice.
Then the band left the stage briefly, and returned for a rather unusual electronic set, which was the 4 of them at the front of the stage with synthesizers (and in Roger's case, electronic drums). Not sure if it was the song choice, or the method of delivery, but this kind of killed the momentum of the show, and I hate to use the word pretentious, but I think at one point (during All She Wants Is/Warm Leatherette) Simon actually disappeared up his own ass. My good humour was restored during I Don't Want Your Love when Nick's keyboard broke down, coincidentally right on the line "I don't want your love to break me down." He fiddled with the buttons, John encouraged us to chat amongst ourselves, and it seemed Simon was gearing up to tell an off-colour joke when normal service was restored. It broke down again during Tempted, prompting John to suggest that the band was still a work in progress, and Simon commenting, "Duran Duran in Auckland, fucking it up in style." He also told us how lucky we were to be seeing a truly unique version of their show. ;o)
Thankfully, they then returned to their traditional stage layout and ripped out a stonking version of Rio, which got the crowd back on board, and then it was all guns blazing through to the end. There was a little first-night-of-tour rustiness. Ordinary World was a little painful - something was terribly out of tune (though I wasn't sure if it was Simon's vocal or one of the instruments) and Simon totally missed the first line of Hungry Like The Wolf, then buggered up the first line of the 2nd verse. Everyone had a good giggle and moved on like the seasoned performers they were.
After Wild Boys (Simon's comment - "well, I won't get this one wrong") they left the stage and we all yelled for more. Not sure if this is peculiar to New Zealand - we don't just shout and clap, we pummel our feet on the floor really fast (especially those in the balconies because it's noisier up there) and it makes a noise like a freight train. When the band came back, Simon asked us to do "do that foot stamping thing again", like it was something novel, which made me wonder.The two-song encore was pretty short, though Girls On Film lasted ages because they stopped in the middle to introduce the band. By this stage I was exhausted from leaping around for two hours, so I wasn't too unhappy when the house lights went up. All in all, I had a great time. I finally got to see a full Duran show after 23 years of being a fan, and I felt I totally got my $120 worth. *happysigh*
Two clips below - a bit of video from Save A Prayer and an audio clip of Wild Boys (with audience assistance) - my phone refused to save more than one video file, sadly, hence the lack of picture for this one.