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Gig review - Duran Duran, Auckland

Went to see my teen heartthrobs Duran Duran last night.  This was their first headlining gig in New Zealand, with the only other performance being a 1-hour support set for Robbie Williams in 2003.

Set List - First Act:
The Valley
Red Carpet Massacre
Night Runner
Planet Earth
New Religion
Falling Down
Save A Prayer
The Reflex
Come Undone
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
Skin Trade

Third Act:
Skin Divers
The Chauffeur
Ordinary World
White Lines
Hold Back The Rain
Hungry Like the Wolf
Wild Boys

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.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks for sharing I like Duran Duran but I must admit I didn't recognize quite a few of the songs you listed. Thanks for the clips, sounds like you had fun.
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, six of the songs are off their latest album, Red Carpet Massacre, which is what the tour is in support of. I think that some more "greatest hits" would have gone down better with that particular audience. Personally I wanted to hear "Playing With Uranium" from Pop Trash but that's even more obscure than their latest stuff ;o)
Mar. 26th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Ooh, Claire, that sounds absolutely wonderful. You lucky bugger. God, Duran Duran, I was totally a Simon Le Bon girl whilst one of my friends liked Nick Rhodes. I have to say though that I'm not so familiar with their newer stuff.

As for the foot stamping thing, I know that we do it over here too. It's usually accompanied by cries of "bullshit" because you know that there's going to be an encore and if they take too long to get back out there then that's when the "bullshit" starts up. We're all class over here. *g*
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
Ha,ha, I was a John Taylor girl through and through. I kissed my poster of him every night before bed. The foot stamping must be an antipodean thing then - though we don't do the bullshit part, LOL!
Mar. 27th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
Duran Concert
It was sooooo good to read about your Duran Concert experience! I too was a Duranie in my teen years and will finally get the chance to see them in concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre tomorrow night (Friday) I wouldn't miss it for the world. 23 years is long time to wait! I did see them in concert when they played ahead of Robbie Williams in 2003 - they were brilliant but it was far too short! Two and a 1/4 hours - wow!!!
Thanks for the insight!
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:03 am (UTC)
Re: Duran Concert
Oh, enjoy the show! Hopefully they have the bugs ironed out now :o) Yes, the Robbie set was way too short. This show was just the right length. I'm still buzzing!
Mar. 30th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
Re: Duran Concert
My life is complete!!! I have finally seen a full Duran concert and I am in total awe! (Also have no voice left and every muscle aches but thats beside the point!!) The sydney concert was absoloutely fantastic. I am still buzzing on some sort of Duran Duran High!! What a great night. DOES ANY ONE HAVE ANY PHOTOS OR FOOTAGE THEY TOOK AT THE SYDNEY CONCERT?? I would love some copies! I have a couple of good ones, but not enough!. Contact me at jeffandtracey@bigpond.com Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as me!!
Mar. 27th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
I was out of High School by the time they were really big, but I bought all their albums, plus the Power Station and Arcadia ones! I was a Nick Rhodes fan with John Taylor leanings.

I must admit that I picked up quite a few make-up tips from them, especially what to do with my eyes! LOL!

Edited at 2008-03-27 02:41 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
I have the Power Station and Arcadia albums, plus Andy Taylor's first two solo CD's and John Taylor's first solo effort. I must say they're much better as a group ;o)

*unleashes the Holly icon*
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
tks for the review. am seeing them in sydney tonite and i love Hungry. so good to see it on the list.
fingers crossed they leave it on the list and play it here...
Mar. 28th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
Have a great time. I am sure they'll leave Hungry on there :o)
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
they did - they played it as song number 4 and then followed it with Planet Earth. so 2 upbeat songs together.
and simon didn't fluff the words - he totally nailed it full on energy. faaaantastic!
(just got home from the gig!)
v similar to ur playlist but they changed it a little bit. am not a huge fan so not sure of all songs.
the electro pop they did with a very uptempo dance beat (probably added) and the instruments all worked and noone stormed off. They were werking hard to make it great.
Simon did lots more interaction with the audience between most songs.
loved it. they're magic.
Mar. 28th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Interesting that they moved the set list around a little. Probably going by what they felt worked or didn't over here.

I read the review that said John stormed off - he actually didn't, he just went over to the sound crew to see what was wrong. Apparently they were all having a bit of a laugh about it. Turns out it was a problem caused by a frozen Macbook. Gotta love computers ;o)

Glad you had a good time!
Mar. 29th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
friday night concert woo hoo!
well after waiting an hour for them to start, it was all totally worth it!

I love every minute,especially the kraftwerk-inspired funky bit in the middle, could feel every beat

I was always a Roger girl, had his picture on my pillow, still got it somewhere ;-}

I've got all their albums so could sing along with it all, got a sore throat very quickly, but hey, how often do we get to see the the boys? (they'll always be boys to me sigh.....)

the robbie williams concert was great but far too short for my liking, this was juuuust right!

bring on the next tour!

Mar. 30th, 2008 06:46 am (UTC)
Re: friday night concert woo hoo!
Yes, my voice was seriously croaky the next day!
Mar. 31st, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Same performance at NYC on Broadway
Set list is very similar to the Broadway concerts back in November. Except they did the entire new album from beginning to end. Truly awesome!!
Mar. 31st, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Same performance at NYC on Broadway
I thought that might be the case - I've seen some of the Broadway show on YouTube, which brings back happy memories now :o)
Apr. 10th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
DD review
Hi there...

Great to relive it. I was front row, in front of John Taylor, in Auckland. Not a bad view.... :)
It sure was a great night. No storming off stage either. Talk about media getting it wrong.

I think the new songs off Red Carpet Massacre sound better live than on the CD, especially, The Valley and Tempted.

I also went over to Oz and caught a few shows there. But AK, by far, got the longer setlist.

For a 'local' DD website (mainly Aussie/NZ) check out:


Apr. 10th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Re: DD review
Ooh, you lucky thing! John's always been my favourite :o)

I agree the new material sounded much better live. They rocked it up a bit and it didn't sound so thin and manufactured.

Thanks for the website link, I'll check it out.
Apr. 10th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
Re: DD review
yep, the new stuff was more more 'fleshed out' live.

come say hi on the DD forum.

Apr. 10th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: DD review
Just been checking it out. And here I thought I was the only fan left in this part of the world *g*

I'll have to sign up when I have a free minute!
Apr. 10th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
I think there's a fairly decent fan base down here, but it just lay dormant for a while. Only so long most will wait.

we welcome all Downunder fans.
Apr. 16th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
80's flashback
I made the decision to go to the concert at 6.45...when it came to the crunch I just couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. A duranie from way back...so nice to know there are others of you from my era out there and fun to read your comments:-). I drove all the way from Hamilton and got there just as the band was going on. Took my breath away! Well worth the ticket price, the shocking auckland parking prices, the cost of petrol and the really late night (2am by the time I got back home.

I happened to met Simon whenhe was in NZ filming the vidal sassoon commercial in the bay of islands...I can't seem to find any info or pics of this online. Does anyone know of any links?

Apr. 16th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: 80's flashback
Wow, that's dedication! Glad you made it in time.

I've not seen any online clips of the commercial Simon shot. It was for Sasson Jeans, not Vidal Sassoon, but even so, Googling that only comes up with text snippets. Do you belong to the forum mentioned in one of the above comments? Maybe someone on there might have some video or something. Good luck, hope you find it!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )