So keen was I to attend the concert I departed Mildura airport on "the red eye" 6:30am flight, bound for the "big smoke" of Melbourne almost 600 kms away. My trip did have a couple of set-backs, one was the flight having to wait on the tarmac for 20 minutes on arrival due to the space it was allocated being occupied by another plane. The other was the heated exchange I witnessed boarding the crowded Skybus by two employees, apparently some patrons had been waiting 20 minutes for a ride into the city, rather than its usual 10. But not even that could dampen my anticipation, so I put in my earphones to listen to, none other than... yep, DD for the journey into the CBD which took nearly 40 minutes.
So after I arrived at my sister Elina's apartment, we headed to Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts in St Kilda to pick up a couple of my artworks that had been in their Postcard Show exhibition. After which we trammed it back into the city for some retail therapy and a spot of preening, then headed home to "get ready" for THE concert.
Getting to the actual concert took longer than expected as the #70 tram that stops near my sister's apartment was running late, and it was by pure luck that we happened upon a cab which took us the few kilometres to Rod Laver Arena. Due to peak hour traffic, the approximate 15 minute trip, stretched to 20 - 25 minutes, but our cab driver was pleasant which made things less tedious and stressful (at least he seemed to know where he was going)! So by the time we arrived at our destination, I was ready to jump out to meet the lovely Nicole and pick up our concert tickets. (Nicole and her sister Lisa had travelled all the way from their beautiful hometown of Perth to attend the Melbourne concert - pretty dedicated I reckon. They were going to see them again in Perth at Sandalford Estate Winery on their return... lucky ducks!)
I've heard many comments that DD might be getting on a bit and just be remembered for all their old 80s hits. Well let me tell you, that is grossly untrue; not only was their performance energetic and enigmatic, but they surpassed even my sentimental, romanticised expectations.
I suppose I did have my doubts as to whether they could reignite my teenage 80s infatuation, but they did... although maybe not in the same way that had me wanting to move to England and marry heart-throb, lead singer Simon Le Bon(!), but rather in a
|Duran Duran, 17 March 2012|
L- R: Dom Brown, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor & Simon Willescroft
image courtesy: http://www.facebook.com/duranduran
A favourite with the "ladies", John Taylor proved he can still play the "effing" bass (their words, not mine)! JT, a self-confessed tweet-a-holic, also instigated a tweet-fest where fans were able to tweet messages to the band through social networking site Twitter which were then projected onto the backdrop during the instrumental classic Tiger, Tiger, which seemed to send my mobile version of Twitter into temporary meltdown! This instrumental interlude also allowed Le Bon a much needed vocal rest and dazzling costume change. (The tweeting also got me wondering if the new song, Being Followed, is also about social networking... hmmm...)
Roger Taylor, can still "bring it" as far as drummers go - I have to admit, I'm not very knowledgeable about drums (although my young son would like to learn how to play them) but RT really put everything into his performance, especially during a couple of my favourite DD songs, Hungry Like the Wolf and Wild Boys.
Keyboardist extraordinaire Nick Rhodes (yep, still conjuring images of Andy Warhol - but better looking with more sequins), provided some light entertainment by informing the crowd the many inventions Melbourne has been responsible for, notably the black box recorder plus my fav, the electric drill. One of my favourite reviews of the concert poked fun at one of the songs, The Man Who Stole a Leopard, from the new DD album All You Need Is Now and pointed the finger at Rhodes for inspiring it's creation. I love listening to this new song (you can read more about it here), but as I've explained before, I have many varied, eclectic musical tastes for various reasons.
The vibe at the concert was electric, and the band members really seemed to enjoy playing music together. There was a real sense of camaraderie between the remaining four original members; the aforementioned Le Bon, John Taylor (bass), Roger Taylor (drums), Nick Rhodes (keyboard), and new guitarist Dom Brown (whom my sister thought looked a bit like Prince Harry... I didn't quite see the resemblance!), awesome backing singer Anna Ross and skilful saxophonist/percussionist Simon Willescroft came together to deliver an unforgettable performance that I will treasure forever.
A couple of highlights were John Taylor dedicating the Melbourne concert to local music guru Molly Meldrum who had an accident at his home last year. And Le Bon's lengthy band intros during the encore, for which the appreciative crowd cheered enthusiastically... especially when he ventured into the audience again and picked another lucky gal with an English accent to introduce him... "make sure it's a good one" he quipped!
So even though we were just a little too far away from the stage (14 rows, great seats) to get up close and personal with my 80s idols; to say my sister and I enjoyed the concert is an understatement - it was absolutely FANTABULOUS! Not even the annoying Scotsman in the row in front of us pretending to be German(!) could dampen the great vibe at Rod Laver, (but that's another story NOT worth telling)!
So after all of the tra-la-la-la's, re-flex-flex-flex-ing, clapping, dancing (on the spot), singing, screaming and sweating (from all of the dancing), one thing is for sure - as one of the lines in DD's well known song goes, "Wild Boys always shine" - and that they did!
If only I could do it all again... sigh!
* Set List, Melbourne:
Before the Rain-Planet Earth-View to a Kill -All You Need Is Now-Blame the Machines-The Reflex-Come Undone-Safe-Something I Should Know-Girl Panic-The Man Who Stole a Leopard-Tiger, Tiger-Notorious-White Lines-Ordinary World-Hungry Like the Wolf-Sunrise-Wild Boys
[Encore] Girls on Film-Rio