Show Review & Photos: Duran Duran @ Comcast Arena

Don’t hate Duran Duran because they’re beautiful – they will never be able to change that. Do love them for their music, which continues to create emotional and dramatic landscapes. Their latest works, 2011’s All You Need is Now and 2007’s Red Carpet Massacre display confident and probing sounds. The glamorous band, including two founding members, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor plus two later members, Simon Le Bon and Roger Taylor (okay, I am quibbling here) kicked off their North American tour on Friday night at Comcast Arena, and though they are a polished act, they showed genuine excitement in their performance. Also every single person in that arena was a fan, and that’s always a very electric feeling to be around.

They opened the show with All You Need is Now‘s “Before the Rain,” a beautiful piece with evocations of “The Chauffeur,” and the title track before moving into “Hungry Like the Wolf.” These were the songs I took pictures during, and then hurried to watch the rest of the show, which evidenced something I have always loved about Duran Duran – their synth/disco rhythms. They’ve never turned their backs on this or Duran Duran’s curvy lyrics [“Before the Rain”: all rise, you promises broken/call my lovers by their names]. Songs I especially enjoyed were “Before the Rain,” “A View to a Kill,” “Tiger Tiger,” “The Man Who Stole a Leopard,” “Girl Panic!,” “Come Undone” and “The Wild Boys” (which was mashed up with a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax. A brilliant combination). Others I absolutely adored were “Ordinary World,” about which Le Bon said is about peace, in here (indicating his heart,) and the ever-stunning “Planet Earth.”

Several facts struck me during the evening. Rhodes continues to create a stealthy bedding of sound. You might take this for granted, but don’t. Le Bon is a fit, stirring singer and performer. Roger Taylor smoothly lays down a rhythm (“Tiger Tiger” being my highlight). And then, John Taylor, what to say about John Taylor? There were moments hearing him play, watching him play, that just defied musical gravity. I love good bass playing. I seek it out, and John Taylor’s ability and ingenious style mesmerizes me. To have been near all this is pure lusciousness.

Duran Duran – review & all photos by Dagmar
Gallery of Duran Duran @ Comcast Arena

Set list, broken down by album:

Duran Duran:
Girls on Film
Planet Earth

Rio:
Hungry Like the Wolf

Seven and the Ragged Tiger:
Tiger Tiger
The Reflex

Arena:
The Wild Boys

Notorious:
Notorious

Duran Duran (The Wedding Album)
Come Undone
Ordinary World

Astronaut
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise

All You Need Is Now:
All You Need Is Now
Blame the Machines
Safe (In the Heat of the Moment)
Girl Panic!
Before the Rain
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Leave a Light On
Other People’s Lives

Plus the single A View to a Kill

Video by various fans on YouTube of the show:
Ordinary World
Girl Panic!
Planet Earth
Tiger Tiger
The Man Who Stole a Leopard

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42 thoughts on “Show Review & Photos: Duran Duran @ Comcast Arena

  1. Thanks for the pictures! I especially like Nick’s, they’re as good as any he’s taken.

  2. I love this band. I´m fan since 1993 and I hope to see them 13th November in SWU Festival – Brazil. Thanks to share this moment with us. We´re so far away but we always have supported them. Brazilian good vibe for them.

  3. First of all I don’t know what you mean “later” when speaking the addition of Simon and Roger. You should have articulated that you meant the true origins of the band. Roger left in the mid(-to late?) 80’s. The group had different bands in between and then re-grouped several ago with all the five members. Too bad Andy is not this time around.

    Also I know it’s hard to get photos of drummers in the back, but where is Roger? It makes it look like he’s not part of them…

  4. Thank you for a fab review. Watching Duran play live has been a highlight of my life. Literally.

  5. Thanks for the fantabulous pictures! I was at the show… I flew over from Memphis to see them and visit some friends. It was a great trip and the concert ranks as one of my DD favorites! Their new album, All You Need Is Now, is so good… Perhaps one of their best, and it was good to hear so many of those songs in the set. My personal favorite was Leave A Light On. Of the old songs I thought A View To A Kill was particularly incredible, but really, the whole show was incredible! Production: lights- screen- sound, were impressive, and of course the band was as tight as ever. Good job, DURAN DURAN, and thanks, Dagmar, for the review!

  6. I think pointing out that Simon and Roger are “later members” implies they are different band members than those from the “original” band, which is misleading. By your logic, any member that wasn’t John or Nick is a “later member.”
    Regardless, I appreciate the review.

  7. AWESOME write up/concert review and great pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And, again, delicious photos! These boys defy their age! Great job!

  8. when i was a teenager i wrote a book about a girl who was adopted and her father was a young musician and later on was in a famous band…..i based that band on Duran Duran. (lol)

  9. Hi Nita, Good point on the true origins of the band. Agreed. And agreed that it is too bad Andy wasn’t there.
    Apologies about no Roger photos. Sadly I couldn’t get any shots of him and I totally regret that.

  10. I was lucky enough to see Duran Duran in 1984 and have seen them many times since, including when the entire band regrouped in the early 2000’s. Luck struck again when I got to meet the entire band in 2005. We were originally scheduled for a meet and greet with just Simon and Andy at a radio station in Atlanta. Simon was completely lovely. Andy was a complete jerk. So much so that the band’s team arranged for us to meet John, Roger and Nick at the concert venue to make up for it. Andy was rude to the radio station personnel as well as to us fans. It was not long after that he left the band. While it would be great if the original 5 could still be together, Andy is just not capable, and I fear that if he had remained, he would have taken the whole band down with him. By the way, John, Roger and Nick were just as lovely as Simon. Finally, I commend Dan Brown for stepping into a job that has got to be tough. Can’t wait for the Atlanta show on the 14th!

  11. I know you had gorgeous subjects for your photography, but these pictures are beautiful. You captured them in a way, I think, many other professional photographers never have. I guess because I was there at the show, I just think you caught the evening brilliantly.

  12. Nita ~ i totally confirm all that you said! Love you, Roger! 😉 We need to see more of him in the pics too…….

  13. I can’t believe you only have one small picture of Roger Taylor. Roger is a brillant drummer and deserves just as many photos as the other band members! Roger you are the Best!!!!!

  14. Thank you for the amazing pictures. You got some great shots. Your review is spot on. The show was incredible.

  15. Dear Mr. John…No Save a prayer, No Rio…exactly! That’s why DD are great!

  16. Great review and great photos! Drummers are very hard to photograph. My best photos from other bands are shooting from a few feet away from their drumset. The inception of Duran Duran you have stated is completely accurate. You must be a long time fan. 😉 Hope to see you in the pit at the next Seattle DD show. 🙂

  17. I guess I’m the only one that was disappointed. For a band that is over 30 years old and not really current, you would think that they would have played the music that made them their fans. They played almost their entire new album, which is a crime. They threw us a bone by playing some of their classics. I’m sorry…I didn’t go to hear their new album. Some songs are good, but that’s not what makes them Duran Duran. And although they looked great, they sounded flat. Maybe it was becuase it was the first show of the tour. I am a long time Duran Duran fan. I loved them back in their Planet Earth days. Fortunately, I have seen them many times before, so I’ll get over it. It was nice to see Nick, but honestly, I think Neon Trees put on a better show. 🙁

  18. I believe you totally forgot to talk about Simon’s voice-how it is not up to par. Granted, he lost the ability to sing over the summer but he really should have waited to the new year to venture out. I saw the band in Portland & was disappointed on all fronts. The set list was bland. They have a plethora of songs, not to mention albums. I was under the impression they would play older songs like: Faster Than Light, Late Bar, etc. What happened to representing Medazzland, Pop Trash & Red Carpet? I’m sorry but Simon’s voice did not help. If I wanted to hear Alvin & The chipmunks, I would have watched the movies. I had better listening enjoyment on my mp3 player w/ my own awesome playlist.

  19. Even though I am disappointed by no Roger pics (or really Dom ones either), I totally understand. It is VERY hard to get pics of him behind his kit. Best thing is have the camera ready when they go to leave the stage and get him when he stands and smiles and the lights are all shining. I think you did a good job of summing up the major sentiment for those who went about what the show was like. I am basing this on comments and videos I have seen. I was not there, but speak in general from experience. Your pictures are all very nice. Thanx for those. Maybe next time, get a couple shots of John or Simon and Dom together if you don’t want to post him by himself. The chemistry between the guys is all really good.

  20. We are waiting you here in Brazil. About set lists, could be any , cause i love to hear them. Play “bottleneck” or “umf”!Kisses for you!

  21. In Reply to Karl’s response…….Are you joking?!! You can honestly say Simon’s voice was perfect? You do better with cd’s…….

  22. A live show is never perfect. Perfect music is not the point of going to see live music in fact it is 100% the opposite. Wow what a fickle fan you are!

  23. Lovely shots of a lovely evening. The band was in great form and the stage production is brilliant. They seemed like they were having a great time up there, as was I in row 5. I loved hearing so much of the new album, interspersed with classics. The new songs are great live, and of course the older songs get everyone riled up. The surprise updated version of Wild Boys was incredible!

  24. Jazmine~

    I am with you on your assessment of the band. The setlist was bland & Simon’s voice was horrible. I have seen them many times before and this is the first time I was truly disappointed as a fan. Believe me….I was really looking forward to seeing them in Portland but I am really glad I have the cd’s to listen to.

  25. Karl~

    I never said I wanted perfection in a live show..that’s what the cd’s are for. Simon’s voice was not in shape to be singing yet. I’m very sorry you cannot tell the difference. You are probably too young to understand anyway. Sorry you wasted your money going to a show that was not their best. My advice? Take a listen to their older stuff before Rio. I have seen them many times before so I think I have a pretty good idea on what I am talking about.

  26. Nikita: Yep I am to young (40) have been a professional musician for almost 20 (which means of course i know nothing about music) and seen Duran Duran 3 times live (1994, 2005 and now 2011) I have all of the records (Big Thing is my fav for some reason) all the 12 inch singels (by the way my fav 2 songs are Hold Back The Rain and the b-side of Skin Trade the song We Need You). So of course I must know nothing about Duran Duran or what their music should sound like right?

  27. I’ve seen DuranDuran over twentysomething times since,I even saw myself on “DuranDuran “Behind the Music Redux(the second BTM,on VH1 Classic” if anyone want to know I’m 45mins into the show,I was walking into the Ritz,in NYC,No matter how old I get I will still love DuranDuran Forever,DuranDuran,is the Best Rock Group,and they still make the best CD-DVD -Music

  28. Karl~

    You have spunk..I give you that! Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Duran fan. I saw them for the first time in 1984. The point I was trying to make is: 1) Simon’s voice was not he’s best. He was pitchy & out of tune. I’m not a professional musician but I can differentiate a good singing voice live vs. a bad one. 2) You have all their records so you know they have a massive song catalogue!! I wanted to hear songs that represented their career. The songs they choose were ok..but I have heard them live way too may times. Why didn’t they play Runway Runaway or Being Followed? Here’s an old one: Late Bar. Last night in CA they played Careless Memories! They have so many songs!! Electric Barbarella, To The Shore, American Science, All She Wants Is, Lady Xanax, Someone Else Not Me, Big Bang Generation, Lonely In Your Nightmare or my personal fave The Chauffeur. I love the new album but as a fan I would have rather Simon take the year off to get his vocals back in shape and give a quality performance. I know, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Thanks Karl.

  29. Just saw them last night at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, and there were AMAZING! And the Wild Boys mash up with Relax was brilliant!

  30. Oh Rod…go to YouTube, search Duran Duran Saratoga 2011 & check out the videos by catrance. Once reviewed, can you really say it was “amazing”?!!

  31. Late Bar… I love that tune. Duran Duran have always done very good B-sides. I do hear what you are saying but I am very I got to see them again. To people complain about a band doing to many songs from their new album have two things they need to know about Duran Duran is this: 1: They are not a greatest hits band in the live shows 2: if you go to a tour named after the current album they always spend more than 25 percent of the show doing tunes from it. By the way Nikkita seeing American Science as well as the others (well most of them anyway) being done live would have been cool.

  32. Well, why would they need to play their old hits when they have a perfectly good last album to promote?
    We’ve heard Rio and Save a Prayer once too much in my opinion. I like this set list and I like All you need is now.
    They are not a Greatest hits band, they have never been. If you want to hear only hits, buy “Greatest” and stay at home on your couch.

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