Thursday, August 16th 2012
Shows: Duran Duran
More than 15 months and 100 shows into the All You Need Is Now tour, Duran Duran stopped at The Joint in Tulsa’s Hard Rock Casino for a sold out show filled with both newer tracks and the songs you know and love.
After an overly long introduction the band finally came out, kicking off with this tour’s standard opener Before the Rain. Washed in red light, Simon Le Bon took his time singing to each side of the venue, punctuating the lyrics with dramatic arm movements as one by one the rest of the band slowly joined in to fill out the track’s sound.
Planet Earth and A View To A Kill were next, with those in the crowd more than happy to join the band along their trip down memory lane. A View To A Kill in particular has aged well, and with Simon’s voice showing no signs of the injuries he suffered from last year, the band sounded phenomenal.
Of course, after more than 100 shows in the last year and a half, you’d expect a band to have their machine properly oiled and Duran Duran certainly delivered. John and Roger Taylor are one of the best rhythm sections in pop music, and hearing (and feeling!) the duo live is an instant reminder of just how strong the group is as a live act.
Guitarist Dom Brown delivered the goods as well, adding funk riffs to the Seven and the Ragged Tiger favorite Union of the Snake and some searing lead guitar work during the band’s cover of the Grandmaster Melle Mel classic White Lines.
Simon was all about crowd interaction during the show, at one point even getting a visibly nervous (and probably drunk) fan to open The Reflex with the song’s instantly recognizable “da na na na hook. Later on during the band introductions, he found a lovely pair of ladies in the front row to introduce him, and the women decided to declare him the “rockingest” vocalist around — Bon, Simon Le Bon, which got more than a few laughs from the audience.
The band’s two major ballads, Save A Prayer and Ordinary World were both definite highlights of the evening. The former found nearly everyone in the crowd pulling out their phones at the request of Le Bon, lighting up the venue with LCD screens while the band played on. Ordinary World showcased Le Bon’s remarkable range while also giving Dom Brown plenty of time to play an extended guitar solo. The song hasn’t aged at all, and while it could possibly be considered overplayed on the radio, the track remains one of the strongest pop songs of the last few decades and the track’s message really comes across loud and clear live.
Closing out the main set, Wild Boys was served up as a medley with a lengthy snippet of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax. Wild Boys seems to resonate with Duran Duran fans more than just about any song in the band’s repertoire, and it’s great to see any band receive such an intensely happy response from the crowd.
The band used Girls On Film as the singular encore song, turning it into an extended jam. Simon introduced each member of the band, allowing them each time for a solo. While Nick Rhodes and Dom Brown both got large responses from the crowd, John Taylor easily stole the solo section. Taking to the fretboard after Le Bon encouraged the crowd to scream “play that fucking bass John,” Taylor seemed more than happy to oblige after hearing the crowd’s request. The man knows his way around a groove, that’s for sure.
The All You Need Is Now LP served as a great way to bring back the band’s classic sound, and hearing the songs in a live setting in between the group’s huge hits really cements just how well they did at nailing the old vibe. With this tour winding down, the band has already mentioned getting back into the studio. It’ll be great to see what they come up with next, and if this tour is anything to go by you won’t want to miss the band when they hit your city.
Setlist: Before The Rain, Planet Earth, A View To A Kill, All You Need Is Now, The Reflex, Come Undone, Safe, Union of the Snake, Girl Panic!, Save A Prayer, Notorious, White Lines, Ordinary World, Hungry Like The Wolf, (Reach Up For The) Sunrise, Wild Boys / Relax, Girls On Film