Duran Duran Live at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles Feb 26, 2005

(published on Duran Sites Gospel, Feb 2005)

My random thoughts on the Staples Centre show (LA 2.26.05)
I didn't want to go, I went by myself and I don't like going downtown to the Staples Centre. I knew I would be OK once I got there, and I was. It was very nice to see the Staples Centre FULL. Nice to see that my favorite band can fill the Staples Centre in 2005. Who would have thought?
There was a pulsing heartbeat sound as the lights went down, and they all came out in (sort of) matching black suits, and stood at the front of the stage while everyone screamed and screamed. Then one by one they took their places, the pulsing heartbeat got faster and faster and the show started with Reach Up for the Sunrise. Everyone was screaming and standing up.
The stage was round with two smaller stages off to the side, one for John and one for Andy, although they didn't stay there, and Simon was back and forth on all three stages. All the speakers etc were above the band, which was great. You could see everything. There were five matching vertical video screens on the wall behind the stage.
John's hair is black (or very dark) and either a lot shorter or slicked down. I think it's shorter. The color looks really fake but better than the blonde mess he had on all those tv appearances (and the Virgin in-store). I've never seen him look bad but I hated his hair all spiky like that. John was wearing black leather pants under his suit jacket.
Simon looked great and his hair looked really good. He kind of bothers me sometimes with his hair like he's trying to be so avant garde/ European. He often looks like he needs a shower but tonight he looked good. Every time he swivelled his his the girls (?) screamed and screamed.
I had a good seat 14th row up a bit on John's side, I could see everyone and was looking (aimed) straight at Nick. I couldn't see Roger's face but I could see him and what he was playing which was very cool. When the cameras showed him on the screen the girls (?) screamed and screamed.
When they showed Nick on the screen everyone screamed and screamed.
When they showed John on the screen there was almost total panic (screaming and more screaming.)
I can't hear a thing right now, from all the screaming (plus it was very loud). I can still type, though.
I'll admit I'm a bit surprised by the screaming. There were a lot of people my age (late 30's/early 40's) but there were also a LOT of younger people and I even saw some 12(?) year olds. That's a very good thing to see.
The videos on the screens behind the stage were very good. The Japanese anime during Careless Memories was awesome. The bubble one during Save a Prayer (I think) was perfect.
The tracks from the first two albums of course were the best received. Everyone went NUTS when they played the early hits and I was so happy they played my favorites (Hold Back the Rain, Careless Memories) that weren't really "hits" (were they?)
Union of the Snake was great and Planet Earth made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I think that's my all time favorite Duran song. I love the first album.
I'm glad they did Hungry Like the Wolf as the second song, it got everyone into it right away. The energy was high until Astronaut and then Come Undone everyone sat down (after standing the whole time up until then.)
I Don’t Want Your Love was a bit of a mess, I thought they were going to play Some Like It Hot. It just never seemed to kick in.
Tiger Tiger was a real Roxy Music moment, then followed by the Chauffer, with Simon wearing a chauffer cap and the original video playing on the screen. Lots of people went for a bathroom break during Tiger Tiger, once they realized that Simon was gone.
Everyone sat down during the songs from the new album (except for Sunrise, which was the opener). Chains seemed sadly lackluster amongst all their amazing earlier songs. Nice was ok, but unremarkable.
They didn't play Is There Something I Should Know (which they played in San Diego). But they did play the Reflex which was great, especially the beginning (with the "tananananas"). But it will never be as exciting as the video (what an amazing video. I remember being SO excited the first time I saw it (Jan 1984?).
I'm surprised they play Wild Boys, as I think more than one of them has said they don't like that song (John I think in particular). But everyone loved it. I think Simon almost lost his voice towards the end. He seemed a bit hoarse or stuffed up throughout the show but I don't know. He sounded good, so if he has a cold, he should try to keep it. (LOL!). He didn't sound whiny except on Ordinary World.
The two guys beside me went for beers six times (I'm not kidding) during the show. It was very annoying, and I thought, you paid $90 to see this show, don't you actually want to see it?
I bought the program book ($45). I haven't looked at it yet but the one they had on display looked very complex. Thank goodness the seller gave me a bag to carry it in because one of the guys next to me spilt one of his beers on the floor next to my program. I held it for the rest of the show.
I don't know why they play White Lines. I'm sorry, I just don't get it (the song and why they seem to like it so much). I get the concept. I just don't think they do a good job of it. It's not a Duran song. It just doesn't work for me. It just reminds me of the biggest career mistake they ever made (releasing the Thank You album after the Wedding Album.)
Notorious was awesome, but again, why do they meld it into We Are Family? They should meld it into Some Like It Hot, that would be much better. What is the concept behind We Are Family? Aside from it being a Chic song.
John said a few things into the mike but I didn't understand a word of what he said. He sang with Simon in a couple spots.
Nick sang the distorted "yeah" line on the Reflex, which was cool. He also sang on Wild Boys. He looked like he was enjoying himself. Simon did the arm movements from the video. It might have seemed ridiculous but he pulled it off.
Simon introduced Come Undone by asking if there were any lovers in the audience. He asked if there were any boy/girl couples. Then he asked if there were any boy/boy couples (which was nice). Then he asked if there were any girl/girl couples and he leered, which kind of tainted the boy/boy comment. There were lots of gay people there.
I am reading this book "The Reluctant Metrosexual" and it seems obvious that Nick was the original Metrosexual. Nick looked awesome. There is an interview in a UK Keyboard magazine this month, I read it in Borders but didn't buy it because it was $14. It seems obvious that Nick is the heart of the band, musically. He is amazing.
For the encore, Simon came out in the 1978 t-shirt that they were selling at the counters (along with several other tasteful designs.) It seems a bit suspect to me. Like some marketing person said, well, 1981 (when their first record came out) to 2004 isn't a nice round number. Let's stretch it to 1978 and then we can say 25 years. As far as I'm concerned they weren't Duran Duran until their first single came out (which I bought, loved and still love, see above.)
They were selling a Rio LP cover design on burgundy t-shirt which I was tempted to buy, but I know I would never wear it. Plus it was $35 and I just spent $45 on the book and $5 on popcorn (and $10 to park) (and $90 on the ticket.)
Girls on Film was the encore after White Lines and it was so great. I never get tired of that song. Then the Rio LP cover flashed on the screen and everyone went nuts. Rio was great as well. Everyone was jumping and swinging their hands and singing. It was a bonding experience.
Then it was over. I'm glad I went and I remember why I love them so much. I hope they had a good time, too.
My ears are ringing in
Los Angeles
PS I think this is the set list but it could be off.
Rod Reynolds ©2005 The Art Dept Los Angeles

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