It was an expectant crowd that piled into Rod Laver Arena to witness one of the classics of New Romantic British pop Duran Duran.
Angie Valcanis covered the Melbourne performance of Duran Duran for Noise11.com. Photos by Mary Boukouvalas. Here is the report -
The gig was part of their All You Need Is Now tour. The audience were varied but one fashion statement prevailed – glitter. Glitter was a feature on many of the Duran Duran die hards; ballet flats, jackets, shirts and even posters were covered in the de rigeur design. Glitter was huge in the 80s and it certainly punctuated the jeans and T shirts most of the patrons wore.
The boys came out to a raucous reception and with the aid of visually alluring screens along the back of the stage wall all senses were heightened. The band sprang into Before The Rain with a loud reception but song two, Planet Earth had all and sundry up and dancing. Throughout the night various images radiated from the back of the stage ranging from historical political images, raging fires, girls that looked like they stepped off a James Bond set and busty Anime figures. A novelty was Simon Le Bon urging us to tweet the band which were then flashed up along the back of the stage. At first the crowd seemed reluctant (remember these are mostly Gen Xers) but soon the tweets started dribbling in with “play that fucking bass John” the most popular.
Songs covered the well known such as Reflex, Hungry Like the Wolf, Notorious and Wild Boys to the lesser known Something I Should Know, Tiger Tiger, and Come Undone. The original band members included Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor who seamlessly interacted with each other like a couple of old married couples. Backing singer Anna Ross was a huge asset providing additional talent and a touch of glamour to the night. Nick Rhodes had a bit of fun with the local crowd telling us about his desire to learn about the history of Melbourne from the Ned Kelly movie to black box flight recorders and the electric drill. Apparently all were invented or created in our fine old town. The boys enjoyed a lot of repartee on stage with Le Bon singing, ”Whhyyyyy don’t you use it?” and Rhodes replying “I left it at the Countdown studios years ago.” The audience ate it up! John Taylor dedicated the show to Molly Meldrum saying he was “loved to death in the nicest possible way” a gesture the local crowd really appreciated.
The encore began with an extended version of Girls On Film with a little interlude featuring Frankie’s Relax just to add to the 80s feel. Rio finished the night and the fourth wall was smashed with Nick Rhodes taking photos of the audience whilst Simon Le Bon had his arms outstretched Christ like and his head flung back basking in the adoration of his fans; young, old and almost delirious. The fashion has changed, the attitude has mellowed but the beat stays on…….the band, like the iconic movie that featured their name, is altogether timeless.
Before The Rain
A View To A Kill
All You Need Is Now
Blame The Machines
Safe (In The Heat of the Moment)
Is There Something I Should Know
The Man Who Stole A Leopard
Hungry Like A Wolf
Reach Up For The Sunrise
The Wild Boys/Relax
Girls On Film
Review by Angie Valcanis