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Duran Duran Concert Review

by: Henry Branham Jr.

One thing is for sure.  You will never see anyone leaving a Duran Duran concert without a smile on their face. Last night’s two hour show at Caesar’s Coliseum in Windsor, Ontario was no exception.  The band blasted through a succession of hits and flexed their musical muscles on a great deal of new material from their latest CD “All You Need is Now”.   Whether it was old or new, the crowd was on fire and loving every minute of it.

The founding members of Duran Duran (lead singer Simon Le Bon, drummer Roger Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, and bass player John Taylor) took the stage to wild applause and kicked the show off with the somber “Before the Rain”.  Things quickly heated up on the second tune “Planet Earth”.   This song is probably the most important in the group’s catalog, because it was most likely the first track Americans had ever heard by the band thanks to the video being played in heavy rotation on MTV in 1981 and 1982.  The concert may have been in Canada but there were plenty of Detroiters there as well!

By the time the band reached “The Reflex” eight songs into the evening, the entire audience was on their feet from the main floor to the highest reaches of the room.  The band continued steamrolling through the classics like “A View to a Kill”, “Careless Memories”, and “Is There Something I Should Know” while electrifying everyone with their new songs “All You Need Is Now”, “The Man Who Stole a Leopard”, and “Girl Panic”.  After two ballads (“Leave a Light On” and “Ordinary World”) the entire Coliseum was one giant dance party with “Notorious”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, and “Reach Up For the Sunrise” concluding the main set.

Duran Duran has always used backing divas with powerful vocal abilities, but Anna Ross really deserves a nod for her incredible contributions to “Come Undone” and the disco-tastic “Safe”.  It was a good thing the stage set was minimal as anything else could have been ignored due to the fact that there was so much sexy on display between Anna, Simon, and John.  The most notable stage accents were four giant white masks hanging high in the air in which pre-taped images of Simon, Roger, John, and Nick were broadcast throughout the show.  The backdrop featured three separate video screens  playing random video footage (including scenes from the 1927 silent film “Metropolis” during “Blame the Machines”).  Never being a band to shy away from technology, Simon told the audience to “tweet” them and the messages were broadcast on the screens during the saxophone heavy instrumental track “Tiger Tiger”.

Duran Duran continued to thrill the crowd during the encore with an explosive rendition of “Wild Boys” mashed up with “Relax” (originally a hit by Frankie Goes to Hollywood).  The show concluded with “Rio” and thousands of satisfied customers.

Simon Le Bon is the consummate lead singer.  He knows how to work an audience with his incredible talent, charm, and sense of humor.  John Taylor can melt any Duranie’s heart with just a smile. Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor may be hidden behind their instruments but their presence on stage is every bit as captivating as their band mates.  Additional musicians included Chastity Ashley on percussion, Simon Willescroft on saxophone, and Dominic Brown on lead guitar.  The band has been recording and touring steadily for thirty years now and they are as tight as ever on stage.  All in all, Duran Duran always delivers a perfect show.  If you have ever seen them perform, then you already know.  And if you haven’t – what are you waiting for?