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Thursday, August 28th, 2003

NEW YORK WELCOMES BACK DURAN DURAN

It was like taking a step back in time as all five original members of Duran Duran performed on stage last night for their very first concert together in New York City in over seventeen years. Lead singer Simon Le Bon, guitarist Andy Taylor, bassist John Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes and drummer Roger Taylor were greeted to a very excited and packed crowd in the fifteen-hundred person venue. It was nice to see not much had changed as the musicians, as stylish as ever in their various combinations of white and black, took their familiar spots on stage - (from left to right) in the front, John, Simon and Andy and then Roger and Nick in the back. Without wasting any time they launched into the deep album cut "Friends Of Mine," taken from their 1981 self-titled debut. By the time they went into familiar favorites like "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Rio -1982) and "Planet Earth" (Duran Duran- 1981), the balconies at Webster Hall were shaking from the fans dancing to the hits. The venue happens to be the first place they played in New York back in 1981, formally known as The Ritz. Being nostalgic Simon commented "This is one of the best places we've ever played a concert in the whole world."

The band didn't just stick to tracks from their Fab Five era, but also incorporated post-separation tracks into the set - Roger and Andy left in 1986, John in 1996. They made songs like "Come Undone" (Duran Duran/The Wedding Album - 1993), "Notorious" (Notorious - 1986), White Lines (Thank You - 1995) and "Ordinary World" (Duran Duran/The Wedding Album) into true Duran Duran songs. Also thrown into the mix were two new tracks the band has been playing for crowds "What Happens Tomorrow" and the guitar-driven "Virus," both expected to be on the band's new album due out next year.

Upon watching Duran Duran's show throughout the night, one would never have guessed that there had even been almost a two-decade gap in between their performances together until this summer. Much like it was when they performed in the '80s, John and Andy played off each other in their usual kidding ways, Simon moved with every song that he sung (even doing his "Reflex" twist once), Roger stuck in a few of his signature drum stick twirls while Nick stood poised as ever behind his multi-leveled keyboards. They closed out the night with high-energy versions of "Wild Boys" (Arena - 1984) "Careless Memories" (Duran Duran), "Rio" (Rio) and "Girls On Film" (Rio). Singing along with every note were long time fans that included a few familiar faces like Moby, Ed Burns and wife Christy Turrlington. So far planned as the next gig for Duran Duran is a September 19th show in Santa Barbara. A complete fall tour will be announced.

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