Duran Duran leave fans Hungry for more
By JANE STEVENSON - SUN MEDIA
Last Updated: 10th December 2008, 11:59am
It wasn't a Red Carpet Massacre.
More like a flashback of the second British rock invasion as '80s synth-pop-dance kingpins and teen idols Duran Duran took over the Air Canada Centre Theatre on Tuesday night in support of their 2007 effort, Red Carpet Massacre.
Amid spotlights and screams, singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Dominic Brown (replacing Andy Taylor who acrimoniously split from the group in 2006), entered via a red carpet on their stage, opening with the RCM song, The Valley.
But it was the second tune, Planet Earth, the group's first ever single from 1981, that inspired an animated singalong from old and new Duranies alike in the crowd of just over 5,000.
(Don't forget these finely aged men were The Jonas Brothers of their time.)
"Is anybody hungry?" teased the still-trim, attractive and charming Le Bon, 50, before launching into another '80s mega-hit Hungry Like The Wolf.
And even if the band, rounded out by a touring sax player and a female backup singer, lost a bit of ground with another RCM tune, Nite-Runner, they quickly regained it with the mid-'80s funky dance hit, Notorious, which saw Le Bon - who had now discarded his jacket - spinning on the red carpet and generally kicking up his heels as he prowled the stage.
After the late-'80s number, I Don't Want Your Love, Le Bon then strapped on an acoustic guitar for another audience favourite, Save A Prayer, which saw the crowd join in again on chorus.
The fans didn't respond quite the same to the harder-edged title track from Red Carpet Massacre even if both John Taylor and Dominic Brown seemed to enjoy playing together at the front of the stage and near Roger Taylor's drum kit.
But the sheer drama of Duran Duran's excellent 1985 Bond theme, View To A Kill got the audience back in the palm of their hands and led to some good will for their somewhat limp '90s-era tune, Serious, and another RCM track, Falling Down, co-written by Justin Timberlake, and featuring some nice guitar work from Brown.
More grownup moments came during their 1993 comeback songs, Come Undone, and Ordinary World, which many consider two of the best tracks from their back catalouge, the latter winning the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for songwriting.
I also liked their cover of the Melle Mel/Grandmaster Flash 1983 classic White Lines (Don't Do It) and (Reach Up For The) Sunrise, one of the few decent tunes from 2004's Astronaut, the last album to feature the original Fab Five lineup, and the encore tune, Girls On Film, which got funked up by the addition of Papa Was A Rollin' Stone at the end of the song.
I'd take those tunes anyday over such '80s heyday anthems as Is There Something I Should Know, The Reflex - which featured Le Bon putting his microphone in front of Rhodes (whose ear infection in Panama prevented him from flying into some U.S. dates earlier on this tour) - Wild Boys and Rio, but judging from the frenzied response last night, I'd say I'd be in the minority.
Courtesy Toronto Sun