Concert Review: Duran Duran @ State Theatre, Cleveland OH
By: Brett Warner
"Got Duran?" read the matching black t-shirts of two soccer moms, stepping out of the rain and into Cleveland, Ohio’s lush State Theatre. The majority of the venue’s 3,400 seats were filled with your average thirty- to fortysomethings—parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, doctors, secretaries, waitresses. It’s a banal crowd, to be sure, but you can hear it in their hushed, anticipatory whispers and their giddy, barely containable exuberance: these moms and dads aren’t just here to see Duran Duran… they’re here to be young. They’re here to go back 30 years, to flip through the pages of Tiger Beat and listen to Rio and Seven And The Ragged Tiger on an endless loop, daydreaming about John Taylor and Nick Rhodes, singing along to each one of Simon’s coy, ridiculous lyrics.
It’s this cathartic mass nostalgia that saves the show from being what outsiders and non-fans presume it is—washed-up ‘80s rockers playing the hits for the billionth time. Spry and energetic, Simon Le Bon—completely rebounded from this summer’s debilitating vocal troubles—presided over the proceedings with his trademark boyish grace, while heartthrobs Nick Rhodes and John Taylor were more than content to play their parts in the shadows along with drummer Roger Taylor and longtime fill-in guitarist Dom Brown, who lent some aggressive hard rock muscle to early favorite "Careless Memories" and the night’s sole ‘00s offering, "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise". The band were tight, efficient, and precise, obliging (nearly) all the hits while delivering stunning renditions of new album All You Need Is Now’s best moments: the seductive, gorgeously bleak "The Man Who Stole A Leopard" and deliciously retro "Girl Panic!" were easy favorites.
My girlfriend and I swayed in the moon the way we did when we were younger to "Come Undone" and "Ordinary World" and shouted "no-no-notorious!" with just as much enthusiastic gusto as the original die-hards. After the show, we waited around outside for close to an hour, hoping to possibly steal a moment with the wild boys before they disappeared into their tour bus fortress, but like a dream of childhood, they simply vanished into the ether—retreating into the memories of those who, decades later, refuse to write off those MTV pretty boys as mere ‘80s kitsch. Like many of those in attendance, I like to imagine that, when they’re not touring, Duran Duran live in the exotic, colorful worlds of their best music videos—eternally young, carefree, and hopeful. Just like us.
"Before The Rain"
"A View To A Kill"
"All You Need Is Now"
"Blame The Machines"
"Safe (In The Heat Of The Moment)"
"The Man Who Stole A Leopard"
"Is There Something I Should Know?"
"Leave A Light On"
"Hungry Like The Wold"
"(Reach Up For The) Sunrise"