Our writer Mad Dog Barbarella went along to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre to see 80s legends Duran Duran.
Duran Duran- Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Tue Mar 20
Taking the tour title All You Need Is Now from their 13th album released in 2010, and with naysayers naturally insisting they were too old for it now the four-out-of-five original members are hitting their mid-50s, Duran Duran played for two-ish hours before an audience predominantly composed of former New Romantics and early ‘80s screamers and, perhaps surprisingly, brought the house down.
Although the extravagant staging of old has gone, the background of gaudily coloured lights, camera cranes and video images of the band then and now, models in states of undress (of course) and silent film clips (including, you guessed it, Metropolis) was still pretty visually striking, and frontman Simon Le Bon led bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor, deadpan keyboardist Nick Rhodes and other musos (including a lead guitarist filling in for former member Andy Taylor, who now refuses to be involved) through a crammed set that kicked off with a driving Before The Rain and barely faltered.
Highlights: a cool version of their first ever hit, Planet Earth; their theme to the James Bonder A View To A Kill (complete with FXed silhouettes of - what else? - naked models on the screens); All You Need Is Now itself, a more ballad-like tune; The Reflex (stunning); another classic, Is There Something I Should Know?; The Man Who Stole A Leopard, a non-hit that still kept the crowd happy; Ordinary World, prefaced by a moment of awkward but heartfelt political commentary; and Wild Boys, with a bit of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax thrown in for good measure.
The group then jogged offstage, but they obviously had to be back for an extended encore, which featured long, improvised takes on Girls On Film and Rio, audience participation, meet-the-band hi-jinx, endless final guitar riffs and fans clapping until their hands were raw.
Le Bon, Taylor, Taylor and Rhodes were often charged with self-importance in their pants-wettingly awesome-‘80s heyday, but the now-senior foursome have obviously got over themselves as the years have passed and seem more nudge-nudgey about it all, even throwing in a few jokes about previous womanising-heavy tours, how great it is to be rock stars into their dotage and a video montage of from-the-day anti-Duran-Duran tabloid headlines.
But the greatest test of them all, it surely goes without saying, is whether they can still (ahem) perform, please the fans and rip apart their warhorse faves. And, so help me, they can really flex-flex-flex!
Words: Mad Dog Barbarella
Courtesy Rip It Up