Concert Review / Singapore: Duran Duran

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Concert Review: Duran Duran

No ordinary show
by Genevieve Loh

It was 1994 and I was a 15-year-old singing along to Duran Duran at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. As I found myself at the very same place last Saturday night, the "prettiest boys in rock" proved that they're still that same big deal and more.

Thirty-odd years on since they first exploded onto the music scene, four of the five original poster boys - Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor - showed the 5,500-strong crowd exactly why they are still very much in the game during this world concert tour promoting their 13th album, All You Need Is Now.

As the band plunged into Before The Rain, it was obvious that 53-year-old Le Bon's earlier bout of laryngitis was a thing of the past. That unmistakable voice was in top form as he hit every note of every one of the band's hit songs. But the shrieking and cheers from fans came in the full force when the band went into a killer version of their first single, 1981's Planet Earth, followed by the Bond movie soundtrack A View To A Kill.

The concert was as visually popping as you'd expect from a band who were at the forefront of the MTV era.

The first half was heavy with material from their new album, interspersed with, as they had earlier promised, hits like Come Undone and the massive all-time favourite The Reflex, which got everyone and their grandma out of their seats. Le Bon even went down into the audience to find someone to sing the song's intro.

There were references to the obvious half-century mark the band members belonged to, as when John Taylor teased Le Bon about needing glasses and his inability to stick to the set list.

After Le Bon went on to dedicate Ordinary World to the people of Syria, things went into funk overdrive during Notorious and reached the height of frenzy when Le Bon pulling a fan out of the audience who blurted out - "I wanted to marry you, Simon!"

To their credit, all the favourite hits were rolled out. The much-awaited Hungry Like The Wolf was followed by an surprisingly electrifying version of (Reach Up For The) Sunrise and a slamming version of The Wild Boys that also incorporated Frankie Goes To Hollywood's '80s anthem Relax in a genius mash-up moment.

Of course what's a Duran Duran concert without an encore of Girls On Film and their career-defining Rio.

In the end, some people were disappointed that the band didn't play New Moon On Monday or Save A Prayer (fans were singing the songs after the lights came on). But when all's said and done, Duran Duran came back to Singapore and delivered and really, that's all anyone can ask from a band they grew up with. GENEVIEVE LOH

For more on Duran Duran, visit Poparazzi (