Duran Duran's 'one-night stand' I never wanted to end
Posted to: Entertainment Music Portsmouth
By Ana Upton
© August 24, 2012
"Is it always this hot and steamy here in Virginia, or are you just excited to see us?"
That was Simon Le Bon, lead singer for Duran Duran, playing with the crowd during its Wednesday night concert at nTelos Wireless Pavilion. For me, a former Duran Duran die-hard fan during its heyday in the '80s, it was the start to a "one-night stand" I never wanted to end.
Like a good date, it started with a tease. After dance-pop artist MNDR warmed up the energetic, anxious and excited crowd, Duran Duran delayed its entry by playing a short black-and-white film that seemed to last an hour. Finally, though, the '80s pop demigods appeared in a mist of fog.
It was worth the wait.
As Le Bon pointed out during one of his many inter-actions with the crowd, Duran Duran has been in the music industry for more than 30 years.
Still stylish and sexy, the British musicians didn't look or sound old Wednesday. The band rocked out to
a mixture of classics, including hits "Planet Earth," "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio," along with newer songs like "Girl Panic!" from its 2011 album "All You Need Is Now."
What made the band appealing in the '80s - the sex appeal, the charm and the flair for fashion - still applies.
So does the music.
Le Bon's voice is as strong as ever, but more mature. Time has been good to Le Bon in so many ways - I doubt I will ever look at white pants on a man in quite the same way again.
Duran Duran's maturity could also be seen through the relationship the band had with the mostly 40-something crowd. The interaction was personal and intimate. At one point, Le Bon, now sporting a full beard, went into the crowd, singled out a young woman wearing a Union Jack T-shirt, and had her introduce "The Reflex" with him. The audience, which was standing the whole time, was more than happy to join in.
When introducing "Ordinary World," Duran Duran's self-proclaimed "anthem to the world," Le Bon reflected on how Americans are lucky to live in the Western hemisphere, and although we are a nation dealing with economic hardships, Americans still maintain optimism.
Between tunes, videos introduced the upcoming songs, allowing the band (and me) a chance to breathe. The montage of images continued during the music with glimpses of the ever-pouting Nick Rhodes exchanging smiles with the lean, long and still boyishly sexy bassist John Taylor.
And, yes, Rhodes still wears more makeup than anyone I know.
Le Bon and Taylor shared the microphone on more than one occasion. And every once in a while, the crowd was honored with a glimpse of the shy, brutish Roger Taylor as he drummed along, seemingly oblivious to the screams of fans young and old.
For a solid two hours Duran Duran took me back to high school. Like an eager young fan, I couldn't wait for the band's return. As usual, they left me hungry for more.
Courtesy of The Virginian-Pilot