Photos & Review: Duran Duran at The Joint 8/15/2012

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PHOTOS & REVIEW: Duran Duran at The Joint
8/15/2012 11:51:00 PM

By Jennifer Chancellor
World Scene Writer

After more than 30 years touring the world, Duran Duran played Tulsa for the first time Wednesday night. It brought its “All You Need is Now” tour to a capacity crowd at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

The set built like a thunderhead, starting new with the down-tempo "Before the Rain" then flashed bright as it electrified fans with their earliest single, 1981’s "Planet Earth."

Fans erupted, hands clapping over their heads, screaming and singing along.

"Are you feeling lucky tonight?" frontman Simon Le Bon asked. "We feel very honored to be here tonight. In Tulsa! ... We have such great fans. I actually see familiar faces in the audience right now."

Old blended with new, nearly seamless in its texture and sound, timely and timeless. The audience danced through it all.

Le Bon, dressed in military-style jacket and white pants, would occasionally shove the mic into his back pocket as he crossed the stage, chest out, egging on the mass of fans wedged at the front of the stage.

At one point, Le Bon hopped off the stage and sidled up to a fan in the front row to launch "The Reflex," coaxing the nervous man into the "Da-na-na-na" repeat as his girlfriend coaxed him on. Soon, the entire theatre joined him as the band stepped into the tune.

It blasted through a handful of new songs early in the set, including “Girl Panic!,” fresh and tight, as segments from their supermodel-laden music video projected onto multiple screens behind them.

They slid into the techno-ballad "Save a Prayer," the audience waving their cellphone flashlights and lighters in a constellation. "That's so beautiful," Le Bon said, and asked that in-house cameras be directed at the audience so fans could share the stage-eye view.

This is one of those bands that still creates new music – with its longtime lineup intact. Wednesday night Le Bon, John Taylor (bass), Nick Rhodes (keys) and Roger Taylor (drums) showed why they are still the New Romantic kingpins of dance rock.

The relative newbie, Dom Brown, has been on guitar since 2006.

At times, Le Bon played it safe vocally when he could have pushed it a bit more, but that changed as the set progressed.

"View to a Kill" projected Bond girl silhouettes dancing in fire as Le Bon strutted, vocals strong and versatile.

The band that formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, still plays venues of all sizes, from the Olympics opening gala to The Joint’s intimate 2,700-seater.

Lucky us, the latter is a peek, perhaps, into the earlier days of Duran Duran. The band came full circle Wednesday night, with the band working in lockstep, a Union Jack draped over John Taylor’s amp as it roared out music that spanned the breadth of their career together.

Before the Rain
Planet Earth
A View to a Kill
All You Need Is Now
The Reflex
Come Undone
Union of the Snake
Girl Panic!
Save A Prayer
White Lines (Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel cover)
Ordinary World
Hungry Like the Wolf
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
Wild Boys / Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover)

Girls on Film

Courtesy Tulsa World