Photos and recap by Maximilian Ho
Amidst a dimly lit stage and billowing smoke Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon emerged from the darkness and kicked off the set with “Paper Gods”. Duran Duran, vital as ever, rocked the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre like it was the 80’s. Le Bon belted out iconic hits like “The Reflex”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, and “Girls on Film” while the audience danced away. Currently on tour for their latest release “Paper Gods”, the band continues to stay relevant with new songs like “Pressure Off” which features Janelle Monáe and longtime collaborator Nile Rodgers. Rodgers appeared on stage with his guitar in hand for the infectiously funky tune which ended in a burst of confetti in the air. Amanda Warner AKA MNDR filled in for keyboardist Nick Rhodes due to a family issue that precluded him from joining the tour. Bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor kept the groove going all night long while guitarist Dominic Brown ripped more than a few mean solos. The night ended with “Rio” and gigantic beach balls flying through the air.
CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers played hit after hit for the crowd. Rodgers, the multi-talented talented producer, guitarist, songwriter has worked with legendary artists such as Diana Ross, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Madonna, and Duran Duran, just to name a few. Rodgers made it known to the audience that they weren’t merely hearing covers performed on some reality singing competition. Whether it was Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”, Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family “, or Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” they were hearing it from the guy who helped create them. Rodgers way flanked by singers Kimberly Davis and Folami Ankoanda who both put on a stellar vocal performance. Drummer Ralph Rolle carried the vocals on David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”. CHIC ended their set with an impromptu dance party on stage with the extremely funky song “Good Times”.
LA’s DJ and producer Jennifer Lee aka TOKiMONSTA warmed up the early crowd with a short DJ set. She ended her set with “Go With It” featuring MNDR who was conveniently available to sing it.
Courtesy LA Record. Click to see photos.