Duran Duran at Park Tavern Atlanta (the unofficial scoop)

So, I got the scoop on DuranDuran’s private return to Atlanta for Jezebel Magazine…at least this is how it was relayed to me. I wish like anything I had just believed the advertisement when I saw it rather than doing what I did below. Read on…(but 1st, wasn’t Naomi Campbell just freakin’ brilliant in the “GirlPanic!” video? sizzlin’!)

About 5 days ago (still in a continued appreciation mode for Curt Smith’s (TFF) e-intro to JT) I saw a note on Facebook that read “Win VIP tickets to DuranDuran.” Having not heard anything from the band themselves about a local event I thought the promoters of this event ParkTavern Atlanta, were perhaps willing to send someone to a show in New York or something like that. Given that I’m still in a happy euphoric daze from the Tears for Fears tour and the 15 October Duran Duran Atlanta Chastain show I couldn’t keep asking the media team for time away to “run off with the band.” But being the determined superfan, I looked into it anyway…just to see…

I couldn’t find any information. And my heart was running on skeptical. I simply did not believe Duran Duran was coming back to Atlanta. So, by that Thursday it was “a joke” to me. Tweets, FB updates and other cool things from the band poured in…but nothing mentioned Atlanta. I spoke to Denise in Toronto who was still dancing on the Valentine. I chatted with Sir David Esquire…none of these Duranies had heard about this show or they would have told me. So now I was confirming in my own mind no such thing was going to occur.

Monday afternoon, It’s Halloween 2011: I’m plugging away at media assignments and come across something that needs a second opinion. I walk down the hall to my cwky and after I get my questions answered she says to me, “So you going to Duran Duran tonight?” *enter the thunderstorms and cackling witches on brooms*

All of the sudden the room began to spiral out of control. Like a hellish Halloween nightmare the light fixture seemed to blink and the earth went dark with a moon falling toward me…I had to roll out of the way!

“ohhh my Gaaaahhhd! It wasn’t a joke. It wasN’T A JOKE! IT WASN’T A JOKE!!!” (YES, by now I escalated to a “freak out” in her office. I mean, up stomping around with my hands in the air…then of course I had to sit down cause I felt like I might faint.) My heart was racing. I felt tears swell up in my eyes.  She looks at me with shock and says, “Tell me YOU knew about the show right? You need a ticket?” I sat there at her mercy. “Yes, I need a ticket. I thought it was a joke. I saw the advertising but I thought it was out of state…I thought…” I went on for a few minutes hands flailing and explaining as if she needed to know every detail. She sympathized with me and made some phone calls. Then she turned to me and said, “I’ll know by 6pm.” And with that, I left her office with my head hanging down and slumped back to my desk to recoup and re-concentrate on the tasks at hand. I was so focused that I finished my assignments one hour earlier than usual and then headed out to hopefully hear back from her later.

I did not.

I went home later that night feeling terrible. I fell in the floor after a few tweets and went to sleep. Devastated and determined, I vowed to myself to not ever let such a thing happen again. How could I ever assume that a Duran Duran show may not happen just because the band said nothing about it. Sure, it’s logical, but still, I’m a raqs and rock band superfan I shouldn’ve known better.

The Morning After

I finished up my media assignments and then around the same time tottled back over to the cwky. “Hi! Tell me you went to the show! Please say one of us made it?!” And this is what she said in a nutshell:

It was different than what I expected. We got there on time which was about 8’oclock. No one was there. Just a few people…and they were in costumes. It was like a Halloween party. Then about 10 or 10:30 Duran Duran comes out, gets up and does a cool acoustic set of 4 songs. Simon was there in a big top hat with a tie around it. He was the only one standing. The rest were seated for the most part. One of the pretty girls that’s touring with them now was also there…the one with the long black hair. A slender guy and I think JT was there. They sang 4 songs…asked if they were in Atlanta, which in hindsight was weird…and well, that was about it. We expected more but hey…you know.

We talked more about the details of the music. She’s not a hard core Duranie in comparison to Carri D and Sir David Esquire who could probably feel the vibrations of a Duran Duran song from an iPod 8 people away (just as I can for a Tears for Fears song and have on many occasions but i digress…)  So, she couldn’t really remember the names of the songs. From what I gather the set list was as follows:

All You Need is Now

Hungry Like the Wolf (Acoustic)

Leave the Light on

Reflex

Video of Hungry Like the Wolf, recorded by Cwky& “The Marketing Guy” Posted permission granted by Ryan at Park Tavern 4:35pm 2 November 2011

And now let’s enjoy Girl Panic from the 15 October show (by Duranie atlrio) which was my favourite song performed that night due to the gorgeous young lady on percussion who blew us away with her talent:

Overall, I should’ve been there at Park Tavern. The odd unfairness of that moment makes me queasy and I was sick all night and all morning.  I got sick on the commute into downtown atlanta this morning too. I just should’ve been there. I’d have sat peacefully and well-behaved. If I can sit and listen at a Curt Smith Solo show I can sure as heck behave at DuranDuran… So, here I go throwing myself into the pile of Duranies to legally stalk Atlanta news feeds and hunt down any information that says they’re coming this way again…an intimate venue with Duran Duran is just what I need. I’m perched. I’m ready! Let’s go!

Girl Panic Official Behind the Scenes Info: It is brilliant when bands can take their image and find a company that can push it forward. After these few encounters with Duran Duran and the Duranies I’m blown away with their style and finesse. They look amazing. Looks aren’t everything but first impressions are. I think these guys and their fans have won over a ton of us in the TFF crowd. While we’ll always be groovin’ to Curt & Roland, we are also right there with their pals Duran Duran enjoying fun fashion and things that take you to another place in life. It’s all about fun! And the final product (Girl Panic!) was amazing & brilliant. A clever marketing manager was onboard here and I would kiss their feet with respect. In fact, clever is a petty word:

told ya!

Curt Smith Performs at Bardot Hollywood

picture taken with permission by SnapHappyPamCurt Smith performed at Bardot -Hollywood 19 September 2010. It was a night to remember! Here’s Superfan Andye’s story:

Curt had tweeted that he’d be performing there for DJ Chris Douridas‘ birthday and at the time I didn’t even think of going…simply because media assignments called and…well…I have to work right? And also, I figured I had gotten on his nerves by now. I mean all that tweeting in Atlanta, showing up at the show, going to second row and then first…and just well…being a fan and remaining ultra excited about anything he was involved in. So, I thought it best not to even dream of going out to California. Until…

One of the leads on my team said I’d be heading back to California for a media week. When I looked at the schedule I noticed it was to start the day after Curt’s performance. Still reluctant for the reasons stated above I decided to not to bank on it…and then I thought…wait, I’ve loved this band for way too long to be worried about these petty issues. I’m going to make an effort and go to this show. Besides he wouldn’t have published it if he didn’t want people on board. So, I asked my leads if I could head out early and after finding out for whom I’d be flying across the country to see they approved, wishing me the best.

I RSVPd and it stated something like, “you’ll know if you’re on the list the day of the show.” Well, that wasn’t going to work in my case. The ride from Dana point, Monarch Beach was not an easy one. Without making it seem too major, the cost to get from Monarch Beach to Hollywood and back was more than the plane ticket from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Reaching wayyyy down into the fanclub funds (thank goodness for ING) the money was available for me to make this trip. And I got my “on the list approval” two weeks before the show which took all my fears away. I wouldn’t have wanted to show up and then find out I couldn’t get in.

andyeandpambwThe day arrived…by now I had tweeted at least 2-3 times that I was going to be there  because I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit and hear his voice again so soon. It was miraculous for me. I made a new friend, my band  sister Pam (SnapHappyPam) and she and I met up at the show where my new best friends (Summit Limo Company) dropped me off and waited. *I really wished I could have gotten Steven, my driver, into the show. He didn’t stop talking about them the whole way there.* Pam sent me a text stating, “I’m right up front.” I joined her and there we sat through an incredible evening.

CurtBardotAbout the show
A talented young lady sang, then a big band came on to sing happy birthday to DJ Chris D and…and then Curt walked up to the stage along with Charlton and another kind chap whose name I didn’t catch:(. I couldn’t see the other side of the very unique stage and I didn’t want to wiggle around and become a distraction. So I sat there guessing it was Doug? I have no clue, sad sad sad!

Well, sitting there Curt begins to talk and the crowd is hanging on every word. He thanks everyone for coming and mentions how this show came about. Then there was a bit of a pause…he said something else and glanced over toward Pam and I…the band was still tuning things and settling into the setting. He looks away and then I hear, “Hello Andye:)” And I could swear the world just stopped for a brief second. Red lights paused between green and yellow. A fork was mid air from falling to the ground. Wine had not yet touched the lips of the man next to me…and when the world snapped back,  I responded *grinning from ear to ear* “Hi Curt” with a little wave. I’m sure the fans that were with us there in spirit were saying, “Bravo Andye for not fainting on the spot.” Then he says, “Andye flew in all the way from Atlanta!” The crowd begins to clap and people on the balcony lean over to see who he is talking about.  I nodded with ultra humbleness to those sweet, kind souls around me. G-d bless everyone of them…
He concluded with “though I think she’s had other business out here too…” 🙂 I reassured him I was there for him and I was. I could’ve easily wiggled my way out of that conference but knowing I’d see him to start the week off was more than enough for me to high tail it out to California early and get ready for media week…which turned out to be one of the most informative and helpful events coupled with his performance. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities given to me by my fellow team members and leads. I’m truly one of the most blessed people on earth because of them. Not enough gratitude in the world to thank them for the assistance and also to Curt for being such an inspiration over the years in many different ways.

Curt sang his solo works and also included the song “All Is Love” for the first time to a large crowd. He said he didn’t feel it went over well but we in the crowd sure did and we let him know it. He also ended with Mad World (more of the Gary Jules re-make of his original classic) which sent the crowd into an enormous roar. Seven of Sundays was also included as was Aeroplane…ohhh, that man can sing! It’s awesome to see him live and in person. It’s like a spiritual experience mixed in with one of the most incredible music highs known to mankind…nothing compares. Nothing! It was a spectacular night and I’m still uncertain if that’s the right word to use…it just doesn’t do justice…Curt is incredible! **and he looks great! Fit as a fiddle!”

I didn’t really want to leave but Steven was outside waiting and I knew we had a 2 hour ride back to Monarch Beach. But you only live once right? So, Pam and I stayed outside chatting, taking little peeks over at Curt’s cool car. Some of the familiar road crew was around. Just moments before we left, Afton came over and gave me the play list cards from the stage. I kept them in my bag for nearly a year and then handed them over to the archives for safer keeping.

That night was a new beginning for me. Since then I’ve always tried to make it out for shows on the west coast or anywhere else I can reach within reason. I appreciate how he tweeted about me coming all the way from Atlanta on social media and well, I just think Curt Smith is one of those ultra awesome musicians that no matter what he always finds some kind of way to make his fans feel like the effort they put into getting to his shows and buying his work was more than an investment in great art but an investment in the good life…a real blessing. pam and andye car shotMany thanks to Pam (ProudMom27 on YouTube) for her continued support and love. Huge thanks to Curt Smith, his manager and fellow bandmates for smiling and being kind. It keeps the energy of the industry alive and thriving!

Eileen and Traci D with Curt after the show.
Eileen and Traci D with Curt after the show. This was an amazing evening!