Review: Duran Duran still rock gods in Washington D.C. show
The Duran Duran Paper Gods Tour of North America is just getting rolling, but so far the Stuck in the '80s boys have missed them on every stop. Thankfully our correspondent "Gayle in DC" caught them Friday night and sent us this review. Take it away, Gayle.
At the beginning of Duran Duran's show on Friday night at Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center, lead singer Simon Le Bon promised the crowd "90 minutes of politics-free entertainment." And he delivered, transporting the audience, made up predominantly of women in their late 40s, back to the days when they had Nagel posters on their walls and engaged in arguments over who was hottest guy in the band (John Taylor, of course).
The night was a lot of fun, with the band performing a solid group of hits interspersed with songs from "The New Album" (in this case, Paper Gods). The new songs sound like Duran Duran songs, so even if you didn't know the words, it was fun to bounce along with them. The biggest crowd pleasers were Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film, a cover of Grandmaster Flash's White Lines, and the powerful finale duo of Save A Prayer and Rio.
Le Bon (who is a shocking 57 years old) still looked like a rock god, wearing white pants and a black T-shirt and shimmying around the stage. His voice sounds exactly the same, and the band played their songs just like you remember them. They sounded fantastic. The constant strobe lights and photo montages playing on the background turned the arena into what felt like a huge '80s nightclub, and the crowd responded by dancing in the aisles and singing along to the hits.
At one point, Le Bon stood at the front center of the stage with his arms outstretched, basking in the adoration and energy of the audience, and said "I call this crowdbathing. It's like sunbathing, but among people." It was clear that he loves to perform, and his fans responded in kind with cheers.
The band also acknowledged some of the recent tragedies that have befallen music, playing a cover of Space Oddity with a photo of David Bowie on the huge screen behind the stage and also dedicating their performance of Save A Prayer to the Eagles of Death Metal, the band whose concert was the site of a terrorist rampage in Paris last November. (The Eagles of Death Metal had covered the Duran Duran hit.)
Thanks, Duran Duran, for a night that blended nostalgia with some quality new material and, yes, provided an escape to a perhaps more innocent time.