Fans got to their seats early so as not to miss a single note as they knew every song on the setlist was going to be a Greatest Hit. And it was.
The four original members still touring appeared onstage between partitions and soaked in 45 years worth of adulation before joining the touring band members. They started out as a tight unit and stayed that way all night. Simon LeBon's voice was still on point as they weaved a fabric of the youth of most of the fans.
Starting with "Night Boat," they fed the energy of the audience and the fans reciprocated in kind, especially when hearing the first notes of "Wild Boys." Cuts from the MTV video played on the screens behind them while the concert itself showed on the outside screens. Memories popped up and instantly transported the show-goers back to the 80s when times were simpler and looking good was just as important as feeling good.
Simon made a reference to not eating and being "hungry like a wolf " and the dancing started as everyone roared. The video screen was meshed with the huge hit and saxophonist Andy Hamilton kept the vibe alive. The clapping continued as Simon asked, "How do you feel about bondage? Get it?"as the band began the James Bond theme and then launched into "A View To A Kill" as silhouetted Bond Girls danced on the screens.
The cheering never got a chance to lessen as the backup singers joined the band on stage as dancers for "Notorious." SLB showed he still had a few moves as he played to the crowd. Rachel O'Connor, one of the singers joined in a duet off the Future Past album and thrilled everyone with her voice, dancing and looks, all of them beautiful. Scary dolls appeared on the screen for a nightmarish song, then took a major segue when they belted out "Super Freak." The few moments of lesser decibels turned into a raucous roar once again.
Audience members again turned back the clock for "Is There Something I Should Know" as the video showed Duran Duran dressed to the nines and looking resplendent with pictures from 1985. Like the Simon of old, he roamed the stage for "Anniversary" and continued to do so for "Friends Of Mine" with the videos making a complete U-turn to show snippets of B-movie horror films. That made it a party. The audience, the crowd and most of the crew were having fun and it increased the energy in the American Airlines Center.
The song that brought them back into the mainstream, "Ordinary World," again turned into a crowd participation event. Loyal fans, which were many and diverse, sang loud, as did the younger members of the audience who became loyalists that night. The second backup singer, Anna Ross, performed a duet on "Come Undone," and lit up the crowd. More roaring for "White Lines" showed the prowess of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, as did the powerhouse hit song, "Reflex." That led into the closing number, "Girls On Film," which showed exactly that on the video screens.
The band left the stage, but the screams of "Encore" brought them quickly back. Prodded to shine the flashlights on their cameras, the AAC lit up like the Milky Way for "Save A Prayer," as Simon played the acoustic guitar for the song and gave the great advice of "save it til the morning after." The fans went ballistic for the huge hit sing "Rio," and cameras almost outnumbered the people in the venue. Audience members knew every word and were just as much of the show as the well-choreographed moves onstage. Duran Duran soaked up the adulation as they ended the night to a raucous "Thank You" roar from adoring fans.
Future Past - 40th Anniversary Tour was a tremendous success and showed why their 15 studio albums have reached nine gold and six platinum records to amass over 100 millions albums sold. They formed a rapport with their fans early in the show and never let go of that personal touch. It's that connection that led Duran Duran to a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The two-time Grammy Award winners put together a setlist that ebbed and flowed in the right places, then finished with a jam that left everyone both satisfied and spent at the end of the two-hour show. It was definitely a blast from the past and a glimpse into the future.
Special thanks to Jamie Sward for all of his help.