Duran Duran, playing to a 20,000 strong crowd at the O2 in London! Wowzers. This was an amazing gig from a band that knows what the public wants and gives it to them in spades.
Bank Holiday Mondays can sometimes be a damp squib, fizzling out by 9pm with the expectation of returning to work the next day. Not so for me and the thousands of others packed into the O2 arena on May 1 2023! Duran Duran put on a show that let the audience forget their cares and troubles. We just revelled in the moment, enjoying the thrill of singing along to enduringly appealing, life affirming songs.
Duran have so many hits that they can pack into a show, it’s almost crazy how many get left out. The gig got off to an electrifying and moody start with ‘Nighboat’, a track from Duran’s first album, as the band assembled on stage to a tumultuous applause, before raising the roof with Wild Boys. As much as I didn’t want to, I succumbed to filming some of the songs on my phone.
Once they’d got the audience rocking, they didn’t stop. One great song followed another. Simon Le Bon has always had the charisma to hold an audience in the palm of his hand, and last night he took us on an emotional and often funny journey.
Some of my personal highlights were ‘A View to a Kill’, ‘Notorious’, ‘White Lines’ and some tracks from their debut album and Rio, which I’ve never heard live before.
No doubt everyone had their own favourites. For me, it seemed like ‘Is There Something I Should Know’ (backed by some nostalgic video footage) and ‘Planet Earth’ really hit the audience’s sweetspot. Although, the singalongs to ‘Ordinary World’ and ‘Save a Prayer’ also seemed to carry the audience away to another land.
Overall, fantastic show. The performances of the whole band were top notch. The support were excellent too. I was never a Scissor Sisters fan, but I have to give Jake Shears a lot of credit for the energy of his set and his stage presence.
Even the predictable/obligatory rail-replacement bus services, road works and traffic problems that are seemingly strategically engineered to ruin people’s holiday plans couldn’t dent my enthusiasm or spoil my enjoyment of the show. In part, that’s because the O2 itself is an incredibly well organized, well designed venue. I mean… having an efficient system of getting people in and out… Having enough bar areas so there are no queues…. Having plenty of toilet facilities….!!? This isn’t the Britain I know! I was almost as amazed by that as I was at the energy shown by a band who’ve been rocking Britain for over 40 years.
What a perfect day.
For another excellent review of this concert, and all things Duran Duran related, check out the Cherry Lipstick website here.
(For something totally bonkers: Have you ever imagined Simon Le Bon as Doctor Who? Probably not. Maybe this will convince you… https://www.stephenhenning.co.uk/2021/06/08/the-ultimate-doctor-who-duran-duran-mash-up-doctor-who-new-series-trailer/)