Duran Duran at Orange County Fair CA
Written by Brian G.
This is a review of the Duran Duran concert at The Pacific Amphitheatre, Orange County Fair Grounds, Costa Mesa, California on July 11, 2009.
Duran Duran is always entertaining. I have seen them at least ten times, including shows when their popularity was at its lowest (in the late 90's).
Most groups from the Eighties seem to draw a mix of two generations of fans these days, older adults who grew up listening to these songs on the radio or teens who were exposed to incessant CD airplay by their parents. For some unknown reason, this particular show was mostly the late 30's, 40's, and 50's crowd.
Simon is still a great front man, entertaining and wooing the crowd -- he is a veteran showman. The rest of the group really laid back on this show, leaving Simon out on his own. Even the charismatic crowd-favorite, John Taylor, really stayed in the shadows and played right through this show without much crowd connection. Roger was hidden behind his drums and the evasive Nick stayed to himself. The band has really put themselves out there in other concerts, but not this one. Fortunately, Simon was up to the task.
The show was listed at 7:30pm but did not begin until 8:30pm. No opening act. Perhaps that threw off the timing if Duran Duran was always scheduled to go on at 8:30pm. They played for 90 minutes. Then another 20-30 minute encore.
For hardcore fans, they seem to have lost their "sixth bandmate" saxophonist Andy Hamilton over recent years. However, the current sax player was excellent.
The setlist was very odd. It was not designed to please casual fans nor hardcore Duranies.
They could have played straight hits for hours, but instead chose to include recent songs Nite-Runner, Red Carpet Massacre, and (Reach Up For The) Sunrise. They also included the little-known Do You Believe In Shame and I Don't Want Your Love (from Big Thing CD), and a cover of White Lines (from Thank You CD). A bonus was Arcadia's Election Day.
Notably absent were Hungry Like The Wolf, tracks from Seven And The Ragged Tiger (The Reflex, New Moon On Monday, and Union Of The Snake), and Power Station hits.
Overall, still a fun show from a band that knows how to entertain a crowd. Still Fab!
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