Back in April, Bobby and I saw Duran Duran at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. I bought the tickets as a surprise for him and gave them to him for Christmas. (Of course, I forbade him from listening to the radio during this time, lest he hear about the concert. Really. And he obliged. I have a good husband.) However, we were coming off the coattails of an Eagles concert literally three days earlier--and that was the best concert I have ever seen--and the Duran Duran show was at the Patriot Center, which is not a favorite venue of mine....
A few months ago, we heard that they were coming back around, to Baltimore this time. Of course, Bobby flipped out. Duran Duran is one of--if not his absolute--favorite band. (Of course, I tease him heartily about having a crush on Simon le Bon, to which he replies, "SLASH!" You know, it's a wonder he doesn't divorce me....) So we made plans to go in the sense that we talked about it and did nothing. Then, last Wednesday, eating ravioli and drinking red wine, I asked, "Isn't Duran Duran coming around sometime soon?"
"Yeah, next Wednesday. A week from today. I kind of forgot about it." He was all mopey and sad. "I guess it's too late now...."
"Well, not really. We could always go to the box office on the day of the show and save on service charges...." I didn't have to say anything else.
When I got home yesterday, Bobby was sitting at the desk, already wearing his Duran Duran T-shirt, jiggling his foot impatiently. "You almost ready, babe?" he asked me, as I sat my purse on the couch. Sensing dire consequences if I did not, I hurriedly changed out of my work clothes and gathered a sheet for sitting on the lawn.
The concert was at Pier Six at the Inner Harbor. If you have never visited Baltimore, the Inner Harbor is very nice. (Now, as for the rest of Baltimore...no comment!) Lots of shops, restaurants, cultural-type things to do. Pier Six is, of course, an outdoor venue, right on the water, with the Baltimore skyline in the background. It's a nice venue.
So we strode up to the box office and bought our $38 lawn seats and went to get some supper at the Hard Rock Cafe. Here, I was accused of being an enabler of Bobby's music habit: "You take me to see Duran Duran, then you take me to dinner at the Hard Rock cafe. You're not helping!" Well, considering what he puts up with from *my* addiction (Elves), I have few complaints with a nice night out!
I went to the restroom to wash my hands--I'm a germophobe--and saw a lady wearing the same Duran Duran T-shirt that Bobby had. Of course, I had to tease him about *that.*
Then I saw a guy walk by a bit later, wearing the same shirt. Sensing that my ability to tease Bobby about his love for Duran Duran was about to be compromised, I said, "Oh, look! A guy wearing your Duran Duran shirt! Oh, look, he's wearing pink pants and rainbow sunglasses!"
"Ha ha. Very funny," said my poor husband.
After our meal arrived, our server came by to refill our drinks. "You should see it," she said. "It just started *pouring.*"
When we left the restaurant, we had about forty-five minutes until the show. It was raining like a mofo. Worse, it was also thundering and lightning was flashing like crazy. We stood on a tiny dry patch under an awning and watched the horizon for signs of clearing. "Look, it's light over there!" Bobby said. I asked, "Well, what direction is it?"
"West, I think."
"Well, of course it's light over there! The sun is setting!"
This went on for a good half-hour. At one point, a streak of lightning looked like it touched down no more than a couple hundred yards away, across the harbor, and I--who do not like lightning, at least while I'm outdoors with it--made a little noise and jumped back against the wall. Or maybe it was a *not* so little noise....
Finally, showtime rolled around, so we popped open our umbrella and walked over to the pavillion. Of course, the entire venue is under cover...except for the lawn seats. So we stood under an edge of the pavilion and eyed the wet grass. When the opening act came on, we resigned ourselves to sitting on the wet ground in what was, then, a light rain. People were sitting under their umbrellas, it was humid and sticky...it was miserable. It was about 105 degrees F (40.5 C) in Baltimore yesterday. The rain cooled the temperature but added humidity to the mix.
Baltimore motto: It's not the heat, it's the humidity, hon.
I have seen the opening act once before. They opened the Fairfax show as well. They are called Dragonette (I found this out from a lady while waiting in line for the bathroom--too many iced teas at Hard Rock!) I always feel sorry for the opening act. Half the audience was milling about, beers in hand, and talking. It reminds me of when I used to work at the restaurant and would try to take someone's order who was talking on a cell phone. You feel second-rate, a formality. They are not bad either. I have certainly heard worse.
Of course, when Duran Duran came on, the place went wild.
The rain also, magically, stopped. Perhaps the rain gods were protesting Duran Duran taking so long to get to the stage?
They played a decent mixture of old classics and songs from their new album. If you like their old stuff and do not have their new album, get it. It is awesome. I will not listen to most CDs the whole way through. I will listen to this one.
About midway through, Simon le Bon introduced their next song as being "dedicated to the families of those who were lost in the London bombings." Our jobs being what they are, of course, Bobby and I cheered like crazy for this. They played "Ordinary World." I cried. I had tears in my eyes through most of the whole song. I get shivers now thinking about it. Bobby cried too (and he might be mad at me for writing this, but to heck with it! I married a sensitive man and am proud of it.) It was beautiful.
I had heard "Ordinary World" many times before. Consider who I married. I have heard every Duran Duran song many times before. They even played it at the Fairfax show. But I had never really listened to the words before, not in any meaningful way. Yes, I know every single line. I sang along to the whole song while trying not to show I was crying. (I do not cry easily.)
Lyrics are less beautiful when seen on plain paper. If you have a chance to listen to this song, do so. Still, I give you the words to this song:
Thought I heard you talking softly.
I turned on the lights, the TV, and the radio,
Still I can’t escape the ghost of you.
What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some’d say,
Where is the life that I recognize?
Passion or coincidence once prompted you to say,
"Pride will tear us both apart."
Well now pride’s gone out the window cross the rooftops, run away,
Left me in the vacuum of my heart.
What is happening to me?
Crazy, some’d say,
Where is my friend when I need you most?
Papers in the roadside tell of suffering and greed,
Here today, forgot tomorrow.
Ooh, here besides the news of holy war and holy need,
Ours is just a little sorrowed talk.
But I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world,
Somehow I have to find.
And as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world...
I will learn to survive.
After that, they could have mooned us, flipped up the bird, and scat, and I would have still called the show better than Fairfax.
I like to believe that it is because we Bal'morons rock out better than people in Virginia. In Fairfax, if I dared to stand up and dance, I would have toppled down a good hundred cement stairs or given the person next to me a black eye. Being on the lawn, we had lots of room. We sang and danced through the whole thing.
It was awesome!
I can now add Duran Duran to the list of bands I have seen twice. It is a short list: Goo Goo Dolls. Disturbed. Duran Duran.
W00T! A big three! I have also seen Hootie and the Blowfish, Boyz II Men (free Earth Day show), Sugar Ray, the Eagles ::faints::, Korn (they were playing with Disturbed...meh), and Incubus. Oh, and ::whispers:: the Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera. But I went with my sister-in-law to the last two, and as an excuse, we were young....
But don't tell all the same :)