Last night I was lucky enough to see Duran Duran at The O2 Arena. On tour to support their latest album, the 80s superstars delighted with a clever mix of old and new. Ably supported by The Bloom Twins and pop legend Seal, the night was thoroughly entertaining from the get-go.
Seal got the crowd going – opening strongly with bona fide classics Crazy and Killer – and soon got involved dancing in the middle of the crowd. After a sing-a-long to Kiss From a Rose, and a couple of vibrant tracks from his latest album – he left the crowd dancing and pumped up for Duran Duran to take to the stage.
They opened with the title track of their new album – Paper Gods – and it was well-received. But it wasn’t too long before we were treated to a triumvirate of stone-cold 80’s classics; Wild Boys (accompanied by flaming pyrotechnics), Hungry Like The Wolf, and A View To A Kill. We were all dancing into the fire by this point (not literally) and the noise of the crowd might have blown the roof off The O2.
Naturally, we heard a lot more of the new album – generally, for old bands, that’s a bad thing. But Paper Gods is genuinely very good – produced by the likes of Chic founder Nile Rogers and superstar producer Mark Ronson, it’s very funky and has a lot of upbeat, dancey songs that are infectious from first listen. Stand-out of the night was lead single Pressure Off – it was received as well as any of the classic tracks. And there were confetti cannons. An almost weepy version of Ordinary World came next, and the crowd (sans lighters) held their mobile phone torches aloft – it was a beautiful moment.
Duran Duran’s final number of the main set saw a surprise appearance by Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan, lending a hand with a spoken word section of new track Dancephobia, followed by classic track Girls on Film. This, of course, brought the house down. An encore of Save a Prayer and pop anthem Rio sealed a memorable night.
Duran Duran were really impressive. My night was made, oddly, by the shrill catcalls of the woman next to me. “SIMON!” she screamed, all night long. But it made perfect sense – it was the kind of passion and devotion that only 30 years of fandom can induce. And, you can tell, Simon Le Bon and co haven’t lost an ounce of their X factor.
Heading to The O2 Arena in the new year? Tell us what you’re off to see in our comments section below!