Monday, 24 October 2016

Duran Duran live in Athens on election day (but they didn't play it)

It was 10 years ago when I saw Duran Duran live for the second time. The first one had been back in 1989 during the Big Thing tour in London at the first ever concert at the then newly built London Arena in the Docklands. That concert had been filmed and it was expected to be released on videotape, but as far as I could find out it never saw the light of day. If anyone knows what happened to it, please inform me. Anyway, by 2004 the band had gone back to its original line-up and a gig in Athens was announced in the summer of 2005. I didn't go then but I was wondering who was going to go. The reason was that back in the 80's one could not admit that they were a Duran Duran fan in Greece because the rock fans would hurl abuse at them. So I never met any fans back then. But suddenly the 2005 gig presale was such a success that it had to be moved to a bigger venue (the well-known "Terra Vibe", one of the reasons that I could not go). And the gig itself was a huge success and during the next few days, ordinary fans and TV personas alike were talking about how they enjoyed it and how Duran Duran reminded them of their youth of which they were a big part back in the day. And all I wanted to ask them was this: "Where were you in the 80's when I was afraid to even admit that I was listening to Duran Duran?". Needless to say, I regretted not going, but thankfully the next year they were back in Athens to play an indoor gig at one of the 2004 Olympic venues. That particular day was the 2nd round of the local (municipal) elections in Greece. I was determined not to miss them this time. So after voting, somewhere in the city centre, I had to travel all the way to the southeastern suburbs of the city to get to the venue which was at the site of the old airport. Thankfully, thanks to the Olympics, by that time we had a tram service that made getting there easier.
There were two types of tickets for this gig both of them standing only, Pitch A and Pitch B. I thought, what the heck I should buy a Pitch A one for which I paid about 80 euros if I remember correctly, and as a second thought, since I was going to be near the stage I decided to bring my relatively new then Sony digital camera and that's the reason this post came about 10 years after the event when I decided to delve deep into my hard disks and look for the photos and videos from that day. I had already used that camera at the Shakira gig three months before, but in that one I was far from the stage in the stands. This time however, it was going to be put to good use.

What I didn't realize on the day was that this was one of the first gigs without Andy Taylor who had decided to leave the band (again!). I was so preoccupied with singing along that I didn't notice. In fact, at some point I started wondering if it really was possible for them to sound like they did all those years ago.
Surely, this couldn't be a playback, could it? Of course it couldn't as I realized after watching Simon closely for a few minutes not just singing but also talking to the audience. And 10 years later I still remember the highlight of the evening... "The Chauffeur"...
20 years after the 80's Duran Duran had finally become fashionable in Greece!

01. Hungry Like The Wolf
02. Union Of The Snake
03. Serious / Nice
04. Is There Something I Should Know
05. Come Undone
06. What Happens Tomorrow
07. Hold Back The Rain
08. Some Like It Hot / My Own Way
09. The Reflex
10. The Chauffeur
11. Ordinary World
12. Save A Prayer
13. A View To A Kill
14. Electric Barbarella
15. Notorious
16. (Reach Up For The) Sunrise
17. Rio
18. Girls On Film
19. Wild Boys

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