Duran Duran gets Royale treatment
’80s superstars get intimate at club show
By Jed Gottlieb
Friday, April 29, 2011 - Updated 20 hours ago
Lessons learned from Duran Duran’s very-sold-out Wednesday Royale gig:
1. A great new song is a great new song, but 45 straight minutes of good new material is tedious.
2. Arena shows are easy; clubs are where you prove you can play.
3. Never underestimate Simon Le Bon’s bum.
At 52, Le Bon’s still one sexy dude (I’m loving that beard!). Even shoehorned between his band mates on a tiny stage, he’s Bono without the God fetish, Morrissey without the self-loathing, Bon Jovi without Kmart roots.
And the 30- and 40-something ladies know it. Many have been waiting since Sam kissed Jake Ryan to see Duran Duran in a setting this intimate.
Accustomed to playing for crowds in the thousands, not hundreds — the band headlined Coachella two weeks ago; in 2008 it packed Agganis Arena — Duran Duran sounded a bit thin in the tiny club. But that’s how it should be. It was like May ’82, just before “Rio” hit, at the Paradise.
Of course the Paradise in 1982 would have been better because the old songs would have been new and the new songs wouldn’t clog the set. Opening with “Planet Earth” and “Hungry Like the Wolf,” the party flashed back brilliantly. Then Duran went modern with current single “All You Need is Now,” a piece of great, groovy, trashy synth rock. Then came another and another and another; by “Blame the Machines” it was hard to remember how “Notorious” this band can be.
Sure, we got doused in nostalgia at the end with “A View to a Kill,” “Girls on Film” and “Rio,” which reaffirmed Duran Duran was the only ’80s megaband that cared a lick about (or understood the power of) a fat, funky bass line.
But Duran didn’t disappoint despite packing the set with new stuff. The boys remain crack musicians, and Le Bon’s voice is still strong. And his pants are still tight.
Courtesy Boston Herald