The job of an opening act is to get the audience warmed up, but also to leave plenty of room for the headliner to turn on the heat. Thus, it was a pretty brave move for Duran Duran to recruit dance floor legends Chic to take the stage before them. Thirty-eight years after “Le Freak,” Chic still cooks, with Nile Rodgers’ trademark skittering funk guitar leading the way. Not only did we get their booty-shaking hits, but also David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” both of which Rodgers worked on in their original versions.
Duran Duran took the stage to a blaze of video screens and a blast of applause from the crowd, many of whom stayed on their feet for the entire show. They opened with “Paper Gods,” the title track of their latest album, going into a guitar-rocked “Wild Boys” and an upbeat “Hungry Like the Wolf” that had both lead singer Simon LeBon and guitarist John Taylor bouncing around the stage. The band brought back their buddy Nile Rodgers—who they met when he remixed “The Reflex”—to lend some wicked riffs to “Notorious” and their recent single “Pressure Off,” as LeBon explained that part of the fun of touring with Chic was hearing them in the dressing room.
Duran Duran has long cited David Bowie as a major inspiration when they were just starting out with their guitars and eyeliner, so it was no surprise when they detoured from an upbeat “Planet Earth” to drop in a nice chunk of “Space Oddity” as a giant photo of Ziggy Stardust loomed in the background. Another emotional moment was their encore of “Save a Prayer,” dedicated to “the victims, the survivors, the peacekeepers” as people held up their cellphones to light the arena as though with candles. But then it was right into “Rio.” Sometimes dancing is what makes us survivors.
Courtesy Vegas Seven