Duran Duran last evening at Forrest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York was as much a throw back the the great 80's music as it was an entertaining evening for the standing, sold out crowd. On the jumbo-trons, the silhouette through the smoke of this legendary band as they took the stage. Duran Duran is as much showmanship as it is talent and the front-man, Simon Le Bon played it off deftly.
Opening the evening with "Night Boat", the band peeled of three more songs (The Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf and View to a Kill) in rapid fire succession whipping the crowd in a frenzy. This after all is a band that sold over 100 million records. It is a band that had the same fever of Beatle Mania in the early 1980's. Credited with ushering in the new romantic scene, the band was at the forefront of the new wave movement.
With the three Taylor's, Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon, the evening also featured two excellent backing woman and a sensational saxophonists. In the evenings set-list the band mixed in rock, pop, a little disco and its standard new wave. "Lonely in Your Nightmare" was blended with a sensational "Super Freak", a Rick James cover. "Is There Something I Should Know" had a popish vibe to it.
Back in the early 1980's, Duran Duran had its first hit with "Girls on Film". The band's breakthrough, however, was its next album, "Rio" in 1982. It would be the bands third album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger that would hit number 1 in both the UK and the US. In 1985 "A View to a Kill" would chart at number 1 in the US.
The mid to late 80 and the early 90's were rough on Duran Duran as they saw their success wane. In 1993 with the release of "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone", they would return to the top 10 worldwide. From 1997 the band would release albums that under performed both critically and sales wise. In 2001, Rhodes, Le Bon and all three Taylor's reunited to produce "Astronaut". In 04, the album reached number 3 in the UK. The band would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.
In just under two hours Duran Duran gave the audience a feel good concert. Simon Le Bon teased the crowd with some old antidotes of yesteryear. He spoke about the band really getting its start in Long Island, New York. It was no wonder that many of the bands fans were dressed in 80's/ 90's fashion. Adding to the by-gone era was the savvy staging and projections. Some of the finest that I have seen at any concert. Upbeat and pithy, the lights, the stage and projection fueled the energy that Duran Duran provided.
While every song that the band performed last night, it was the first four songs and the evenings last five songs that really stood out. Ending with Grandmaster Flashes "White Lines", "The Reflex", "Girls on Film" and the evenings two encores: "Save a Prayer" and ending with "Rio" was the perfect start and the perfect finish to this storied bands career.
As a warm up band Chic/ Nile Rodgers had as much energy as Duran Duran. Many of the crowd were there as much for Chic as Duran Duran. A staple in the 80's, Chic too was excellent performing "le Freak" (opening song),"Everybody Dance", "Dance, Dance, Dance", "I Want Your Love", two by the late great David Bowie (Modern Love, Let's Dance) and ending with "Good Times/ Rapper's Delight"
There has been many great concerts this year that I was fortunate to attend; Duran Duran and Chic was right up there with the top concerts. Both bands had such great timing, showmanship and energy and for almost three hours it permeated throughout Forrest Hills. The fans really had a thrill to go back in time and bask in some really great memories!
About the Creator
I have been writing on theater since 1982. A graduate from Manhattan College B.S. A member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes excellence in both English and Science. I have produced 12 shows on and off Broadway. I've seen over700 shows