Duran Duran w/ Neon Trees 09/27/11
Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA
Words/Photos by Eringoboro
I’m really excited to post this review! I thought I’d be exhausted and grumpy rolling in to the office Wednesday morning, but there really is nothing like a post-concert high when you’ve been to a great show.
Last night, my soon-to-be-husband (6 more weeks ’til I’m “Mrs. Stover”!) took me to see Duran Duran at NOKIA Theatre at L.A. Live. I was stoked, because it’s a fun band, and because I had yet to see a show at NOKIA. Usually I hate arena shows because the sound is lousy, but NOKIA is a way smaller venue, and built for concerts, not sporting events. The sound for both opening act and main event were spectacular.
But enough about venues, on to the real meat and potatoes!
Neon Trees, a band with roots in California and Utah, were the opening act. I had really wanted to check them out before getting to the show, but I just didn’t have the time with my hectic schedule. I was pleasantly surprised! Their look totally fit in with the 80′s theme of the evening with the Flock Of Seagulls hairstyles, motorcycle jackets, and lead guitarist Chris Allen’s GREAT homage to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen in a purple jacket with black and white checkered pants. Their drummer, Elaine Bradley, looked adorable in an edgy-yet-feminine black glitter shirt with a cute teal flower. The entire set I listened with open ears to their pop-rock sound, and was impressed by the musicianship of the band as a whole, as well as frontman Tyler Glenn’s vocals obviously inspired by Bono, Brandon Flowers and Duran Duran’s own Simon Le Bon. They seemed to have a bit of a following throughout the theatre, and Adam and I were enjoying their stuff, but unfortunately didn’t know anything they were playing…
until their closing song, Animal, which we’ve both heard tons of times (and I’m pretty sure everyone has heard it on commercials, Glee, the radio). I was extremely impressed once I heard their big hit because it sounded exactly like the album – meaning they’re not overproduced like much of what’s out today (even Glenn acknowleges how rock and roll has lost its edge and “everything’s all Lady GaGa”). A solid set with a great closing song definitely warmed up the crowd for the main event.
Around 9:15pm Duran Duran takes the stage playing “Before the Rain” then hitting the ground running with their very first hit, “Planet Earth,” rocking from past to present with the title track off their new album “All You Need Is Now.” A one-two punch to get everyone dancing, and dance we all did – into the fire! – as they segued into their James Bond Theme “A View to A Kill.” The house was rocking and never stopped the whole show, even through the slower hit of “Come Undone.” The first camera zoom to guitarist John Taylor drew screams from all the girls, and Simon Le Bon’s vocals were impeccable the entire evening – impressive since he just got over serious laryngitis that had to cancel several shows earlier this year. Le Bon & Co. went through a broad spectrum of their catalogue and played nearly every hit, including “The Reflex.” Performing another single off of their most recent album, Le Bon dons an acoustic guitar for the sweet ballad, “Leave a Light On,” which was lovely both melodiously and lyrically.
Following my personal favorite, “Notorious” (which I went nuts upon hearing the first “NO”) , the show was about to close after the hits “Hungry Like the Wolf,” and “Sunrise,” leaving the crowd screaming for an encore. We definitely got what we wanted with “Ordinary World,” “Wild Boys” (with a little bit of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” thrown in for good measure), and ending what I can only call the evening as a “huge dance party” with the infamous “Rio,” that anyone walking down Chick Hearn Court was singing on their way home.
I really hadn’t had this much fun at a concert in a long, long time, and everyone around me was having a blast. I would definitely go to another Duran Duran show, and will absolutely be seeking out more shows to see at NOKIA.
Here’s one last clip of “Ordinary World.”