Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage, CA – 8/5/19
Review and Pictures: Marie Randall
Rock legends Duran Duran embarked on their mini west coast tour with a sold out date at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA on September 5th.
Devoted Durannies gathered early at The Show, the venue inside the casino, to grab a spot on the GA floor. There was no opening act, so the band took to the stage at 8:30 for a lively two hour show.
Far from being an 80’s nostalgia band, Duran Duran have been able to remain innovative and relevant- always recording new music and touring. Throughout their 30+ year history Duran have been able to withstand line-up changes and mercurial trends in the music business.
The band consists of four original band members: vocalist Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, and drummer Roger Taylor. Joining them onstage were guitarist Dom Brown, saxophonist Simon Willescroft, and backup singers Anna Ross and Erin Stevenson.
Simon Le Bon bounded onstage and kept his audience singing and dancing all night. He pumped his fists, flashed goofy faces, stuck his tongue out, and stretched out his microphone for crowd sing-a-longs. His voice was a little rough in the beginning, but his lovely back-up singers were able to lend him a hand and fill out the vocals. Later on in the set, he even recited a poem called Thread (unfortunately the poet’s name escapes me). Simon Le Bon, always the renaissance man. John Taylor circulated around the stage, playfully interacting with Dom and Simon. I couldn’t see Roger Taylor behind the drums, but I’m sure he was there. And of course, there was stoic Nick Rhodes behind his bank of keyboards. Every now and then he’d pop up to take pictures with his point and shoot camera.
The band has an extensive back-catalog of hits, plus newer songs from which to curate an impressive set list. At one point Simon Le Bon said he’d met a young lady backstage who excitedly asked him, “Pleeeeease, will you play some New Romantic songs?” And with that they reached way back for a deep cut “Careless Memories” from their first album.
To add to the party atmosphere, during the song “Pressure Off“, the confetti machines blew the most confetti I think I’ve ever seen at a concert. Then during the encore they blasted out another round, plus giant beach balls were thrown into the audience. Confetti was everywhere-the lobby, the restrooms, the casino. In the bar after the show, the beach balls made a re-appearance, bouncing around the heads of after-concert party goers on the dance floor.
After the Agua Caliente show, the band were then headed off to Las Vegas for two shows at the Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan on the 7th and 8th, two nights at Mountain Winery on the 10th and 11th, Lake Tahoe on the 13th, then wrapping things up at Kaaboo Del Mar on the 15th.
Hungry Like The Wolf
I Don’t Want Your Love
Anyone Out There
A View To A Kill
Last Night In The City
Girls On Film
The Universe Alone/Say A Prayer