When I heard that Duran Duran was making a concert stop my way this summer, I was pretty stoked--until I saw the dates and realized I couldn't make either. So when Culture Brats was offered a chance to review a Blu-Ray copy of A Diamond In The Mind, a Duran Duran 2011 concert film, I elbowed the other Brats out of the way while screaming "MINE MINE MINE!" Sorry Brats, those bruises should heal up just fine with a little ice.
The video opens with some backstage footage of the boys getting ready to go to work. Cue a shot of a man putting on more eyeliner than I wear in a year and artfully smearing it to give a more dramatic look. This is why I love '80s bands: today you go to a rock show and it's some guys in jeans and t-shirts. '80s bands? They put effort into their wardrobe. Glittery pants and jackets? Check. Dramatic eye makeup? Check. A guy with bleached blonde hair in a Victorian jacket and sparkly broach? Check. A guy with a spiky near-Flock of Seagulls pouf? Check.
The current incarnation of Duran Duran includes Simon Le Bon (lead vocals), John Taylor (bass guitar), Roger Taylor (drums - pink sparkly awesome drums that I covet), and Nick Rhodes (keyboards).
While it still freaks me out to see Simon Le Bon with a full beard looking more manly than pretty, I have to admit he looks good. More importantly, and this was actually a big concern of mine, he sounds fantastic. Simon has to hit some fairly high notes and after years of vocal abuse, I'd been worried that he wouldn't be able to pull it off anymore. He can and does for a solid hour and a half. It's actually kind of impressive.
John Taylor (with awesome hair) still lays down some serious bass.
Roger Taylor looks fresh faced and can drum for hours.
Nick Rhodes was my favorite thing. In a jacket with a cravat and broach, his hair bleached blonde, he looks kind of like what Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth would look like 20 years later behind a set of keyboards. And he has the same face the whole time, a face that basically says "Yes, I am a vampire rock God, bow down before me puny mortals" and it is awesome.
Little emo boys take note: this is how you rock and roll pretty.
The Blu-Ray set list is as follows:
1. "Return To Now" (title sequence)
2. "Before The Rain"
3. "Planet Earth"
4. "A View To A Kill"
5. "All You Need Is Now"
6. "Blame The Machines"
7. "Safe (In The Heat Of The Moment)"
8. "The Reflex"
9. "A Man Who Stole A Leopard"
10. "Girl Panic !"
11. "White Lines"
12. "Careless Memories"
13. "Ordinary World"
15. "Hungry Like The Wolf"
16. "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise"
17. "Wild Boys/Relax"
19. "A Diamond In The Mind" (over the credits)
Duran Duran 2011 - a documentary
Bonus Songs: "Come Undone," "Is There Something I Should Know"
My faves were probably "A View To A Kill," "All You Need Is Now" (I'd wanted to hear that one live, it's pretty good, less Trent Reznor-y than the album), "Girl Panic!," "White Lines," and the "Wild Boys/Relax" mashup was pretty fantastic. Great ending with "Rio."
Recorded in Manchester, England, it's a terrifically fun show, and the production values are high. I've seen some concert videos that looked and sounded awful but this one is well done. I really enjoyed some of the backing videos - they had a very '80s MTV video vibe to some of them, which was nice. The video is on sale on both blu-ray and DVD and is available today. There's also a concert album which you can download via iTunes.
Want a sample? Here's "Girl Panic !" from the concert video:
And to the lady in the audience holding a cup of beer in her teeth while recording the show on her iPhone, I salute you ma'am.