Duran Duran: Paper Gods Tour Phoenix

Recently legendary super group Duran Duran came to the Phoenix area as part of their Paper Gods tour. The band has charted hit albums and singles since the early 80s where they helped make MTV a Pop Culture mainstay.

Although the lineup changed in the 90s, the hits kept coming and with a short lived but successful reunion of the original five members the band reached a never level of success in the 2000s which they have maintained with 4 of the original 5 members.

Their latest album Paper Gods opened to critical acclaim and has spawned even more hits for the band which reminded the world that they are more than a simple 80s band and have been one of the most influential and successful bands of the last 30 years.

The show at the Gila River Arena was nearly full and the audience listened contently to the opening act of DJ Tokimonsta and the awesome CHIC Featuring Nile Rodgers who let loose several of their hits as well as a serious of #1 singles written by Rodgers.

Finally the time for the main event came and Duran Duran opened with Paper Gods from their new album and followed with a high energy version of Wild Boys complete with fire and laser which got the crowd on their feet and kept them there for pretty much the entire two hour show. The hits flew nonstop.
Hungry Like the Wolf
A View to a Kill
Come Undone
Last Night in the City
What Are the Chances?

Nile Rodgers then joined the band on stage where singer Simon LeBon talked about their friendship and how Rodgers gave them their first #1 song when he remixed The Reflex after the band determined that it was a good song but was missing that extra something. Rodgers then jammed with the band on two of the songs he worked with them on in the 80s and today.

Notorious and Pressure Off which proved to be a big hit with the audience as they danced and sang along to the funky new tune with the infectious chorus.

Just as the audience was catching their breath, the band launched into
Planet Earth which was punctuated with a moving David Bowie tribute with

Space Oddity and followed with the moving Ordinary World which has become and enduring classic.

I Don’t Want Your Love , White Lines (Don’t Do It) , (Reach Up for the) Sunrise/New Moon On Monday
The Reflex, and Girls on Film followed as the band left the stage to a thunderous and sustained ovation.

The band returned with the hypnotic strains of The Chauffeur which was interesting seeing how keyboardist Nick Rhodes had to miss this leg of the tour to attend to some urgent matters back in England. His fill in MNDR did a solid job with the material and kept the energy moving. The band rounded out the night with an emotional version of Save a Prayer where Simon urged the audience not to give into the hate, fear, and violence in the world and urged that goodness in the end will always prevail. The night was capped off by the high energy Rio which once again had everyone singing and dancing along.

I have seen the band seven times prior and even though they were on the end of a final leg of a tour, they have the energy of men in their early 20s and continued to give one of the best live shows of anyone. This performance was honestly better than any of their prior shows that I have seen and that is really saying a lot considering their history.

Naturally with their extensive catalog of hits it would have been impossible to play all of them but Duran Duran did a great job of covering many of their big songs from the 80s to today. A family seated in front of us pretty much summed up the night like this. The two boys and the dad were looking like they would rather be anywhere but there when the show started as they seemed more than a bit embarrassed by the enthusiastic screams and dancing of their wife/mother. By the time Ordinary World played, they were all standing and singing along for the remainder of the show. Good music endures and Duran Duran like their music not only endures but keeps going on stronger than ever.