Judge Brett Cullum dances on the sand just like that river twisting through a dusty land.
Darken the city, night is a wire
Amazingly enough, Duran Duran is one of the few '80s bands that seems to still be out there touring and promoting new albums. Admirably they have journeyed on out of their big decade and managed to crank out a hit several times in each era. Their peers—such as Culture Club, Wham!, Missing Persons, and the Human League—have all turned into solo acts or disparagingly disappeared with barely a trace. The irony for Duran Duran is that they may finally be the group they always wanted to become. Simon, Nick, John, and Roger have lived up to their aspirations to become as influential as Roxy Music, and maybe even moreso given their lasting commercial success. Since MTV has long abstained from playing music videos and Tiger Beat has stopped making posters of them, the guys can finally let the music speak for itself without all the screaming young girls who now fixate on Justin Bieber. Duran Duran: A Diamond in the Mind captures the "fab four" (Andy Taylor is missing) on tour promoting their latest effort All You Need is Now. The show was filmed at the MEN Arena in Manchester on December 16th, 2011.
The setlist includes:
It is decidedly heavy on the All You Need is Now material, which is brand new, but it all sounds exceptionally good live. The new stuff and the greatest hits fare well as they roll through them without much break in the momentum. Duran Duran has certainly not lost their passion for putting on super slick concerts, and this one is what fans expect. Even though these "Wild Boys" are now all in their fifties, they still know how to put on a show that leaves the current crop of musical acts lagging behind. They are flanked by moving light rigs, multiple screens, and four ever-changing faces that hover far above the stage for effect. They show off designer clothes and manage to slap on make-up and work their hair with product as if it were 1985 all over. Added to the band for the tour is guitarist Dom Brown who has been with them since Andy Taylor departed, and adding to the vocals is Anna Ross. There are some other musicians along for the ride, which gives everything a nice extra punch with more drums and saxophone than normal.
High definition is probably not an aging rocker's best friend, but the transfer is quite clear and clean. Everything looks like it should and detail is superior. You can see the sparkly things on Simon Le Bon's shirt and pants as well as the eyeliner on Nick Rhodes! Colors are natural, and the stage lighting looks good with no distortion. You can choose between a simple stereo or mix or opt for the full surround effect. Extras include two bonus songs "Come Undone" and "Is There Something I Should Know." Also in the package is a well produced documentary about how 2011 went for the band. It includes their collaboration with David Lynch for an online streaming concert in LA, and also chronicles lead singer Simon's throat troubles. It's a great supplement to the live show.
Duran Duran fans are going to eat this one up. A Diamond in the Mind has the band in fine form, even if they are missing Andy Taylor from the most well-known incarnation of the group. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor seem to be aging well and have the same passion for making great power pop that rocks just enough to get the women swaying. It's nice to see them out on the road playing their new material rather than simply sitting back and rehashing "The Reflex" again and again. It's missing some of my favorites like "Save a Prayer" and "Girls on Film," but I suppose you can't have them crank out all the songs you want. For a band formed over three decades ago it is crazy to think they are still this relevant and able to play this well. Survivors of the new wave, the new romantics, and the '80s, Duran Duran proved to last as long as their legacy.
It's slick, it's sophisticated, it's Duran Duran. Guilty of being just as
polished as they were in the '80s.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
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