Monday, October 10, 2011

Chris Discusses Comicon October 8 & 9, 2011 (Part One) (Durandatory Duran)

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

Welcome to another Convention Week. Nathan and I attended Comicon the weekend of October 8 & 9, 2011, and we have many stories (some of them possibly even interesting) about the experience.

As my brother did in his recent guest articles, I should concentrate on the happenings of the convention, which is probably why I’m about to get sidetracked… now. Speaking of my brother’s articles. There are a few points of interest that I can deal with having to do with his articles, most of them having hardly anything to do with his articles.

The basic idea behind my brother’s articles was this. Along with some friends, he worked on producing a creative project. He went with these friends to Seattle to promote the creative project. He didn’t go see Duran Duran, who was playing in Seattle while he was there.

The first thing I’d like to say is that that is almost the plot of the long not finished According To Whim novel. The second thing I’d like to say is that Nathan and I were smart enough to go see Duran Duran before we went to our convention.

Now I’d like to sidetrack by discussing Duran Duran. There are a few major label acts that I’ve seen three times: Anthrax, Tool, Peter Murphy, and until Thursday, October 6, 2011, Duran Duran. Again, this is just major label acts. I’ve seen a number of local bands as many, or more, times. Duran Duran is also the only major label act that I’ve seen three times in the same year. This year, there was some crazy luck that led to this somewhat unique opportunity. The first being that they’re promoting an album that is doing well commercially, and the second being that one of their Oklahoma dates was close enough to make the trip.

Nathan went with me the second time this year, and he was apparently impressed, because he went this time too. And so did my dad. Ok, first time this year, I went on my own. Second time this year, it was Nathan, Nathan’s wife, my dad, my brother, my sister and me. I’d mentioned to my dad that I wished I could take my children, but I didn’t have enough money. Third time this year, it was Nathan, my dad, my two older daughters, and me. Because of logistics and available money, we were only able to take my two older daughters. Hopefully sometime in the future, I can take the rest of my children to see Duran Duran.

I couldn’t pick my favourite show of the four times I’ve seen Duran Duran. Each has been great, and neither has really fallen short of excellence. Through no fault of the band, the Super Bowl Jam in February was probably the least optimal as they were only able to play eight songs. I have logged the playlist of each show, and I have what will probably be an all too incomplete Bingo card for Duran Duran songs. I’d have to compile all the lists to tell you how it stands. I have a future post that I want to write where I can detail that. This show gave me a few more songs.

They opened up with “Before the Rain.” They played “Planet Earth,” which unless they played that at the 1999 show, I’d never seen performed live. Same with “Come Undone.” They played “The Man Who Stole a Leopard,” which I’m sure I’d not seen live. The surprise was “Tiger Tiger.” Simon and Anna left the stage to change clothing, and the rest of the band (along with the touring saxophonist) performed the instrumental classic. The rest of the set I’d heard live at one or both of the other shows this year.

[Edit - I got curious and looked up the 1999 show, even though I logged it on a piece of paper. I found this. First thing to note, they did play "Planet Earth" according to this. Second thing to note is that I wrote "New song" three times on my list, because "Pop Trash" was not released yet, but they were playing tracks from it. According to this, they also played "Lava Lamp," which I did not remember. So that would make four "new songs." Third thing to note, there is an unofficial CD of the show. I now have a side mission to find a copy of this recording in some form.]

I think that at some point in my life, I need to follow a band on their entire US tour. If Duran Duran stays together and releases another album that they tour the US to promote (or if they do another US tour in support of this album or anything else), I think I might try to make Duran Duran that band. How will I pull this off financially? Um… I really don’t know. That might be the sticking point.

This may not have much to do with the convention, but if nothing else, Nathan and I did discuss our plans for the weekend. He’d arranged for someone to help him take the product out on Friday. He would pick me up and drop me off at home on Saturday. And if I wasn’t too tired on Sunday, I would drive out there myself. Yep. And that’s how the show relates to the convention.

Some tidbits about the show:

My dad was going to buy us all a soda, until he realized that sodas were $6 a piece.

Neon Trees was the opening band. They’re a pretty good live band, and I enjoyed their music for the most part. I only knew one of their songs though, and as their set progressed, I became more and more convinced that they should have opened for the band “fun.” when I saw them earlier this year. Their musical style is similar.

Nathan was watching the screen that had the Twitter feed before the show. In fact, Nathan was totally part of the Networker Nation that night. Ok, I think he posted to Facebook only twice. The point is that Nathan pointed out a post that said, “Somebody should throw a ‘Double D’ bra on stage.” We all had a laugh at this. One of my daughters pointed out that the lead singer of Neon Trees might like women’s clothing, and I pointed out that he couldn’t fill out a double D.

Simon dedicated the show to Steve Jobs based on the fact that as a technology innovator, he changed many lives. I think Nick uses a Mac as part of his instrument setup.

John referred to Simon as “Charlie” later in the show before they played “Tiger Tiger.” Charlie is Simon’s nickname. His birth name is Simon John Charles Le Bon They showed some more Twitter feeds while they played “Tiger Tiger”… and boy did it feel like the credits were rolling. What John said was, “Like Charlie said earlier, this show is for Steve Jobs, and we know that after forty minutes, you’re itching to tweet. I know I am.” Nathan later pointed out that Steve Jobs had nothing to do with Twitter, aside from it being a computer thing.

They had these weird face things above the stage, and without being able to describe them in an easily understandable way, I just want to say they were creepy.

During “The Wild Boys” they performed a small snippet of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax.” When they played at Winstar earlier this year, they did a small snippet of “Papa was a Rolling Stone” during their encore.

Not only am I thankful to my dad for fronting the money for all of us (except Nathan who paid for his own ticket), but also for getting us such good seats. The tickets said “Obstructed View,” but the amps really didn’t block anything. The seats were really some of the best in the room.

Also, my dad’s birthday was the day before the show, and while I didn’t forget his birthday, I forgot to say anything. Pretty par for the course for me though. In September of 1997, I suddenly realized that I’d turned 24 in July, after telling someone I was 23.

I think that’s all I have to say about the concert. On Wednesday, I will start my official convention weekend coverage, and on Friday I will conclude. I will answer the following questions:

Why was I so tired on Saturday… again?

What musical performance was I not expecting to see?

Where the hell was James O’Barr… again?

What decision have I made regarding all convention weekends going forward?

Why did I not make it out there on Sunday… again?

What item did I buy that cost me $1,100?

Be sure to check back. And be sure to check out Nathan’s point of view on what essentially should have been the same weekend, but most certainly was not.

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