My Favorite Artist: Duran Duran

Duran Duran performs at The Fillmore New Orleans on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Editor’s Note: Parklife DC asked its contributors to write essays about their favorite bands. These essays appear in an occasional series, My Favorite Artist, and provide our readers with insights into our bloggers, their motivations, and their approach to covering concerts.

To my ear, music is at its best when it motivates and inspires. Popular music provides a forum for catharsis, surely, but I am most excited when I hear something that stirs my soul, lifts my head, and moves my feet.

Cue Duran Duran.

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Live Review: Duran Duran @ The Fillmore New Orleans — 2/19/19

DuranDuran15 Simon LeBon fronts Duran Duran at The Fillmore New Orleans on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When I was a young lad in the early ’80s on the search for good music, Duran Duran struck as a revelation. They’ve remained as powerful and interesting today as they were then, and their talent, chemistry, and sophistication were on full display at a pair of shows in newly opened The Fillmore New Orleans this week.

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Preview: Duran Duran @ The Fillmore New Orleans, 2/20/19

Duran Duran (Photo by Stephanie Pistel)

New wave heroes Duran Duran perform at a big festival in the Cayman Islands soon, and then they come ashore for a short stint of dates in the United States, including two nights at The Fillmore New Orleans. The first night at the sparkling new Fillmore sold out but limited tickets remain for Duran Duran’s show on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

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Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2017 by Mickey

warpaint_dm-gore Martin Gore performs with Depeche Mode at Capital One Arena on Sept. 7, 2017. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: ConspiracyCaptures/GrillworksBen)

The year 2017 was a good year for revisiting old friends as they returned to remind us that they truly still “got it.” In the past year, Parklife DC reviewed a great deal of musicians and bands, and the performances that really distinguished themselves often came as something of a pleasant surprise.

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Music Park: Duran Duran @ MGM National Harbor — 12/31/16

Duran Duran 17 Duran Duran perform at MGM National Harbor on Dec. 31, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“Did you get your smoked salmon and your caviar? Or is anybody hungry?” roared Simon LeBon, introducing “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran on New Year’s Eve.

Booked for a special weekend of shows on New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s Day 2017, Duran Duran fed a ravenous sold-out crowd song after song at The Theater at MGM National Harbor Saturday, fielding one of the very first concerts in the brand new casino and entertainment complex on the cusp of DC city limits in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

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Don’t Miss: Duran Duran @ MGM National Harbor, 1/1/17

Duran Duran New Years Theater At MGM National Harbor
Duran Duran (Photo courtesy MGM National Harbor)

As we fast approach 2017, we at Parklife DC resolve to see more shows. And we are starting our year off with a bang, as I’ll be catching Duran Duran at the new Theatre at MGM National Harbor on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Duran Duran actually will perform two shows at MGM National Harbor, marking the venue’s fourth- and fifth-ever performances on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. (Boys to Men, Lionel Richie, and Bruno Mars already have played there.) And tickets already are sold out for Duran Duran’s New Year’s Eve show, which takes you right up until midnight. I toured the Theatre recently, and I can assure you it is a delightfully designed space that feels very intimate on the ground floor.

Watch the official music video for “The Reflex” by Duran Duran (a song on their most recent setlist) on YouTube:

Duran Duran last performed in DC on April at the Verizon Center in an outstanding show that included their longtime friend and mentor Nile Rodgers. (Read our Parklife DC review of that show.) The band most recently performed only last night, Dec. 29, in Cancun, Mexico. That setlist included a massive amount of favorites, and largely mirrored the setlist from their Paper Gods Tour, undertaken in support of their most recent album.

In their encore last night, Duran Duran performed “Save a Prayer,” which they dedicated to their late friend George Michael. (Who else remembers that Simon LeBon joined Wham! onstage for “I’m Your Man” during their final shows at Wembley Stadium?)

For those who have been following such things, the amazing Nick Rhodes will participate in the MGM National Harbor shows, after taking some time off earlier this year due to a sickness in his family.

Tickets are available online.

Duran Duran
MGM National Harbor
Sunday, Jan. 1
Doors @8pm
All ages

Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2016 by Mickey

CHVRCHES 008 Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.

That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.

Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)

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