Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
Nashville Antioch TN AmSouth Ampitheater
Leaves everyone longing for a bit more 1983...
From the opener, 'Last Day On Earth', the band seem intent upon garnering excitement for material from their recent 'Pop Trash' set. It is an admirable move, considering they very well could phone-in 90 minutes of hits, but unsatisfying. Twenty years of material that has burned its way into the collective consciousness of their fans leaves little enthusiasm for moody, underdeveloped songs like 'Playing With Uranium'
There are the hits. 'Hungry Like The Wolf' elicits an hysterical reaction and a lovely reading of 'Ordinary World', the band's wistful, creative zenith, allows guitarist Warren Cuccurullo to flex some melodic muscles, but the setlist is jarringly uneven. It is obvious by the cheers for the video backdrop during 'Too Much Information' (scenes from their MTV classics) that the crowd wants pre-1985 Duran Duran.
Finally, on a lively version of 'Rio' marred only by Le Bon's stilted harmonica solo, the band connects. The five-song encore delivers a proper climax of faves, including 'Girls On Film'. It's all a bit like meeting an old friend and struggling to rediscover the ties that used to bind. It's been an effort, but the reunion is sweet and leaves everyone longing for a bit more 1983.
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