Duran Duran : Los Angeles Roxy

Who'd'a thought it? '80s glamourpusses make triumphant return

WhileBeck, Gwen Stefani and Nicolas Cage sail down the paparazzi-flanked red carpet that leads to LA’s most-hyped gig of the year, those not so lucky to be on the guestlist are out on the Sunset Strip, surreptitiously procuring black-market tickets for $500 a pop. Which seems like a lot. But can you really put a price on the newly reunited [a]Duran Duran[/a]’s first US performance in 18 years (at the same venue they made their American debut at in 1981)?

Those too young to remember the Wild Boys’ fingerless-gloved hold on ’80s pop consciousness (or too old to care about electroclash) may wonder what all the fuss is about – after all, didn’t D2 tour and record throughout the ’90s? Um, no. True Durannies know that with two of the band’s three Taylors – drummer Roger (the Quiet One) and guitarist Andy (the Least-Cute One) – MIA since 1985’s Live Aid, and only singer Simon Le Bon and keyboardist Nick Rhodes on board for the last couple albums, that wasn’t [a]Duran Duran[/a].

Tonight, this is [a]Duran Duran[/a] the way God intended, the Fab Five. It doesn’t matter that Roger’s as grizzled as a North Sea fisherman, that Andy’s even less cute than he was during his unfortunate hair-extensions phase, or that the jowly, sweaty Simon resembles a wet bulldog. No, all that matters is they’re playing all their Old Romantic classics (‘Girls On Film’, ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’), and that bassist John Taylor (the Gorgeous One) is, at age 43, still hotter than Rio asphalt.

Svelte, salt-and-pepper-coiffure, and sporting a Miami Vice suit that’s as stylish now as it was in ’83, JT reminds everyone that [a]Duran Duran[/a] were once the coolest band on Planet Earth – and that tonight, they still are.

Lyndsey Parker