concert memoirs pt. 34 – duran duran & elastica

Duran Duran

8/18/00 New World Music Theatre w/Amy, Sarah & Sean Ticket Price: $26.50

Yep, that’s right. Duran Duran. Hard to believe I would see this band, right? Guess what else. The New World Music Theatre is in Joliet, Illinois! Uh huh, we drove all the way to Joliet to see the “wild boys”. If you’re thinking a woman was involved, you’d be right.

I think Duran Duran has a few good songs, but I’d never buy one of their albums or go to their show if it weren’t for Amy. Amy and her friend, Sarah, are lifelong fans of the band and they’d never seen them, so, when Sarah heard they’d get as close as Illinois on that year’s tour, she convinced us to go. It didn’t take much to convince Amy, but they had to suggest making it a weekend in Chicago to convince Sean (Sarah’s boyfriend at the time) and I to go.

Sarah got the tickets to the show and tickets to a Chicago White Sox game (something for the boys), while Amy found lodging. So, off we went, Sean and Sarah in their car, Amy and I in ours to take in the glory of Duran Duran (and the White Sox and whatever else Chicago had to offer).

It turned out to be a pretty good time. We saw the sites in Chicago and were fortunate to be there the weekend of the big air show that takes place there every year. We took in the Museum of Modern Art, the Field Museum, the world-famous fountain, and the Hard Rock Cafe (ok, that last one was rather pedestrian, but still).

So, the big show! Well, we all piled into Sean’s car and headed to the outdoor amphitheater. As we were queued up in the car waiting to get into the parking area, I was treated to one of the more bizarre moments in my life with Amy.

We were waiting there when a long, black limo drove past us heading toward the venue. I spotted it and said, in all innocence, “Maybe that’s them in the limo.”

“SHRIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!!!!”

The sound came from the backseat of the car where Amy and Sarah were seated. I slowly turned to look at my girlfriend, “Was that you?”

She was so embarrassed, but, yes, it had been her who had shrieked. I had never before nor since heard her make that sound, even after she had recently been surprised by a mouse in our kitchen. Very interesting.

So, Duran Duran hit the stage and were greeted by a lot of shrieks. There were an awful lot of female types in the crowd. I think it was one of the few shows I’d been to where the women outnumbered the men. I wonder why that would be?

The show was pretty good. I’ve admitted that I do like a few of their tunes. I don’t think Sean was very interested, though. Judging by his mullet and the kind of car he drove (some muscle car, I forget which), I think Sean was more interested in Toby Keith style country music or 80’s hair bands, maybe both.

But, Amy and Sarah were in heaven. They were thoroughly enjoying themselves. The venue was outdoors and the sun had gone down so the conditions were fairly comfortable. However, I noticed that Amy and Sarah seemed to be glistening. They weren’t sweating profusely, but had this light sheen to their skin. They seemed to glisten more during their favorite songs, as well. Sean and I weren’t glistening.

The show over, we headed back to the car and got in one of the lines of cars heading for the freeway. As we slowly made our way out, I noticed that a jeep we were coming along side of was sporting an intriguing license plate. The personalized plate read “N RAYGUN”. I was so excited to see Naked Raygun fans, I shrieked liked a certain Duran Duran fan…

No, I’m kidding. I didn’t shriek, however, as we came along side them, I called out, “Naked Raygun kicks ass!”

The occupants of the jeep wholeheartedly agreed.

It turned out to be a very good eventful weekend in Joliet and Chicago. And Duran Duran didn’t suck.

Elastica
9/26/00 First Avenue w/Amy & Mark Ticket Price: Unknown

As you can see, the ticket states that this was “the long awaited return of Elastica”. That may have been true, but it was a disappointing return.

They were late in taking the stage. As soon as they had started to play, the drum kit had a malfunction. Something on it had broken. They stopped playing, apologized, and then excused themselves while the crew made repairs. So we had to wait another 15 minutes or so.

Another long awaited return later, they came back to the stage. Their set was rather lackluster. The energy and fun of the last time I’d seen them (First Avenue, 6/4/95) just wasn’t there that night. Partly due to the fact that their second album, ‘Menace’, was also on the lackluster side. Despite the presence of Mark E. Smith, ‘Menace’ didn’t pack the same punch as their debut album.

A couple years after this show, City Pages, a local weekly newspaper, had an article about people’s memories of First Avenue, the famous Minneapolis nightclub. I think the article was prompted by the brief closing of the club at that time. One of the contributors to the article remembered Elastica’s members’ desperate search for heroin. So, that may have been one reason for the poor quality of the show.

There was an additional member to the band’s line-up for the show. A young gal who occasionally played keyboards and shouted a few backing vocals. However, it seemed that the main reason she was there was to dance around and shake her boobies. Boobies barely restrained by a thin t-shirt. (Yes, Amy, I noticed)

Our friend, Mark, commented after the show that Miss Boobies must have been the girlfriend of someone in the band.

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