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Duran Duran

Duran Duran Brings “Future Past” Tour to Tampa’s Amalie Arena

| Vicky Sullivan |

My introduction to Duran Duran was on my MTV in 1981.  “Girls On Film,” “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Wild Boys” were on heavy rotation.  It was the second British invasion in the early 80’s and Duran led the pack.  They are one of the few 80’s bands who have flourished over the years with music in the 90’s and into the millennium. Their latest album is “Future Past,” and they are on a 40-year celebration tour even though they have passed that mark.  They have garnered awards over the years and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022!

Duran Duran

On this leg of the tour, they have brought Nile Rodgers and CHIC along with the English band Bastille as supporting acts.  Up first at the Tampa show at the Amalie Arena was Nile and Company. Rodgers opened with his classic disco tune “Le Freak,” an ode to Studio 54 which had the crowd up dancing! He kept the party atmosphere going with “Everybody Dance” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.”  Nile has produced a who’s who of musicians and he pays homage to artists like Madonna, David Bowie and Daft Punk by playing covers of “Modern Love” and “Upside Down” in his setlist.  Nile also produced Duran’s “The Reflex” and “Notorious” albums.  Nile and bass player Bernard Edwards have written some of the great songs of our time! Nile was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 as an innovator, producer, and writer in almost every genre of modern music!

Bastille is the newest and youngest band on this tour. Coming onto the music scene in 2010, they released their album “Bad Blood” in 2013.  There was a Grammy nomination and Brit Awards. For the tour, they played a nine-song set that included their hit “Pompeii.”  High energy rock with wildman guitarist Will Farquarson running around the stage.  Frontman singer Dan Smith leads the stage jumping, dancing and head banging getting the audience ready for their mentors.

Musical Review

The stars of this show are clearly Duran Duran as it was sold out.  “Duranies” of all ages were waiting for the band to take the stage.  There were many Duran t-shirts in the crowd including some original well-worn 80’s tees.  The lights come down and Duran takes the stage in silhouette to a screaming crowd.  Visiting the past, they open with the haunting “Night Boat” from their debut album in 1981. Simon LeBon is dressed in a white jacket and Duran t-shirt for “Union of the Snake,” although the song was not on the night’s setlist.  Not leaving the crowd hanging for hits, they got right to business with “Wild Boys” and Simon asking the crowd, “What kind of animal are you?” as the intro to “Hungry Like the Wolf” had the arena out of their seats!  As one of the artists who have had the coveted honor to do a James Bond soundtrack song, they pay a classy tribute with “A View To A Kill.”  The show’s sound and lighting was stellar as you would expect from innovators of groundbreaking videos and technology in music.  But make no mistake; the music is the star here. 

Duran Duran

“GIVE IT ALL UP” from “Future Past” is a newer tune not familiar to everyone but the audience was into it.  What came next was a surprise when “Lonely In Your Nightmare” morphed into Rick James “Superfreak” and the Amalie Arena was on fire! Who doesn’t know “Superfreak” and how often does it get played live these days? Great moment in the show!  An audience fun sing-along to 1983’s “Is There Something I Should Know?’  A beautifully serious moment in the show is the band’s dedication to the people of Ukraine by asking everyone to light up their phones and the Amalie was shimmering while the band played “Ordinary World.”  Backup singer Anna Ross joined Simon to perform 1993’s hit “Come Undone”.  Ms. Ross has worked with Tina Turner and Sting among others.  The high energy of “The Reflex” had all the band workin it. 

Bassist John Taylor is on a constant move with Dom Brown handling lead guitar.  “Girls On Film” mashed up perfectly with “Acceptable in the 80’s” to finish the set.  Returning to the stage for the encore were Nick, John and drummer Roger Taylor who took a seat on the stairs of the stage while Nick took photos of the audience.  Simon appeared in a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey with player name Duran Duran on the back.  He picked up an acoustic guitar and the band played “Save A Prayer,” with the audience singing the chorus being led by Simon.  Closing the show was that catchy 1982 big hit “Rio”! It got pretty loud in the arena with everyone singing along and staying till the end! The show was nostalgic but yet current, Simon’s voice sounds the same yet richer.   A fun, energetic evening with Duran Duran!

Vicky Sullivan Photos

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