The Sound Of A Good Time: Duran Duran at Huntington Bank Pavilion [REVIEW]

By Justice Petersen – Photos © 2023 by: Frank Griseta

**I’d like to apologize to my lovely mother and my dear Aunt Peggy, who said they wouldn’t forgive me for having the audacity to see Duran Duran without them unless I give them both honorable mentions in this review.**

Currently on tour for their fifteenth studio album, “Future Past,” iconic new wave group Duran Duran played a sensational and ethereal show at Chicago’s Huntington Bank Pavilion on Friday night. Reminiscent of an infectious celebration of joy (and a little bit of sexiness, as vocalist Simon Le Bon said), Duran Duran gave an unforgettable performance that would understandably be coveted by those who weren’t close enough to hear the echoing sounds of “Save A Prayer” from Northerly Island.

Opening for the enigmatic Brits on Friday night were Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Bastille. Nile Rodgers, a renowned guitarist and producer, is not only the co-founder of the band CHIC, but he has produced albums for artists such as Mick Jagger, Duran Duran, David Bowie, and Madonna. Playing through several songs in which his influence is immortalized, such as Bowie’s “Modern Love” and Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” Nile Rodgers & CHIC performed with dazzling funk and lighthearted passion. For those who will never get the chance to see Bowie play “Let’s Dance,” Rodgers and his fellow band members did thousands of music lovers a wonderful service.

After Nile Rodgers & CHIC was Bastille. While they have several songs that gain constant radio play, such as “Happier” and “Pompeii,” these songs take on new effects entirely when performed live. At their show, one was able to hear the harmonies in “Happier” much more clearly, and the drums in their songs carry the same pounding force as Royal Blood. With infectious audience participation and vocalist Dan Smith’s chill charisma, Bastille was undoubtedly favored among those in attendance.

Soon, Duran Duran came to the stage as the lights went out, and thousands of people began to scream in delight. As they made their presence known, the band did so as though they were interdimensional beings that we mere mortals don’t truly understand. With a highly ethereal energy and magnetic presence, there’s no doubt that Duran Duran still captures the hearts of music lovers the same way they did when they released their self-titled debut in 1981.

It should be noted that every member plays with the same charm, energy, and talent that they did at the start of their career. Le Bon still maintains the same smooth and unwavering richness in his voice and John Taylor’s bass tone was consistently solid.

The band played through a number of their renowned hits that took America by storm. Tearing and dancing their way through hits like “The Reflex”, “The Wild Boys”, and “Planet Earth”, Duran Duran teaches us that no matter how old we are, we never stop loving our idols. As they played “Is There Something I Should Know?” large screens above the stage displayed a montage of different magazine covers featuring Duran Duran that came out during the 1980s. Viewing the teeny bop magazine covers while listening to the screams of female fans around the venue, Duran Duran reminds us that throughout our whole lives, we feel like lovesick teenagers deep down.

Although no Duran Duran concert would be complete without playing their fan favorites, the band did a great job providing a well-rounded setlist overall. As well as their classic hits, they also played newer songs, including “Anniversary” and “Give It All Up”, both from “Future Past,” that maintains that unique New Romantic sound that the band became so loved for. They also played a cover of “White Lines (Don’t Do It),” and hearing this live gave the same physical feeling that one would get after attending the greatest party they’ve ever been to in their life.

Whether it was fan cams on the audience or stage visuals of Bela Lugosi’s eyes and old Hollywood vampire films, nobody can deny that Duran Duran is fun, playful, and lowkey a goth group – if their love of Lugosi proves anything. As they dedicated their song “Ordinary World” to the people of Ukraine and Maui, they also proved that they are as thoughtful and kind as they are talented and iconic.

If you go to see Duran Duran, you’re going to have fun, and you’re going to feel flirted with. How can you not when, before jumping right into “Hungry Like the Wolf,” Le Bon tells the audience with glittering eyes and a smirk, “That moon is priceless baby, it’s half the cost of you.”

Duran Duran’s new album, “Danse Macabre”, comes out on October 27.

See Duran Duran on tour:


Night Boat
The Wild Boys
Hungry Like the Wolf
A View To Kill
Give It All Up
Lonely In Your Nightmare / Super Freak
Is There Something I Should Know?
Friends of Mine
Careless Memories
Ordinary World ((dedicated to the people of Maui and the people of Ukraine))
Come Undone
Planet Earth
White Lines (Don’t Do It) ((Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five cover))
The Reflex
Girls on Film / Acceptable in the 80s ((Calvin Harris cover))

Encore ((or what Simon Le Bon calls “The sound of a good time”))
Save A Prayer


Photos © 2023 by: Frank Griseta

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