Last week, Rhonda went to see Duran Duran’s Unstaged in the theatre with a friend of ours and she wrote about her experience in this post. As someone who attended the actual concert, she had a unique view, which affected her enjoyment of seeing Unstaged now on the big screen. I was not fortunate enough to be there at the Mayan Theatre in the spring of 2011. Instead, I watched it from the comforts of my living room and reviewed it here. I had watched some scenes/songs since but not the entire thing. Still, I knew what to expect. I wasn’t expecting to change my opinion about it but I was looking forward to spending time with some nearby Duranie friends and hearing Duran Duran in a movie theatre setting. After all, I knew what it was like to see A Diamond in the Mind on the big screen during Durandemonium, our 2013 convention. Besides, any day and time, you get to scream, clap, or shout for Duran with Duranies is a good day!
My little group of Duranies started off small as it began with just two of us from my place on Sunday morning. Soon, we had picked up a third. About 45 minutes later, a fourth completed our set and off we were. The movie theatre where it was held in the Milwaukee area was in a little shopping center/mall area. It totally reminded me of the same setting we had for the screening during the convention. It was a nice area and provided us plenty of opportunities for food beforehand. When we arrived at the theatre itself, we *squeed* a little when we saw Duran Duran on the movie marquee as we all stopped to take a picture of it. Once inside, our excitement renewed when we were able to take pictures of the sign outside that particular screen’s door showing what was coming up next. Again, we had a need to take more pictures. We made ourselves comfortable and I decided to mingle a little. After all, I had a few Daily Duranie wristbands left. Perhaps, I might tell some people about this little blog I know, I thought. Many of the people I chatted with before the “show” seemed excited by the blog. Yet, it was clear that many of these people, while fans, weren’t so…dedicated, obsessed, focused on the day-to-day activities of the band and their fans. I wished that there was more time as I would have loved to find out how they heard about the event to begin with. One person did tell me that she is never online and she heard about it through the newspaper. Really? Fascinating.
Soon enough, it was time for the very loud previews to end and those familiar sounds of a Duran show that was to begin. I found myself on the edge of my seat, wanting to get up as I would in a show but definitely not knowing what this crowd would be into. I clapped and sang during the first couple of tracks but was dying to get up. It seemed SO unnatural to stay seated. Thank goodness for my friend, Lisa, who declared at the beginning of Planet Earth that she was getting up. Yes! Now, the party can really start! Of course, it still took awhile for this to feel completely comfortable since the crowd beside my group remained in their seats. I didn’t really get that since a couple of them were definitely dancing in their seats. That said, we did sing, clap, shout “switch it off” and gave John his usual introduction chant. At the end of the show, I again reached out to make contact with the rest of the crowd, which only numbered like 16 including us. One woman did say that she was there on the Wednesday when it screened and that, while there were more people then, we were definitely more fun! Oh yes. Yes, we were. Interestingly enough, while we were more fun, a couple actually got up and left in the middle of it. I wonder why. What were they expecting? I wonder if they were expecting just a clear live performance or a behind-the-scenes documentary or what.
Expectations for this sort of thing does matter. It definitely shadowed my thinking when I saw it “live”. At that point, I was so starved to “see” the band and a show that I didn’t want anything extra. I just wanted them. It isn’t that I’m not feeling that way now but I know what to expect. I also know that if I want a pure live show, I can put on A Diamond in the Mind anytime I want. Also, at the time the event happened and streamed on YouTube, we had a choice between cameras. I don’t remember all of the details but I do remember that there was the crowd camera, for sure. Thus, initially, I switched through them, which probably took away from me enjoying it. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still some elements of Unstaged that are not only NOT needed but harm the overall feel. Those things are obvious including the Barbies, the mice, the sausages, etc. That said, I found myself enjoying it a lot more this time around. Was it that I knew what to expect? I’m sure that helped. Is it because I knew that the audience was probably going to be a little weirded out, especially since most hadn’t seen it and I have a strange need to stick up for anything Duran does when with people not in the fan community? Is it the atmosphere of a movie theater? Being with different people this time around? All of the above? Probably. I just know that I felt a lot more relaxed while watching. I wasn’t pushing to have it be something it is not. I liked that the setlist was different and I was reminded of how much I adore Mark Ronson and what was accomplished with All You Need Is Now. That reminder isn’t a bad thing.
The WI crew at Unstaged–From Left to Right: Lara, Jennifer, Me, and Lisa!