Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
[SB 200] Only the Walkman knows
Hi, I’m Matt. Welcome to Steady Beats, a newsletter about chasing the good life at midlife: exercise, education, and eighties music.
Two-hundred editions. Pretty wild. I’ll probably have more to say about it next week. But for now, here’s a rundown of the Duran Duran show we saw last night.
(Oh, and Happy Father’s Day. Here’s a few fatherhood-related 80s tunes to put into your mix.)
Duran Duran was to be enjoyed discretely.
In the 80s, Simon, Nick, and all the Taylor boys were a band for girls. Or at least, that’s what I believed.
The problem was, Duran Duran’s music was excellent.
Planet Earth. Rio. Hungry Like The Wolf. New Moon on Monday. The band churned out an unending parade of New Romantic hits in constant rotation on MTV.
Sometimes I’d quietly “borrow” a Duran Duran cassette from my sister. But while Dire Straits, Van Halen, and Motley Crue tapes were for the boombox, Duran Duran was for the Walkman only.
No one had to know that I knew Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, and all those Taylors were good. My secret was kept safe by Sony.
Now, nearly 40 years later, the band is still filling arenas, as they did in Tampa over the weekend as they came through town for the Future Past Tour.
The evening started with a pair of opening acts. First up was Nile Rodgers and Chic, parading through disco hits and a medley of other songs Rodgers wrote, such as David Bowie’s Modern Love and Let’s Dance, and Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. The set closed with Chic’s own “Good Times.” It was a high-energy start from an incredible songwriter and performer in Rodgers, a longtime friend of Duran Duran.
Then Bastille came out to drag us forward in time in a middle set of more recent songs, before we lurched backwards again as Duran Duran kicked things off with Night Boat, Hungry Like the Wolf, and The Wild Boys.
From there, as a summer Tampa storm raged outside, the packed house bottled lightning inside. The crowd loved everything the band had to offer up, including Anniversary and Give It Up, tracks from the Duran Duran’s latest album, Future Past.
By the way — Future Past, which came out in 2021, is really good. It mixes some disco beats, 80s synth sounds, and guest spots from modern artists (that I’ve never heard of, of course) who bring something fresh band’s sound. The result is an album that offers familiar comfort inside a modern wrapper. I’ve had on repeat lately.
Duran Duran, the premiere band of the 80s, feeds off powerful nostalgia. All the neon and 8-bit video game references on the big stage screens confirm it. But the group hasn’t lost its fastball, putting on a spirited show and showcasing a great new album.
Duran Duran was, and is, great. No need to keep that secret between me and my foam-covered headphones any longer.
Thank you for reading.
Let’s keep the Steady Beats going. 💚
If you enjoyed this edition, would you mind giving the heart below a click?