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Duran Duran lets loose in Texas heat (2023)


Legendary rock outfit Duran Duran returned to the greater Houston-area this past Friday (June 9, 2023) and dazzled a near-capacity crowd in the Texas heat with nearly two hour set of hits, gems and new material.


Duran Duran, which was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, kept the fans on its feet during its 19-song set at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands on Friday night. It was a sweat-filled, dancing in the aisle kind of night and a fantastic journey down memory lane for thousands in attendance.


The band opened the show with “Nightboat” from its 1981 debut album and segued into two songs which helped make this quintet MTV darlings, “Wild Boys” and “Hungry Like the Wolf,” and the party was off and running. Just when you thought the group would slow things down a notch, the hits kept coming with “View to a Kill” and “Notorious.”


The band then changed gears a bit and some of the crowd seemed to loose its focus bit during the song “Lonely in Your Nightmare,” but all it took was a little Rick James-motivation and fantastic cover of “Super Freak” to make the party run full-speed ahead for the rest of evening.


The band unleased more gems during the the night with the songs “Careless Memories,” “Planet Earth” and  “Friends of Mine,” all from the group’s 1981 debut, but Duran Duran also made sure to entertain its loyal following with newer material such as “Give It Up” and “Anniversary” from its 2021 release, “Future Past."


Vocalist Simon LeBond was in fine form all night, despite the Texas heat and humidity. He and his bandmates, John Taylor, bassist; Nick Rhodes, keyboard; and Roger Taylor, drums, along with touring guitarist Dominic Brown, built the momentum until the crowd erupted with joy as the final four songs of the nights sent the audience over the edge. As one song ended and the next started, the roar of approval matched continued to grow. From “The Reflex” to “Girls on Film” to “Save a Prayer” to “Rio” it was a great mix of music and an awesome way to end a night with this legendary musical act.


The main support act of the evening was Nile Rodgers and Chic. For those unaware, Nile Rodgers fingerprint on the world of music will never be removed. Whether his involvement was producing, writing or performing, he literally had a hand in helping create some of the greatest hit songs of the 1970s and 1980s with more than 500 million albums sold and 75 million singles sold.


Rodgers and his group performed a 45-minute set of hit songs that were made famous by artists such as Madonna, David Bowie, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross and many more. The Woodlands venue was a dance party from the opening notes of “Le Freak” to ‘I’m Coming Out,” and continued with “Upside Down,” “We Are Family,” “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Lets Dance” and “Good Times” to close the evening.


The UK-based five piece Bastille opened the night promptly at 7 p.m. and played an inspired 40-minute set of music from its decade-long career, including songs “Good Grief,” “Quarter Past Midnight” and “Pompeii.”

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