Duran Duran brings back the ’80s

In 15 or 20 years, will there be a band that brings the youth of 2003 together? A welcome back tour that will fill music clubs and concert halls and bring thousands of 38-year-olds together to jump and clap to the same beat? For those who came of age in the 1980s, that concert was at the Warner Theatre Sunday night.

Pretty boys of ’80s Brit pop fame, the members of Duran Duran were a blast from the past. Screams and shrieks at the nearly sold-out show were clear indications of a welcomed return. After the release of its first album in 1981, Duran Duran had a series of hits over the next 10 years. But while the band continued to make records throughout the ’90s, the hype died down. This is the first time the original five members – Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Andy Taylor, Roger Taylor and Nick Rhodes – have been on tour since the mid-’80s.

Unlike the teenagers who cheered the band on during its appearance at August’s MTV Video Music Awards, the audience at the D.C. show was an older crowd. Working adults by day were reduced to squealing fools.

“I’m like shaking,” admitted one woman who also told her friends not to be surprised if she cried.

The concert itself was plagued with delays. With no opening act, Duran Duran took the stage 30 minutes late but launched right into “Friends Like Mine” and “Hungry Like the Wolf.” After just two songs and some poorly received jokes by LeBon, the band took a break, citing technical problems, but was back on stage within 15 minutes. Even so, the break interrupted the flow of the show.

The audience didn’t seem to care, though, as it kept pogo-ing to the music and unleashing high-pitched screams. Oh, the screams. They screamed when LeBon shook his hips. They screamed when guitarist Andy Taylor took a drag of his cigarette. They screamed when keyboardist Rhodes played any chord on the synthesizer.

But for a band whose videos and songs characterize the pop-culture of a decade, Duran Duran’s stage show was fairly subdued. There were no video screens or lasers, just the standard stage lighting. Even band members stuck to a simple wardrobe, with only spiked hair to bring back the memories.

Nostalgia ruled in the music, though, as the band covered all of its hits. The crowd “bop ba da”-ed to “Planet Earth” and screamed some more when the band played “Ordinary World,” “Wild Boys” and “Rio.” The band continued with its hits during the encore, finishing the show with “Reflex” and “Girls on Film.”

With the ’80s becoming the new “it” decade, it’s only natural to expect reunion tours of the decade’s biggest bands. After the well-received Duran Duran concert at the Warner Theatre, these shows will likely become all too common.

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