Duran Duran at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA

Duran Duran brought their Future Past Tour and all of the hits to the Pacific Northwest for a night at the Climate Pledge Arena.

Duran Duran, the multi-award winning, chart-topping, new wave pop band, originally from Birmingham, England, arrived in Seattle, WA for their 2023 Future Past Tour. Joining them on the tour are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees Nile Rodgers and Chic and the British pop band, Bastille.

The evening started with Nile Rodgers and Chic, who warmed up the crowd by playing one of the band’s most popular tunes “Le Freak,” followed by “Everybody Dance” and “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah).” Rodgers has produced and written for hundreds of artists over the decades including Duran Duran, Madonna, David Bowie, and Sister Sledge. Seattle fans were treated to a solid gold song list including “Like a Virgin,” “We Are Family,” and “Modern Love.” The band was dressed in bright, bold colors that matched the 80s theme of the evening. Full of energy and love, Nile Rodgers and Chic put on one heck of a performance. If you arrived late, you really missed out.

After a short intermission, the British pop/rock band, Bastille (sometimes stylized as BΔSTILLE), jumped on stage. Bastille formed in 2010 originally as a solo project by Dan Smith (lead vocals) and evolved into a full band that would include Kyle Simmons (keyboards), Will Farquarson (bassist and guitarist), Chris “Woody” Wood (drums), and Charlie Barnes (touring musician, guitar, piano).

They opened with “Good Grief” from 2016’s Wild World and the band’s 2020 single, “What You Gonna Do?” Dan Smith danced and skipped from one side of the stage to the other in an effort to reach as many fans as possible. During the band’s third song “Survivin,” Smith jumped off the stage and rocked out with guitarist, Barnes, on the edge of the monitors. Smith leaned over with his mic as far as he could to sing along with the smiling faces along the barricade. He sang with such emotion as he jumped with fists raised high. Bastille would end their short set with their number one single “Pompei” to ear-piercing screams from an audience of about 14k.

As the night’s second intermission was about to end, frantic fans tried to hurry in the long merch line that seemed to snake around the entire upper concourse. The house lights flickered, ushering in the masses wearing their newly purchased t-shirts and others dressed in vintage wear reminiscent of earlier eras. The arena went black except for the exit lights, but soon, a soft green mist appeared onstage. Bold colors shone through a silver mesh screen as one by one darkened black figures approached the top of the green-lighted staircase. Fans screamed as the figures of four stood next to each other, almost motionless, staring out into the crowd. Duran Duran had arrived, and in epic fashion, as usual. The band’s current lineup is a mix of original and new members with Nick Rhodes (keyboards, synthesizers, vocals), John Taylor (bass, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, percussion), Dominic Brown (touring guitarist), and lead singer, Simon Le Bon.

The mesh screens rose and images of red hands appeared on the digital screens next to Le Bon. As the music to “Night Boat” began, you could see the silhouettes of the band playing in the dark. Le Bon sang quietly as he walked slowly across the stage, posing often with a glance and a smile to the crowd. The seasoned showman was dressed in an off-white jacket, t-shirt, and shimmering silver leather pants. Digital screens above the stage displayed a montage of the band during their earlier years. Le Bon greeted the multi-generational crowd as they erupted with excitement as they heard the opening notes to “The Wild Boys.” The normally stoic keyboardist, Nick Rhodes, smiled more than once as fans sang every word. 

The crowd would continue to sing along to every popular hit which continued with “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “A View to a Kill,” and “Notorious.” In between songs, Le Bon spoke to the crowd, sometimes offering some of the meaning behind a song or just telling a joke. Before breaking into their 1993 hit single “Ordinary World” from The Wedding Album, Le Bon made a special dedication to the people of Ukraine and to anyone who has suffered loss or suddenly waking up to a brand new world. He then instructed fans to reach into their pocket, pull out their cell phones, and turn on their flashlights. Fans would eliminate the arena once more during the night’s encore “Save a Prayer,” but fans would put them away to dance to the set’s closer, “Rio.”

The Duran Duran party was about to end, but it appeared like fans could have danced all night. Fear not! There’s a good chance the band will be back. Previous to the 2020 pandemic, Duran Duran has toured almost every year since 1981.

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