Duran Duran is back on tour after four years, and musically it’s stronger than ever. The concert, which sold out in just 18 minutes, was filled with a long string of hits, keeping the audience on its feet from beginning to end.
The band’s comeback, “Duran Duran” (Capitol), has already delivered three top-10 singles, sold more than 3 million albums and featured some of its most creative, mature music to date.
Original members Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor remain at the core , now joined by Warren Cuccurullo (co-founder of Missing Persons), on guitar since 1989.
The Forum curtains opened to reveal a fantastic, metallic stage (designed by opera and film designer Stefanos Lazaidis).
Props included planet Earth crashing through the gray brick walls, a giant bank vault drum riser, a giant eyeball videoscreen, an old English phone booth and a TV set.
The band kicked off the show with its early hit “Planet Earth,” which elicited a big response from the audience, even though the band seemed tired and slow.
They also dragged the tempos of some of their earlier hits. As the show progressed, however, their energy picked up, particularly on the older, upbeat dance songs.
Each song brought with it a visual scenario, acted out mainly by backup singer Lamya — who changed costumes for each song — but also by lead singer Le Bon and, on occasion, other band members and anonymous participants. “Hungry Like the Wolf,” for example, depicted an attempted murder scene, with Lamya escaping a killer. Nurses delivered Le Bon on a hospital bed for “Umf” while Lamya stirred up some chemical goodies behind him.
Opening artist Terrence Trent D’Arby wooed the audience with his sensual presence and voice. The singer-songwriter showed the potential to carry the evening on his own but borrowed too many tactics from others — Prince, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner — leaving little room for original flavor.
His set included muffled covers of the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight.”
D’Arby is a fine dancer, too, but on this night he came across as scattered and ostentatious.