Last night my hubby took me to see Duran Duran at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley. It was an early birthday present. In two weeks, I'll be 45. The previous time I'd seen them was 31 years ago at Madison Square Gardens. I think the seats we had last night were just as bad as the ones I had back then, only this time I brought a spy glass so I could actually see the stage.

I prepared for the show by listening to the audiobook of "Talking to Girls about Duran Duran" by Rob Sheffield. The book wasn't just about Duran Duran but it was full of 80's nostalgia and the narrator had the voice of a deejay. I ate it up. I also spent the week leading up to the concert posting song lyrics on facebook every day and I got to see who among my friends were also fans.

My memory of the first time I saw them is vague. My father had promised to take me on their next tour and I held him to it. I don't remember which of my friends went with us (Sorry ladies! I do remember going to see George Michael with my friend Katie). But last night, I felt exactly as I did in 1984. I was a screaming fan girl and I was not alone. There were at least a few thousand people at the The Greek last night. [ETA: apparently the theatre seats 8,500 people.]

Leaving the parking garage, we followed a gaggle of women who were sipping cocktails. One of them was wearing a t-shirt from Duran Duran's 1984 tour over a very short skirt and heels. "You're welcome" I told my husband. At least he could spend the evening looking at pretty people if he didn't like the music.

Standing in the t-shirt line, I was out fan-girled by most of the women there, especially the one who wore her old jean jacket with all of her fan pins. I used to have those pins! I'm sure they're somewhere at my mom's house in New York.

The second opening act was Nile Rodgers and Chic. There was a guy in front of us who was dancing his ass off having such a good time. I couldn't blame him for blocking our view (but was glad when he left for the main attraction). Nile Rodgers was happy to be on stage, having kicked cancer's ass a few years ago, playing a medley of all the top hits he'd written and/or produced. How's that for fuck cancer? Later when Duran Duran brought him out to play a few songs with them, Simon was very sincere about how grateful he was to Nile for helping their career.

Finally, here comes the band I hadn't seen in 31 years. I danced precariously on the steep lawn, grateful I'd worn sensible shoes, screaming my lungs out and singing along to nearly every song. I was also happy that I had dressed warmly. I know my fourteen-year-old self wouldn't have cared about such practical things.

I think there were only two songs I didn't recognize. There was a moment during the encores ("Save a Prayer" and "Rio", natch) when I thought of the first time I danced to a Duran Duran song with my husband. We were at an 80's night at a night club in New York City in the late 90's around the time we met. I don't remember if it was "Rio" or "Hungry Like the Wolf" or "Girls on Film" but I remember that in that moment, he made me feel as beautiful and sexy as the women in any of Duran Duran's videos. He still does.

My hubby isn't a big fan of Duran Duran's music but he understands that some of us do. He posted on his facebook last night:

"I'm at a concert, one that I was expecting to have disdain or detestation of. Rather I am finding it sweet. The audience is really enjoying themselves. The band is enjoying themselves. Even the concession Guys seem to be enjoying themselves.
This is a tribe. It's not my tribe, but a tribe nevertheless.
Duran Duran as a center
Of Joy for some folks.
Who'd a thunk"

Yeah, he gets it. I'm glad he wasn't as bored as I'd thought he would be. He has a tendency to fall asleep at concerts I take him to (Richard Thompson was the first, you guys. WTF?) but he didn't fall asleep last night.

I am a bit hoarse today from all the screaming I did. I am really tired but it was so worth it. And I want my hubby to know "It means so much to me, like a birthday or a pretty view" but just for last night, I changed the words to "like my birthday". 45 isn't so bad.


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