When the legendary Capitol Theater in Port Chester opened in 1926, the owners published an ad in the local paper flaunting its status as “the only theatre (with a) refrigerating system in Westchester County!” Eighty-nine years later, modern audiences were just as thankful for the venue’s cooling system after being pushed to the point of exhaustion following two electrifying sold out performances by new romantic stalwarts, Duran Duran. From the moment the lights went down and the band bounded onto the stage to the thumping beats of the 1984 hit, “The Wild Boys”, audiences at both shows were completely transfixed and ready to join the band on their almost 40 year history through pop music stardom.
Duran Duran has long been a band determined to break away from being pigeonholed into the category of “nostalgia act”. While their new wave contemporaries tour the US and Europe sticking almost exclusively to songs that topped the charts back when everyone thought digital watches were awesome tech, Duran Duran refuses to rest on their MTV bona fides. Lead singer, Simon le Bon, seems to acknowledge this need to consistently push forward singing, “Past is another country. The present will never last. The future, it’s still tomorrow,” in the opening lyric to the band’s infectious new single, “Pressure Off”.
Concertgoers aren’t always happy to discover a band from their youth whipping out new tracks. The lines at the bathrooms are always longest just after a lead singer announces, “here’s one from our new album!” Duran Duran defied the stereotype by keeping the crowds in their seats and on their feet while they intermixed classics with newer songs from the 2012 album, “All You Need is Now” and the aforementioned, “Pressure Off”. Keeping audiences interested is always helped by having good new material and, on that front, the band has been helped greatly by the men responsible for two of the most irresistible singles of the last few years. Mark Ronson, who co-wrote the massive hit “Uptown Funk”, produced Duran Duran’s last album and co-produced “Pressure” with superstar producer, Nile Rodgers. Besides having had his hand on almost every hit record from the 70’s and 80’s, Rodgers also co-wrote Daft Punk’s, 2013 hit, “Get Lucky”.
The fans just looking for nostalgia weren’t disappointed on either night. The band poured through hit after hit and even saved some time for the hard core fan favorite, “Election Day” from Duran Duran offshoot band, Arcadia. When the fans could tear their eyes away from the stage during performances of “Is There Something I Should Know?”, “Planet Earth”, and “The Reflex”, they were mesmerized by all sorts of amazing imagery being projected onto all four walls of the venue. The entire venue became the inside of a Nagel painting while the band played the 80’s chart-topper, “Rio”.
The two dates in Port Chester are part of a mini tour that will take the band to the Fold festival on Long Island tonight, the Musikfest in Philly on Thursday and then a few dates out west. Hopefully these are just a warm up for a bigger tour this fall because if you’ve ever sung along to “A View to a Kill” in your car, you definitely don’t want to miss them in support of the new album, “Paper Gods” due out in September!
LJ Moskowitz is a photographer and writer based out of New Jersey specializing in concert, product and fine art photography. She is an active member of the National Press Photographers Association and Professional Photographers of America. You can find her at Shutterchick Photography, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.