16th May 2023

Live review: Duran Duran return to Manchester’s AO Arena

Duran Duran bring their Future Past Tour to Manchester.
Live review: Duran Duran return to Manchester’s AO Arena
Photo: Lauren Hague @ The Mancunion

Written by Lauren Hague

80’s pop sensations Duran Duran bring their ‘Future Past’ tour to Manchester, showcasing some newer material and celebrating their greatest hits.

The ‘boy band’ strutted onto the stage, glamorous and camp as ever, in more toned-down alternatives to their classic 80’s, new romantic ensembles.

From shiny silver to trousers to bright pink suit jackets, the band paid nostalgic tribute to their past vogue. Blending their trademark glamour with nods to futuristic, galactical aesthetics. This blurring between the ‘past’ and ‘future’ became a theme for the show which also carried through into the production as the band were shown travelling to the stage via spaceships. This introduced the show perfectly to be a journey through Duran Duran’s greatest hits and judging by the standing ovations throughout the entirely seated show, the crowd were onboard and exhilarated.

The band opened with their 1980’s fan favourite, ‘Night Boat’ before delving deeper into some of their greatest hits; ‘The Wild Boys’ and (my personal favourite) ‘Hungry like The Wolf’ became the first three songs of the set in an elating opening to the show.

For most of their pop-band-peers reeling straight into three huge hits so quickly would’ve posed risk to the latter duration of the show of becoming underwhelming, however this was not the case for Duran Duran. The band continued to effortlessly litter huge hits from ‘The Reflex’ to ‘A View To Kill’ throughout the rest of the, nearly two hour long, show.

A true accolade to their pop-hit packed back catalogue.

This celebratory sentiment of reminiscing on the past became most apparent in the band’s performance of one of their later hits, ‘Anniversary’; celebrate, all our days… it may not seem like much but it’s everything to us’, an ode not only to their art, but their audience who have continued to show the band support by packing out Manchester arena over forty years after the group’s debut.

Also reminiscing on their past, the pop group performed a remix of ‘Girls on Film’ with Calvin Harris’s ‘Acceptable in the 80’s’ which whilst being potentially another nod to the blend between future and past also bordered on being something that maybe wasn’t fully thought through, considering the controversial connotations of the ‘Girls on Film’ lyrics. Not everything ‘Acceptable in the 80’s’ has it’s place in a celebration of the past.

The group saved their largest crowd pleases such as ‘Ordinary World’ and ‘Rio’ for an explosive encore whilst Simon Le Bon’s vocals, strong as ever, left the night on what was quite literally, a high note.

Photo: Jacob Ainsworth

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