Duran Duran returned to the touring circuit this winter to promote their latest release and ninth studio album, Medazzaland. The record's sound is right in keeping with the music industy's recent fascination with electronic-based music, and so, in a way, was the tour's look.
"The band told me they wanted the show to look like a rave every night," says LD Alex Reardon. "They wanted everything to look spontaneous instead of scripted." Reardon made the most of the constants he had in the show, which included the show's opening. Hiding the stage with a black scrim, the LD lit the stage so that a series of white beams would cut through its various slits. Backed up by a silver lame cyc, "Electric Barbarella," the first song the band performed at New York's Roseland, looked every inch the flashy rave discotheque. Operating an LSD Icon Console(TM), Reardon busked looks for the entire show as the band performed both new songs and favorites from its 80s heyday, including "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio," "Save a Prayer," "Girls on Film," and "The Reflex."
"I'm used to having 100 or more cues programmed per song on a tour, and here I have about that for the whole show," Reardon says. "It was a bit scary at first, but it's fun. It's certainly a different-looking show every night."
Light & Sound Design served as the tour's main lighting contractor and lighting equipment included eight Icon(R) automated luminaires, 24 Icon WashLights(TM), four High End Systems Cyberlights(R), 104 PAR-64s, four 8-light Molefays, two four-light Molefays, eight profile spots, four 5kW fresnels with barndoors, six 4-cell cyclights, four Molemags, six Mini Molemags, eight High End Systems Dataflash(R) AF1000 strobe units, one Reel EFX DF-50 hazer, one High End Systems F-100(TM) smoke machine, one Icon Console, and one Colormag desk.
Reardon praises the lighting crew who helped him out on the tour: Charles Cochran, Brad Cardinal, Greg Persinger, and Chris Chassee. Brilliant Stages built the large fan behind the drummer as well as the circular lighting frames. The backdrops were done by Alan Chesters at London-based Hangman Backdrops.