PHOTOS: Duran Duran at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, Colorado - Reverb

Live review: Duran Duran @ the Ogden Theatre

Nick Rhodes hasn’t changed at all in more than three decades. Neither have John or Roger Taylor. Simon Le Bon? Aside from growing a rough beard that makes his face just a little more round (and a voice that’s missing some of its youthful squeal from time to time), he also looks timeless. Up close in the tightly packed confines of the Ogden Theatre on Wednesday night, the original members of Duran Duran might have looked even better than I remembered.

And their performance didn’t disappoint. Through 16 songs over 80 minutes, the iconic group delighted a gathering of fans that looked like they’d been at the same party since the video of “Hungry Like The Wolf” was first broadcast. Rhodes and Le Bon sported signature suits with sparkling lapels and boots, and led the band through a set that depended a tad too heavily on material from the new record, this year’s “All You Need Is Now.” It may have been a general lack of familiarity with the new stuff, but the connection to the performance was visibly troubled until the recognizable first notes of their mega-hits jolted the audience back to life.

Nonetheless, no doubt due to their thirty plus years on stage, Le Bon and the rest balanced the set to take advantage of that see-sawing. They first warmed up the sold-out house with “Planet Earth” and “Hungry Like The Wolf” — which impressed me. I appreciate superstars that play mega-hits early on, as if they’re trying to sate the one-hitters in favor of true fans. Next, they worked through the new album’s title song and “Being Followed,” a funky meditation on paranoia, before diving into “Notorious.” Le Bon danced as he sang, full of James Bond swagger, and If he weren’t an actual ‘80s icon himself of at least equal stature, I’d have said he was the spitting image of George Michael.

They wrapped up the set with an absolutely explosive version of “Rio,” which dinged my regard for their getting “Hungry…” out of the way early on, and then returned for an encore that included the film hit “View To A Kill” and an extended remix of “Girls On Film.” The lengthy number included old-school band member intros, a drum solo and a completely unnecessary mini-cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” that pushed the envelope just a hair too far.

Still, and especially since they admittedly “don’t get out here much,” as Le Bon uttered toward the show’s end, the performance was satisfying, even powerful. While too many bands with similar musical tenure have long been sent out to satisfy the state fair and amusement park crowds by this time in their careers, the show seemed to prove they still have enough mojo to stay safe. For now.

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Billy Thieme is a Denver-based writer, an old-school punk and a huge follower of Denver’s vibrant local music scene. Follow Billy’s explorations at DenverThread.com, and his giglist at Gigbot.

Nathan Iverson is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb.

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  • Sigh.

    I have NEVER been to a concert like last night. Meaning: I have NEVER been privy to such a RUDE and selfish crowd. The people around us were more concerned with making sure their 2 foot personal space bubble was not burst (at a GA concert!). I have been to Danzig, Metallica, Alice and Chains, etc, and I have NEVER experienced a crowd as rude, petty, and childish as I did last night. The boys on stage were great, but they were wholly overshadowed by the rudeness of the crowd. SUCH A BAD VIBE! Shame on you Denver!

  • DenverDuranie

    The people to my left were such a buzzkill for this exact reason. It was dissapointing. I was also surprised how many people thought it was OK to just SQUEEZE into the space that didn’t exist in front of you and just stand there. We’re old enough to know better than that people.

  • Medazzaland_25

    I’m shocked and dismayed to hear the comments on this board about the fans being so rude. I met a ton of extremely friendly and outgoing people and had a wonderful time. There was one rude girl pushing her way to a closer spot, but other than that, I can’t complain. Duran were amazing as always and contrary to the article above, I didn’t think they played too much from their new album, All You Need Is Now. In fact, I wish they played more, such as The Man Who Stole a Leopard and Before the Rain. If I have the chance, I never, ever miss a Duran concert.n-Mark

  • http://www.facebook.com/TwoRabbitsStudios Dos Conejos

    We recently had the chance to do a Duran Duran rock poster for the LA Show…nhttp://tworabbits.bigcartel.com/product/duran-duran-poster

  • kkdalloway

    @DenverDuranie – I must have been standing very near to where you were! I think the two people directly in front of me were the same ones to the left of you! I was very close to the front, maybe only two or three people in front me including one of the “personal space bubble” people. The people behind me were of course pushing to get closer, so I was being pushed into the personal space bubble person. She would not budge! There must have been at least a foot and a half of space between her and the person in front of her, and she absolutely would not move up one inch. Every time I bumped into her when I was clapping or dancing or whatever, she elbowed me in the chest. She stood still like a zombie, did not sing along, and actually seemed disinterested! Why would anyone in their right mind go to a Duran Duran concert, stand in line for hours and in the rain in order to be right in front of the stage, and then wreck it like that for others who were really into the show? Frankly, I wanted to punch her. But I didn’t. Otherwise, the show was FANTASTIC!!

  • http://twitter.com/HaloEleven HaloEleven

    Decent pics, Nate. But were your feet nailed to the floor? One pic of Roger and several pics of “not Andy Taylor”!?

  • Hermione_852003

    u00a0i wish i went to this show. u00a0I love Duran Duran they are so cool! maybe next time.u00a0