LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS: Duran Duran, Bastille, Nile Rogers & Chic in Boston, MA (09.06.23)
British rock legends Duran Duran brought the party to the TD Garden on Wednesday night, as part of their Future Past Tour, joined by Bastille and Nile Rodgers & Chic. The stacked lineup had a very special evening prepared for the thousands of fans that flocked the iconic arena.
The celebrations began early on, with legendary musician and producer Nile Rodgers taking the stage first. With smooth elegance, Chic took the stage and kicked things off with the iconic “Le Freak”, getting everyone up and dancing right away. The energy was contagious as they performed a balanced mix of Chic classics and the many pop hits Rodgers has been involved with over the years. From David Bowie’s “Modern Love” to Beyonce’s “CUFF IT”, Nile Rodgers’ signature style and versatility were on full display, spanning several generations.
Chic’s smooth funk was a tough act to follow, but Bastille was ready and up for the challenge. The british pop ensemble brought an entirely different vibe, with a high energy blend of electropop and indie that kept the crowd going. Despite many people in the crowd not being familiar with Bastille, the band managed to bridge the generational gap nicely. From the opener “Good Grief” to “Shut Off The Lights”, off their most recent album, the band’s solid performance won over some new fans. After their recognizable hit “Pompeii”, Bastille set the stage for Duran Duran to take over.
A little past 9pm the lights went down, and the room’s energy was electric as fans jumped out of their seats. With a futuristic backdrop, the band slowly emerged into the light, standing still for a brief moment before taking their spots. Singer Simon Le Bon elegantly stayed in place as the first few notes of “Night Boat” filled the arena. The sultry early track was followed by the thunderous drums from “Wild Boys”, and the stream of hits did not stop there; classics “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Notorious” made their appearance early on. The band also highlighted some of their newer tracks, off their 2021 album FUTURE PAST, with backup singer Rachael O’Connor joining Le Bon on “GIVE IT ALL UP”.
The performance is both a musical and visual experience: the stunning art that adorned the background of each song was cheekily referenced by Le Bon at times, like the introduction of the “spooky baby” for another long awaited classic, “Lonely In Your Nightmare”. The softer vibe took a sharp turn, with an explosive cover of Rick James’ “Super Freak”. The visuals were also incorporated into the crowd cameras, adding a horror themed filter to the fans’ singing faces during “Friends of Mine”. Boston duranies were also treated to Simon’s charismatic interjections, at times comparing the layout of the TD Garden to an ice cream cone – with a cherry on top.
It was time to slow things down a bit, with a heartfelt dedication of “Ordinary World” to the people of Ukraine, as well as a beautiful duet with long time backup singer Anna Ross for “Come Undone”. As the frenetic intro of “Planet Earth” started creeping in, the energy sprung back up, and fans continued to raise handwritten signs for the band members to see: a large sign near the barricade read “Future Mrs. Rhodes”. Every duranie has a favorite, and the band’s iconic first single was the backdrop for member introductions, with brief solos from drummer Roger Taylor and bass player John Taylor, as well as a few synth-enhanced words from keyboardist Nick Rhodes. Longtime guitarist Dom Brown and sax player Simon Willescroft were also introduced, as well as the talented backup singers, all warmly received by fans.
After the explosive faux ending with “The Reflex” and “Girls on Film”, the band returned for the encore, with Simon and John donning both Bruins and Celtics jerseys. The ballad “Save a Prayer” saw fans lighting up the arena with their cellphones, as Le Bon allowed the crowd to take over the chorus. The band would wrap up with classic “Rio”, bringing an unforgettable evening to an end. The Future Past Tour solidifies Duran Duran not only as an excellent live band, but one that has managed to evolve as the years go by, staying fresh, exciting and completely dedicated to their fans and the music.
Photos – Duran Duran, Bastille, Nile Rogers & Chic at TD Garden in Boston, MA on September 6th: