Duran Duran Live at Minnesota State Fair Grandstand – August 31st, 2023

Lens on Music at the Fair by Patrick Dunn

Being a child of the ’80s, my most anticipated show was Duran Duran live at Minnesota State Fair Grandstand.

So there is an interested backstory to this show.  It’s not directly related.  However, many mention it in connection.  Duran Duran was scheduled to play live earlier in the summer in Minnesota. That never happened.  We were at that show and it was cancelled due to weather.  It was very serious weather.  I just remember being soaked from rain sitting in a casino waiting.  No one knew if the show would go on as scheduled.  It took forever for them to make a decision.

Luckily, we knew people who were able to tell us the decision prior to releasing it to the general audience.  That gave us time to leave.  When everyone else found out, it took forever to leave due to a packed lot.  People were not happy.  So this was really a redemption.

It turned out to be well worth the wait as it was a beautiful evening for an outdoor show and the substantial crowd was as wound up as I was. The stage setup was impressive with a giant split video screen center stage with a picture that seemed clearer than any I’d ever seen before. The music mix was excellent and Simon LeBon’s vocals cut through perfectly and sounded really good. They got the crowd rocking early with several big hits in Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf, View to a Kill, and Notorious. Some of the other standouts were Is There Something I Should Know, Ordinary World, and The Reflex. The boys triumphantly closed the set out with Girls on Film and returned for a two song encore featuring Save a Prayer and Rio.

Adding dimension and value to the evening were supporting acts Bastille and the legendary Nile Rodgers and CHIC.