It’s ironic that Duran Duran‘s latest album is titled Paper Gods. Considered a social statement by the boys from Birmingham, the song observes today’s transient taste in pop culture by worshiping false idols one day and throwing them away the next. They should know. They’re the original Paper Gods if the number of records, Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Billboard, Rolling Stone magazines, and posters from Spencer’s Gifts and Musicland that I spent my money on in the 1980s — when paper was the medium — is any indication.
It’s a solid record, not quite as beloved as their 2012 offering, All You Need Is Now, but a Duran Duran concert is not to be missed, whether it’s 1986 or 2016. They’re still fashionable and timelessly handsome (I’m looking at you, John). And Simon LeBon’s voice is still perfection. Plenty of hits and choice picks from their new effort made for a very satisfying night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. They even had a few tricks up their leather sleeves in the form of Kiesza on ‘Last Night in the City’ and Lindsay Lohan lending her ‘spoken word’ chops to ‘Danceaphobia.’ No appearance by Janelle Monae on ‘Pressure Off’ as the touring back-up singers Jessie Wagner and Anna Ross had it in the bag. So good.
Highlights from their deep catalog of older material included two of their slower pace hits, ‘Come Undone’ and ‘Ordinary World.’ I also loved their mashups of ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Space Oddity’ in a tribute to their Paper God, David Bowie, and ‘(Reach Up for the) Sunrise’ and their long-forgotten hit from 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger, ‘New Moon on Monday,’ one of my all-time favorites. They closed their set with ‘Save a Prayer’ in a tribute to all the recent terror attacks in Europe and perhaps their best single ever, ‘Rio,’ with the iconic album cover by Patrick Nagel looming overhead. Oh my Paper Gods, the glamour.