Duran Duran Close Out Season at CMAC

Photos and review by Rebecca Clark

On the evening of September 3rd, under a star-studded sky at CMAC in Canandaigua, New York, music fans were treated to an unforgettable night of iconic tunes and musical legends. The headlining show featured none other than Duran Duran, but before the main event, Nile Rodgers & Chic took the stage to set the tone for an evening of electrifying music. Bastille was originally slated to perform but had to withdraw due to an illness in the band, leaving the spotlight to shine even brighter on the remaining acts.

Nile Rodgers & Chic took the stage first, treating the audience to a remarkable set of hits he had written over the years with various artists. Rodgers, a living legend and Grammy lifetime achievement award winner, graced the audience with his numerous award-winning hits written for various artists over the years. He shared anecdotes of his collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé and Daft Punk, offering a glimpse into the magic behind the music. When “About to Get Lucky” by Daft Punk filled the air, Rodgers’ keyboardist wowed the crowd with the use of a voice box, adding a playful twist to an already infectious tune. Chic’s performance was nothing short of amazing, with two phenomenal female vocalists stealing the spotlight.

After Nile Rodgers & Chic left the crowd wanting more, it was time for the main attraction, Duran Duran, to take the stage. The audience had been eagerly anticipating this moment, and Duran Duran did not disappoint. They dove into their set “Night Boat,” “The Wild Boys,” and “Hungry Like the Wolf,” instantly captivating the crowd. Mid-set, they seamlessly blended a cover of “Super Freak” into their own “Lonely in Your Nightmare,” showcasing their musical ingeniousness.

Simon Le Bon, the lead vocalist, demonstrated his vocal abilities by hitting high notes flawlessly, especially during the emotional rendition of “Ordinary World.” Le Bon couldn’t help but comment on the sea of lights created by fans’ phones during the song, playfully remarking about the “huge fireflies” in Canandaigua.

One notable aspect of the performance was when Duran Duran allowed both backup singers, Rachael O’connor and Anna Ross, to shine with duets alongside Le Bon. “Give It All Up” O’Conner sang and “Undone” Ross sang, which showcased their incredible talent and added depth to the performance.

The band paid homage to their roots with “Planet Earth,” a classic Duran Duran song that took fans on a nostalgic journey. Other beloved tracks included “Careless Memories,” “White Lines,” “Reflex,” and “Girls on Film,” ensuring that both old and new fans were thoroughly entertained.

Although guitarist Andy Taylor was absent from this tour due to health reasons, his temporary replacement, Dominic Brown, proved himself a virtuoso in his own right. Le Bon reassured fans that Taylor would soon rejoin the band.

Each member of Duran Duran had their moment to shine. Bassist John Taylor roamed the stage, connecting with both the band and the audience. Keyboardist Nick Rhodes delivered mesmerizing harmonics and synthesizer sounds that transported listeners back to the ’80s. Drummer Roger Taylor kept the rhythm tight, ensuring a flawless performance. And frontman Simon Le Bon effortlessly engaged with the crowd, adding a personal touch by sharing stories in between songs.

The encore was a delightful surprise, with the entire band donning Duran Duran shirts and sports jerseys emblazoned with their name. They closed the show with “Say A Prayer” and the iconic “Rio,” leaving the audience in awe.

In the end, Duran Duran’s performance at CMAC was a testament to their enduring talent and the timelessness of their music. They delivered a night filled with hits that spanned generations, proving once again why they are one of the most beloved bands in music history. It was a concert that will be etched in the memories of all fortunate enough to be in attendance. It was the perfect show to wrap up the summer concert series at CMAC!

Duran Duran Photo Gallery

Nile Rodgers & Chic Photo Gallery