➤ Crazee or crazed? Lynch’s view of Duran from within his hellish cave

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

Duran live on YouTube: a choice of three camera streams and “Lynchian effects” smothering John Taylor’s performance on All You Need Is Now

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

What’s with the floating heads? Kelis joins Le Bon for The Man who Stole a Leopard

❚ WHAT RUM NIGHTMARES DAVID LYNCH must have in bed at night, but then, he did direct Eraserhead after all. For the best part of two hours, today’s much vaunted Duran Duran live web concert in the Unstaged series kept making you want to hurl virtual cabbages at the screen, enraged by a director whose intent was to obscure the act from view with his relentlessly potty toy-box full of widgets. From 2am UK time till almost the dawn chorus, the band onstage in California had no idea what web audiences in 22 overseas territories (432,000 channel views by 6.30am) were enduring as they pushed on through 18 numbers where musically there was much to enjoy (though Simon Le Bon did lurch badly off-key a couple of times). Two of the guest performers Kelis and Beth Ditto added real pleasure to Duran’s output old and new, as did a medley of Bond themes arranged by Mark Ronson.

The YouTube HD media player offered viewers at their computers a choice of three image sources, but gallingly the director’s cut wasn’t simply an option — it was the main stream. A couple of handheld “fun” cams in the audience searching for alternative shots added nothing whatsoever (one vanished entirely), so you were stuck with Lynch’s hellish visions and flickering ghosts from within his own mental Plato’s cave.

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles , Gerard Way

Collision of vocalists: Le Bon and guest Gerard Way during Planet Earth

The trouble with the way-over-the-top “Lynchian effects” was that by shooting the band in broodily gloomy black and white, then adding a light-storm of flashing bleached-out effects resulted in obscuring the musicians for literally 90% of the concert. This utterly defeats the founding principle for televising live events — which was always to give the viewer a privileged close-up vantage point. Not to superimpose a veil of tears. What Lynch added to the often rousing performance in the Mayan theatre, Los Angeles, was a heavy-handed montage (loosely echoing Duran’s lyrics) of old clock parts, bicycle wheels, smoking twigs, flames, sparklers, crashing airplanes, shrunken heads on sticks, BBQ hot dogs, dancing mice, gnomes and the sock fairy.

All of which prompted scrolling comments onscreen from viewers: “I wanna see the boys”, “What’s with the floating heads?”, “This guy is on freaking crack”, “Fatuous visuals”, “Giving me a headache”, “I’m going dizzy” and “Fire Lynch!”

Conclusion: arm yourself with a couple of extra-strong Nurofen Plus if you feel up to catching either the whole concert restreamed for UK audiences at 8pm tonight on Duran’s Vevo channel at YouTube, or opt right away for what look like edited highlights which were already being uploaded as the live show ended. The highlights seem likely to linger online for the next month. But if Rhodes, Le Bon, and the Taylors can brace themselves to view the whole Lynchian farrago in real time — as we had to — they’ll never, ever repeat this kind of laughable venture live. The surrealists played this card in 1930, and won hands down.

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles , Beth Ditto

Ghost in the machine: the usually high-visibility guest Beth Ditto trapped in a Lynchian spinning jenny during Notorious

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

Given a roasting: Nick Rhodes gets barbecued during, appropriately, Come Undone

➢ Duran’s official website lists these 22 territories (based on YouTube licensing agreements) which are able to view Unstaged: Argentina, 
, Canada, 
Czech Republic
, France
, Hong Kong
, Ireland, Israel, 
, Japan, 
Korea, Republic of 
New Zealand, 
Russian Federation, 
South Africa
, Spain
, Taiwan Province of China, 
United Kingdom
, United States.

➢ Shapersofthe80s reports on Duran Duran in America — plus media verdicts on the new album All You Need Is Now


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s