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Five reasons wild boys (and girls) still need to see Duran Duran

Duran Duran, from left: Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Simon LeBon.
Duran Duran, from left: Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Simon LeBon.

Miami-Dade and Key Biscayne don’t agree on a lot of things these days.

One thing they did agree on: Eighties British pop band Duran Duran can not play a concert during the Miami Open in Key Biscayne. It’s against Crandon Park rules.

Instead, Duran Duran, which features four of its five original members — singer Simon LeBon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor — will play Friday at Miami’s Bayfront Park Amphitheater.

The group’s John Taylor was amused when he learned how much fuss Duran Duran still causes 33 years after the videogenic group’s Hungry Like the Wolf, Rio and Girls on Film became MTV staples. “A little controversy is always good,” Taylor, 55, said in a telephone interview, before telling us why no one in Miami need fear a Duran Duran concert.

1. Duran Duran formed with the goal of crossing the Sex Pistols with Chic. But the band isn’t the Sex Pistols.

“I think we have a beautiful fan base. A caring, loving community of souls. They aren’t going to break your windows.”

2. The hot guys aren’t just the ones on stage anymore.

“We did a run of shows the week the new album [Paper Gods] came out, and the makeup of the audience had changed since the last tour three to four years earlier. The best way I can describe it is the sound of the crowd had gotten deeper. Those guys who were reluctantly dragged to Duran Duran shows for many years now say, ‘I like that band.’ We were always a girl’s band, and now I feel it’s pretty even. There’s a really fantastic energy in the crowd, and there’s a great sense of connectedness.”

Duran Duran PC Stephanie Pistel Approved 1
Duran Duran, from left: Roger Taylor, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon LeBon. Stephanie Pistel

3. Duran Duran is like family.

“I think pop music is about novelty. We have an insatiable appetite for newness. But there’s also something to be said for stability in the same way when you’re a teen the last thing you care about is if your parents are still married. By the time you’re 30-something you start appreciating that in and of itself. The fact we’re still together. … I think [fans] appreciate that.”

4. Duran Duran doesn’t mind if you think they suck. They got Chic.

Nile Rodgers, the mastermind behind ’70s disco group Chic, produced some of Duran Duran’s biggest and best records like The Wild Boys, Notorious and Paper Gods’ recent single, Pressure Off, and Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. He’s set to open the concert with a reborn Chic.

“So profound having him on the road with us — apart from the fact the audience, by the time he’s finished with them, are suffering from hip fatigue. Such great songs. Even if you don’t like Duran Duran and have never seen Chic, you have to see them. There are very few artists doing what Nile is doing. It’s like seeing Prince. So dynamic. So rhythmic. So precise. So on. We’re standing by the side of the stage going, ‘Oh my God!’ It makes us play better.”

Duran Duran Paper Gods album
How many classic Duran Duran images can you spot on the cover of the British group’s current album, ‘Paper Gods?’ Warner Bros.

5. Duran Duran’s tapped the fountain of youth. Soak it in.

On Paper Gods, and the handful of songs from the album the foursome plan to play, “[We’re] finding that balance between maturity and, I don’t want to say youth, but we have an openness. We’re not the Stones. We didn’t come together in order to sort of turn everybody onto the blues. We don’t have that kind of manifesto. If there is a Duran Duran manifesto the word ‘modern’ is in it.”

Duran Duran 1983
Duran Duran in 1983. From left: Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon LeBon, Andy Taylor, John Taylor. Guitarist Andy Taylor is no longer with the band. (None of the Taylors are related.)

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen

If you go

What: Duran Duran, with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers in concert

Where: Bayfront Park Amphitheater, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd. Miami

When: 8 p.m. Friday. April 1

Tickets: $35.70-$135.70.

Information: 305-358-7550 or Ticketmaster.

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