Win a pair tickets to Rio – Duran Duran Tribute Band (House of Blues Anaheim)

Rio Duran Duran Tribute Band
I have never covered a Tribute band, but because one of my favorite bands of all-time is Duran Duran, and Rio is, – a Duran Duran tribute band perhaps currently the only high profile, full-time working Duran Duran tribute band in the country it is a no-brainer to cover them. Rio has been billed at some of the top venues in the U.S.  like House of Blues, Totally ’80s Bar and Grille, and Casinos,  to name a few.
Rio will be performing at Anaheim House of Blues and you have a chance to win a pair of tickets. Fill the form below to see Rio for free.
I had a chance to interview the members in spite of their grueling schedule.

Popbuff: First of all, let’s go to the group’s wonder years. How and when did this band get put together? Have you been always a fan of Duran Duran?
Gil: I responded to an ad in Craigslist. I wasn’t always a fan of DD. I only became a fan when they formed.

Popbuff: When you were starting were you hesitant about pursuing Rio?
Gil: I was not hesitant about joining the band. I was excited about the possibility of loitering around makeup aisles.
Jake: I have just done cover gigs, here and there, so I thought why not pursue a tribute band like Duran Duran and be Simon Le Bon?

Rio performs at Anaheim House of Blues

Popbuff: How did you come up with the name, Rio? Why not: The Wild Boys, Notorious,  or The Ragged Tigers?
Gil: A three-letter name saved me money when having t-shirts made.

Popbuff: How often does Rio perform and how is the tour going so far?
All: Rio performs anywhere from 1-3 shows, per month. We don’t like to refer to our schedule as a ‘tour’.The fact you said “tour” is phenomenal! I definitely feel like a tourist everywhere Rio travels. We’re being given more opportunities to play from recommendations of folks who’ve seen us before. It’s outstanding. My theory is it’s a direct result of the strong rapport with audience participants we’re building together. It’s such a kick to see folks from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and past shows, all meeting up (sometimes recognizing others from Duran Duran concerts)…and then being friendly through social network communications. It feels like performing musical theatre with my friends and we and the audience are all agreeing to go on a time travel…we’re saying YES to this fun journey together into the ’80s. I am grateful for Manager Dina, as we’ve turned her mind into Jenga blocks on some occasions. Her generous contributions in weaving it all together are appreciated.

Popbuff: Where are you based out of?
All: San Diego, L.A., Hollywood, Riverside, Birmingham

Rio performs of Feb 6 at Anaheim House of Blues

Popbuff: Will there ever come a day do you think when you’ll get tired of playing the same songs?
Click: The fun comes from being given new opportunities to repaint the same canvas. The idea resides within, “What’s happening at this moment with this fun experience?”
Jake: Never, it’s Duran

Popbuff: I won’t ask your age, but were you able to experience the Duran mania in the 1980s?
Click: Yes, absolutely! I liked the “Wild Boys” video the most because it reminded me so much of “Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome”. Also, my cousin Kelley, used to play Duran Duran for us whenever we hung out with my family at my Aunt’s house. She was in love with John Taylor. My cousin, Dan, was intrigued by the synthesizers of Nick Rhodes. It inspired me to watch Duran Duran videos much closer, keeping my eye out for the kinds of synthesizers he’d be using.
Jake: I was knee-deep in Duran from the start. I was listening to the Stray Cats and came across “Planet Earth” and was like, wait a minute: What is this? Who is this? And then I saw what they looked like, and what they stood for, and I was like – this is a brand-new sound! From then on, I was completely completely immersed in all the mania. I had all the posters on the wall and the whole nine yards!

Popbuff: Have you met any of Duran Duran members?
Jake: I have had the pleasure of hanging out with John Taylor for one hour at a Starbucks and I also met Nick Rhodes briefly. I have to say John was completely pleasant and I really enjoyed his company.
Gil/Click/Jake: Yes! Jake and I went out to Cinespace on October 24,2012 for John Taylor’s book signing, dressed as Simon and Nick. Our goal was to pass out RIO postcards for our next show, make new friends, and meet John Taylor. The security guard told Jake that the place we were standing was the only door out. They announced that JT was leaving and we immediately swarmed him as he exited through the door, telling him about RIO as he tumbled into his truck and sped off. Later on the news (TMZ), we learned he whisked through two red lights escaping from us. He must’ve gotten disoriented from that parallel universe experience. There’s a fun video of the incident archived on YouTube for future generations. We also made some wonderful friends that day who have supported and encouraged our shows and still do now!

Popbuff: Are you guys ever criticized for being a tribute band?
Jake: No! We do it right with a sense of humor and people get it.
Chadwick: People in general tend to be hyper-critical. This can be especially true amongst musicians as well as music fans. It is crucial to differentiate between being criticized for “being a tribute band” and being criticized “as a tribute band.” With regard to the latter, we are always open to taking stage notes as is prerequisite for any professional.

Win a pair of tix to see Rio at Anaheim House of Blues on Feb 6

Popbuff: What kind of venues do you guys prefer to play at; smaller ones, or larger venues like the Pacific Amphitheatre?
Jake: Casinos rule because we get treated very well
Gil: I prefer larger venues. The farther away the crowd is, the less they can see the flaws in my costume.

Popbuff: So what kind of music do you guys listen to outside of the genre that you play?
All: ABBA, ZZ Top, Beatles, Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra?
Jake: I listen to lots of alt rock, Top 40, and country here and there because I DJ for a living, so I must.
Click: the Monkees

Popbuff: What would be the most valuable piece of information that you would pass on to bands that are just starting out?
Danny: Practice, practice, practice! If doing the tribute thing, study the band that you are doing a tribute to. Study the playing, the stage persona, etc. People love being blown away by a band that can nail it.

At Rio’s Concert , February 6th, House of Blues Anaheim

What a fun fun fun concert. I’d recommend it if you want to be nostalgic and at the same time have a grand time with friends who grew up in the 80s. Sing, dance and just have an awesome time. I know I did. I would see them again.

Here are some photos.

Rio at Anaheim's House of Blues

Rio at House of Blues


Rio Duran Duran Tribute Band


Rio House of Blues Feb 7


Rio Live


Rio on stage


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  1. I’ve seen these guys. They are alright, the singer seemed to struggle and cracked several times. But the songs are good.

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