Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Summer is finally beginning to wind down—and that means some venues are waking up after summer hibernations. Here are some of the most noteworthy events happening in our warm and sandy home.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is hosting a lot of fantastic events in September. At 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1, the “Something Great From 68’” tour will land at the Indio casino, bringing Brian Wilson and The Zombies to play music from their 1968 works: Wilson, the songwriting genius from the Beach Boys, will play from the albums Friends and Surf’s Up, in addition to “all the hits,” while The Zombies—recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees—will play the album Odessey and Oracle. Check out an interview with Colin Blunstone from The Zombies here. Tickets are $49 to $89. At 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, Bryan Adams will stop in to perform his pop-rock hits such as “Summer of ’69,” “Heaven” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” These radio staples are timeless, but seeing them live could give new life to them, and perhaps to your relationship—the show has potential to be a great date night. Tickets are $59 to $99. The Doobie Brothers, one of the most successful non-disco bands during the disco era, will hit the stage at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14. They’ll bring more than five decades of songs to the Special Events Center … but I doubt they’ll bring doobies, since I don’t think those are allowed inside. Tickets are $39 to $69. If you like Latin music, you’ll want to be there at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, when Luis Fonsi will perform songs spanning his 20-year career, including the world-wide smash hit “Despacito,” a remix of which famously featured Justin Bieber. Tickets are $49 to $99. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, alt-rock crooner Rob Thomas, formerly of Matchbox 20—a band you might remember if you watched VH1 in the ’90s—will perform in support of his fourth solo album, Chip Tooth Smile. Though he has a wide catalog of solo material, based on recent set lists, Thomas will probably throw in a few of Matchbox 20’s hits (“Unwell,” “3 a.m.,” and “If You’re Gone”), in addition to a rendition of his 1999 smash hit with Santana, “Smooth.” Tickets are $59 to $99. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000;

1980s pop legends Duran Duran will bring the band’s songs and co-occurring glam fashion to The Show at Agua Caliente at 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5. This performance is only one of seven shows scheduled (as of this writing) for the British icons, whose songs include “Rio,” “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Tickets were $85 to $115, but are listed as sold out … so if you want to go, you’re going to need to check the secondary markets. September in the Coachella Valley seems to really attract legendary acts, as Steely Dan will also play at The Show, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21. The band is famous for its eclectic influences. Its endurance as a classic-rock act is indebted to legendary songs including “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Do It Again.” It will be interesting to see this iconic band perform in an intimate venue. If all of the concerts occurring this month haven’t already depleted your entertainment budget … tickets are $125 to $175. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995;

At 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15, Morongo welcomes comedian Felipe Esparza. Read our profile on him here. Tickets start at $39, and were close to selling out at our press deadline. Although we don’t know the weather for that day yet, it will at least be 98 Degrees at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, when the ’90s boy band featuring Nick Lachey and company will stop by to perform the hits. Tickets are $29 to $49. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499;

Pappy and Harriet’s, per usual, has a lot of good shows for fans of indie rock scheduled in September. At 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, the female-led Merge Records band Ex Hex will perform its garage-punk alongside queer icon Seth Bogart (from Hunx and His Punx). This is an inside show, and tickets are $18 to $20. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, Pappy and Harriet’s will welcome Sharon Van Etten (below; photo by Ryan Pfluger)who has been gaining much acclaim lately from independent radio and media, most notably for the melancholic yet uplifting song “Seventeen.” Tickets are $32 to $36. Acclaimed lo-fi indie-pop musician Ariel Pink will perform in support of his new album at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21. Support will come from Jennifer Herrema. This rare show from this “cult weirdo” promises to be interesting and will be worth the drive up the mountain. Tickets range $28 to $33. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956;

Open again after its usual two-month summer hiatus, the Purple Room at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, will welcome Adam Pascal, an original cast member of Rent. He most recently performed in Pretty Woman: The Musical. The event, “So Far …” promises to be an “intimate, acoustic, career retrospective, including questions, answers, stories, and songs, in a one-of-a-kind event.” Tickets are $40 to $50. At 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, Brenna Whitaker will stop by to perform her vast catalog of cover songs and originals. One of her biggest fans is Michael Bublé! Tickets are $25 to $30. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422;

Toucans is waking up from its summer entertainment slumber with a show by someone who’s becoming a Palm Springs regular: Ty Herndon will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20. The country singer twice topped the country charts with songs back in the ’90s; he came out as a gay man in 2014. Tickets are $30 to $40. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584;

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Even though Duran Duran began in 1978 and was one of the most popular new wave bands of the 1980s, the band’s current music still sounds cutting-edge.

Duran Duran will be returning to the Coachella Valley to perform at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa on Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18.

During a recent phone interview with bassist John Taylor, he explained what has kept Duran Duran going.

“I guess it’s some kind of tenacity,” Taylor said. “It’s some kind of belief in the group ethos. I left for a few years, so I can’t take responsibility for it. Fortunately, Nick (Rhodes) and Simon (Le Bon) didn’t; otherwise, there wouldn’t have been anything to go back to a few years later when I wanted to come back. You have to have a pretty strong belief in this group thing, am I right?”

In 2015, Duran Duran released Paper Gods, which became the band’s first Top 10 album in the United States since 1993. The group worked with artists such as Mr. Hudson, Nile Rodgers, Janelle Monáe, Lindsay Lohan, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and others. Taylor explained what made the album a hit.

“It’s quite tricky, actually, because you do make a lot of missteps along the way,” he said. “You have one ear on your past and your heritage, and you have one ear on the street and what’s happening now. You have to make something that kind of walks down the center of that. More often, we kind of got it wrong, but I’d say we’ve gotten it right recently. Mark Ronson was there for us again (as a producer). Mr. Hudson was great, and we got to have Janelle Monáe come in for a song. We really opened up to collaborations, and we let a lot of energy in. I think that’s the key: Left to our own devices, it’s almost impossible to grow. There comes a point where you just can’t change anymore. Even if one or two members of the band are really focused on the present, maybe there are a couple who aren’t. Fortunately, you’re saved by an audience that isn’t exclusively interested in how you are adapting to the current times.

“Some people actually value staying together, whatever the weather. We’ve become like a family microcosm and a soap opera. The action of staying together, no matter what, gains us something. It’s not all about the new music. There’s also something about how we handle our legacy and the grace we muster.”

Taylor mentioned the recent Grammy Awards show.

“I was watching the Grammys, and I was like, ‘Fuck this shit!’” he said. “But I wanted to be part of the conversation. I find the contemporary conversation interesting. It’s different than the conversation that was going on when I was 18—way different. But I love the conversation, and I want to be in it. I don’t want to be on the shelf watching from a distance. I was thinking, ‘How do we get in the conversation?’ You want to be able to feel like you’re contributing to the culture of today.”

I mentioned how many musicians, from metal to rap, have cited Duran Duran as an influence, and I quoted Moby, who said about Duran Duran in 2003: “They were cursed by what we can call ‘The Bee Gees curse,’ which is: ‘Write amazing songs, sell tons of records, and consequently incur the wrath or disinterest of the rock-obsessed critical establishment.’”

“We just have our own story. If you don’t hang on to who you are, then who are you?” Taylor said regarding Moby’s quote. “I can always take a look at somebody else’s career and say, ‘I wish that was me right now.’ For many years, I would do that, but I kind of feel curious about us right now, and where we go next, and I don’t know where that’s going to be. What’s there? We had a nice cycle around the Paper Gods album. I feel proud of that album, but now where do we go? Again, you have to fucking dig deep, and it’s easy sometimes looking sideways at people who are on their first or second album and what they are. … We are still in a unique position, and we can still handle ourselves in a unique way that is expressive and inspirational.”

Duran Duran was huge on MTV in its early days. Taylor talked about what he thought was Duran Duran’s best music video.

“‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ was just like a fucking explosion,” he said. “I was watching a BBC documentary about post-punk, and they had all these artists like Joy Division and Gang of Four, and it was great music. But there was a monochrome quality to everything. Then, suddenly, ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ was on there. They were using it as a way to show how we moved off the path of purity, but to me, it was like an explosion. It was extraordinary. For a three-minute-long pop presentation, there had never been anything quite like it before. I think that’s pretty groovy. I also think ‘The Chauffeur’ is one of the sexiest videos we ever made.”

Taylor said the band is playing better live now than it has in years.

“I went out to Desert Trip, and I saw the Stones. I hadn’t seen them in 15 years,” he said. “The last time I saw them was after Bill Wyman had just left. What I loved was they were way better this time! I didn’t think that was possible. As naive as that sounds, I just assumed it was a steady decline, and the older you get, you get lamer. I saw Stevie Wonder this past summer, and he was way better than when I saw him in London 20 years ago. That’s exciting to me—and I know we’re playing better. We’re a better band on this Paper Gods cycle than we were 10 years ago, or even on the reunion tour. I know how well we’re playing.”

Duran Duran will perform at 9 p.m., Friday, March 17, and 8 p.m., Saturday, March 18, at The Show at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, in Rancho Mirage. Tickets are $135 to $185. For tickets or more information, call 888-999-1995, or visit

Published in Previews