Duran Duran Energizes Cruel World Festival with Hit-Filled Performance

Published May 13, 2024

The Cruel World music festival, renowned for its celebration of '80s new wave, goth, and post-punk tunes, wrapped up this year's edition with an electrifying headline performance from new wave icons Duran Duran at Pasadena's Brookside at the Rose Bowl grounds. This festival, now in its third year, saw other legendary acts grace its stages, including the likes of Blondie, Interpol, Adam Ant, and Simple Minds, offering a diverse musical experience. Unlike previous years that ended with darker performances, Duran Duran brought a lighter, more lively set to the festival-goers.

A Joyful Journey Through Duran Duran's Hits

Amidst the post-pandemic resurgence and their recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, Duran Duran's headline set at the Cruel World festival was a celebration filled with timeless hits. Opening with 'The Chauffeur,' they quickly transitioned into crowd favorites such as 'Wild Boys,' 'Hungry Like the Wolf,' and the James Bond theme 'A View to a Kill.' Simon Le Bon, along with the band's original lineup and backing musicians, captivated attendees with a performance that was both nostalgic and vibrant.

Spectacular Sets by Renowned Artists

The event also boasted performances by the likes of Gary Numan, who impressed with a rendition of his album 'The Pleasure Principle,' and Ministry who rocked the festival with their energetic beats. Simple Minds delivered stirring renditions of 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' and 'Promised You a Miracle.' Interpol's powerful performance included 'The Rover' and 'Rest My Chemistry,' proving that newer bands were also able to capture the spirit of the festival's musical theme.

Rare Reunions and New Wave Nods

A special reunion took place as Tones On Tail, a side project of Bauhaus’s members, played live for the first time since 1984. Meanwhile, bands like Dreamcar, led by No Doubt alumni and AFI's Davey Havok, demonstrated the influence of new wave on modern acts with their performance. The festival’s appreciation of British music was evident, with several UK bands providing powerful sets, much to the delight of the audience.


As Duran Duran concluded their set with 'Save a Prayer' and 'Rio,' illuminated by a sea of cell phone lights, the Cruel World music festival once again affirmed its ability to bring together fans with a shared love for the influential sounds of yesteryears. It was a night where fond memories were rekindled, and new ones were made, vibrantly blending the festival’s nostalgic past with its dynamic present.

DuranDuran, Festival, Hits