Pop rock icons Duran Duran are bringing their Paper Gods world tour to Wilmington, NC, on Fri., April 7, 2017, as part of the N.C. Azalea Fe

Pop rock icons Duran Duran are bringing their Paper Gods world tour to Wilmington, NC, on Fri., April 7, 2017, as part of the N.C. Azalea Festival.

Courtesy photo, WBR

One of N.C.'s oldest annual celebrations, complete with a coronated queen, celebrities, Azalea Belles and a renowned 'who’s who' Garden Party can be a tough act to follow. That’s where pop phenoms Duran Duran come in.

The multi-platinum band’s Friday (4/7) show in Wilmington is among the top attractions during the 70th Annual N.C. Azalea Festival. The performance is part of the band’s 2017 world tour in support of their top 10 Billboard 200 charting album Paper Gods.

The latest chapter in the British band’s 37 year history, Paper Gods is said to cement the British band’s place among the fêted few still capable of blazing trails 30-plus years after forming. The effort mixes hard-edged, contemporary pop with the band's darker more experimental side.

“I think with some artists, as they get into extended careers, it’s like climbing up a rock-face – they start to look down,” says singer Simon Le Bon in a statement. “If you do that, musically, you’re pretty much dead in the water. You can hear it when someone’s thought about it just a little too much, or tried to write something that they think people will like, rather than something that turns them on. We’ve always written music that turns us on; we’ve never tried to tailor it to any kind of taste.”

As for the Port City show, Duran Duran hits the downtown Miller Lite Main Stage with opening act Roadkill Ghost Choir, at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the outdoor event is rain or shine.

Duran Duran’s performance is part of Wilmington’s five-day festival celebrating the area’s perennial debut of millions of brightly colored azaleas. The N.C. Azalea Festival began in 1948.

What's more, Duran Duran were recently bestowed the Golden Note Award by The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The award “is one of the top acknowledgments that ASCAP bestows upon songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones.”

Following the Azalea Festival tour stop, Duran Duran heads to Atlanta and other U.S. cities, before hitting South America, with dates at Lollapalooza festivals in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. For more info. on Duran Duran’s Paper Gods tour stop in Wilmington or to purchase tickets, click here.