Thursday, 16 November 2017

LIVE REVIEW: DEPECHE MODE, 3ARENA, DUBLIN NOVEMBER 15 2017

Here we go again. As you probably all know by now, the third leg kicked off in Dublin last night and it was a spectacular start to the next few months' gigs. Michael Lyons returns to reviewing duties for this one and this great review perfectly captures the gig. It was a superb show by a band on incredible form and Michael's review gives you a feel of what we all felt last night. I'm already far too excited about the prospect of doing it all again in Manchester tomorrow. Thanks very much Michael and thank you for the setlist picture we see towards of the review. All other pictures are my own efforts. I don't think Anton has much to worry about....




All Your Stupid Ideals

Depeche Mode concerts are special nights out, we all know that. But when you get to share it with your wife and 3 kids it’s a different thing completely and for me last night in Dublin will be one that I’ll remember for a long time, a great night out with all of us together, very happy times and special family memories.

That’s just a personal note from myself, I can’t begin to review the concert without thanking them for coming to share it with me and being part of the global Depeche family for the night. There’s a couple of other people who helped to make it a special night for us, they shall remain nameless, they know who they are and they know how much it means to me and I think they could see a happy family at play!

So with the soppy stuff out of the way, Depeche are back in Europe, back indoors and back doing what they do best. Dublin was chosen as the first stop on this the 3rd leg of the Global Spirit Tour, a city that often sees tour openers from the top headline acts, testing out their wares on the Irish before trucks and tour infrastructure move across the Irish Sea to multiple shows in arenas around Britain. 



In preparing to review this show, my thoughts prior to travelling south from the north were to the previous tours and shows at this venue. The band came back to Dublin in 2006, the first time since the infamous Devotional Tour show in 1993 and gave Dublin possibly the best Monday night out the city has ever seen. There was justification for returning that night and economically and spiritually it was confirmed that the Irish audience hadn’t gone away and was as electric as any they’d see on that tour. Since then, the newly refurbished and rebranded 02/3 Arena has hosted the Tour of the Universe and the Delta Machine Tour both of which were shows on a par with anything I’d witnessed anywhere else in Europe.

So with that in mind, Dublin had a lot to live up to last night I guess. I wasn’t really worried that it wouldn’t again reach those heights, it has fairly cemented its place as one of those Arenas that as a fan you just must get to. The buzz amongst the cosmopolitan masses that began to fill the city’s bars as the afternoon progressed was a good sign, as the many accents and nationalities high-fived, hugged and reacquainted themselves with each other, all soul sisters and soul brothers, together again.

So to the band then. Many of you have attended multiple shows since we started back in May was it? Maybe formally in May and informally prior to that with the special promotional shows. So you’ll be familiar with the show and the song selection which didn’t vary much during Europe leg 1 or North America leg 2 apart from a few of those multi-night dates where they mixed it up a little. So probably fair to say most of us weren’t expecting too many changes although the four night run in Los Angeles that did see quite a few changes gave us some hope.



If you read my review of London Stadium (http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/live-review-depeche-mode-london-stadium_7.html) or Madison Square Garden night 1(http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/live-review-depeche-mode-madison-square.html) , you’ll know that I don’t like to run you through from Going Backwards to Personal Jesus noting everything in-between. That said, it wasn’t long before evidence of change was produced in the form of It’s No Good replacing the high energy Spirit track So Much Love. Useless also was introduced fairly early on accompanied by a great new Anton Corbijn film that carries the DNA of his iconic works for the band. I caught sight of him scribbling notes while sitting at the mixing desk, I wonder what he was writing? Credit once again to Kerry Hopwood for his work in re-presenting Useless as part of this live set, with what has become a superb feature of his work on this tour – a new and innovative opening to the track. Other examples that have received similar treatment include World In My Eyes, Walking In My Shoes and Everything Counts to pick out the obvious ones. Can’t see many devotees or casual concert goers not appreciating Useless on this tour, great addition.

Precious was a new addition (I think) for the European audience (LA got it previous) and kicked off the 2nd half of the show which was to prove a total hit-fest and quite pacey when compared to what I had seen both in Europe’s stadiums and in North America. Three further changes to the 2nd half contributed to this increase in pace that seen no let-up all the way to the final stage bow. So where Stripped and "Heroes" may have reduced the noise levels a bit, tour debuts for Halo and A Question Of Time and the re-introduction of Policy Of Truth all helped to keep excitement and noise levels to the max right to the end. The biggest bonus of all for myself was not the addition of any song in particular, it was the red card dished out to I Feel You, long overdue not because it’s not a great song, only because it has been ever present on Depeche tours since 1993 and I know I wasn’t alone in wanting it gone, if only to give something else an opportunity. Dave has never hidden his love for signing it live but I never classed it as one of the ‘untouchable’ songs, I wonder how that one played out behind closed doors?




It’s not a negative as such, just an observation, but the above changes, if they are to remain, have changed the fabric of the show a little. I’ve highlighted where I think they’ve added to the overall experience but we’re left with only 3 songs from the Spirit release. Trading Standards may be ready to engage with Baron Kessler Inc. for misrepresenting what consumers have bought into here, I for one would like a couple more from Spirit and was slightly disappointed that a new Spirit song was debuted last night, something like Scum, You Move or Worst Crime…ok leave me alone, I love Worst Crime and won’t have a bad word said about it!

So not much to complain about in what was another special night in Dublin. One thing to note visually is that we seem to have lost the side screens that complimented the central ones (for the stadium shows) as part of the visual presentation. Ok, so I know they can’t be accommodated in all venues, but in Dublin, in this venue and on the last tour I thought they helped to frame the stage better adding to the overall wow-factor. Will they re-appear or are they gone for good? Not sure about that, I suspect they’re gone, another question I’m sure visual director Corbijn will answer in due course.



So on it goes, the trucks and tour infrastructure are making their way across the Irish Sea where Manchester and Birmingham will be next to show so much love, and across Europe and even further afield planes, trains and automobiles are being filled with expectant devotees looking for their next fix. If you’re on route to the Global Spirit Tour over the next few days I hope your experience is as good as mine was in Dublin. 

If you’ve stayed with me throughout this piece, you are to be commended, I realise I’ve just taken up a fair chunk of your day but I hope you got some flavour of what it was like in Dublin last night. I’ll finish with thanks to David McElroy for asking me to write on Dublin (and NYC1 previously) and congratulate him on his Almost Predictable Al,ost tour blog project, over 100,000 views last time he reported so it’s obviously a much valued resource for fans and casuals alike in keeping abreast of tour developments. If all goes to plan and I keep out of trouble, I should be back in March writing about Mexico 1, my first show ever in South America, that’ll be very exciting for me and my travelling companions. 

Until then, thank you very much, I’ll see you next time, goodnight, thank you!

Michael (To date - Glasgow, London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, New York x2, Dublin).

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Thanks very much Michael and thank you for the kind words. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

LIVE REVIEW: DEPECHE MODE, MODA CENTER, PORTLAND, 23 OCTOBER 2017

Stephanie Crone returns to reviewing duties for this show, following on from her superb Denver review away back on August 25 (http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/live-review-depeche-mode-pepsi-centre.html) This equally splendid piece sees Stephanie not only enjoy another top notch Mode outing on her last gig of the tour, but also sees her meet up with the band and Stephanie shares that amazing VIP experience with us here. By this point in time I think I'm the only person that's not met them - very jealous Stephanie. Thanks very much to Stephanie for this great blog and, the last pic aside which is Stephanie's, thanks again to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group.

Pictures courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

On a rare sunny late October afternoon in northern Oregon we found ourselves making the trek towards Portland, much like we’d done two days prior on our adventure to Seattle for the Depeche Mode show there. However, this day was to be very different than any of the four prior Depeche Mode shows we’d been lucky to attend thus far during the Global Spirit tour. It was a day we’d anticipated and shared our fair amounts of anxiety and excitement for six months. It was our turn to meet the band that had shaped our adolescence, young adulthood and full blown middle aged mom lives. Honestly, a day we never thought we would ever dream of seeing, but here we were. Sometimes being crazy pays off.

We checked into our hotel and nervously readied ourselves to meet the boys. Luckily our hotel was a short ten minute walk to the Moda Center, and the Portland weather was cooperating. We found the will call area where we were advised to wait for a Live Nation rep to take us backstage. There we were joined by about 12 other fans who were also going backstage. You could definitely feel the excitement and anticipation in the air amongst our group as we had our tickets scanned and followed the rep to a large elevator in the side door of the Moda Center. 

Pictures courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
We rode the elevator down to a large meeting area type room. At the end of the room we see the DM logo backdrop set up for taking photos with the band. There we were told that we were going to be split into three groups – the Strobe fans (this was us, and included four other fans), the radio contest group (this group had 8 fans) and a charity winner group (2 fans). We were the group that was going first. We were told to stand along the backdrop and the guys would be entering and walking down the line to shake each of our hands, then take a photo. While we waited Kessler, the band manager, came and chatted us up a bit. We told him about the four other shows we had been to in the last 2 months and talked about how awesome Hollywood was. He asked us where our seats were (row 18).

Then, it was time. My friend excitedly whispered “omigod, they’re here!” as she heard a door click, and around the corner comes Fletch, with a huge smile and hug, followed by none other than Mr. Martin L. Gore who smiled broadly and shook my hand as I told him I loved him. It all went very quickly. I assume Dave made his way down the line but I was consumed with getting a hug from Martin during our brief encounter. I was successful! And then we were told to stand for the picture. I made sure to plant myself right next to Martin. I didn’t realize they would be taking more than one photo, but they snapped a few. And that was it. We were told “ok, that’s it guys, next group!” As we made our way I made sure to stop Dave and shake his hand. 

Pictures courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
After this Kessler tells us to wait because he was going to get us some better seats! Um, okay! I told him that we were with two other people (my awesome cousin and his rad wife), and he said okay we will give you four! Ummmm, OKAY! So they sent us on our way with four tickets for sixth row! After this we were all extremely giddy. We rode the elevator back up with the other fans and we were all laughing and saying how awesome that was. It was euphoric. We went and found my cousin (who is seriously hilarious and dressed in a silver sequin suit coat a la Dave in “It’s No Good”) and found our new seats, smack next to the catwalk.

We jammed out once more to Warpaint’s set, who are now on my permanent playlist. They are amazingly talented and now bring back the best memories of an epic DM adventure. While waiting for DM to start my cousin’s wife had the best idea - let’s go find someone who has seats way at the top and give them our 18th row floor seats! We found the most awesome ladies as they were about to take the stairs to the 3rd level, who were so grateful for the better seats! It was pretty dang cool.

Pictures courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Now, for the actual show. We were seated directly to the left of the catwalk, so to the very right of the stage. Not as good a view as in the center, but absolutely no complaints. As Dave strutted the catwalk during Cover Me and Mart jumped like a champion as he finished off Home, we were within reaching distance. But it almost didn’t matter, because we had just met and shook their hands (this still makes me all giggly)! Martin threw his guitar pick at some kids attending with their parents, aww. 

The set list was engraved in our memory at this point, and I could almost even predict the moves Dave would make. We had taken a liking to counting down to when the bulk of the crowd would notice that a “popular” song was starting, then deciding to get out of their seats. We stood and sang along to every single word of each song, as always. Dave somehow manages to pack each song full of passion and energy, show after show after show. 

We had a post meet and greet glow going for the rest of the night, literally a dream come true and the best early birthday present a devotee could ask for. It is bittersweet that our adventure is done for this tour, we had more fun than ever and can’t wait to start planning the next one!

Stephanie second from Fletch side

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Thanks Stephanie!


Thursday, 2 November 2017

A BOY AND HIS BAND AT THE BOWL: DEPECHE MODE, HOLLYWOOD BOWL, LOS ANGELES, 12, 14, 16 AND 18 OCTOBER 2017

As I mentioned in Kristin's review of night 1 at the Hollywood Bowl, there was going to be a special review of all four nights in addition to the individual reviews and here it is. Jamie Highland, who previously reviewed Madison Square Garden for the blog, went to all four nights at the Bowl and this is his report. It's a rollercoaster of a read, perfectly encapsulating the highs and lows of following this band around the place and showing the lengths people will go to and the things they'll put themselves through all in the name of seeing Depeche Mode live. Pain and suffering in various tempos indeed. It's a cracking read - thanks very much Jamie. All pictures are Jamie's other than the one under this which I've taken from...you'll never guess...Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group.



A Boy And His Band At The Bowl


Remember wristbands? '86 '87 '88 '90 '93? Getting the right numbered wristband. Wow. You were in. I remember distinctly my buddy Corey getting #2 at the Warehouse in Anaheim on State College & Lincoln in '89. We were allowed to buy 8 seats. We got 16th Row Center fucking Dodgers Stadium. I wore my Black Celebration T-Shirt which I had written the words to Stripped on the back in black marker two tours previous (yes I still have it) At that show my friend Rick kept laughing. After the show I asked him why he was laughing during Stripped and he said the girls behind you were reading your shirt, they were singing to your shirt! Wow. That's pretty cool to remember those things. That same tour dM put on a "fan appreciation show" at the then Universal Ampitheatre. You had to call in to win tickets. 18 of us were calling in that day, including my mom. The rule was, if you won, you take Jamie. If Jamie wins, we put our names in a hat. My buddy Rick got in. We went. Mart played Little 15 & Here Is The House that night. That's pretty cool to remember those things. Although I was already going to the special show and Dodgers Staduim Night 1 as well as all 3 nights in San Diego I had an extra ticket for Dodgers Night 2. I wanted to take a lot of people. Especially Corey because you know. Sexy, gay, sex, fun. But I took my mom. My mom was AWESOME. She screamed when appropriate, she sang every fucking word. She was in a word, brilliant. That's pretty cool to remember those things.

I miss my mom. I miss her a lot. And don't worry Corey and I hooked more than a few times. We are friends to this day oh and... he's the one that told me to take my mom. Night 2, awesome dude. He is also the guy that almost got crushed to death at the Warehouse signing. Those that know me know the story.

The sad thing about this story above is that my other best friend during High School is Amie. I have no idea how but she was left out of the 8 tickets Night 1. She has never let me forget it. She also has never stopped being my best High School buddy. We have been friends for 31 years, through life, death, ends and beginnings she has been a rock.

So what has this to do with dM at the Hollywood Bowl 2017? Let's forward to 2001

In '01 I was online. Before the DMMB existed, we were on the WB board. dM was playing in Las Vegas. 2.500 capacity. Everyone was coming to Vegas. My friends and I ran a club every Wednesday behind Club Angles. dM were playing on a Wednesday. It was the perfect storm. The very last person to sign up for the party was Windscreenfly. He was so late I never even saw him sign up. A day before the show all the people that were a day early for the show met at the Hard Rock side bar and we hung out. Later that night I harassed Fletch, at the center bar, coaching him on how to play video poker correctly. He was terrible and he wasn't a fan of my coaching. After he looked me directly in the eye, I said, I just wanted to know if you want to watch your guy's performance of I Feel Loved on The Tonight Show, they are playing it at the side bar in half an hour, I hear the band is pretty good. He laughed and said, you know what. NO! But thank you. I laughed and I held out my hand. He shook it and laughed, I said Ill get out of your face, he laughed again and shook his head vehemently, YES.

Jamie and Sean

The next day started so fast. Meeting new people, arriving almost hourly. My buddy Amie arrived without her suitcase (She attended the show in almost her bathing suit. Yes I have pics somewhere). So as the day goes on I meet many people including Omid Taxallai, he and his sister A2sa turn out to be friends for life. As the show is about to begin some guy comes up to me and says Hey Bong10. (My board name still, even though I rarely post anymore). He says Hi my name is Sean, Windscreenfly, I signed up for the party but probably late. I said, hey man. I'm glad you're here. I've been hanging out welcoming and trying to find everyone so we are standing in the back. Wanna hang with us? He said yes. The most vivid things I remember that night were during WIMS I looked back and reached out my hand to Sean and he took it. And then an hour later he was at me and my friends club standing against a wall looking like he had bee hit by a truck.

I had planned to follow dM on Tour for the next 10 days but ended up calling into work for an additional 7 days and spending an additional $1,700, Only $400 was on me $300 was for front row tickets for Anaheim Night 1 for me and Andrea Sutterfield. (to trade up our ok seats) I handed out money to everyone that needed it. It was FUCKING AWESOME. The group of us were having so much fun we kept posting our exploits on the DMWB. Sean was having so much fun reading our exploits and I kept harassing him so much he ended up flying back out to CA from NY to hang with us on the final night of the tour. We all met up next door to the Pond in Anaheim for drinks. I gave away my previously bought tickets to Berlin, Leipzig, Warsaw and Prague to a great group of German fans that were visiting. As we all walked across the street (needed to scalp a ticket still) Sean handed me a ticket, 16th row center. No, I'm not making that up, same seats as Dodgers Night 1, 11 years earlier. I said how did you get this? He said you did so much for everyone in Vegas, just take the ticket. THAT was he start of a dM friendship becoming a friendship becoming a best friendship. September 11th 2001 happened 3 weeks later. I went to visit him in February 2002 where we met and hung out with Dave while he did a 3 hour interview with radio stations around the country at CBS studios, promoting One Night In Paris. Lets forward through 2002-2017

One person I didn't mention during the Tour of Pain is Barbara Seals Morden. The reason I didn't mention her is because I wanted to save her story for this portion.

When the dM dates were announced Barb immediately told me. Not asked. TOLD me I was staying at her house during the HB stand. When Night 3 and Night 4 were added she never said, Oh that date as well. Nor did I ask. It was known. In May I was in LA to meet up with Sean and we both had dinner with Barb and I asked if it would be okay if Kristin Vogel-Campbell could stay at her ho.... fuck yes she can. I love her. And if you vouch for her too, yes. I never got the words out. Who does this? Barbara does.

Jamie, Barbara Seals Morden and Attosa Tavallai at the afterparty on night 2


So now we are almost there. The Hollywood Bowl Stand.

Things to know.

1. Me & Kristin are staying at Barb's: ie: Barb HQ
2. Me, Barb, Sean, Omid, A2sa, Mrio are Tour of Pain survivors 2001
3. We have all been in touch but some if us haven't seen each other in years
4. I didn't want to write this because of doubt, but did because of friend support
& I promised David
5. If you want a play by play on each song see some other the amazing reviews. Stacy Lynch & Sara Lauder come to mind. 

Night 1 : It's nosebleed night. And although our altitude was high, so was our attitude. dM was going to hear us and hear us they did. The set list was the standard Only Night/1st Night Set we've all come to know. What was nice was one of the six of us, my friend Amie who has been going to dM shows with me for 30 years was a Spirit Tour virgin. Many of the songs, A Question of Lust, Stripped, In Your Room, are her favorites so it was nice to once again share those moments with her. And boy can she scream. In the row ahead of us off to the right were two dudes who were obviously bothered by our enthusiasm from the start. Constantly looking back over their shoulders and speaking furiously into each others ears. By A Pain That I'm Used To they'd had enough and vacated their seats. See ya later twats. Look, if you have seats in Section 'way in the fucking back' and I'm standing near you it's not going to be a quiet night. Me and my friends are going to be dancing, singing, and screaming "FUCK! YEAH!" in between songs.

On ticket sale day San Fran's finest educator Kristin,said fuck it, I'm buying a block of tickets, Way up. Just in case we don't get anything better. Brilliant.

Michele Valenzuela Pruyn, bought the extra ticket we had (two weeks before the show) after someone that we loved let us down in the most monumental way. Btw you may have seen Michele on her takeover. Don't believe it. She's shady as hell LMAO. Love you lady ;)

I leaned over and asked the ladies in front of us if they were bothered by our boisterousness and to a person they said no and also said they were rather enjoying it. I was glad to hear this because from then on I was a little extra crazy. Before each song I would start giving hints to everyone around us about what song was coming up. I would ask people, does 2 + 2 = 4? They would laugh and say no and I would yell WRONG! During EC's brilliant new intro I would ask everyone for a hand shake. I was shaking everyone's hand. Even the people I was with thought I'd lost the plot, this behavior culminated in me physically holding one of the girl's arms out during Personal Jesus. I mean, come now. That's dM 101. No pun intended.

After the show we headed over to The Pig N' Whistle for Club Ultra. The first of 4 after parties put on by Strangelove: The Depeche Mode Experience's own Freddie Morales. The after party was amazing. Meeting up with some friends I hadn't seen in over a decade and partying even more with my fellow concert goers. One of those people is A2sa. A2sa is my soulmate on soul many levels. If I was straight and she was a straight guy we would be a heterosexual male couple. Yes. I know. The love is real. We hugged for a non stop 4 minutes. When one person let go the other re-hugged. That hug will will never be forgotten. Even. Unfortunately I was stalked for the next 3 hours by one of Dave's groupies so that kinda put a damper on the night, but true love wins out.

The Spirit truck

Day 1: The day off in between Night's 1 and 2 was a much needed rest. I had been going non stop after the San Diego show, training up to San Francisco, meeting up and staying with my buddy Kristen Vogel-Campbell. Seeing the show in Oakland, training in back down to LA the next day, arriving that evening and then staying up until the wee hours of the morning catching up with my dear friend Barbara Seals Morden. That day was the first day I'd be waking up and going to sleep in the same bed and not having to wake up at o-dark thirty, in 6 days.

This is the point I should mention the Night 2 void. As in, almost no one I knew had tickets. It was kinda strange. When tickets went on sale the usual thing happened. Multiple calls and text messages as well as an uncountable number of Fb IM's started up. It was fast and furious. "I got seats for us for this show," "This person has an extra seat for this night," "no one has any good seats for this night." When ticket sale day was over I had seats to all of the shows I was attending except Night 2. Nothing really worked out so I just decided to get them closer to the date. Being from LA, I've always got into any show I wanted to attend. I wasn't worried. Well, this time that didn't work out so well because after my trip to NY and two shows there and an unexpected personal situation came up I wasn't in any position to see Night 2. When this situation came up Kristin told me she was buying my ticket to Night 2. I said no. After a few days of back and forth I relented. So THANK YOU again Kristin. Thank you so much.

Night 2: It's solo night. Kristin procured a pretty great seat for me on Mart's side. However due to it being a last minute sort of thing, I was going to have to make friends. And make friends I did. When I got there, after Warpaint had ended my entire row was full so scooted into my seat, 4th from the isle. I said hey to everybody and gave my usual speech. I dance and sing, there will be no sitting. After a few minutes of introductions I was 100% that Nelida and her sister to my left and Jamie and her brother and his boyfriend to my right were going to be on point. It didn't take long before I was proven right. When the lights went down and all the way through Going Backwards my new friends and I were ON. When Mart started his solo Strangelove version I thought Nelida was going to pass out and Jamie nearly strangled me in a full neck bear hug. It was amazing.


Day 2: The next day was Sunday brunch. Barb made amazing French Toast with rum syrup reduction and egg and cheese, um, thingy? Me Barb, Kristin, A2sa, Kelly Williams and A2sa's buddy ate and then we ate some more. Stories from The Tour of Pain were told. 16 years of memories. We were laughing so hard at points I had to sit on the softer sofa because my back couldn't take laughing that hard while sitting on the harder dinning room chairs.

Kristin and Jamie pointing out the album SOFAD fans secretly love the most

Night 3: I was hanging once again with my High School buddy Amie again. Also attending would be Amie's 12 year old daughter Brody and Brody's best friend Brianna. dM virgins both. Was really looking forward to this night. But first, I had agreed to finally accompany Kristin on her daily outing to The Spirit Truck. When I woke up that day my back was hurting more than usual and this was the day I should have stayed home and rested but... hindsight. So we went to the Spirit Truck. Besides being crazy hot it was a lot of fun. When you got there they handed you a lottery ticket and then every 15 minutes they would draw a number and you'd win a shirt or signed poster, hat etc. While there I could feel my back really start to hurt but hey, how often do you get to do this? Answer: NOW.

So after about 4 hours out we returned home and decided to Uber to the Metro station and take the train into Hollywood & Highland Station one stop away because there was a World Premiere going on at Grauman's Chinese Theatre that night so driving into a park & ride or Ubering straight there was out of the question. Now this is a sound idea normally, however, my back is about 50% at this point and now we have to walk up the hill to the Bowl. Now, I am not an open complainer. In fact, I think I'm pretty good about concealing my pain. This day, with the amount of times Kristin was aking if I was okay, should be a testament to how hard it was to hide. But, we got there. Kristin and I split because she was down in the pool that night and I was up were I was the night before. I met up with Amie and the girls who were sharing pizza. I found the beer stand and got straight to my seat to relieve the pain.

This would be the only night I would see Warpaint's entire set and they were really good. Pain aside, I rather enjoyed them and my time chatting with Amie and the girls, who were all super excited. To watch their faces as the lights went down and the music start up was pretty amazing. Smiles all around. When the second song started and the first few notes of It's No Good played out I texted my husband and Sean, "Here we go..." Little did I know I would be the one going in about an hour or so. As each song played, just the act of standing became almost impossible. But it's dM. I'm standing. When Mart comes out and starts singing Insight, I have tears in my eyes and sing every fucking word and that would be the last song I stand for the entire song. By Wrong I'm sitting and by Stripped I'm sitting bent over the bench in front of me head down. Amie is now sitting with her hand on my head knowing that the pain is real for me. To be sitting during Stripped?! Anyway, half way through Enjoy The Silence I apologize to Amie and tell her I can't stay. She tells me to get out of there and I do. So very slowly. Now the way the Bowl is designed and the speed to which I'm walking, I still hear Shake The Disease and Black Celebration while I'm making my way out. Hearing two of my top ten songs play as I'm leaving a dM show will be with me forever. The pain was intense. The tears were flowing. The offers for help numerous. I've never told this to anyone but I was given two bottles of water, a free T-shirt and an offer to drive me down the rest of the hill. These were just people working the hill. Not even dM fans.

From Night 3 - Amie, Brianna and Brody


Day 3: With chemical help I sleep until 3pm the this day. I wake up and spend that evening talking to Barb, who once again has made me dinner. We sit and chat for a couple hours and then I'm back in bed by 9:30. I sleep until 9. Totally missed Kristin who was out really living it up with the Spirit Truck and fellow devotees. She truly is amazing.

Night 4: Bittersweet night. This is the night I was dreading and most looking forward to. I know, sounds crazy. But today is the day my best friend arrives from New York and also the last night of what has become, basically, our House Band in Hollywood. For an entire week now dm has been playing the same club. No doubt a rather large club but still. Sean gets in about 11:30am and our fellow Tour Of Pain buddy Mario is picking him up, both arriving at Barb HQ around 1:30. Kristin arrives at the same time from her day out and we all head over to get pizza and beer. We come back to the house and just sit and talk. Sit and talk. Here Is The House comes to mind when thinking about these couple of hours. Sitting and talking with friends is always great, but in the context of dM... I don't know. It's just one of those things, ya know? We were doing other things, figuring out who was going with who, which modes of transport we were all going to use to get there but mostly we were just sitting around talking and laughing and hanging out. Shows aside, or equal to, these are the greatest moments.

So after hanging out for a few hours we get ready and we're off. Sean & Mario drop Kristin & I off at the Bowl and they go to park. Kristin goes to her VIP Dinner and I sit down to chill. Back is great after almost 2 days rest but extra rest can't hurt. And then, almost immediately, there she is, "You need a beer? You look like you need a beer. Let me get you a beer." Michele Valenzuela Pruyn, standing there with her, 'Come on already - let's go' look. "You glorious bitch, yes please." So we walk the whole 15 feet to the beer stand. We chat it up about things that will remain between her & I. She's a fucking gem btw. If you haven't met her, highly recommend. I go to sit back down and didn't realize I sat next to Leah Ward and hubby Rob. Very, very lovely people. We start chatting and then realize we all know each other, dM degrees of separation. To my left another handsome dude is sitting and I find out that it's Mads Kruse. I feel like I sat in the middle of a dM Fb post. What an amazing human being this guy is. About an hour later I ran into Mads or he ran into me. He was calling my name and he handed me 2 of Mart's guitar picks. He said give one to Sean and one is yours. Mads, I gave that pick to Amie to give to her daughter Brody. She cried when she found out how she got it. Well done my friend. You just made a new 12 year old dM fan a fan for life.

Soon after Michele leaves Amie shows up and to make a very long preshow story short, we get to our box. Barb has been texting, "what do you want to drink", but I haven't been responding because Barb's already done enough for me this tour. Amie, Sean & myself are now sitting in our box. We are HYPED. I'm finally feeling AMAZING. My best friends on the planet are standing next to me. My other best friend is on her way. When this box was acquired, these were not the 4 people that were supposed to be there. But as fate would have it... it was just one of those moments the universe said, "Jamie, tonight." That's all it said. Actully it never said anything. The universe doesn't have a mouth. Nor vocal chords, silly. And then there she is. Barb.

A2sa, Jamie, Kristin

It is TRULY hard to explain my emotions in this moment. But now I have to because I told David I would blog about this. So let me put it this way. If your birthday was on the 4th of July and the 4th of July was moved to December 25th and Christmas was now also New Year's Eve, well that would be stupid. They all have specific dates. Why are you even trying to imagine that? Dumbasses.

So now that I'm standing in a literal box with my 3 best friends on the planet about to see my favorite band in the world, what am I supposed to do? Oh that's right. Cry. But I can't. I just can't. I'm watching Sean hug Amie and Barb hug Sean and they are all hugging me. I want to cry but I can't. And then I remember my mom. My mom died almost two years ago and when I was growing up in that incredibly hard house my mom would always say, after things quited down after dad-rage, "it's okay to be happy."

So that's what I did. I got happy. Super happy, happy overdrive, fuck you happy. I didn't look back. I laughed and sang and danced. We found out where Mario was sitting and we abducted him and brought him to our box. Now we have 5 deliriously happy people in our box. And NO ONE is telling us we can't. NO ONE is telling us we can't laugh. NO ONE is telling us we can't hug. NO ONE is telling us anything. WE ARE HAVING FUN. WE ARE BEING HAPPY. FUCK EVERYBODY ELSE. IT'S JUST US.

If you want to know what happened during the show, consult YouTube. All I can tell you is when EVERY SINGLE song came on there was a vibrant reaction. Amazing. Good. Bad. To all of you that are going to hate this review, I'm going to say only this. I've been a fan of this band since I was 10 years old. Obviously not as crazy as I am now 35 years later but I think I still wanted to be a fan. The first album I couldn't wait to come out was CTA. I was 11. I didn't understand wholly why I was so excited but my cousin who was 13 was telling me why I should be excited. When I was 12 I couldn't wait for SGR to come out. Finally on my own. Why? Because I started to finally get it. Also, I started feeling different. And then waiting for BC to come out was a lifetime. Because now, I was living for myself, finally. dM was no longer a band I liked because they sounded cool. They were now a band I loved because I needed them.

This band was talking to me. Screaming to me. It's okay to be different. It wouldn't be until MFTM before I would realize why I felt different. Not because of the record, just because of life. It's just interesting to me how I time things in my life by dM records.

We ended that night at the Night 4 after party. We danced like friends. We danced like Fools.

The Night 4 afterpart crowd: Sean, Kristin, Andrea, Sara, Mario (above Sara and Andrea), Kelly, Barbar, Jamie and Attosa


Day 5: I was up early. Never really went to bed to be honest. Just sat up thinking this could be it. That was maybe my last dM show ever. This could be the last time I'm in Barb HQ. Last time I see Mario. Last time I see Kristin. Last time I see Sean. I know that sounds fatalist but seriously, you just don't know. Especially with our distant friends.

Sean woke first, so he & I walked to a local eatery. Talked about life. We've been such good friends for so long so much doesn't even need to be said. It's one of the reasons I love him entirely. He doesn't fucking talk so much. When we see something and look at each other, fuck, you don't even have to look at each other.We just smile or laugh. You all have these relationships. That certain person where no words need to be spoken. You all know what I mean. I'm just happy mine is Sean.

So we head back to Barb HQ and everyone is getting up. (Full disclosure: I had to text Kristin just now to remember exit order. I fell a few years back and hit my head, It was the day dM played RAH. I had blood on my brain for a couple weeks, was in ICU for a few days. Sometimes I can't remember the simplest things. Please don't use that to your advantage, I have friends that will out your lies. haha). Kristin says she is staying at Barb HQ to shower, finish packing and relax before Lyfting it to Burbank.

I'm in the bedroom silently packing my things as is Sean. Barb is silently moving in and out of our room and hers. It's an unspoken upstairs tornado of getting ready to go be sad again. One by one we slowly gather downstairs, trading in coffee cups for water glasses. My heart is in the pit of my stomach while my soul is trying to turn back time. My brain however catches Mario standing at the front door. I do remember wanting to tell him to sit back down on the couch, to talk, one last conversation. But he says it. Like thunder silencing the roar of a million cars on the 101. It's time to go. You wanna know how hard it is to hold back these tears? It's impossible. Iv'e had more than enough practice. I've been practicing this since 2001. It doesn't get easier. It gets fucking worse. I hug Mario. My fucking friend. I try not to let go. We finish, I look down. He says something really positive because that's what Mario does. He's the nicest fucking guy. Door opens, he walks out. Next up is Sean. Hug. See ya later buddy. For sure.

Kristin says we will all see each other. As a defense mechanism I think, I recall the first time I said goodbye to Sean after I had come to visit him in February 2002. I couldn't even speak then because I was so upset to leave him and NYC. I'm pretty sure I do this in times of despair to make what Im going through less hurtful. But believe you fucking me, saying goodbye to this mother fucker is next to impossible. I have tears in my eyes typing this. This is my best fucking friend. He used to be my best dM friend, but the dM prefix fell away years ago.

Mario & Sean are gone.

Barb now says, let's go babe. We both hug Kristin. Wow. That was really hard. Kristin and I went from knowing each other online for years to actually meeting and hanging out for 11 days straight. She is TRULY an amazing human being. If you ever get a chance to hang out with Kristin, DO IT, I've met so many people on line who are AMAZING and then when you meet them and they are just the worst. Kristin Vogel-Campbell is not one of these people. Meet her. Cherish her. In your time of need she will take care of you. So, please. You do the same for her.

So now it's just me and Barb. That one mile drive to the Universal City Metro Stop. It wasn't long enough but it was way too long. I know you all know what I mean. When you are about to leave that person you want to hang out with more yet you want to get it over with because you have to leave each other so you can start mourning. I'm sitting in the car tearing up. No words are being said. We get there and I get out. And Barb meets me at the hatch and pulls my bag out. We HUG... Barb says "Thank you for making me remember what it is to be a dM fan." We HUG. AGAIN. HARD. She lets go and walks around to get in her car and I burst into tears. I wave. She waves. She drives away.

As I walked down the levels of the Metro Station openly crying I think, "No, Barb. Thank you for making me remember what it is to be a dM fan"

I took the Metro to Union Station. Caught the train to San Diego and thought about many things. The band. My best friends. My friends. People who I thought were my friends, but aren't. My mom. But most importantly I thought about what I was going back to. My awesome husband Michael & my two pups, Boga & Nuka.

And now, even though I'm at home with the love of my life. No joke. Michael is my fucking dream. I'm still in the worst depression. It is so real, this post depression. Every tour it takes longer to get out of it. Especially now when so many of my dM friends are friends. I have tricks I do to keep my mind off what I've just experienced. I know how to lessen the pain but nothing really helps. I hate it.

I will cry for weeks.
I will be lost for months.
I will be destroyed for years.
I will be sad forever.

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Thanks Jamie.

Monday, 30 October 2017

LIVE REVIEW: DEPECHE MODE, ROGERS PLACE, EDMONTON, 27 OCTOBER 2017

The final show of the North American leg of the Global Spirit Tour saw the band land at Rogers Place, Edmonton which is where today's reviewer Tracy Anderson comes from. Tracy is a fellow blogger and she runs the site In Search Of Rock Gods which I very much recommend you all visit as it's a treasure trove of musical goodness. As well as writing about rock gods, Tracy also draws them and the wonderful drawing of Mr Gahan below is one of her own. Tracy's magnificent review captures the excitement of seeing Depeche Mode for the very first time and she caught them on the finest of form. All pictures are hers too so don't steal them or we'll come after you. Enjoy.

Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, Pastel Pencil by Tracy Anderson

Ok, I don’t know what just happened, but something happened that I never imagined could ever happen… I’ve just seen a concert with energy that approached the level of U2 in Dublin levels!!! And it wasn’t even U2… Whaaaaatttt???!!!! 

Now, some of you might be thinking “pffft – what does that even mean? U2 in Dublin level energy???” So let me just say that it is THE bar for concert energy; it’s A levels, Top Gun, the Oscars of praise for concert energy… I’ve tried capturing the magnitude of a U2 in Dublin show in a previous post on my blog here. No energy elsewhere like it. But this came close! 

The funny thing is, that U2 Dublin energy is largely in part due to the connection between the band and Dublin, and the thousands of fans that make the pilgrimage to see them play their hometown, but this concert had no such connection. 

This was Depeche Mode’s Global Spirit Tour in Edmonton… a special night in itself, the last concert of the leg. But, unless there is some mystical relationship between DM and Edmonton that I am unaware of, there is no explanation for this energy other than Depeche Mode are freakin awesome live (they are) and Edmonton loves Depeche Mode (umm, yah, we do!) and all the other stars that make for a great show aligned that night. 

Depeche Mode and Audience Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

Strangely, my section and most of the section next to me sat through almost the whole show, which was weird in itself, because we were in the seats directly to the side of the stage. The band could see us clearly; Martin Gore was positioned right there and Dave Gahan came over often to sing right to us. This proximity would have most crowds on their feet. So, usually, does this type of music… Everyone else that I could see was standing; rocking, screaming, singing, dancing the night away. I’m telling you, the energy was palpable, electric, tingles down your spine! 

It was the perfect symbiotic relationship of band and audience giving and feeding off of each other. Dave is the ultimate performer; he is dramatic, animated, graceful; moving like a dancer, literally (I even literally mean literally here!) spinning in circles so fast and so long that most other people would fall over dizzy or stumble around in that woozy drunken vertigo that we used to purposefully aim for as kids.

Dave Gahan Blue Lavender Ethereal 2 Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017
Though there was very little spoken communication throughout the night from the band (outside of check-ins to ask if we are all having a great time, frequent shout outs of ‘Edmonton,’ and the most sincere thank yous I have ever heard), Dave communicated with the audience through his body. Constantly reaching out to us, holding the mic stand as far out as possible for us to sing, bending over the stage, making eye contact, even holding hands with some lucky fans at the end of the runway stage. If there is an invisible web of cables that send energy, emotion, and life-force from human to human, Dave oozes those cables. He spins that web, reaching out with natural enigmatic charisma to everyone in the audience, drawing us in. And the audience latched on wholeheartedly to those cables and rapid-fired that intensity right back to the band.

Dave Gahan B&W Close Up Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I have to tell you the significance of this concert for me. I’ve been a fan of Depeche Mode since Violator, but I connected so deeply and completely with Songs Of Faith And Devotion. The poetry. The emotion. The honesty. The passion. The darkness. The vampiric soul. It is just one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard and it cemented my devotion (yah, I chose that word :D) to this band.

It came out in 1993, some months before I moved to California, my first major move away from home, where the biggest place I’d ever lived was Edmonton – population 626,999 at the time. When the tour was announced, my friends and I made plans to go see DM in Los Angeles. I’d never seen them live, in fact my concert-going experience was limited to only three shows at the time, and I was so excited at the idea of seeing Depeche Mode live, and going to a big concert in L.A. – a big deal for a small-town girl with a big love of music.

I don’t remember what happened, but I never went. I was crushed. Gutted. Broken-hearted to miss it and the idea of going by myself never even occurred to me back then. I never again had the opportunity to see them live. Until this year, 24 years later, and the Global Spirit Tour is announced with a date in my very city. 

That’s right, twenty-four years later, finally, this is my very first Depeche Mode concert! Twenty-four long long years! (I feel so old right now…) But damn, were they ever worth the wait! I mean, I wish I hadn’t had to wait a quarter of a century to see them (well, that phrase didn’t help with the feeling old thing!), but life is like that. These days, I am at the state in life where I can more actively search for my rock gods and I jump at any chance to see them live. Life is short. Buy the damn concert tickets! So I did.

Dave Gahan Close Up Blue Violet Portrait Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017
The seat I chose was in an area I’ve never sat in before for a concert, the very first section, right next to the side of the stage, row 10, though really only 4 rows up from the stage. It was almost like being on stage! I could see the tour trunks labelled ‘Depeche Mode,’ some guitars, and a whole lot of sound equipment on the floor around this section. The music geek in me, the 17 year old wanna-be sound engineer in me, was freaking out! 

I sat down, sights and sounds invoking thoughts in my mind a mile a minute as my brain tried so hard to catch up with this exquisite sensory overload and the promise of what was to come: Are those stairs leading to the stage where the band might enter from? Do those video cameras mean this night is being filmed?? (I desperately want to go to a show that ends up being the dvd :D); no, there would be more cameras, and likely tracks on the floor, and notification at the arena entry. Oh, I see stairs on the stage! Oh wow, that’s a platform, cool! Hmmm, I suspect with this dead-on perpendicular angle to the stage, I might not be able to see the images on the screen and I know some of them are by Anton Corbjin. That’s ok, I am sooo freaking close to the stage! Hey wait? Is that piece of paper on that trunk the setlist!? Why, yes it is, thank you, zoom lens! 

Depeche Mode Lights Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017.

Ok, settle down, it’s almost time for the opening act – Warpaint. In my determination to be unsullied from information, I’ve heard only two comments to date about this band; one was rave reviews, one was meh… but I can’t wait to hear them. Jeez, there is, like, no one in my section or the next section, is this concert not sold out? Oh god, please let it not be poor attendance in these sections! That would suck for DM to see an empty section so close up! What does that do to a band’s thought process while up on stage!? On the other hand, I’ll be able to go right down to the first row and stand and dance and sing like no one but the band is watching (wait, that’s a terrifying thought!), without worrying about blocking anyone behind me! 

Warpaint are really good! I love their sound, and I hate that I still have to say this and I hate that I have to debate about whether I should say it, whether mentioning this helps or just adds to the problem – but they are an all-female band, not just singing, but playing all the instruments. Why is this still so rare? Lots of female solo-artists, yes; lots of female-fronted bands, sure; a female instrumentalist in a band of guys? Less sure about that. But a full female band? What is it about the music world that either makes females not pick up an instrument in the first place, or makes the industry think they wouldn’t be successful? These women are super talented. Beautiful atmospheric rock. Remarkable soundscapes.

Anyways, I should have known not to worry about attendance, as with so many shows, the audience waltzed in after the opening act. I’m itching with anticipation. Finally, the lights go down. And the sound goes up. Revolution by The Beatles (appropriate choice, I’d say!) plays on the sound system to the expectant roar of the audience, then abruptly stops. 

A repetitive drumming begins. Those feet appear on the screen, tiny, marching in one spot, growing bigger and bigger. Depeche Mode comes on stage to deafening applause and cheers, Martin, right there on our side. Then Dave. 

Dave Gahan and Martin Gore Blue Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017
And that wondrous sound of Going Backwards. Pulsing, beating, pounding. You know, for the longest time, I thought the lyrics said “We are not bigots. We have not evolved” … It was only when I looked it up that I learned the line is “We are not there yet. We have not evolved.” I love this song and its relevance for today’s world. Such a poignant poetic understanding of these times.

I am immediately and utterly floored by Depeche Mode live. This is a band and a sound that was made for live performances. The soundscapes emanating through a proper, super high quality, loud, arena-filling sound system are mind-blowing! All the notes, sounds, thrills that you just cannot hear on the radio or home system. Just wow! 

Dave Gahan and Martin gore Passion Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

So Much Love now. There is just so much grit in this music. I can feel the drums, that deep, rich bass. I feel the vibrations up from the ground, but I can feel it, you know? It moves me. My legs are involuntarily grooving to the beat, my head has a mind of its own (a ha ha, I crack me up!) and is nodding in time. God, I so desperately want to stand up. I keep looking behind me to see if people are standing. If they are already standing, so can I. The guy in front of me jumps up every now and then, but he just pumps his fist in the air, hollers, and then sits down again. Noooo, just stay up! If you stay up, then I can too!

Barrel Of A Gun. Oh god, this song. Dave is deep in the spell of this song, arms out, swinging them side to side, theatrical, swaying. I cannot get over his performance throughout the night. Skipping, dancing, marching, gyrating. Every inch of his body is moving all the time, down to his facial expressions. This is pure showman. I’m sure every cell of him is on fire.

Dave Gahan Close Up Profile Arms Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

Corrupt. In Your Room. World In My Eyes. This show is astonishing! This energy has permeated 
every nook and cranny of this building. This setlist. Edmonton is enthralled tonight! 

Cover Me. Beautiful, haunting song. Heart-breaking. Dave sounds so amazing. Voice of an angel. A dark angel, perhaps. So passionate. Seriously, I cannot get over him live. Why is this my first time seeing them? This might just be another band I need to see multiple shows per tour… Oh man, I need to win the lotto so I can afford this habit!

A Question of Lust. A Question of Lust!! A freaking Question of freaking Lust!!!! This might be my favorite song of theirs… I’m not sure, I mean there’s Judas, and One Caress, and every song from Songs Of Faith And Devotion, Little 15, Personal Jesus, and Wrong, and, well, all the songs! But this song is top five for sure. Martin on vocals. His performance seems shier after the gregariousness of Dave, Martin starts out as close to the back of the stage as the drum kit in his way lets him. He slowly, almost demurely, hesitantly, tip toes closer to the front, gorgeously singing, no theatrics, just voice. What a voice! The audience randomly cries out in appreciation mid song. 


Martin Gore B&W Close Up Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

Home. More Martin, another of my favorite songs. Bass and drums like a heartbeat. Edmonton chanting, clapping, yelling. Martin comes all the way out on the runway. And runs back to main stage to take a bow. God, can this get any better? Dave comes back on stage and Edmonton spontaneously bursts into whoa oh ohs from Home, not letting the song end. Dave encourages us, holding the mic out into the crowd. This audience is knocking my socks off!

Poison Heart. Dave, and the return of the beautiful dramatics. I cannot stop taking pictures! He is poetry in motion. I was half right about the screen – I can see the graphics, they aren’t blocked, but I am so close and so perpendicular to the stage that I can either look at the screen or I can watch Dave and Martin. I can’t really even see the rest of the band when I am watching these two or when I look at the screen, they are in the peripheral either way. So I am choosing to watch Dave. He is hard not to watch even when I try. 

Dave Gahan Mic Stand Close Up Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017
Where’s the Revolution? Damn I love this song! This is a question so many of us are asking daily… This world is, well, going backwards in so many ways, in so many places (yes, I’m talking about Trump and Brexit and the likes) and what are we as a world society doing about it? Where’s the revolution people!? And I don’t mean violence. Where’s the peaceful revolution. This time, when the guy in front of me stands up, I stand up, and I stay standing. I need to move. This music has my soul tonight! Luckily, I am in the first seat, so I am standing mostly in the aisle, trying not to block anyone’s view…

Wrong. Seriously. So many of my favorite songs. The lyrics of this song are so honest. The repetition of ‘wrong’ in each line of the song. The power of the music driving home that honesty, that intensity of feeling you are just wrong, “There's something wrong with me chemically, Something wrong with me inherently, The wrong mix, In the wrong genes…”


Dave Gahan Red Close Up Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017
Everything Counts. And the crowd goes mad! Everyone is on their feet, including my section. Woo hoo! Oh, the bass is jacked up! These drums! Dave is dancing with the mic stand, twirling around like it’s his dance partner. Yelling at the crowd to sing, and we are, top of our lungs, random bursts of screams. Freaking bloody wow!

Stripped. Hot! And again, the crowd singing, clapping, waving, screaming. We are so into this night.

And then, the crowd loses its collective mind. Enjoy the Silence. I have never heard Edmonton sing like this! Dave keeps shouting “Edmonton!” like a metal singer. He is spinning again, spinning and spinning. “Edmonton! Let’s hear you sing!” And boy, we do not disappoint! The synth is wild. My whole section is back on their feet. This is in-freaking-credible! Whoosh! The applause after this song… holy crap… this is utter madness this love, this night, this energy!

Dave Gahan Dancing And Martin Gore Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

Just when you think thing might settle down, a whole new round of screaming begins with the intro notes to Never Let Me Down Again. We cannot contain ourselves any longer. We are still singing like mad, Dave has us waving our arms to and fro with such vigor… And then he pulls out a t-shirt launcher?!?! Lucky fans, whoever caught the stuff! What a finale! The end of the main set and the crowd goes freaking berserk! The band thank us and leave the stage. Most shows, I’ve seen people leave at this point, thinking it really is the end. But not this crowd! We want our encore! 

And then. The encore. The screen gives away the next song: Somebody. I am standing up again. This song… Martin and a piano only. I might love this song more than A Question of Lust. It is probably everyone’s wishlist for their somebody to love. So beautiful, and the crowd is singing again. And screaming. And singing. Every single word. Ahhhh, this song! Edmonton hasn’t quite grasped the mass cell phone flashlight thing yet, there are only a handful of people holding them up, turning the arena into an only slightly starry night.

Martin Gore Red Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

Walking In My Shoes. I’m telling you, Songs Of Faith And Devotion! This album… jees… Dave, strutting, dancing, Elvis posing. Sigh… And then "Heroes." I love this song. Ah, David Bowie, how I miss you! This cover, Dave sings it with such emotion, I just want to cry.

The night wraps up with two of the most intense, crowd pleasing, crowd participating, energetic songs on the list, I Feel You and Personal Jesus. God, I love these songs too! They sound sooooo good live! This encore is the bomb! (That’s my 90s slang for you!). Dave is roaring. This crowd is responding like it’s the beginning of the night, not the end. Like we have all the energy in the world, still. Like we are the Rocks Gods. I can’t believe this night! Tell me again why I have not seen Depeche Mode before now??? 

Dave Gahan B&W Close Up Profile Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour Rogers Place Edmonton Oct 27 2017

And with that, Depeche Mode thank us, hug each other tightly, linger a little bit on the stage, and then they are gone. To be seen next in Europe; November 15 in Dublin. 

I wonder if I can make a trip overseas this winter….

Wow… This post got long! I meant to just summarize the night, but apparently I was inspired… If you made it this far and want to see even more photos from this show, please come visit my Gallery! What a night!

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Thanks very much Tracy!