The guest reviewer for Copenhagen is Martin Senestrand from Gothenburg, Sweden. Martin is a legendary Depeche Mode collector and his youtube videos showing off his collection make for wonderful viewing if you are a person like me. He is also the author of the Swedish language book Depeche Mode In Sweden (http://www.depechemodeisverige.se/), a book that charts Depeche Mode's history in that country and one that is well worth a look. Thanks to Martin for this review and the wonderful photos and video that accompany it.
I traveled with the Öresund train to Copenhagen from Gothenburg at 11:28 and took a walk north through Nørrebrogade to visit the Accord record store. I didid some shopping and later met my friend Fredrik Wik Clarke and his wife Rhona Clarke at Halifax, on Frederiksborggade. After checking in at Scandic Copenhagen along Vester Søgade, I went to the evening's arena Telia Parken, in the district of Østerbro, to meet up with my friends again. All three of us had Golden Circle Early Entry so we had to get in extra early, just as I had done in Stockholom. In Stockholm, I ended up at the catwalk, but in Copenhagen I got a place on the left of the scene, just below Martin Gore. Perfect!
Old bands that make farewell tours remind you a lot about hypochondriac older relatives who say this is the last year we will have them in life. A few days before the world premiere in Stockholm at Friends Arena, Georg Cederskog of Dagens Nyheter interviewed me and asked how many records and tours I thought remained. I replied that I have the feeling that this may be the last tour and album. The end is close, I'm still stuck to that, but it may take a few years before it actually ends. Depeche Mode has not said anything about that this tour, the Global Spirit Tour, would be their last ever, but the band members are getting older - following their normal release rate, the next album wouldn’t be released until 2021. Many people in the audience maybe didn’t saw the band at Saltlageret In Copenhagen on November 26, 1982, but at least they did not miss the historical moment at Valby Sports Park, August 16, 1986.
After 37 years of pioneering music, complicated relationships, overdose and internal wear, it's hard to understand how Depeche Mode are still here. They should simply have ended from conflicts, fashion shifts, drugs and unbridled debauchery a long time ago. However, they have returned this year with one of their best records in 15 years, and still sell out venues and major sports venues around the world. Probably, they will also continue to do so in the future as well. Depeche Mode is an arena band of the same caliber as Rolling Stones or U2, with the difference that they are making music that is still relevant. Crucially, the concert at Parken is a good concert, better than anyone is entitled to expect from such an old band. But the most inspiring thing about Depeche Mode in 2017 is probably not the music itself, but the thought of all the amazing bands they have paved the way for. I do not know any other band in the same genre that shows a greater musical width than them and the mere existence of the band is evidence almost as if they are still relevant.
Telia Parken has a capacity of 38,050 people. It is Denmark's largest arena and the third largest in the Nordic region, after the Friends Arena in Stockholm and Ullevi in Gothenburg. Perhaps there are a few thousand fewer now considering how the scene stands, but it's completely full and the atmosphere is superb. The sound is also surprisingly good. It's better than in Stockholm on May 5th, where it was not too good at first. I think that the concert overall is better than in Stockholm as well. The Danish press is very positive and Jan Eriksen of the Danish evening magazine BT writes that Depeche Mode delivered a magical evening. He gives the concert six of six stars as a grade. They also get a great review from Ras Bolding from the Danish edition of Gaffa. He writes that this is Depeche Mode’s best concert on Danish soil for many years. This is undoubtedly a huge compliment for a band whose career is tied to internal unrest and personal problems. The conerrt's track list (see setlist sheet below) is the same as at the Friends Arena except that they have moved the songs around a bit - Home is now played after A Question of Lust instead of the opposite. Once again I’m very pleased when I go back to the hotel through Faelledparken.
Thanks very much to Martin for that excellent review. Remember to check out his book.