Wednesday 12 July 2017


Depeche Mode's second festival headline slot of the Global Spirit Tour took them to Lisbon for the NOS Alive Festival which also featured the likes of Foo Fighters, Fleet Foxes and the XX. A diverse line up but there's only one real winner there ;) Yvette Trubuill from Birmingham was there to review the gig for the blog and unfortunately, the show she saw was beset with a few sound and visual issues. I guess that's the downside of a festival perhaps. One thing I wanted to capture in this series is the full range of experiences a concert goer gets and, like Rachel's Bratislava post (here), Yvette's lets us see the other side of the likes of my usual "Oh my God best band ever" nonsense! Thanks very much for the great read Yvette and enjoy Warsaw. Thanks too as ever to Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos Facebook group for letting me roam their archives stealing pictures.

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos Facebook Group

Saturday in Lisbon started out grey and overcast but still warm, a perfect day to go and see Depeche Mode. Seeing Depeche Mode in glaring sunshine really does not seem right. 

We got to NOS Alive at about 5pm and wandered around. There didn't seem to be many Depeche Mode fans around at this point just the odd person in a t-shirt. At around 6.30 we spotted Kessler and an entourage appear through a backstage gate and walk off into the crowd. Probably off looking for counterfeit t-shirts!!

As the evening wore on and the sun went down it became more noticeable that Depeche Mode were there. More and more black clad people were appearing and the DM t-shirts were much more apparent.

Imagine Dragons were the last band before DM and the singer, Dan Reynolds, told the crowd what an honour it was to play on the same stage as 'the greatest band in the world'. He cited DM as being an influence on the band. I thought this was a lovely gesture and befitting Depeche Mode's status as an influential band. Imagine Dragons were very popular among the crowd especially the younger members so as they came off stage there was a massive retreat of people. So we decided to move forward to try to get a good viewing point. 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos Facebook group

I'm just over 5' tall so getting a spot to see clearly is always difficult. We walked down the right hand side of the crowd and worked our way in and found the perfect spot where I could see clearly without having to rely on the screens. The excitement was building.... just 10 mins to go... Revolution started and we were getting closer....

Depeche Mode walked out on stage and the place erupted! Going Backwards started up and so did the most vomit inducing bass line. It completely drained out Dave's voice and everything but the drums. Thought at first it was just sound teething problems but when Barrel of a Gun started it got worse. Dave's vocal was completely lost and the bass was making me feel quite ill so we decided to move and headed a bit more into the centre to see if the sound improved. 

Moving improved the sound slightly but I gave up my clear view and was now relying on the screens. A Pain that I'm Used To was so much better sound wise although the bass problems were still evident. It was at this point that it became very obvious that the live screens were actually running slightly behind the band. While this can lead to some funny moments it can also be very frustrating to someone relying on them to watch the band. 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos Facebook Group

In Your Room and World In My Eyes were faultless as ever. Cover Me was superb, it's my favourite song from Spirit, so I was really pleased that they'd kept it in for the shortened set. Dave's vocal was spot on again. Then it was Martin's turn - I had my fingers crossed for Judas and I got it. It was fantastic, loved every second of it This was the first song that the sound was perfect and didn't have the horrendous bass drowning out parts of it for obvious reasons. It was superb and I was so glad he sang it. 

I'm sure everyone knows it was Fletch's birthday so we all sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday at this point and he seemed very happy about it. The whole band were full of smiles, they all seemed relaxed and enjoying themselves. 

Where's the Revolution is better live than on record I think, and once again was great. Dave really seems to enjoy singing it and the crowd really got behind him too. I suppose with every shortened set list there will be something that you wish was included instead of what was chosen and I would have preferred Corrupt to Wrong. I've never been the biggest fan of Wrong to be honest, but it makes perfect sense to leave a single release in rather than an album track when you are playing a festival. I can't fault the delivery of it though. 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos Facebook Group

Everything Counts, Stripped, Enjoy the Silence and Never Let Me Down Again - these were the ones that most people are waiting for and they didn't disappoint. The crowd were singing along and giving it their all. There obviously were a lot of people who were not there for Depeche Mode, that's the nature of a festival, but they caught on to the arm waving during NLMDA quickly enough and made it feel like a gig full of Devotees.

Encore time: Martin gave another superb performance of Home, giving it his all as always. The screen film for Walking In My Shoes is fantastic on this tour, it's so good in fact that I find myself watching it rather than Depeche Mode themselves. A perfect film for this song with the perfect sentiment. Then we had the stomping finale of I Feel You and Personal Jesus. I love how they decided to play Personal Jesus as it was meant to be. The loss of the extended beginning is for me a plus. And then they were gone......

Depeche Mode were fantastic but the bass sound problems, which continued throughout the performance, and the screens running slower disappointed me. I have watched the show again and the sound problems are not obvious. It may have been just where we were standing but there was definitely a problem with the right hand speaker stack. It sounded like someone was beatboxing over most of the performance. It is however obvious on full views of the stage that the screens were lagging and for someone like me who relies on the screens it is frustrating. These problems put a downer on the show for me which is a shame but I was still glad to have been there and seen Depeche Mode again. 

On the way back to the hotel I got a text from a Portuguese friend who was working on the smaller Heinekin stage to say he had managed to get backstage on the large stage that DM played on and got me a setlist which me very happy. 

Yvette's setlist

My next show will be Warsaw where I have a seated ticket and so will hopefully have a clear view at last.


Thanks very much Yvette.

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