Today's reviewer is Mike Cooper from Sandbach in England. Mike is not only a well known Depeche fan, but he's also a recording artist, releasing music as Your Silent Face. I'd certainly recommend that you check out Your Silent Face's range of electronic music which goes from techno to pop and anywhere in between - all info on the band's Facebook page here . Mike's been on his Depeche travels over the last few weeks and Bologna was the last stop on his tour for now. He's written a great review I know you'll love and provided some cool pictures as you can see below. Thanks Mike!
On a glorious summer evening in late June, myself and my wife Nic came to be in the lovely stadium of Bologna FC just outside the city centre of Bologna. Its red brick tower reflects the architecture of the city and we were pleased that it was relatively easy to get to and to get inside once we got there. The stadium is a traditional bowl shaped arena, mostly open to the sky, which was most pleasant under the sun and gentle breeze. The previous day had been cloudy with some showers and the odd rumble of thunder, but the evening of the gig was clear and warm in the evening sun.
We arrived at about 7pm, having got Prato tickets which were general admission to the field, but not the the area immediately by the stage. We managed to get a good position just to the left of centre (the Martin side of the stage) about 2 rows back from the barrier separating us from the Prato Gold area. Initally the stadium was relatively empty, with the seating areas mostly unfilled at the time that Algiers came for their support slot. Personally, their stuff didn't quite hit the spot from me, but they got a decent reception from the Italian crowd who were getting more and more excited as time went by and the stadium filled up. There was a roar of excitement at about 8.40pm as the video screens were testd with the Global Spirit Tour test card! Then the final empty seats of the stadium filled rapidly as the Beatles' Revolution rang out over the PA system.
DM came onstage to a mighty roar at just a few minutes past 9pm and looked to be in fine form, Dave and Martin both grinning widely, Fletch doing his usual waving and making shapes :) and then, we were ready as Going Backwards kicked off proceedings. As with the other gigs prior to this, there isn't much to say about the setlist except to say that it proceded exactly as previous shows through the first 35 minutes or so.
The Italian crowd were very lively, singing their hearts out and up until the point of Martin's solo spot... then we were treated to an excellent surprise, the tour debut of Judas (instead of A Question of Lust), with Peter Gordeno on piano backing. Sung as a mid tempo 3/4 ballad, Martin injected plenty of feeling into it, and the crowd, and ourselves, loved it. The setlist then reverted back to type with Home, the crowd doing a particulalrly long sing-a-long of the closing melody, conducted by both Dave and Martin. No further surprises at this stage for anone who's seen the setlist or already been to a show up until the first encore, when again Martin threw us a nice surpise by changing Somebody for Strangelove again. Then, the encore setlist proceeded as it has in previous concerts.
Highlights for me were several - the crowd were really really lively, we had sing-a-longs after Home, Everything Counts, Stripped, Enjoy The Silence, Never Let Me Down Again, Walking In my Shoes and Personal Jesus. I really love the moment when the new remixed version of Everything Counts begins, because there are 3 stages to the crowd reaction now - those that know it's coming and cheer immediately, those that get it after the first 4 bars when the 'siren' sound comes in, and those that don't get it until the first melody line is played by Martin. It's a great track, cleverly re-enlivened for this tour. And of course the Conrfield Wave at the end of Never Let Me Down Again is a highlight for both us fans and for Dave, who was looking particularly pleased with himself after this one. Then there was of course "Heroes" - as a big Bowie fan who was affected greatly by his death, I still shed a tear every time I hear this song.
Also, Dave was in a relatively talkative mood, interacting with the crowd more than usual. And I was pleased that the Italian crowd was lively, friendly, happy, but not rude or pushy! :)
My only complaint? I'm not a fan of Poison Heart, I'd happily see this track switched for comething else from Spirit - Scum, You Move, or No More maybe?
At the end of the gig, we managed to meet up with quite a few Homies from the US, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, and Greece, which was lovely, proving yet again that DM are a force for bringing people together. Then, on seeing the state of the traffic jams around the stadium, we opted to walk back to our hotel, which proved to be a much better bet in the end than waiting for a bus despite the pained feet!
This was our 4th gig of the tour and I can definitely say - bring on more! The band are happy and energised, the setlist is great and works well, and, I am one happy DM fan!
Thanks very much to Mike