Wednesday, 30 August 2017


This review comes courtesy of Stephanie Koren who very kindly got in touch with me after I posted on her Depeche Mode Denver fanpage on Facebook. As you'll discover when you read this great review, Stephanie is already in love with this Depeche tour (who isn't?) and she has numerous other gigs lined up. She'll be rejoining the blog in October for the Portland show too. Thanks very much to Stephanie for the review, pictures and videos. Enjoy everyone - I guarantee that you will

Depeche Mode Global Spirit tour in Denver 25 August 2017

It has been two days since Depeche Mode’s return to Denver after leaving us out for the Delta Machine tour, and I am still thoroughly drunk on DM. Having attended the Salt Lake City show two days prior (right at the front!), I knew what to expect and had mostly eliminated my star struck anxiety that always accompanies me to see these guys still after all of these years. However there is something to be said for seeing your absolute favourite band in your home town. We were seated on the very right of the left section of the floor in row 6 (DM management hooked me up with these after the pre-sale shenanigans), almost directly across from Martin, exactly where we wanted to be.

Stephanie (left)

And my god, they did not disappoint. As “Revolution” started and the DM feet trekked across the screen we started preparing, and Mart and Fletch, Peter and Christian walked on to loud cheers. Followed, of course, by the man, Mr. Dave Gahan, waltzing along to the start of Going Backwards. And in Heaven we were.

Somehow, the 6th row seats seemed better than being right up against the barricade in front of the stage at the Salt Lake City show. The stage at the Pepsi Center was not as tall and I was almost eye level with MLG. Swoon. The Denver crowd was much more into it than the Salt Lake crowd was, I could mostly tell by the way the band reacted and the energy throughout the stadium. It was just – different. It was like a reciprocal admiration you could feel in the air. Amazing.

Dave continued the evening with moves particularly more frisky than two nights prior. To each end of the stage he sashayed, all the while the crowd cheering him on.

At one point, as I was dancing with my hands in the air, I assume Dave spotted my rather prominent Violator rose tattoo on my wrist/inner arm and he smiled big and pointed right at me as if saying “niiiice!”. I could have died there.

Home, as always, brought goose bumps and smiles galore from Martin as he skipped his way back to Gore side of the stage and beamed for the crowd cheering “we love you!”

When it was time for Everything Counts it seems there was a bit of a keyboard malfunction and Martin had trouble getting the notes to play – at one time throwing his hands up halfway, but it all worked out and he got it to come back. As Dave hypnotized the crowd to sing “the grabbing hands grab all they can, everything counts in large amounts” again and again I noticed Martin, again grinning, as if wondering when we would stop and Dave would return from the catwalk. I could have gone on and on.

As the chords to Enjoy The Silence began I realised we were almost at encore and my heart sunk, but the crowd was electric and when the boys left the stage the cheers and lights were abundant as we awaited their return.

And as Martin started lulling us with Somebody we collectively melted. When he wrapped up the masterpiece with his slow “ohhhhhhh” the audience grew excited and could not hold their applause. This produced a huge grin on MLG as he bellowed the last beautiful note. Ahhhhh.

I did not see smiles like this in the previous show, another clue that the Denver audience was on their game for the boys, it had been 8 years after all.

As Dave began his tribute to the late David Bowie with “Heroes” a hush came across the audience. Perfection.

Although the set list bore no surprises, this hardcode devotee was not disappointed. They wrapped up the show with none other than Personal Jesus and we all sang out hearts out along with the boys.

As the final notes played I could have cried, but I cheered and screamed along with the entire arena. Dave exclaimed “we’ll see you next time!” and all was right in the world. 

They all lingered on the stage, waving and making sure to engage each corner of the audience as the deafening cheers continued. This lasted easily three times longer here than in Salt Lake City. It was apparent that they felt the love. We definitely did too.

Until October 18 in Hollywood, and October 23 in Portland where we get to meet the band, I will be remembering this show as the best ever.


Thanks Steph! What a wonderful review.


And we're back. On 23 August, Depeche Mode started the second leg of the Global Spirit Tour in Salt Lake City. They're on the road in North America until October 27 and once again, the blog aims to get you a review of every gig, written by a fan who was there. I still need reviewers for Austin (Sept 20), Dallas (Sept 22), Houston (Sept 24), Phoenix (Sept 27), Seattle (Oct 21) and Vancouver (Oct 25) so if you fancy that, let me know. I appreciate that at the time of writing people in Houston have much bigger issues on their mind however. I do hope that anyone from Houston and all affected areas who reads the blog is safe and well. 

Back to the tour then. Roger Erikcson from St. George, Utah was at the Salt Lake City gig and this is his wonderful review. Thanks so much Roger. Thanks too to the chaps at Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for letting me once again run riot. Enjoy!

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

The Global Spirit Tour kicked off its second leg tonight in Salt Lake City. After some tricky and quite frankly dodgy directions from Google, we arrived at the USANA Amphitheater after a 5-hour car ride. Arriving at the venue we quickly parked close to the entrance to do our best to ensure a quick exit after the show. Walking up to the venue we saw a mass of people waiting at the front gate for the venue to open. The USANA Amphitheater is nestled on the outskirts of the Salt Lake Valley. The Venue is a mix of seated areas with a large lawn area in the back to accommodate general admission audience. The temperature in the sun was in the upper 80’s lower 90’s when we arrived to the gate. After a quick security check we were ushered in. We made the requisite stop at the merchandise kiosk to purchase a t-shirt and then we made our way down to our seats. We approached the area we were to be sitting in we suddenly realized that due to the unique way the venue had arranged seating we ended up on the front row. We passed the time before the opening band ,sitting in the shade and admiring the various t-shirts from the many prior tours of Depeche. It became very clear that this was a venue filled with true Depeche mode fans. 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

At 7:30 the opening band Warpaint to the stage. I wish I could give more in depth review of them but I was not familiar with their catalog or sound and so their set came and went without much notice from me. They were far from the worst opening band I have ever seen and had a unique sound but due to my lack of knowledge of their song titles their set came and went as we awaited the main act. 

Pre-show music began pumping as the anticipation of the audience grew and grew. The large screen at the back of the stage flashed a test sign as the Depeche crew prepared the stage for the night. By this time the weather had begun to cool and a slight breeze picked up from the southeast. Suddenly the strains of The Beatles Revolution began to play across the speakers as the lights dimmed and the crowns excitement reached a fever pitch. Then the two small feet appeared on the back screen marching as the intro played. Eventually as the intro music grew louder and more instant, the band took the stage to thunderous adulation from the crowd of 20,000 fans. The feet marched off as the Jackson Pollock like background appeared to the opening chords of Going Backwards. Dave appearing on the second stage while the rest of the band played below. Following came the song So Much Love with its accompanying video screen of the band preforming in what looks to be a vacant lot. 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
The crowd was on their feet from the start but as the sounds of Barrel Of A Gun began the crowd seems to become even louder in response to a now classic Depeche mode song. The songs continued with A Pain That I’m Used To, Corrupt and the transcendent In Your Room with its accompanying haunting imagery. World In My Eyes brought the crowd again to a ecstatic high as Dave prowled the stage seeming almost like a caged animal running the length of his tether bursting with energy. 

Next we were presented with the beautiful sound and video for Cover Me. Effect smoke filled the stage as small pin lights appeared as stars above the band. All the while the video of Dave as an astronaut played behind, a sort of homage to Major Tom and an allusion to the astronaut from the Devotional tour's Never Let Me Down Again. It was a surreal, beautiful piece of artistry. Next, we were greeted by Martin taking the stage for his requisite two songs and tonight we got an acoustic version of A Question Of Lust and a full band version of Home. Following this, Dave reappeared for what I would consider the only low point in the set list, the song Poison Heart. While not a bad song, it seemed to plod along in comparison to the rest of the set list. Where’s The Revolution and Wrong came next bringing the energy back up. Then the new intro to Everything Counts began with a pulsating, manic light show, again bringing the crowd up to its full level of excitement, beginning what would be a knock out punch of song to the main set list. The crowd sang the everything counts refrain back to the band as the song ended. Dave appeared overcome by the crowd response and was honestly grateful. 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Stripped, Enjoy The Silence and Never Let Me Down Again all came in rapid succession stoking the energy of the crowd to astronomical proportions. I looked back from the front row as Dave led the audience in the now famous arm wave at the end of the song. I got to witness 20,000 people waiving their arms in unison and for a moment tried to comprehend what it must be like for the band to get to see that night after night. Something I will never forget. I took my earplugs out at this point as the band said goodbye before the encore and was blown away by the sheer volume of the crowd. This was a sea of Depeche fans grateful for the band and begging for more. They were not disappointed.

Finally Martin appeared on stage as the video screen projected a flag with the word “Somebody” written out. Marin sang this now classic song, as cell phone lights appeared through the audience in an almost reverent fashion. Dave arrived back on stage as the band kicked in with Walking In My Shoes. I did notice during this that many around me were more watching the video that played rather than the band. But what came next took me as a fan by surprise. I knew that Depeche was going to preform "Heroes" but I didn’t anticipate I was going to enjoy it much, how wrong I was. I was truly almost moved to tears by how beautiful and heartfelt this rendition was with Dave blowing a kiss to the sky at the songs close. The night grew on and ever closer to the 11pm curfew as the band finished the night with I Feel You and finally Personal Jesus

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
I have seen the band many times since my first show in 1993, and I can say that this was honestly second best if not the best I have seen the Mode. Dave was well rested and his voice sounded amazing. The band seemed to be having a great time on the stage and it was reflected back to the audience. I was only aware of two mistakes in the show, one at the start of Everything Counts when Peter didn’t come in at the right time and I Feel You when the backing track didn’t start quite right. But even with that it’s hard to say it took anything away from the performance. It was enough to make me purchase tickets for the Las Vegas show hoping to again get the chance to live in that beautiful word the bands creates for us, even for just two hours at a time.


Thanks Roger!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


As Depeche Mode gear up to start the second leg of the Global Spirit Tour and fans all over the world arrange to meet up via the likes of Home and seemingly endless numbers of Facebook groups, Jenna Rose Robbins' book Faithful And Devoted serves as a gloriously nostalgic reminder of how tours used to be before the internet arrived. A wonderfully written memoir of her trek from America to Spain to follow the band on the Devotional tour, Faithful And Devoted is a book that no Depeche Mode fan wants to miss. 

If you're old enough to remember Bong magazine, Faithful And Devoted will strike a chord with you. Bong was the much missed official Depeche Mode fanclub and its magazine was a source of Depeche info that fans would devour when it popped through their letterboxes. One section of the magazine was given over to people looking for penpals, and through this section, Jenna met Marta, a Spanish Depeche fan. Ahead of the Devotional tour, Marta persuaded Jenna to head to Marta's native Spain to take in three gigs on the tour. That's how it was done in the old days kids.

The book is much more than just a Depeche Mode book however - it would be unfair to pigeonhole it that way. All music fans will recognise bits of themselves in Jenna, from the thrill of taking in a concert where your heroes are within touching distance, to the obsession with the music, all the way to the wonderfully buzz you get covertly sneaking around, your parents oblivious to it,  just to make sure you see your band. Ok, there might not be that many people who went to the lengths Jenna went to, but you will recognise elements of yourself throughout the book. The tension in the storyline is a key aspect to the tale too. Jenna is constantly aware of the fact that she's going against her parents' wishes and there are times she feels desperately alone, feeling a million miles away from home in a country she doesn't know. 

Music is the one thing that keeps her going though, with Depeche Mode soundtracking her act of rebellion. She sees them live and ends up befriending members of support act Marxman, that friendship leading to unforgettable moments spent in the presence of her heroes. Backstage passes, parties and drinks bought by Alan Wilder - that's just a little bit more exciting than the educational trip to France she pretended she was travelling to Europe for.

Jenna's words of faith and devotion will be familiar not just to Depeche Mode fans, but to all music fans, especially those who remember how mysterious tours seemed in the pre internet days. Set against a very personal backdrop, the book is a gripping read from start to finish. As you prepare to attend gigs on the next legs of the Global Spirit Tour, arranging meet ups online, booking tickets to pre and post show parties and memorising setlists widely reported all over the internet, take time to read this and relive the Devotional era through the eyes of a Devotee.

Faithful And Devoted - Confessions Of A Music Addict by Jenna Rose Robbins is available now via Amazon and all good retailers.