Wednesday 30 August 2017


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!

1 comment:

  1. A couple of observations:
    -After Home, there was no singalong whatsoever...and when Dave comes back onto the stage, he gestures "WTF" to Gordeno. Peter replies with a similar "I know! WTF" gesture back to Dave. Hilarious.
    -The sound was great from the start, but got really muddled somewhere around Stripped. Christian banging the hell out of his drums doesn't help, and Peter gestured several times to the soundguys.
    -Dave seemed a little caged on the stage. He obviously missed the catwalk as an outlet for all his energy.
    -It never seizes to amaze me at american shows, how many non- or semi-fans with deep pockets make it to the front seats. Several were sitting down most of the show, including the two middle aged men on each side of me. And we were row 14.