Wednesday 13 September 2017


Madison Square Garden part 2's reviewer is Jamie Highland from California who made the pilgrimage to New York to catch both nights of Depeche Mode's shows there and to have quite a party. Why not eh? That's what I'd have done. Jamie's written a superb take on the gig for us which you're all sure to enjoy. Watch out for his next report from night 1 of the Hollywood Bowl shows next month - thanks Jamie! All pics are from my usual source - Depeche Mode Classic Photos& Videos Group on Facebook. Thanks to them too.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
So, where to begin... Truth be told I only kinda fly 3,000 miles to see dM in New York. The main reason I fly out is to see my buddy Sean Salo, whom I met on the Exciter Tour and have been good friends ever since. Don't get me wrong dM is my favorite band but I've seen them a million times, I don't get to see my buddy that much. With that said, let's start. 

So night one was the standard set list so for Night 2 we were expecting a different Mart song and that was it. I don't know if the band are too old to remember more than 20 songs per tour now or they're just f**ing lazy. You decide. 

At the pre show meet up there were some pretty solid rumors floating around that Dave had been rehearsing a new song. Not Spirit new, tour new. This got our hopes up, but then we quickly got stressed because what if the new song is Policy of Truth? Sean nearly passed out at the thought. After we got him a paper bag to breathe into he was fine. Sean Salo HATES Policy of Truth (APA - it's true. He does. Madness). It's a running joke with pretty much everyone that knows him. I'm not a fan either but my Policy of Truth is World In My Eyes (APA: More madness!). I know this is an unpopular opinion, I'm not sorry, I HATE that song. More on that later.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

So we get to the Garden, hopeful. We make our way to our seats and we are about 10 rows back directly in front of Martin which of course is good because we are going to try to do something later, so in front of Mart is a good position. 

So the lights go down and Revolution starts. The crowd is pretty loud. Much better than Night 1. Band comes out and they launch into Going Backwards and it's pretty solid. I think this song has gotten better live over time but it just doesn't match the album version. But it's a great way to start. 

I'm now exited to hear So Much Love because the accompanying video is hilarious. Like, I could not get over how funny the visual was for that song Night 1. Anton at his best. They start playing and I'm like, this isn't So Much Love. This. This. No..... please god NO!!!!!!! I look at Sean. You can see the disbelief on his face. Mother F***ing Policy Of Truth...

There is only one thing to do in this situation. I say to Sean, "Beer". We leave... while we're getting beer we are commiserating about why they need to pull this song out for every damn tour. Somehow they work it in. Do they secretly hate us? Jesus, come on already. 

Dave says no - Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

So we head back for Barrel Of A Gun and look, this song isn't great live, never has been. It just goes nowhere. Please retire it. Next up is APTIUT and it's pretty good. It's the first time in the show they get out of 2nd gear so it's welcome. Now onto Corrupt and it sounds great. I'd rather hear Lie To Me, but yeah, not gonna happen. It's tight and right and it sounds really good. 

Next is IYR, they're back to the album version. This so does nothing to help the tempo of the show but the video is creepy & beautiful & amazing. You really kinda lose the song because the video just sucks you in. Anton really has some hits this year. This one is up there. 

And then... ugh... I'm trying to keep this review as positive as humanly possible, and it gets super positive, trust me! But WIME... the first time I heard this song was when Richard Blade was given the okay to play it about 3 weeks before Violator was released. I was working at Disneyland at the time and he kept saying, I'm playing the new lead dM track at 6pm! So a couple minutes to 6 I ran down stairs to the tunnel under Coke Terrace in Tomorrow Land. We had a radio there and as I stood in that cramped, dark corner it began to play and I was like okay. And then a minute later I was like does this song go anywhere? Answer: It does not.  

I know, if you're reading this, you probably like WIME. Most people do and I say you are all crazy, because that song S.U.C.K.S. 

So after that cochlear water boarding it's Cover Me... Dave's absolute gem of a song and my fav track off the new album... the simplicity and that last half. F**k me is brilliant. Again, the visual is just... wait for it... out of this world. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Mart's turn. Night 1 was AQOL and it was my fav song of the night. The entire Garden sang it. Was awesome. 

When Judas started playing it took me a second. It was nice to hear again. A little to plunky (is that a word?) on the piano and it had a weird, I don't know, vibe, to it? But over all it was good. And we live for set list changes!

Next up was Home. I think we can all agree the full band version is the way to go. We hear Home a lot but you know what? It's a great song, and it's super fun to sign along too. From my first breeeeaaaaaaaaathhhh! Amirite? So this is when Sean & I try to get the Garden to do something they only do in Europe. Sing the Oh Oh Oh Ohhhhhh... Oh Oh Oh Ohhhhhh... We tried it the first night and failed miserably. But tonight we started earlier and really belted it out and wouldn't you know we had a decent contingent of Euro's in the rows ahead of us, recipe for magic. So we are Oh Oh Oh Ohing Non-Stop and super loud and then our friends up front joined in and then it happened. I started to hear it behind me and then from the other side of the cat walk. Before you know it, the entire arena is Oh Oh Oh Ohing. This is happening, IN AMERICA! Dave walks out and is smiling at Mart, whom is also smiling and Dave extends the microphone where? That's right, TO OUR section. We started that! Thanks for the recognition! Mission mother f****ing accomplished. 

So we are so excited we talk through about half of Poison Heart and let's face it, does it matter? I mean I feel like there are a couple of great things in that song, but they don't work together. It's kind of a mess. AnywayzzZ.....

Where's The Revolution!?! 

Well I'm not sure. It's a good song but it does not have the umph live I think they were going for. Personal Jesus it is not, but I enjoyed the song. I like it fine. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

WRONG! I never in a million years would have thought, "gee, I can't wait for Wrong!" But for whatever reason it works. It works well. It sounds dirty and sexy and tight. It's where the set list really starts. And then...

Whaa Whaa Whaa

Whaa Whaa Whaa

Chills... This song works in all of its incarnations, for one reason. Everything Counts is a masterpiece. Everything about this song works. It's genius and this version is crazy good. Goes over like a storm... Now that was 2 great songs in a row and I know what's coming up... my favorite song of all time. Stripped. Let me here that ignition boys.

But no! What blasphemy is this!?!? You know it's truly amazing how many thoughts can go through your brain in 3 or 4 seconds. First I was like, I'm going to punch someone in the face right now and then I thought, but jail sucks and I don't get to NY that often. And then I heard it, and Sean and I looked at each other and you could see the anger and sadness transform into... F**K YES! Black Celebration! 

There are only a few songs that can replace Stripped and I'm ok with. BC is one. And the fact that they haven't played it this tour and it was back to its original beat. OH MY GOD. Was AWESOME. I was so happy I started tearing up. WTF is that about!? I've never cried at a concert. Ever. I'd argue I sill haven't cried, just teared up. I have no idea why it hit me so hard. Maybe it's just because BC is my fav ever record and basically anything from it just stabs me in the heart. In the best way. The show could have ended there. Would have been satisfied. 

Photo by Glyn Tookey and Michael Lyons - courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

So after that ETS & NLMDA go off like any other show. They are obviously both great songs and their fun to sing. Nothing crazy happens, you now the drill. End set. 

So out walks Mart. Hmm, there's no Somebody Flag up of the screen. That's great news! And boom... Pain. Strangelove shows up again, and it honestly sounded its best tonight. Again, one of their most fun songs to sing live. Was pretty great. 

That set up Walking In My Shoes well... strong version. Crowd loves it, powerful visual. Powerful. Again, Anton, well done. 

Next up was "HEROES" and before they start Dave announces that this for all the heroes on 9/11. It was unexpected and kinda blew us all away. The fact that it was 9/11 and we knew we were going to the show all day was bittersweet. I can tell you that there were a lot of wet eyes during that song. Was amazing.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

And then they play I Feel You. I'm not going to waste time typing my feelings about this song. Let's just say this song pisses me the f**k off. 

And lastly PJ, classic. That guitar, the reach outs. PJ never bothers me. It's a great song, the energy is just great and it's a fine finisher. 

Well there it is, sorry it was late but I was trying to squeeze the last bit of enjoyment out of NYC. I'm writing this review from Newark Airport waiting to go back to SoCal.

Sorry I wasn't funnier but the hangover is REAL. Will see you all again, in Hollywood, Night 1.


Thanks Jamie!


  1. LOL! Great review! Sounds like it was an emotional rollercoaster... in oh so many ways ;-) Glad you shared your "Truth." I can hardly wait to see/hear what other songs make the cut in LA. See you at the Hollywood Bowl!

  2. Enjoyed that :-) "Wow, urrgh, WOW", makes a change - especially appropriate for the show with the first changes (tho' why was "Poison Heart" still there????)

  3. I was at that show.. I was at disappoint. Wasn't my speed.. Saw them 3 years or so ago at Jones Beach and the show was much better.