Friday, 9 March 2018


Hot on the heels of her Vilnius review, Polina Lipezina returns to give us her take on the last show of the third leg of the Global Spirit Tour - the show at Olimpiski, Moscow on 25 February. Thanks very much for this great review Polina and for the photos too. An excellent way to finish off the third leg of the tour

At first, it seemed that it would be awesome to write about the last concert of the European tour. About the concert though, I realised I am going to have a break from Depeche Mode for several months… No, guys, that’s not cool. After pondering this fact for 15 minutes long, I didn’t have a clue where to even start. 

I will probably begin with words of gratitude to the organizers. All of us, who have been at least once to the Olimpiysky Stadium knows what kind of hell goes on there! Seriously, always, with any concert! This time the organizers managed to launch the concert well. Yes, it wasn’t perfect and there is still room for improvement, but this small victory of common sense has planted a seed of hope for the future shows… I really hope that it will only get better later! 

As for the concert, it was somewhat strange itself. I feared I would be torn apart by emotions, as this time there would be no concert two days later where I could see the guys again, just as it had been during the past two weeks. But nothing of this kind happened. Yes, after Precious I had a little meltdown, but then I got myself together and tried to remember every second of the event, what I obviously didn’t do. How do people remember the concerts anyway? It’s impossible! 

Compared to the my previous concerts (Saint-Petersburg, Vilnius, Riga, Minsk, Helsinki), the Moscow crowd seemed like one of the best singing crowds. Maybe it was also the matter of the fact that we were one of the biggest crowds of the winter tour? 

The warmup pleased me again, I even regretted that I won’t hear Black Line again. But what can we do is wait to see in four years what Martin, Dave and Andy will prepare for a warmup… 

From the very start of the concert, or more precisely first 5 minutes before its started, we all waited for the photographers, as usual. What shocked me – there were only three of them! This is very weird, I have personal explanations to this, but I don’t want to spread rumors. But that was cool as during the first three songs you can finally wave your hands as much as you please, without any fear of knocking a photographer off :) 

It is one of those many concerts (probably starting with November) when on seeing Dave on stage in the distance I am bothered by only one question: what colour outfit does he have on and, in particular, what colour are the shoes? Some weird female stuff. In winter I was actually bothered by another question: where are his red shoes?! In the end, in Moscow, as in many other towns, I wasn’t lucky enough to see a red costume, but Dave wowed everyone with gold. 

Overall, nothing could disturb a smooth almost familiar concert, apart from those times when Dave’s microphone was far too quiet. Thankfully that was fixed pretty quickly. 

As for unusual things I could probably point out that Dave specifically called this concert “(t)he last.” I have no clue what he meant by that, but prior Cover Me he said the following: “This is our last show tonight, just for a little while. So hope you are all enjoying yourselves”. I hope he was only referring to the show being the last Moscow one on this tour. 

At the exit of the catwalk there was a surprise for Dave: there was a really large distance in Moscow between the catwalk and the barrier. So, with all the effort it was really difficult to reach out for Dave, barely with the fingertips. I cannot remember in any winter show distance that long. 

At the end right after Home when Dave presented the entire band, he said, that Moscow was the best of all! 

I also noticed that Dave was grimacing a lot towards Martin. The reason for this, as I understood after the bow, was a duo sitting offstage, Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris (musicians from Black Line), to whom Dave rushed to give hugs. I think it was cute. I liked them as well, I’d hug them too, if I could! 

“See you some other place, some other time, thanks so much, goodnight!”– David told us as a goodbye. As for us, we will just say: See you next time!


Thank you Polina!

Monday, 5 March 2018


Not that Depeche Mode fans are odd people or anything, but, like me, I'm sure you'll be delighted to see that this is Part 101 of the Global Spirit Tour Project. For this auspicious occasion, Polina Lipezina returns for part 1 of her 2 part end of third leg reviews. As you may recall, Polina reviewed St Petersburg in July  and, as well as Vilnius, she'll be reviewing the Moscow show for us too. Thanks very much for this and the pictures Polina and congratulations on being Part 101!

After the concert in Saint Petersburg, which to me was an exceptional one (not the best, but special) there was also Riga. It was exceptional in its way, too, since it was the first tour during which I was celebrating my birthday on the go. Very interesting experience. And here comes Vilnius - the penultimate concert of the European leg and my 16th concert of this tour. Honestly, I expected very little from Vilnius from the very beginning. But every concert is something unusual and new. And so I, as usual, am writing about my emotions. :)

The special songs of this concert for me were Going Backwards and, as is traditional, Personal Jesus. But we will talk about it later.

As usual in the frosty morning we stood outside the Siemens Arena in expectation. As with Riga, this concert was the first to Vilnius on the tour and I had an early entry ticket. In Riga the early tickets' organisation left me with a positive impression. What’s going to happen in Vilnius? 

I will tell you for sure, that if you didn’t enjoy standing in the queues in summer, you definitely haven’t stood there at -15 degrees! It’s horrible! It’s hard! It’s exhausting! Is Depeche Mode worth it? Absolutely!

Having suffered in the cold, at 17.30 we entered the arena. As part of the early entry merchandise specials, we received a tourbook, a silicone bracelet and a familiar laminate all packaged into a cellophane. Probably selling leftovers?

It was however great to be out of the cold!

To sum up, the entrance to the arena was a little worse than in Riga, but not bad overall. For the first time it was pretty decent.

However, enough about small details… Warmup! Yes, I like this warmup! Douglas –  straight from the Dave Dancing School! It seems the closer the tour gets to the last Black Line performance in Moscow, the more he digs it!

Before I begin my description of the most important concert, I really need to point out that in the winter part of the tour I  wanted to see a lot of Dave on stage… Sorry guys, I just can’t help it! :)

So what so special happened in Vilnius? Going Backwards –  it felt like my song for the first time, thank you Dave that you sang it for me. By the way, don't you just love those emotions you feel when Dave notices you amongst the others? I do. It was amusing. During the whole Delta Machine tour I wanted to get a high-five, but because of the short arms I couldn’t reach out… But at one of the concerts he reached out personally to me. Anything can happen, you just need to believe. :)

Alright, let’s go back to Vilnius.

The main specialty of the concert was Barrel Of A Gun. It was the first time I saw Dave so angry… One time he stood up on the stage, crossed his arms behind the back, seemingly looking ahead of him, but he was looking at one of the photographers and then his loud “Fuck you!” boomed across with a gesture saying “get the hell out of here”. Incredible! Was it real? But then, literally a minute after Dave stepped over the loudspeakers that were right in front of him and waved at the same photographer. If only you could see that! At the very end he moved angrily something on stage with his foot… I don’t know what it was, but it looked just as frightening as it was interesting. You can see it here:

However, it went on just fine: Dave was smiling, was doing his dance moves and was the same usual Dave who we all are used to.

In Riga Dave couldn’t sing Personal Jesus without making mistakes. But in Vilnius it was splendid.

Regarding the audience, I had a feeling that people could  bea little bit louder. Then again, I myself acted pretty lazily the entire concert, for some reason I only wanted to watch the show. It’s hard to say what the reason was. Maybe Dave’s mood affected that? During A Question Of Time when we need to sing along, Dave was extending his hand with the microphone to the audience, and waited, listened, in the end he gave up, implying that we sang really poorly… And I pretty much agree with him.

I can’t say that I didn’t like the concert, but it was lacking some fire, dear Lithuanians. But I suppose, next time it will be great. :)


Thanks Polina

Saturday, 3 March 2018


The internet can be a wonderful thing. As we saw the other day, after much pleading on my part, Jan Ronald Stange saved the day with a St Petersburg review. Last week however, I got an email from Alina Akhtarina with a review of that show after she'd been contacted by a Russian Depeche Mode fanpage on Facebook that I'd been in touch with. It was such a kind gesture and so I'm delighted to present Alina's review, part 2 of the St Petersburg reviews. Thanks so much Alina for this and the pictures and thanks too to Andrew Sankin for telling Alina all about the project.

Pleasure for Russian fans

Let's go back to 16th of February, to a country where -20°C is the normal temperature during winter. This city is Saint Petersburg, Russia where Depeche Mode is our long-awaited guest in our country. 

First I’d like to say without too much detail about how awfully unorganized the concert was. I would like to share that none of the staff took any interest or care about how the fans were treated. Those of us who had bought the early entry ticket option did not get access properly as we had all expected. This was a real disappointment because many of us were expecting the nearest standing position to the stage. We were close but no where near where we had hoped to be . This wish simply never came true.

There were some other points which also affected some of the attendees. We weren’t allowed to bring any water in to the Arena and there apparently was none for sale at the show either. This made for a real problem during the show. It was unusually hot during the opening act. We hoped that we would be offered water but the security weren’t very much help. One guard said that there wouldn't be any offered. All I can say is that I hope future concerts held at Saint-Petersburg's "Sports And Concert Complex” Arena will be handled with more care by the organization. 

I can’t believe it’s already been a week with memories still flowing through my mind. Let’s get back to the show itself. 16th of February St. Petersburg, holds a concert for one of the greatest groups ever, Depeche Mode. This would be their fifth visit to Russia on this tour. Some of you may know that the first time DM ever played Russia was back in September of 1998 on the Singles Tour. This would be the second time I attended the Global Spirit Tour. The first (also in St, Petersburg) was back in July of 2017. 

I’ll tell you about the view from my perspective, a 17 year old girl, who was standing in the second row of the fan zone. The support act was the group BlackLine. It started unexpectedly and all of the audience was full of expectations. The band performed some of their well-known songs. It was pretty good, many people were singing along with BlackLine. Afterwards, only a few minutes left until the show began. Depeche Mode will never let their fans down and the show was simply amazing. Dave Gahan's moves were graceful, his voice fascinating and everyone was enjoying sharing this moment in time. Martin Lee Gore's playing was perfect as always. His solo songs which were performed brilliantly and all of us listened attentively.

Andy Fletcher who as usual was dancing like a young inspired boy behind the keyboards. Peter and Christian did their best to add something new to the sound of the show as a whole. They brought a freshness to some songs with musical reinterpretations of some of the older tracks. 

Let me come up with some details. Was there any differences with the other performance of Global Spirit Tour from July? I believe, there are. Dave unfortunately forgot the first lines of the 3rd verse of Going Backwards. How did he get away with it? Dave played it off like nothing was wrong. He shared a look with Martin, they laughed a little and continued performing. As they say “the show must go on” and it looked like everything moved along as usual. The song itself for me is a real masterpiece. 

It may be of interest to note for some fans that DM’s initial visit to St. Petersburg back in July; Dave didn't use his exploding air cannon with those t-shirts. This time however, someone got a lucky ticket. The atmosphere was majestic. I can say that band as a whole enjoyed their audience and didn't want to end this show. While they were leaving the stage, they sent us many, many kind signs. “See you next time, St. Petersburg!”

Set list for the 16th of February 2018 concert can be found here :


Thanks Alina!

Thursday, 1 March 2018


When I started this nonsense off, I wondered how many gigs I would able to cover as I presumed that people would say thanks but not thanks to any review request. Happily and to my eternal surprise and delight, that has proved to be wrong and, as you've seen, many people have given up their time to take part. It continually amazes me. Anyway, by the time the St Petersburg gig was about to start, I had no reviewer lined up. It had nearly happened in Hamburg until Claudia, Thomas and Michael saved the day, but this time, I was convinced that I'd run out of luck. But no! Marcel De Groot, a Facebook friend of mine and hereafter known as the saviour of St Petersburg, stepped in and suggested Jan Ronald Stange from Notteroy, Norway as he knew Jan was there. So here is Jan's review. As you'll see in the link at the end of Jan's review, he also writes for Sideline among others, so make sure you check out his other work. Thanks so much for stepping in Jan and thank you for this great review with accompanying pictures (all Jan's unless credited otherwise). I owe you one!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
For over 30 years, actually since the Black Celebration Tour in 1986, I’ve been attending every tour at least once, sometimes more, and will probably set a record with five concerts this tour. Most concerts, including the first and the last, have been with my lifelong friend John-Erik, and when we saw the 2nd European leg being added we started discussing where we should go. Initially we considered Helsinki, but the floor were quickly sold out, and after having being poorly seated at our first concert of the tour in Stockholm we didn’t want crappy seats again!

The closest concert, which also was close to the weekend, was St. Petersburg – in a country we hadn’t been before, and would also the easternmost place we’ve seen DM.

Feb. 15th: After some hassle with visas a few weeks before, we were finally on our way from Oslo, and with 6 hours between transfers in Riga we managed to see some of this city too. Arriving in St. Petersburg, we hit the bars at Nevsky Prospect, looking for a “secret” beer place, Beer Geek, well hidden in a backyard. We found it. And later when having a late dinner we even ended up talking to some girls who actually knew what Depeche Mode was – or so they claimed, probably chatting us up to get us to go to a “friends new bar” ;)

Outside the stadium

Feb 16th: Concert day! Started with a lunch where we met up with a Russian contact of John-Erik, Dmitri, who was there both for the concert and some DM CD’s brought to him from Norway. A bit funny when we found out he and his wife actually had traveled a longer distance than us, as their home city of Izhevsk was further inland in Russia and in our opposite direction.

The rest of the day before the concert was spent strolling around St. Petersburg, including a visit to Kazan Cathedral, the most DM related name there. After seeing all the the icon-kissing Russians one might wonder about the actual meaning when naming the PJ remix… satirical I hope!

Approaching the SKK stadium made us feel the closest to “home” as St. Petersburg could offer – not a familiar face in sight, yet a similar feeling to other venues where the Black Swarm would gather… weird, isn’t it?! Just proves once again that, after all, people are people.

All prejudices against vodka-drunken Russians gave way to a calm, but excited, ambience among the people in line and inside the stadium. Maybe not so surprising after all – they only sold coffee and Budweiser (!!!) there. And no drinks were allowed inside the actual venue either, so no worrying about people spilling beer during the concert.

Not having seen Black Line before, we were there just a few minutes before they got on stage. Douglas McCarthy & co played seven energetic songs in their warm-up set – well worth seeing!

The concert itself was excellent; no surprises though, and same setlist as the previous in Minsk and the next in Helsikini. Hearing Martin sing I Want You Now was probably the biggest treat, haven’t heard that one at my previous concerts in Stockholm or London. Having It’s No Good, Barrel Of A Gun, Useless, Insight and Home at the same concert made us think “this is the Ultra tour we never got in 1997!”

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

The audience was great too, with much younger fans than in London and most other places we’ve seen DM. And again: very well-behaved!

The only thing to complain about was the horrible expensive Russian 3G/4G prices for my Norwegian mobile subscription, so no real time streaming or SoMe posting during the concert. :/

Feb 17th: A day of sightseeing and *drinking* ;) Well, not that much, but slightly in a Russian style. After seeing the Winter Palace/Hermitage, walking around the “Admiralty” district, we ended up at a well planned destination a block from our hotel; the Museum of Russian Vodka. Was planning to dine there too, but some heavily decorated military oldies and their wives occupied the restaurant, probably sending someone off to retirement. We did get the tour of the museum and some sampling afterwards – highly recommended! 

Jan (left) and Michael Draw (right)

After dinner we met up with Michael Draw, the singer of the Russian dark wave act Otto Dix, and his girl friend, and spent the rest of the night talking about talking about music, Russian culture and mentality, languages and linguistics, more music, Rammstein, food, ballet, MMA, and showing him his music on Spotify – a real surprise for Michael!

Feb 18th: Going home again, with a wish to return to a St. Petersburg without snow or ice!

PS! Do also check out my other writings @ – mostly Norwegian & friends releated, but lot’s of DM fans like some of these artists too 

Regards and “see you next time!” from
Jan Ronald Stange


Thanks very much Jan!

Monday, 26 February 2018


This review is by Thomas Wargocki from Vienna. Thomas runs the Austrian Depeche Mode fansite Depeche Mode AT  on Facebook, a site I'd highly recommend. Following his hometown show on 4 February, Thomas was struck down with the flu, a fate that has befallen a number of reviewers. I assure you that it's not a side effect of writing for this blog. Anyway, happily Thomas is now better and here is his excellent Vienna review. All pictures are from the Black Cat Net site. I've used some of Dani's pictures previously on this project. If you haven't checked out her work, do that once you've read Thomas' review - she's got some sensational pictures of this tour and many other artists' shows.

Four years after their last visit, the British synth pop kings Depeche Mode shone in a full to the brim Viennese town hall with a set stacked more than three decades of band history. Dave proved impressively at 55 that with his intense voice and impeccable stage presence, that he is one of the best front men in the world. 

In the indoor of their almost two-year long "Global Spirit Tour" , they finally visit  Vienna - almost to the day exactly four years after their last gig here. A return visit here by the British there is long overdue. Depeche Mode have always been good to Austria and thousands of Austrians are good to their favorite band. The organizers were able to hang the "sold out" sign out weeks before the concert at the Wiener Stadthalle. An unmistakable sign that Dave Gahan and Co. have lost none of their paralyzing fascination even after 38 years of  their career. 

Perfect Entertainment 

With their last studio album Spirit, released in March 2017, the band went on the offensive and articulated unexpectedly politically views. Precarious times require special measures - it's therefore a pity that hardly anything from the album can be seen on this tour. Only three songs of this strong work remain in the setlist this evening. The single Where's The Revolution clearly stands out due to the theatrical gestures by Dave. Resist and defend the beginnings. Do not like anything. Do not let yourself be crushed. The message arrives, but evaporates in the wake of enthusiasm. 

And how well Dave does this job! One may not think it possible that the constantly pirouetting dancer on the stage front is 55 years old, so light-footed and nonchalant  as he whirls from one corner to the other, without getting short of breath. Behind him, the Austrian export Christian Eigner drills precisely like clockwork on his drums. To the left of him,  Andy is sometimes a bit lost behind his keyboard. On his right, Martin Gore with urgent guitar melodies acting as the backdrop for the hedonistic Sunday Mass. Songs like Barrel Of A Gun, Everything Counts or World In My Eyes are the sound of a band unmistakably sticking to its best decades, yet the anthems from the early days create an atmosphere of pleasant timelessness. The examination of the past is intensified by an unusually powerful and compact sound, which unfortunately is far too rare to hear in Vienna's largest concert indoor location. 

Applying the brake

Even though the stage is no place for speeches, Dave thanks the audience again and again to the cheering delight of the fans. He conducts the crowd from the front of the stage and then again from in front of the gigantic video wall. He is quite the ringleader - much more so than he was 30 years ago. Before the big hits come, the band romp through the first half of the set with a colourful potpourri of their most diverse tracks. For example, there's the heavy Going Backwards for the opener, the intense and outstanding Precious and the industrially cool A Pain That I'm Used To. The only significant weakness in the evening is the unintentional destruction of the arc of suspense. Following the terrific Cover Me with Martin's acoustic Insight slows the show down too much.

The same thing happens towards the end of the set. With Stripped, Enjoy The Silence and Never Let Me Down Again, the boys fire three of their greatest hits one after the other into the hall and provide a euphoria. Even if, instead of the ultimate more than two hour concert, the band had ended the set here, it would have been a fitting finale. The acoustic Strangelove, sung by Martin, in as unnecessary dampener, starting off the encore slowly. Even with Walking In My Shoes, A Question Of Time and the final Personal Jesus following it, the sets fails to ignite once more into a rousing finish. However, no-one is dissatisfied or disgruntled tonight. A Depeche Mode gig is still high class entertainment on the verge of perfection and that can only be said of a very few bands in the Champions League of touring bands today.

Hopefully see you next time!!!!


Thank you Thomas.

Thursday, 22 February 2018


Alan Lines returns to reviewing duties following his Vancouver review from October. He's certainly managed to catch a good number of gigs on this tour. His latest one was Riga on 20 February and here is his review. As you'll see, the crowd in the seated part of the arena were subdued to say the least, but Alan made the most of it. Thank you very much for another great review Alan and thanks to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for letting me use pictures again.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Hello fellow Devotees! I’m writing this on our way by coach to Vilnius after another great night of modeness in the beautiful town of Riga. This is our ninth concert of the tour and my second review.

We arrived in town on Sunday and the build up was really good, lots of DM fans in town and we had a lot of fun in the DM bar too. There appeared to be a good showing from the UK, Germany and especially next door Lithuania. I have to say up front we were a little concerned after the 2014 concert here that the atmosphere would not be good but we had front row seats in a good sector. Our days of getting to the venue at 5 and queuing are long gone, we just love to get reasonably good seats and immerse ourselves in the whole night. So after a few beers in the DM bar we headed off to the venue arriving at 8.15 to find ourselves sat among some very sombre looking people. No matter my black nail varnish and feather man hat will liven them up. Water aid advert tension builds. Luckily none of my workmates will read this because by this time I always have goose bumps!!!

Mr Black Feather Hat and Black Nail Varnish Man aka Alan

8.45 prompt and the Beatles intro kicks us off.  (I’ve even got goose bumps writing this!). The first couple of tracks whizzed by and were well received by the standing audience. I’m no music critic but at this point I realised what a totally professional band DM are. Aside from the hardcore standing, they were getting nothing back from the rest of the arena and still Dave in particular worked his magic, encouraging the crowd at every opportunity. Barrel Of A Gun was a highlight -  I just love that ending. Fanzone started to get really good from that poiunt but from where we were just can’t say anything more than the band were spot on until things moved to the next level with Cover Me.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

"WILL YA?" -  YEEEEESSS. Dave looking good on the catwalk. Was it me or was Birthday boy Peter spending a little more time up front today? Felt like his sound was turned down a little today so less booming and I particularly enjoyed Christian’s drumming. Martin time, as my kids would say he was "totes amaze." I, however, would say mesmerising and very much appreciated by the crowd. A little go at a sing along and then a deafening roar from the crowd when Dave introduced the group one by one. In Your Room and I’m singing at the top of my voice (hang on said my, wife youve been doing that all night!) Martin's vocals during In Your Room.... oh those goose bumps again. Where's The Revolution wasn’t recognised by many at the start but Dave soon got everyone going.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Everything Counts -  sorry purists but who doesn’t love that new intro. Finally I explode and jump up and start dancing but am firmly put back down on my seat (as in 2014).  Martin now bouncing around a fair bit and good hands from Fletch as the concert powers on to the Never Let Me Down Again finale. Lots of hands and as the band walks off, the roof nearly comes off!

Encore, nice rendition of I Want You Now and then the classic Walking In My Shoes. I can now take no more and join a small group standing in the aisle for a maximum effort A Question Of Time from Dave and a rousing Personal Jesus from all the group. And then finally at last, a happy birthday sing a long for Peter and much waving to the crowd from the group, particularly from Andy as they leave the stage. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
As always still on a high after the concert when we meet up for a post match beer with our good friends Marius and Vaiva who came over from Vilnius. Sorry everyone if this reads badly or seems over critical. I’m writing this on the coach relying on David’s spell checking and sitting at a DM concert in Riga really is a different experience.


Thanks Alan

Wednesday, 21 February 2018


Today's review is an absolute cracker. Steav Hunt tells us all about reserved Finns, making Depeche logos in ice, eating elk and, oh yes, Depeche Mode. As you'll see, Steav is a long terms Depeche fan and I'm already jealous that he saw them back in 1982. I fully agree with Steav's views about travelling to see Depeche Mode. I'm so glad that I've done that on the last couple of tours as itr's been a great experience and it's also allowed me to hassle bemused fans with blog business cards. Anyway, thanks very much Steav for the great review and for the photos.

First of all, let me thank David for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Almost Predictable Almost blog. To have reviews of every DM gig on the Global Spirit Tour is quite an ambition and I’m honoured to a part of it.

Now, this is quite a coincidence. I was 19 years old when I first saw DM at a gig in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, UK on the See You tour. The date was 18th February 1982. Exactly 36 years later I’m off to Helsinki to see them on 18 February 2018!!!

I’m now married and luckily for me Marie is just as big a fan as myself. She doesn't pass up the opportunity to shout filth at Dave :-)

For us, this will be the eighth gig on the Global Spirit Tour, and the very first time we have visited a Scandinavian country. Marie has been looking at the weather forecast and decided to purchase various items of thermal clothing. In the UK we very rarely have temperatures below -5. Forecast for Helsinki is -10.

We have been rained on at London Stadium, and experienced a storm at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, so a bit of cold wont put us off.

I have to say that if any devotee from the UK hasn’t experienced a DM gig in another country, please please make the effort. Travelling in Europe is a lot easier and cheaper than the UK, and you get to meet some fantastic people.

We departed Manchester Airport on Saturday 17th Feb for a direct flight to Helsinki. Coming into land at the airport all I could see was a beautiful white landscape stretching out for miles and miles. Helsinki airport is a big modern affair, with ‘Retail Opportunities’ at every turn. Once through passport control we found our way to the railway station which is between terminal 1 and 2. Trains run every 20 mins or so directly into the city centre.

Our hotel was 5 mins walk from the rail station, so we went to check in before heading out for something to eat.

Helsinki is a beautiful city and I think well worth a visit even if DM aren’t playing. We will certainly be going back. There are excellent restaurants, and despite what we had read, it is possible to eat cheaply. Beer on the other hand……………. Is excellent but NOT cheap. 

Another plus (especially for British tourists) is that everyone speaks English, and I think, Swedish in addition to their native language. 

Saturday night we dined upon Reindeer and Elk. It had to be done :-)

Sunday morning (after some confusion as Finland is two hours in front of the UK) we set out and did loads of tourist stuff. Drank loads of coffee, walked across the frozen harbour, ate reindeer hot-dogs etc etc. We also left DM logo’s in the ice and snow at various points around the city, more for our own amusement than anything else.

Later that day we were going to meet up with our very good friend Norbert (Nobby) from Hamburg whom we had met at the ‘Puskas Ferenc’ Stadium, Budapest Gig on the Delta Machine Tour in 2013. We have stayed in contact ever since. Helsinki will be his 22nd gig on the Global Spirit Tour, and his 51st DM gig in total. Hows that for Devotion? He texted us to arrange a meet at the Hard Rock Cafe for 5pm.

Later I got another text from him asking if we could meet up with some Swedish people at 4pm in the Radisson Hotel. So off we trekked to what we hoped was the correct Radisson hotel as there are four in Helsinki. After some confusion at the check in desk at the hotel we established that this was indeed the correct hotel and spent the next couple of hours talking and making new friends with people from Finland, Sweden and the UK. Nobby, Marie and I left the hotel at about 18:30 for something to eat before getting the train to Pasila (nearest station to Hartwall Arena). The rest of the gang had organised a mini bus direct to the Arena.

Now at the Arena (a modest building with approx 15000 capacity) the excitement starts to build. Every is here for the same reason. We want to hear our favourite band play our favourite songs and feel the volume in our bodies. Are we mad?

Bearing in mind its very cold outside and we are all wearing coats, we were a little taken aback at that both cloakroom facilities they had run out of space and couldn't take any more items. We were in GA, so had to carry our stuff with us. Minor setback.

Now this is where I start to think that the evening might not have as much atmosphere as our previous gigs. Bearing in mind we had arrived after the support band had finished, and only 30 mins before DM are due on stage, we managed to walk all the way to the front and stood on the right side of the walkway which Dave uses. The only other time we were able to do this was Manchester where we had EE/FOS tickets. Strange!

Marie thought this was great as she may be able to make herself heard to Dave when she shouts obscenities :-)

20:30……….The Beatles – Revolution……….. You know the format.

They're here, we’re happy. The band are on form and really tight.

Acoustics not the best with some echoing, but this is primarily an Ice Hockey Stadium.

Strange that Dave really didn't really interact with audience until after World In My eyes

At this point we looked around the Arena to see most people in the seats still sitting down. What!!!! I looked up to the block to stage right and the only people standing/dancing were 2 girls (later discovered that they were Russian) and one of our new friends ‘Big’ Magnus. From that moment on we worried that the band weren't going down as well as we thought. ‘Come on people, you’re letting me down’

Anyway, firm favourites were played, Home always makes me cry, video to In Your Room is superb (in fact takes focus away from band), Stripped, Walking In My Shoes and we danced like crazy things during Everything Counts, waiting for the ‘Helsinki, you really are the best!’. 

We didn't care that this was basically the same set for the whole tour (One or two minor changes have taken place)

Then before you know what's happened, nearly two hours have passed and the band are taking their bows, and Dave says ‘See you next time’ We are happy, but also a little concerned about the lack of audience participation in the seats. FOS are always going to be on form, and they were! Even during Never Let Me Down Again there were areas in the Arena with no arm waving. 

Hmmmm, I am concerned. 

Did people not have a good time?

It was excellent to see the Russian DM fan club at walkway end having their photo taken. They are mental!!!!!

Anyway, I texted our new friend Peter, and there is space in his minibus to take an extra three back into town direct to the Lady Moon Club for the Club Anvil afterparty. On the minibus we have a discussion about audience participation, and everyone who had seated tickets said the same thing. Everyone around refused to get up and dance/clap/wave arms etc. It hadn't dampened our enthusiasm or enjoyment, but I am still concerned :-(

There followed much dancing and drinking (isn't Finnish Vodka good ;-)) and back to hotel for about 04:00am.

The following morning, it was still on my mind about the reserved audience, so whilst checking out of the hotel I asked the receptionist about Finnish people, and how reserved they seem to be. She stated that ‘Yes’ the Finnish people are famous for it, and that they will have have enjoyed the gig and would have shown their appreciation in other ways. Thank god for that! My mind is now at rest.

Back to the Hard Rock Cafe for a last meal and meeting with new friends before we head off to the airport going our separate ways :-( Always the saddest part.

Two other guys join us, both are from Sweden, and I have the discussion with one of them about Christian Eigner’s role in the band. Drum machine vs live drummer. This could go on for some time.

We also have the discussion about whether or not we are experiencing DM’s last BIG tour.

Lets face it, this is NOT a ‘Global Spirit’ tour, its a ‘Greatest Hits’ tour with three songs from the Spirit album thrown in. I still think that So Much Love should be put back into the set. And……….. they’re not getting any younger.

Steav, Marie and Nobby post gig

And so it ends. The sad goodbyes, exchanging of FB contact details and promises that we will all meet up in Berlin in July. 

I feel VERY jealous that Nobby and Peter are going onto Riga. But hey, lets all look forward to Berlin and meeting up again.

Thanks to my good very friend Nobby (No R-Bert), and new friends Peter, Josefin, Lorraine, Jenny, Kimmo, David, Therese, Susanne, ‘Big’ Magnus, Valerie, Jenny and Sara for making this trip so VERY special. Thanks to Helsinki and Finland for being so very beautiful.

And my last point, as I’ve said previously. If you’re in the UK and thinking about going abroad for a gig, ‘just do it’ to coin a phrase, Its easier that you would think. You wont regret it.

Addendum – When back at home I Googled ‘Finnish people reserved’ and found this:-

An example of a Finnish joke: “An introverted Finn looks at his shoes when talking to you; an extroverted Finn looks at your shoes”. 

My mind is at rest :-)

P.S. Almost forgot. Looking forward to meeting the owner of this Blog, David McElroy, in Berlin in July :-)

Steav Hunt


Thanks Steav!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Happily for the majority of Depeche fans, there have only been two cancellations on this tour - Tampa on September 13 and Minsk on July 17, both 2017. For those attending those gigs though, the cancellations were bad, bad news. Nastia Enavigo was one such fan. She was all set to go to the Minsk show last July and was ready to review it afterwards for this blog. It wasn't to be sadly, but, proving that all good things come to those who wait, Minsk was rescheduled and Nastia was able to attend. Happily for me, she was also able to review it and here it is. I think we can all agree with her views on overuse of cameras at these shows. Anyway, thank you very much Nastia, and thank you Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for the pictures. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

I would like to start this review with thanking David for coming up with this ambitious idea of reviewing every single performance of the tour and having enough persistence and passion to bring it about. I came across his request on Facebook to review the Minsk show quite by chance, it sounded bold and at that moment didn’t fully realize what I was saying yes to. 

When I started reading your reviews, guys, I was blown away with all the adoration and devotion they are filled with. So personal and touching that I couldn’t hold back my tears. It felt like I was there with you living through every song and every chant and every emotion. So, thank you! 


My history as a DM fan is very short. I heard their greatest hits like Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence since childhood, I liked them a lot, but never cared enough to search further than what was already on the radio. My own admiration of their music began only a few years ago when I heard a mesmerizing melody on a soundtrack to some movie that stopped my aimless channel surfing. Then came Dave’s voice (it couldn’t be mistaken for anybody else’s) deep and strong and tantalizing…. I was hooked. As I found out later the song was The Love Thieves

And after 2 years of anticipation…. and then after 7 more months of anticipation…. a few days ago my dream came true and I could hear and see them in Minsk.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Rising action 

Minsk, July 17. I arrived to the venue when the sun was still high but my number in the line was only 125. I thought that I almost had no chance to get I good place near the stage or even by the cat walk, but tried to stay positive. It’s a Depeche Mode show after all!! There’s almost nothing that can spoil it! 

4 or 5 hours that I was waiting there passed really fast. I was very excited to hear them again and it was cool to talk to people around about the concerts they’d been to, favourite songs and most memorable moments. At some point I overheard somebody talking about returning the tickets…. “What?? Are they crazy? Are they SO tired of waiting that they can’t wait for another two hours??”… but the topic persisted in the crowd and it occurred to me that something might be wrong. 

A few moments later a harsh loud-speaker grated on our ears with an official announcement. My heart sank. 


Minsk, February 13. I had the bad luck of catching a cold only two days before the show. I took care of taking all the possible medicines to feel better by Tuesday, but the stars were not on my side. I was devastated but determined to attend the show. I couldn’t miss it. Not again. 

So, boosted with pills and sprays, armed with extra layers of clothes off I set. There was no pretension to arrive early of course, I made my peace with standing anywhere in the fan zone and arrived shortly before the band appeared. 

A nice but monotonous piece of electronic music was on. People were all excited and impatient. Anybody who appeared on stage at that time was greeted with applause and whistling – they were working to make the show start, of course they deserved the applause!) 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Depeche Mode’s performance in Minsk left nothing wanting. The guys are true professionals, extremely talented musicians, very inspired performers who love what they are doing and it shows in every song. 

After so many reviews you have probably learned by heart both the set list and what happens on stage, so I’ll only dwell on the things that impressed me. 

I really loved the beginning of the show: lights off, the intro and the marching boots growing to immense size just like your itch to see the Fantastic Five walking on stage and to hear the first cords of one of the best songs on the album. I totally agree with people who say that Going Backwards is a great opener, decisive and groovy guitar line sets you in the mood immediately. 

It’s No Good and Useless being among my favourites were a pleasant surprise for me. Although I was sorry to see (at least from my position) that they weren’t that well received by the crowd.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Cover Me was listened to with flash lights on and in almost total silence but you couldn’t lament it. The song is absolutely marvelous and Dave performs it in the most meaningful and intimate way as if he’s really talking to you. All you want to do is to give in to the sound and dissolve into it. 

The most impressive discovery that night was Insight performed by Martin Gore. I heard the song before but it didn’t attract my attention and I never really listened to it. This time Pete’s melancholic piano solo and Martin’s honey-like voice and the lyrics resonated with my own feelings, which almost made me cry. The famous “You've got to give love” repeated a million times together with the audience almost felt like a mantra…. probably not the worst one for us to repeat every once in a while in this merciless and selfish world. 

Martin is the BEST! Period. 

The new intros to several old songs spiced up the performance. They were only giving you a hint of the songs they introduced, tickled your memory and you almost felt your brain rack when frenetically picking out the melodies and the first lines from the catalogue in your head…. “The handshake seals the contract”… Hurray! 

I don’t want to sound judgmental and I mean it in the best way possible, but I would wish the crowd were more active, lost their cameras and took more part in signing along and dancing. Up till Precious and World In My Eyes it seemed that all the fans were in the back rows and front of stage was occupied with paparazzi. I even felt silly at one point yelling my sore throat out to A Pain That I’m Used To with the audience being so quiet. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Martin’s Home changed the atmosphere. People livened up with this beloved piece and Martin easily engaged them into the classic singalong which was afterwards artistically conducted by Dave. Everything Counts and each song that came after was met with much more enthusiasm and appreciation. Never Let Me Down Again has long been unimaginable without thousands of people waving hands – we were more than happy to hold to the tradition. 

By the encore time the warmed up crowd was cheering and asking for more. That was probably the most energetic part of the night: I Want You Now, Walking in My Shoes, A Question Of Time ended in a blink on an eye and you found yourself in the middle of Personal Jesus feeling sad and helpless as this was actually the last minutes of bliss. 


I didn’t think it was possible but somehow these guys make their songs so much enjoyable when played live. I loved to watch them interact on stage: winking and nodding and pointing and ear-whispering gives you the impression something else is going on out there. Dave’s energy throughout the show was stunning -  where he gets the drive to keep going at that pace for 2 hours every other day is a mystery for me. With all his smiling and talking to the crowd and dancing in every possible part of the stage he makes the show very special. 

That was a great night and it kept me frozen in that after-show God-it-was-gorgeous and can’t-believe-it’s-over state for several days. The only thing I regret is that it took me so long to find my way into their music and that I missed so many gigs I could have attended. But at least this one will stay life-time experience. Hopefully it will not be the last! 

With all my love, thank you for making that night so magical!


Thank you Nastia.

Monday, 19 February 2018


A really cool thing about this project has been linking up with blogs in other countries and having the people that run those guest on here. Martini who runs Mode2Joy , 101dM and who is also known on Twitter as MODEontheROAD is one such blogger and I'm delighted that he agreed to review the Gdansk gig for me. I would highly recommend checking out all Martini's Depeche Mode sites as there is more than enough there to keep you busy until the next tour. Thanks so much for this Martini and for the superb pictures and videos too.

This tour was exceptionally generous for Depeche Mode fans in my country. There have been five gigs in total and that has never happened before. Also there were so many coincidences, referring back to previous tours, that happened during this tour. That even starting with the summer concert which fell near as the 4th anniversary of  the concert from 2013.

Three Polish concerts, or as we called it Polish Spirit Tour, happened at the end of the carnival season. I saw all three concerts and I have the honour to write the in-depth review of the final gig in Poland which was in Gdańsk.

The concert in Gdańsk was scheduled on Feb 11th, which was the 8th anniversary of the band's second concert in Łódź in 2010. If you remember there was a  flood of balloons and we trolled the band by singing Master & Servant (which was our revenge on the band for dropping this classic from the set at that time).  I witnessed all of that 8 years ago.

On 11 February, Depeche Mode played for the first time in Gdańsk, but to be honest it wasn't  their first visit in this city... sort of... Again back to Delta Machine Tour, the band had finished their gig in Moscow, and during their return to the UK they did a stopover in Gdańsk to refill the plane.

All of these throwbacks, flashbacks and other memories were discussed in the queue as we waited for the concert. People had been camping since the day before - their bodies were frozen but souls were hot, supported from time to time tea with rum :-D

You could almost feel the excitement in the cold, winter air, mixed with the scent of hot tea with rum. It’s always amazing to see how people are connecting and bonding during their waiting in the line! The atmosphere was high, even though the temperature was low. We were all ready for what was about to happen!

We also discussed our memories from the two previous Polish concerts concerts about work of security, concerts tricks and tips, and a lot of flashbacks from those concerts in Kraków and Łódź. Hardcore fans had been queueing since 3 a.m. waiting in front of prepared tent-gates. Nevertheless, the spirit was high, new friendships established immediately. 2 hours before the start of Entry Entrance security shifted us between the gates which caused a lot of mess, destroying all agreements between fans and fans and security. They then let us into the hall....

Some fans ran, some walked to the GA1 zone and sooner or later we have met again each other near the FOS on the random sites. The atmosphere was superb. Fans started clapping and forcing other to start the Mexican Wave. Technicians even helped us more playing louder and louder upbeat warm-up music.

In  the meantime, Blackline appeared on stage. Douglas McCarthy and his new band. They played a set of decent length, shortening the wait for the main star of the night. In 2010 for me, the Depeche Mode and Nitzer Ebb concerts were equal levels. We had the pleasure of witnessing two star bands for the price of one. The day after those two concerts where Nitzer Ebb were support, I had the pleasure of seeing the trio playing a full set in Warsaw. This time Blackline proved that they are better live than what they show on studio productions. Nice two final songs and at least acceptable songs from the rest of the set.

The atmosphere was hotter and hotter. Rumours said that Dave wanted to have +24*C on stage, plus heat from the fans caused some fans to faint because of lack of fresh air.


It's hard to write song by song when so many good and less good things were written on this blog during the whole tour. Needless to say that people were waiting for I Want You Now and Cover Me. We got both and a lot more... I think it's better to highlight the highlights of the concert.

I was looking at the empty stage and I knew that I’m about to witness something incredible! And so it was…from the very first moment when the band came on stage. You could feel incredible connection between the band and fans. The energy was so intense - on stage and under it – that you just had to go with it all the way! You could see fans crying during Insight, people were holding each others hands, singing, clapping and giving our band what they came here for – the best time!

Everywhere during the Polish Spirit Tour, fans tired to praise Andy, chanting his name. Why? I don't know but this story started back in the Touring The Angel era. Check bootlegs or Live Here Now from Warsaw 2006.06.09.

The crew of the band highlighted the Depeche Mode fan club 3City (3City we call agglomeration of Gdynia + Sopot + Gdańsk which border each other).

Dave was really connected with the crowd even more than normal. So many times interacted with us on the main stage or on the catwalk.

But I need to highlight Martin's part. Before 3rd Martins song Martin said:

"I think this might be an old Polish folk song... Maybe not."

This was a straight reference to the folk version of Enjoy The Silence which ran through the net as a viral piece several months ago and was one of the highlights during Takeovers, on press and tv.

A highlight of this concert was the long outros sang by fans, extending sometimes beyond the length of the songs in the setlist. In the last few concerts, the band started have started trolling the audience by extending the final notes of Walking In My Shoes. I think I liked more what we fans started few months ago in summer chanting the intro/outro of the song. But hey this is the game between us and them - it underlines how we made this gig unique from others on this tour.

This concert was the fantastic mixture of spirit... not 100% sober fans, music, atmosphere, and something unique which is hard to describe by words.

The crowd was floating in Dave’s arms during Cover Me, that moment took us so high that even now I’m getting shivers, just thinking about it! When Everything Counts started – it just blew my mind how the whole crowd sang it. I loved the way Dave thanked us for giving appreciation to Martin and Andy, you could feel that guys were having fun with us and that they can feel our energy too. I was touched with how long they were saying goodbye to us.

Other highlights you can see on my montage clip where I chose the best moments from the gig in Gdańsk.

At the end of my review, I'd like to thank all the fans who I met outside the Arena and inside too. It was a pleasure to sing with you party with you and share all the moments which made this night and two before so unique.

The whole show was extremely energetic, full of emotions, highlights and unforgettable moments. It’s amazing that every single show – no matter if it's your 50th or is it your first one – makes you really feel and understand what Depeche Mode is truly all about. What does it mean to me? Well, we can always talk about it when we meet somewhere in another queue!


Thanks Martini.