Monday 29 January 2018

LIVE REVIEW: DEPECHE MODE, ARENA NURNBERGER, NUREMBERG, 21 JANAURY 2018

Not only is this is great review but it's also a Depeche Mode wordsearch! Stephan Bobinger has written this blog all about the Nuremberg gig which will entertain you both by reading it and by hunting for the 55 Depeche song titles hidden throughout it. Not a bad way to get your brain started on a Monday morning. Thank you very much for this Stephan and for the pictures too. All pictures are Stephan's unless otherwise credited (hello to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group).

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

21.01.2018 Nuremberg – I WANT YOU NOW

The concert in Nuremberg was somehow planned as my personal absolute climax of the tour. To understand that I need to talk about some things first:

GOING BACKWARDS…

… to the time when my relation with Depeche Mode started, means going back almost to the start of the band. It was my older brother who started with Speak & Spell and their first concert in Munich when I was just little 15. At the age of 17 in 1984 I went with him to my first Mode concert in Munich, the first sounds of this concert still in my ears: Something to do (and still that happens all the time). 

AND THEN…

… I just missed one tour (1990) in Munich since that time. But I wasn’t that crazy about the band like today. Which means, for centuries I couldn’t even think of travelling for a Depeche Mode concert to another city, country or even continent. Within TOTU tour I went first time to Stuttgart in 2009 because it was the closest concert in the winter leg and then I thought it would be fun the see the band at home in London (O2-Arena). In fact both concerts were fine but still not worth travelling so far.

This changed with Delta Machine, one of their best records for long. With the new songs and the rest of the setlist the Delta Machine Tour 2013/2014 was just perfect for me. So I started after the Munich concert to attend more concerts on the tour (especially Berlin with the DVD recording and two incredible shows in Z├╝rich), in total I finished with six until the end of the tour. And I started to think about going to DM concerts in other countries but on that tour the dates just didn’t fit for me. I was infected just looking for them to…

COME BACK

So when the Global Spirit Tour came closer I started planning and this time it was different. I wanted to go to 6-8 concerts on the tour - at least. Well at the end of 2017 I counted 10, Nuremberg was my third in 2018 with few more to come, and a new highlight with the two final shows in Berlin at the Waldb├╝hne. So at the end of the tour it will be about twenty DM concerts, feeling like a pipeline of concerts and of energy. CRAZY!?! Maybe. Not happiest girl but happiest boy.

When I read David’s “Almost predictable – almost”, I couldn’t stop nodding. Yes, every Mode concert is predictable – almost. And always the same – and so different. The fans are different, the mood, the enthusiasm, the men or women standing or sitting or dancing or singing next to you. Sometimes in negative sense but in most cases very positive. I read some reports here of concerts I have been as well, to some I can agree very well, to some it seems to me that they have attended another concert. But in fact, every review speaks the truth is – for the author.




MILES AWAY…

…from home my first concert on this tour was in May 2017 in Bratislava, a town and country I haven’t been to before (but it’s nice there). As the first concert on the tour it was special to me for sure. Waiting for the sun and the rainfall later (never got so wet in a Mode concert) I was lucky to get as close to Dave as never before (second row besides the catwalk). A dangerous feeling because you want more to soothe your soul, of course. Feeling, the love, itself.

Budapest two days later started with a funny experience like your Personal Jesus when I just made a short stop before the concert at the band hotel when Dave leaving the hotel to the car almost struck me because I was standing close to the (secret) door he came out. The concert itself featured an overwhelming Hungarian audience, with the most fantastic NLMDA waving I’ve ever seen (from my seating place). 

HOME

After attending these two concerts just on my own but not feeling alone, my home concert in Munich in the Olympic stadium was special in another point. For the first time my daughter went with me and some friends who are no Mode fans but they all liked it. Munich audience is not the best in Germany – at least for Depeche Mode. So I expected much more two and three days later from the double concert in Hannover. And you can get right with me. First, I met again Simone, a crazy Mode fan I get to know in Zurich 3 years ago and every Mode related minute with her is just incredible fun. The audience on Sunday in Hannover was just as fantastic as expected or even better. Monday morning we spent taking the breakfast just opposite the band hotel and we were very lucky to meet Fletch and Peter Gordeno when they came out of the hotel for a few minutes, we almost couldn’t breathe. The concert that evening featured the first changes in the setlist on this tour with Martin stopping a song because he forgot the words (Strangelove). 

So, five really good concerts on leg 1. But at that time (in the middle of June) I had no idea of what would be in store for me.

RUSH to ROUTE 66

Fortunately as I work hard, I had one week vacation in the beginning of October, still nothing planned. And I went for more black celebration: I took a flight to the States for two Mode concerts in San Diego and San Francisco. On my way to San Diego, I made a stop at the Passadena stadium in remembrance of the 101 concert, and of course, while sitting behind the wheel I listened to incredible songs they never played since like People Are People or The Things You Said. The concert in San Diego (or Chula Vista) was an experience on its own due to a lot of bad circumstances (it was not a pain I’m used to and I didn’t really suffer well with some health problems and traffic jams as the later reported here before) and the crowd was special on its own as maybe half of the audience was more into meeting friends and family than into the concert itself but everybody was having a good time. 

On my way back to San Francisco, sure with a fly on the windscreen, I stopped, of course in Barstow at the route 66 and had to stay in a motel named the same with painkiller who fail, with me feeling sometimes like a martyr. But I didn’t surrender.

San Francisco or better San Jose was very different to Chula Vista with many more devotees dressed in black (or even wearing a new dress) and a great indoor show. But Dave had more to entertain and motivate the audience than in Germany. 

NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE

So, back at the end of November two concerts in Germany were waiting for me, again meeting angel Simone. While Frankfurt was good as expected but no more (the last time on my tour), expectations for Stuttgart were lower as I knew Stuttgart audience from two concerts before as more quiet. I was wrong – totally wrong. Even the band seemed very surprised about the audience, it was more than a party.

The final concert of 2017 for me, Simone and the five guys was in Madrid. I expected a great Spanish audience and was correct. But the German, Italian and Danish people around us at the end of the catwalk (we were first row) were even more crazy. Thank you Madrid and thank you, Dave for your handshake!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

PERFECT…

…was almost the second concert in Berlin in January. While Simone made 5 amazing concerts in a row I joined her for the two in Berlin and the one in Nuremberg. A fantastic devotee time, which I will keep in my secret garden, with a good concert on Wednesday night and a special one – like full condemnation or eruption – on the Friday night. After driving back to our homes we met again finally on Sunday noon for 

NUREMBERG

I prefer standing places to seating and Golden Circle or Front of Stage to normal standing. In Nuremberg for the first time I had Early Entry (with Simone and Karola). That means you can enter inside before all others and you get some devotee stuff. But: You are not the only one with Early Entry (expect 150-300 on each concert), so if you want to be in the first row, you have to be there earlier than early. 

In Nuremberg I arrived by train from home at about 12.30 and got the number 53. That means 52 devotees can decide about where to stand before you can decide for yourself. It took until 4 in the afternoon until the door opened (only for early entry). While waiting I met a lot of nice people, so they can take a photograph of you, ask what’s your name or you can listen to the stories of old devotees. So, while waiting for the night from inside they were playing Walking In My Shoes for soundcheck or whatever in heavy rotation. At least you now have a clean toilet inside but the organization is still no sweetest perfection. At about 6 one by one can enter the inner arena and choose his place - slowly. Simone and Karola chose first row at the end of the catwalk right side and I joined them (they had a bit lower number than me). Very soon the arena filled and while we at the first or second row were sitting because for the next 90 minutes nothing would happen all the other people next were standing – very close. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn the Cover Me-Shirt?




Like in Berlin the concert hall was very hot, probably Dave wants that for his voice? As the starting time came close, the closer the audience was standing and some were even a bit aggressive, maybe some had a black day? It was a quite explosive mood but as well in the positive sense, so I imagined an audience as good as in Berlin on Friday – and I was right. 

The Nuremberg audience was just incredible and the band realized that very soon. As far as I saw, almost everybody was standing and moving from the first second, and the noise and singing was as loud as in Madrid or Friday in Berlin – sometimes even louder.

I love the new tracks, Going Backwards is perfect to start the concert, Cover Me is now a classic song in itself (please don’t drop it ever), Where’s The Revolution is becoming more and more part of the face of this tour with Dave standing on top at the end of it with his fist extending. Unfortunately they skipped So Much Love in the winter, sorry, but that’s no good. And I still miss at least Martin singing his new songs because like Fail and Eternal very much. 

But as I told you so, a Mode concert is more than singing 20 different songs. Especially when you have seen almost the same show more than ten times. Every show I realize new aspects and details, in Nuremberg e.g. concerning the lights during World In My Eyes which with its new intro is the first highlight followed by Cover Me which brought a real outburst of emotion at the end of the catwalk when Dave appeared and reached out his hand. But this time it was very difficult for all because the distance between the catwalk and the fence was larger than usual. So, I reached Dave in Madrid, but not tonight. 

Martin singing Insight is a real magical moment like Dave often says. And Home got a real classic by the audience singing it for minutes on its own in Nuremberg.

The combination of Where’s The RevolutionWrong Everything CountsStrippedEnjoy The Silence – Never Let Me Down Again is probably is the best they ever created. Unfortunately they skipped Wrong for the winter leg but that makes it even more intense. The Nuremberg crowd singing Everything Counts like it would really count in larger amounts the longer they sing... stunning and leaving Dave confused but happy as well.




For the Encore we all expected the usual songs but the band had a big surprise in store: Martin singing I WANT YOU NOW. Never heard that song live because it was never played in Europe since 1990, the only tour I missed (in 1994 it was played in US the last time ever). And it is such a wonderful tune. Thank you, Martin! I just hope that they will play it again. The crowd was surprised too – listening in devotion.

One last new detail, in the last minute of A Question Of Time Dave throws his microphone stand on the ground (in Berlin on Friday as well, first time on tour?), feeling so much energy in the arena?

Oh well, finally after Personal Jesus the boys say go, Dave leaving the stage stripped to the waist for a final scream of the female fans and everybody having experienced another magic night. 

And I am so glad that the last curtain has not fallen.

By the way, I hope you realized that my report contained 55 Depeche Mode titles which are not part of the standard winter tour setlist. If not, you should go back to the start of this review and find them again!

Goodbye!

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Thank you Stephan!

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