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 : https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/depeche-mode/2018/skk-arena-saint-petersburg-russia-53ee3369.html