Sunday, 22 July 2018

LIVE REVIEW: DEPECHE MODE, BEAUREGARD FESTIVAL, HEROUVILLE-ST-CLAIR, FRANCE, 9 JULY 2018

If this review doesn't put you in the mood for seeing Depeche at a festival, I don't know what will. Benjamin Ubu from weirdsound.net returns to the Global Spirit Tour Project to review the Beauregard Festival for us and his enthusiasm tells us just how good a show it was. Thanks very much for this Benji and thank you for the pictures too. All other pictures are taken from Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

The festival of Beauregard celebrated its tenth anniversary last weekend in Normandy! A splendid occasion to spend four days to listen to good music, to discover new groups, and to do a bit of tourism in this beautiful region. The festival favours quality over quantity, so one can have all the time in the mornings to go for a walk on the beaches, to visit some high historical sites or to find a good restaurant! And contrary to popular belief in July in Normandy, I always find the weather to be very sunny! 

Alright, I can now feel how much you’re bored! “When will he finally speak about Depeche Mode???” It is the subject of your interest, I suppose? The group will treat us by closing the last day of the festival with its performance. It’s hard to wish for more for a fan like me, since I’ve already seen them four times in hardly a year! So! I will tell you about this beautiful evening of July 9th, and hope that you will like it… 



We arrive at 5pm on the site of the festival, and we move directly towards the barriers in front of the largest stage. The group will play at 9:30, but the first ranks are already filled! I firmly grab the barrier in the forefront, decided not to move a toe during… the four and half hours which will the waiting will last… 

When one loves, one does not calculate! 

As usual for a concert of Depeche Mode, the public is composed of young people and older people, coming from all backgrounds. I start a chat with two people there, and one of them has to learn obviously much about DM… poor guy, I give him a lecture on the discography of the group. A bit of our conversation: 

I: Do you believe in God? 

My new friend: No, why? 

I: When the concert’s over, you will! 

The organizers of the festival have lined up two other groups before Depeche Mode: Concrete Knives and Girls in Hawaii. The youngsters of Concrete Knives proved to be a very good musical discovery, I invite you to listen to them! I am less of a fan of the Belgians of Girls in Hawaii. You be the judge! 

It is now 9pm, and never were we so ready to welcome Depeche Mode on the stage! An army of technicians proceed to the final preparations. A look over my shoulder, and I can see the pit is quite full! And then two kids try to pass in front of me: fatal mistake! 

I: hey ho kids, stay behind! 

The kids: but we can hardly see from here… 

I: you should have arrived early or eaten more soup when you were children (we French say that). 

Now parents need to interfere: 

Parents: Is there not any space between yourself and the bareer? 

I: No truly, and it’s baking hot, I’m stuck to it: sorry, really… 



Don’t you think that I am heartless! But here we’re talking about a place in the forefront for Depeche Mode… the light fades, and as it has been the case on the Spirit tour, the show starts with the voices of the Beatles, prior to the arrival of DM!! Dave Gahan greets the crowd, and begins with on Going Backwards:  I am now with the angels! In order to raise still the temperature a little, the band continues with It's No Good, one of my favorite songs. Alone in the world, my eyes in the eyes of Dave Gahan, the Earth could stop turning, I don’t care… 

For this show is in open air, the group went for a purified decoration, “a simple” giant screen. I am glad to see them in these conditions, focused on the essential, the music, and of course on the voices of Dave and Martin. Now it’s time for A Pain That I' m Used To, and immediately after the splendid song Precious… I listen to this song almost every day on my way to work; from now on I will even have the image of Depeche Mode singing it two meters away from me! 



It was expected, here it is! World In My Eyes! In concert, it always proves a nice song, and the public responds at once. Next song is Cover Me, with the video of Dave as a cosmonaut projected on the screen. I much appreciate this title, undoubtedly the most beautiful on the Spirit album. Small interlude where Dave leaves the scene… You smart reader, you understood what was going to follow! Martin Gore gives us Somebody: the change of mood is immediate and the audience is carried away by the soft voice of Martin. After having thanked the talented composer and guitarist of DM, Dave Gahan is back to business, and takes us again with In Your Room. 

At this point of the concert, I am already delighted, but that is where the group decides to switch to the “Best Of” mode! After the usual introduction, Everything Countz! The pit blazes up and sings the song from beginning to end. The light decreases, a note is heard, the experts have already recognized the beginning of Stripped… emotional moment for me! I adore this song. The two songs which follow send me to Paradise: Personal Jesus, which the crowd joins in chorus, and the impossible to drop Never Let Me Down Again



Depeche Mode tries to fool us with the “Alright, bye! it was nice to see you, see you soon!” bad joke, but I don’t believe that story, I truly believe that this goodbye was a false track before the encores! Ah ah! You can’t deceive me like that! As for most concerts on the Spirit tour, the band kept the heavy numbers for the end, I mean the very heavy ones for the last three songs. As of the first images of the video, the public is filled with enthusiasm, here Walking In My Shoes… then the masterpiece, immortal, cult, brilliant, the monument, the legend: Enjoy The Silence!!! Once that one’s over, which does remain to hope for? Just Can't Get Enough

However, the music does finish, and these Sirs come to grace us with their presence one last time before they leave… the celebration has lasted one hour and a half, and time flown quite too quickly! I stay a moment before the stage as the crowd leaves to enjoy still, a few moments, the atmosphere of the place, in order to recall it and to be able to tell this story to my children in a few years. On the way back home, I avoid speaking about the concert. As in love, there are not words strong enough to describe what I experienced. But I will leave the last word to Depeche Mode, which, on this topic, is expressed much better than me: 


Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm 
Enjoy the silence

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Thank you Benjamin

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