Saturday, 21 July 2018

LIVE REVIEW: DEPECHE MODE, MAD COOL FESTIVAL, MADRID, JULY 14 2018

There have been many memorable reviews on this project and one such review was June Tan's of the second night at the Hollywood Bowl last October. When June said that she was heading to Europe this summer and that she wanted to review a gig again I was delighted. Here then is June's review of the Mad Cool festival, a festival with a magical line up. DM and NIN on the same bill? That really would have been incredible. Thanks for this great review picture set June.



I have to admit something. Being a fan of Depeche Mode turned me into a creature of habit. Like clockwork, I’ve been looking forward to a new album release every four years, followed by a tour that would take place between America and Europe (and South America) before the boys take a break and then it’s looking forward to the solo work done by Dave and Mart. And then it’s off to making the next album. And repeat. 

I’ve had zero plans of doing another DM gig once I was done with those Hollywood Bowl shows in October 2017. However, reading up about DM, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age AND Underworld are going to be headlining a festival in Madrid seems too good to be true. After a quick research on how cheap it is to vacation in Spain and before I know it, BOOM I’ve got tickets to see DM for the 8th time (and also the very first time seeing the boys in Europe AND in a music festival no less!)


How was it seeing the boys in a festival setting?

It was…bizarre. Deep cuts like Corrupt, Insight and Judas were not performed. Hearing Precious and Just Can’t Get Enough (both tracks I’ve heard in 2013) is like meeting a friend you have not seen in ages and you are not too sure if there’s anything to talk about (especially JCGE. I’ve probably spent more time laughing and cheering at the track rather than singing it).  




I have to say that ending on JCGE is a really good move because it paves the way for other acts to keep up with the positive vibes amongst the crowd (ironically, the next act that came up was NIN, which is the exact opposite of JCGE and I was pretty devastated after NIN’s set!)

Most people have been asking me this question since the gig: How was it like seeing QOTSA, DM, NIN and Underworld together in under 6 hours? How’s the European crowd in comparison to the ones in America?


Here’s my answer: SUPER.FUCKING.AWESOME. The Spanish pulled out all the stops to make themselves heard by singing and dancing along to every track and melody. No wonder they love touring in Europe because the crowd can get LOUD. Can’t say the same for the Americans unfortunately!

And bonus points for QOTSA and NIN acknowledging DM as their idols during their set! Being in a festival setting also means coming into contact with other fans (which could go either way because I did spend a lot of time rolling my eyes at Arctic Monkeys fangirls). Talking to festival-goers rocking NIN tee shirts and hearing them rave non-stop about their love for DM and how this is the first time they are watching them live makes me realise that the current setlist works perfectly. These people most likely only know Violator, Playing The Angel or Music For the Masses. To bombard them with tracks from Exciter or even Delta Machine is too much. 

Some fans would probably complain about how shallow the setlist it is, but my take is that if you fancy the deeper cuts, you would not attend a festival show in the first place. 

I’m just going to end my piece with a group photo of 5/365 Depeche Mode Facebook Takeoverees that attended Mad Cool Festival. Amazing to see 2 Australians, 1 Spanish, 1 German and 1 Singaporean coming together to celebrate our love for the Mode (also the first time seeing Depeche Mode with a bunch of friends for me). Bring on album #15 and 2021 already!

(From left to right: Michael Russell, Traicy Gensch, Roberto DuenDe, Rose Scasni and me)
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Thank you June.

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