For the last time on this tour, Claudia Schulzi returns, providing her 6th review for this Project. It's safe to say that I couldn't have completed this without Claudia's help and the fact she's taken time out from her own mammoth touring effort and her own blog to write for me is something I'll be eternally grateful for. There are few people I've met who are more devoted to Depeche Mode than Claudia so her views of the live show are always worth reading. As you'll see, and as many of you are experiencing yourselves, a Depeche festival set offers an entirely different perspective than a Depeche standalone gig set. Thanks so much for this Claudia - see you in Berlin.
|Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group|
Depeche Mode at Openair St. Gallen or "Going Backwards"
Thank you David for the great opportunity to write a review again for your amazing blog. You've done an unbelievable job to organize a reviewer for really every concert of the Global Spirit Tour. And I like the different views of all this devotees from all over the world. This is networking in its best way, wow, I'm impressed. So I'm proud the be a part again of your great work.
I took a flight on Friday evening to Zurich. The weekend started with 2 and a half hour wait for the plane. I arrived so much later than I thought, I was tired after along working day and the evening with the friends I visited was not as relaxed as I thought it would be. But we spent a wonderful Saturday in the garden of friends, most of the time in the pool and this was a good way to prepare for the Openair in St. Gallen. However, in St. Gallen I stayed in a different hotel than my friends and through strange circumstances I lost them and so I spent the festival alone.
In earlier times, in the 80's, I traveled alone most of the time and sometimes I liked it really much, you are free to go where you want, when you want. The festival was very well organized, you picked up your bracelet at the "Welcome desk" at the St. Gallen main station. It was loaded money on a chip, with which you then could pay everything cashless. Then you took the Shuttlebus to the festival - a huge area with so many huts with different food and drinks. It was really easy to get a beer because nobody has to look for money, you paid with your chip very fast.
I came just in time to see the last few songs of Chvrches. I think a lot of you know them as supporters of Depeche Mode on the Delta Machine tour. The mood was very good, they got a lots of applause. After their set all the fans left the lawn to enter the food and drink area, so it was really easy to get in the fourth row in front of the microphone of Dave, but I decide to wander around while the concert. At the beginning I stood on the right side, very close to the stage, but the mood was not so good there - a typical festival audience. Depeche Mode was only one of many bands for them, so I found a better place on the left site where many people sang and danced to the music.
Depeche Mode started with Going Backwards. This song is a very good opener, strong music, very good lyrics:
We are not there yet
We have not evolved
We have no respect
We have lost control
We're going backwards
Ignoring the realities.
Don't forget, dear devotees, this is my view. I really confess I don't like the festival setlist. There are only two songs left from the new album, only hits, a bit like a carousel ride, up and down. It's No Good, A Pain That I'm Used To but then Precious.... I missed Barrel Of A Gun, one of the best songs of this tour. I know it is not easy to play on festivals and you have to play hits, but they have so many hits yet every time they play the same songs. Basically this meant for me it was a very good decision to stand so far away from the stage. It was time for another beer.
After World In My Eyes, Dave sang Cover Me with great verve. There was no catwalk, but he danced his moonwalk on the stage and this was a wonderful moment. Martin sang Somebody. This song makes me really sad every time. The lyrics are strange: "Though things like this, make me sick, in a case like this, I'll get away with it."
Dave came back with In Your Room. I love this song, but I'm so bored by the video of Mr. Corbjin and for the festivals it would been better they didn't use the the videos, because everybody was looking at the video and not at Depeche Mode. Depeche Mode are very professional, they did a very good show, Dave smiled very often, but much of the time he is more an actor than a singer. He always makes same moves. I know, he always did, but on this tour he became a parody of himself, a living anachronism. I asked myself if I had become an anachronism as a Depeche Mode fan? Maybe we survived ourselves......"Going backwards"
Everything Counts is always a highlight but this version lacks the impact it had on the Winter tour. Now it was only another hit single of Depeche Mode, not the star of the show like on that leg. The carousel struggled up the mountain with Stripped, then went into freefall with Personal Jesus. Last week I was at the Isle of Wight Festival and was really surprised by this setlist change. Personal Jesus not as the last song? My world broke at this moment, it was such a hard shock. I cannot understand why they do this. As the last song plays, you can dance one last time with everything you have, but Personal Jesus at this point uses up all your energy, leaving you exhausted to fight through Never Let Me Down Again.
I decided to drink another beer while Depeche Mode sang Never Let Me Down Again. I never thought I could do this, I went to buy a beer while that song played but there was no best friend in this moment. I was alone in Switzerland, lost in Switzerland. Depeche Mode came back after a short break with 3 encores: Walking In My Shoes, same situation with the boring video of Mr. Corbijn, then Enjoy The Silence. They changed the setlist! I thank god, because at the Isle of Wight festival it was the last song. They cannot leave the stage when Enjoy The Silence is the last song. I love this song, but it feels like standing in a never ending rain, a rain of tears - it doesn't work as the last song. So „ Just Can't Get Enough is a worthy end for this part of the tour. It is time for this old song. Dave announced it with "We are going back a long time..." We are going backwards? I did not care, I danced happily to this easy listening song, singing every word with Dave.
Depeche Mode and me, anachronistic as we are.
Thank you Claudia.
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