Monday 24 July 2023



Matt Cullingworth enjoyed reviewing gigs for the 2017/18 blog project so much that he has come back for more. Here is his excellent review of what sounded like a sweltering Rome gig. Pics are Matt's and Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group's so be nice and credit them if/when you nick them. Thanks Matt. 

It seems customary for those of us with long suffering partners that when Mode tour the only way we can get them along to a gig is if there’s some kind of mini break abroad involved.

This was certainly the case for me when my wife saw the tour dates and pin pointed Rome as our European outdoor gig this time around. We weren’t the only ones by the looks of things either. As we toured the sights in the morning and visited the Colloseum we bumped into another couple who were doing the same (albeit on a larger scale around Europe). If you happen to read this, it was lovely meeting you both. We did look out for the Basildon flag but couldn’t see it.

The record for my hottest DM gig ever was previously held by either Prague back on The Delta Machine tour or the penultimate night of the Global Spirit tour in Berlin. This was equally sweltering and limited our beer intake significantly (when did we get so old and sensible ??)

As the dry ice started to swirl just before 9pm it must have still been well over 30 degrees. “There’s no way Dave is going to wear a jacket in this weather” commented my wife. How wrong she was. As the opening samples of My Cosmos Is Mine rang out across the stadium, out our favourite frontman came - in a full 3 piece suit. Fair play Dave, the jacket lasted the full song before it was carefully passed over to one of the road crew and we launched into Wagging Tongue.

I know a few people have been a little non plussed with the Memento Mori songs in the set list. In my opinion they fit pretty seamlessly alongside the classics.

Walking In My Shoes sets off a breathless run of massive songs. We get to Sister Of Night which means we’re getting set list B and a few different tracks to what I heard at Twickenham. Phew. That’s my only criticism. I wish they’d mix the set list up a bit more - Blasphemous Rumours would fit like a glove in here somewhere for example (as would Lie To Me)

As we get to the end of Speak To Me which Dave completely nails (as he does with his vocals all night) thoughts turn to what Martin songs we might get. After all Strangelove made its tour debut a few nights before. However, no changes for us, which sounds very ungrateful when Mart sings both A Question Of Lust and Soul With Me so beautifully.

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

We’re getting into the home stretch of the main set now which kicks off with Ghosts Again. Let’s face it this already feels like a DM classic.

A reinvigorated I Feel You and the quite frankly droppable A Pain That I’m Used to take us to the emotional high point of the evening. World In My Eyes is already one of my favourite DM songs anyway but the backdrop of the sadly departed and much missed Andy Fletcher makes it even more poignant. Having been caught off guard by the gut punch it was going to deliver at Twickenham I was doubly surprised when it hit me hard again.

Having lost 2 friends earlier in the year unexpectedly, just before Memento Mori was released, the massive screens are a very visual reminder of the fragility of life and that we must make the most of our allotted time. I’ll drink to that.

Tears wiped away, it’s back to jumping around like a lunatic. Wrong, Stripped, John The Revelator and the best song ever written, Enjoy The Silence, take us to the end of the main set.

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Here’s where my only gripe comes in and it isn’t with the band. Having been lucky enough to secure gold circle tickets I was looking forward to a great view of Mart & Dave at the end of the catwalk. What transpired through the entirety of a beautiful Waiting For The Night was a sea of mobile phones obscuring what was a mesmerising and tender moment. The modern malaise of concert going I guess.

We all know the encore by now - Just Can’t Get Enough, Never Let Me Down Again and Personal Jesus bring the curtain down on an absolutely stunning performance. They really do sound like they’re getting better live which over 40 years into a career is quite something.

As a series of blacked out vans with a police escort sped passed us. No doubt containing bedressing gowned members of the Mode, it dawned on us that our journey back to the hotel wouldn’t be quite so easy. An hour and a half and a £60 Uber later we were home for the night.

The boys really are on top form this tour. Yes we’d all like to hear some different songs but when they’re smashing it like this it’s hard to argue with the formula. Bring on the winter arenas !!!!


Thanks Matt!

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