This review has been written by Conkan Larsson, a Swedish Depeche fan and a great chap who is well known among the Depeche fan community. His review is a superb read, taking in all of his Global Spirit Tour experiences thus far. By happy coincidence, today is also the day that Conkan is taking over Depeche Mode's Facebook page - keep an eye on that throughout today (May 26). Thanks very much Conkan!
Depeche Mode started their new world tour 'Global Spirit Tour' at the beginning of this month, and after seeing them in Stockholm for the world premiere and last week in Bratislava, I had very good vibes for the gig in the Czech capital. The contrasts, of the stylish ultra modern venue in sunny Stockholm and the old post cold war venue in stormy Bratislava, were huge. I enjoyed both gigs wholeheartedly, with a special shoutout to the very active Slovakian crowd. Depeche Mode has started the tour in high spirits and with lots of energy. So, Prague is one of my absolute favourite cities so my hopes and expectations were very high for my first Depeche Mode concert on Czech ground.
I took the tram to the venue, the football arena Eden Arena. Eden Arena in its present form was inaugurated in 2008 and its capacity for sport activities is around 21 000 spectators. However, there have been 'older versions' of the venue at the very same spot, at least from the early 50's. After getting lost a little, I finally found the venue, and there were many fans already queuing. Eventually, I entered and decided to grab a spot just by the end of the catwalk. The venue, all red with wooden ceiling, was tight with pretty steep stands. Perfect for a big concert.
Chilly winds but no real rain, thankfully. I felt a few small drops on my head but that was it. The crowd was energetic and received both supports acts very well. DM came on and the place went wild. I made several new friends during the gig and we all had a blast together. DM started as always with the first song on Spirit, Going Backwards. Live it lacks something, I felt, but the band continued with So Much Love and Barrel Of A Gun. Slowly they worked up the energy and it got - as always - only better and better. In my opinion, it is Wrong that is the song that marks the start of the party set. Highlights for me were the full band version of Home and it's a song I never grow tired of. Of the new songs, Cover Me is the one that really makes an impression with its atmospheric back projections and Dave Gahan on the catwalk. I must also mention the old fan favourite - that finally is back in the set list - Everything Counts. It sounds fresh and lush and the singalong in the end works great. During Martin's Somebody, with Peter Gordeno on the piano, I saw more than one person with tears in their eyes. A lovely performance by Martin Gore. If the venue would have had a roof, it would have blown off during Never Let Me Down Again and the insane "cornfield" led by Dave Gahan. The atmosphere was that good.
Tonight's gig is near the start of the tour and it shows. The band is full of energy and they clearly enjoyed their time on the stage. An active audience enjoyed every moment. The set list worked well and got the crowd going. When Wrong kicked in followed by Everything Counts, the audience was completely in Dave Gahan's hands.
I'm now entering a small post summer leg blues hence this was my last (as of now) planned gig. But one should never say never. Thanks a lot to the blog boss David McElroy for having me, and thanks to you all for reading this far! See you next time!
Thanks very much Conkan - enjoy your Depeche Mode Day!