For many Devotees, the Olympic Stadium gig in Berlin was first on their must buy tickets list for this tour, as it has become a gig where the combined might of the German fanbase and the Rest Of The World fanbase might and celebrate Depeche like in no other venue. Dan Turner, from Sydney, was at the gig and he wrote this great review for you all to enjoy. Thanks for that Dan and for the cool pictures.
It has been just over seven years since I stepped into the Olympia Stadium for the first time. An awe inspiring 75,000 seater stadium that was built in the mid 1930's for the Summer Olympics and is now the biggest concert venue in Berlin. Depeche Mode have a huge fan base here (and all over Germany) and have played the Olympia Stadium countless times. I saw Depeche Mode there on the Sounds of The Universe tour back in 2009 and now we are here again for their Global Spirit tour in 2017.
Huddled down at the front of the stage with hundreds of other devotees there was an eager sense of anticipation in the air as support act Algiers blasted through a tight set - including many new tracks from their second album, The Underside of Power. Their songs have always had a raw edge to them and the sound was fantastic in an arena setting. Bass/synth player Ryan Mahan did a wonderful job engaging with the crowd & lead singer Franklin Fisher's vocals turned the ear of quite a few DM fans down the front.
Around thirty minutes later, the opening chords of Going Backwards blared out across the stadium against an immense visual backdrop that resembled a psychedelic Jackson Pollock painting. Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner took to the stage whilst Dave Gahan's silhouette appeared just behind the drum riser. Minutes later he started prowling the stage with a ruthless enthusiasm and the roars from the crowd were deafening. There was no respite as they launched into So Much Love - an 80's fuelled electro stomper with Anton Corbijn's trademark black and white visuals on the massive LED wall behind the band.
Corbijn's visuals also shone on one of the standout tracks from Spirit - Cover Me. The short film of Gahan walking around the streets in an astronaut's suit was paired seamlessly with his existential lyrics and the ambient sci-fi instrumental odyssey in the middle of the song.
Depeche Mode have always played different variations of their own tracks and, quite often, other artists remixes of their work. For the Berlin show, they went with the upbeat dancefloor version of Jacques Le Cont's A Pain That I'm Used To, a stripped back Martin Gore vocal of Strangelove and a complete reprogramming of Everything Counts. Walking In My Shoes had an uptempo makeover and Enjoy The Silence was given a similar treatment.
After Gore's stunning torchlight renditions of A Question Of Lust and Home, the rain started bucketing down during the start of Everything Counts. It soon turned torrential but it didn't dampen the spirits of the fans. Lighting flared overhead but the accompanying thunder was drowned out by Never Let Me Down Again and Enjoy The Silence. David Bowie's "Heroes" was a nice surprise and the rain started to fall a little softer. They closed with the incendiary double barrel of I Feel You and Personal Jesus, leaving the huge crowd still wanting more. We were soaked to the bone but it was well worth it.
Thanks very much Dan.