It's great to have so many people involved in this project. There have been people kind enough to review more than one show, there have been people I've specifically sought out for reviews and there are people who get in touch because they want to tell their Depeche story. Even now, two hundred and seventy eight years into this tour (edit - 13 months) it's really great to see new people joining in and one of those is Guillermo Ariza from Colleyville, Texas. Welcome Guillermo and thank you for this great review of the San Antonio show and the fantastic pictures.
The Global Spirit Tour started for me with the private rehearsal in LA on April last year, being there in such a small venue seeing my favorite band in the world playing for only 40 people was an unreal experience; singing to Martin’s mic during A Question Of Lust or holding Dave’s forearm during Cover Me were unimaginable experiences until that hot afternoon in California. But everything comes to an end and the Global Spirit Tour finished for me in San Antonio on May 27th, and it couldn’t have been in a better way.
I was lucky enough to secure a front row ticket for the show, right in front of where Martin does his thing every night of the tour; the last time I saw Depeche Mode on front row was nine years ago in Mexico City for the Tour of the Universe and unlike now, I got that spot for being in line for 20 hours, good old days. Coming back to 2018, besides getting a good ticket for the show I wanted to stay in the nicest hotel in town, part for pampering my wife and daughter and part for hoping to see the band. Wishful thinking.
The day came and as we arrived to the Hotel Emma, the first thing I said was “Hey Martin! How are you?” He was at the hotel’s entrance with Peter greeting a friend or journalist, God knows who. I don’t know what he has but every time I see him I just feel that there’s this whole aura of peace and happiness surrounding him. The following day, the day of the concert, I was hanging around the hotel’s library and lobby, and after getting to know around twenty people, I saw Andy and Martin and was lucky enough to get a couple of autographs from each. Martin told me that he wasn’t supposed to give autographs in hotels but I convinced him with my eloquent line of “C’mon Martin be reasonable”. So off I go to the concert, the ticket included the VIP reception, for which I was terribly disappointed by the limited number of drinks (two). I didn’t care about the food as I just had lunch but this was far from the VIP experience I had in Italy on the Delta Machine Tour, which had unlimited drinks, all sorts of cheeses and Italian hostesses, all before and after the show, not just before as happened at the AT&T Center.
After the VIP reception I headed to my seat. BRMC were really good and here I was just minutes away from the start of a great concert. Revolution started so you knew the black figures would slowly start emerging on the stage, Martin would start playing the first notes on his guitar to give Dave (with sunglasses) the perfect intro on the second level of the stage. I just love this tour’s opening, the band’s rendition of Going Backwards along with Anton’s background sure delivers an epic start. Then came It’s No Good and one of my personal favorites, Barrel Of A Gun, which was the first song I ever heard of Depeche Mode when I was 9, and got hooked for life.
“Good evening San Antonio!”, it never fails, and it didn’t fail here, you could see and hear that the audience was fully engaged and eager for this night - the band hadn’t visited the Alamo city in almost 13 years. Then the live version of the Jacques Lu Cont remix of A Pain That I'm Used To was followed by the powerful Useless, although the intro didn’t sound as daunting as in previous tour’s versions. I missed Precious at the beginning of the tour but luckily here it was delivered in a beautiful performance with images of the band’s members fading away on the background. World In My Eyes was next, with the usual crutch holding, and then one of the most magnificent moments of the tour, Cover Me. You can feel and see that Dave really enjoys singing this beautiful song and he is proud of its simple yet profound lyrics.
Then it was Martin’s turn at the center of the stage and he delivered the surprise of this leg of the tour with The Things You Said. This song alone could make any tour night worthy. This gorgeous melody was followed by Home and then Dave was back on the stage for In Your Room. A powerful performance of Where’s The Revolution made the whole arena rumble and they then just to led us into total frenzy with Everything Counts. Stripped was next and then while kneeling with his arms pointing to the sky, Martin waited for the beginning of Enjoy The Silence. He was all smiles during the song as usual. Never Let Me Down Again sounded powerful and glorious, accompanied with the encompassing lights and the sea of arms waving; not even at the Hollywood Bowl have I seen such a passionate connection from the audience during this song.
The encore took place with the audience holding their cell phones to show Martin and Peter a black night full of stars before they delivered the urgent I Want You Now. Then we saw what it’s arguably the best video on this tour with Walking In My Shoes, it just makes the song much more powerful, although I would’ve liked to see a more political take on the subject, like about refugees, but this video fits perfectly. A Question Of Time has surprisingly replaced I Feel You for a while now and this led us to the rockier version of Personal Jesus which the band has used for closing all shows this tour.
This was a fantastic night, the band delivered a very passionate show and the crowd responded back accordingly. As they were walking out from the stage Peter threw at me one of his guitar picks and one of the roadies gave me a setlist of the show, What else could I have wanted? Back in the hotel I saw the guys at the bar and met some great diehard fans as well.