Saturday 16 June 2018


For this review we welcome back Jenny Wilson who previously reviewed the Global Spirit Tour when it stopped in Chicago last September. As you can imagine, Jenny was thrilled when Depeche said they were coming back to Chicago and so, despite both moving house that day and being delayed by the Taylor Swift masses (The Bland Swarm anyone?) Jenny headed to the United Center and saw what turned out to be a superb DM concert. Thank you very much for this Jenny and good luck in the new house. Thanks too to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for the pictures.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Oh, the joy of seeing your favorite band twice in the space of just 10 months! It was a bit touch and go as to whether I’d even be able to pull this show off as I’d moved into a new home that day and had a three-hour drive into Chicago, which became a four-hour drive due to a certain Taylor Swift performing very nearby at Soldier Field. 

I was so freaked that I’d miss the show, but Melissa and myself arrived just as they were starting Going Backwards. The air in the arena was thick despite the bizarrely low temperatures outside, and the crowd was raring to go. We got to our seats and I got my bearings just as It’s No Good began. 

They sounded great and had some new visuals to what they’d done the previous summer. I loved the new video for Useless and have a fun still here from it. Once again, In Your Room floored me emotionally, and Walking In My Shoes inspired. What a lovely statement that video makes. Showing it to my mom later, she said, “I want to see where the musician goes, and hear him play!” I too would love to hear his work. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
The ultra-crisp, high definition video screen showing live footage in black and white was incredibly effective. I absolutely loved watching them on it, especially close ups of Martin playing his guitar. 

And that leads me to what was the highlight of the evening for me — Mr. Martin L. Gore. I must first say that Dave is my favorite singer of all the singers that ever were, but I am in love with what Martin did that night. He sounded wonderful and did a great selection of songs: The Things You Said, Home, I Want You Now. As a young DM fan of the age of thirteen, I could have been forgiven for not fully appreciating Martin, who, at the time, kind of frightened me, if I’m honest. I was always so busy being transfixed by Dave of the velvet voice, and so appreciative of his giddy stage presence, that I haven’t fully, publicly acknowledged Martin’s deep talents in the way I should. His rendition of Home was so thoroughly moving and special. Watching him go out on the catwalk when he was just so smiley and triumphant, with his gorgeous Gretsch guitar hanging from his hip, made me so very happy. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
As the show went on, I was overwhelmed by the incredible songwriting this man has achieved over his career and felt an immense sense of gratitude towards him. As the band ripped into each song, so many emotions and memories came up as all the deeply familiar sounds and words poured from the stage. Lyrics and rhythms that have throbbed from the speakers of hundreds of club nights in Phoenix, Green Bay, Chicago, Madison, London, and Bedford and back to Madison that still make me dance and sing until I can hardly breathe. Thoughts of blasphemy, despair, and lust that I would never openly express, being shared with me in the dark on my Walkman. Songs that friends and I cried along to after bad dates and break ups, and sang along to on night rides through the desert, with the windows down. Rhythms, and most importantly, two beautiful, and very different, voices, that had been there for as long as I could remember, soothing and spurring me on through life’s peaks and troughs and all those strange waiting rooms in between. 

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

That was the theme of the night for me. A deep sense of gratitude for all that this incredible band has done for me and so many that I know. They have made me feel understood when I was convinced no one understood me. They have always created beauty from dark things. 

Seeing Depeche Mode live is deep, dark, emotional, and damn fun, all at the same time. I adore you, gentlemen, and can’t wait to see you again.


Thanks Jenny

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