Wednesday 29 March 2023



Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

This review is by Jenn Corker Rozany. Due to my hapless admin, I had arranged for Jenn to do this and then posted in the blog FB group saying I was still looking for a reviewer. Jenn very politely reminded me that I'd forgotten something and I was able to escape from my mistake, dignity almost intact. Anyway, all that sorted out, here is Jenn's great review of what sounded like a wonderful show. Thanks Jenn - see you in Berlin.

Non-spoiler bit:

The Jerkie Crew landed in LA on Sunday, comprised of myself, my husband Scott, and his best friend Marc. See, 2022 was a really tough year for these even tougher New Yorkers. Scott suffered a medical emergency that kept him in the hospital for 7 weeks and recovering for months afterwards, and Marc had a nasty bout with lymphoma and weeks of chemotherapy. I had to take time off of work to help Scott rehab at home. 

Scott was in the ICU when Andy died, and it wasn’t until a few weeks later, when he was well enough to begin scrolling social media, that I let him know the sad news. Mostly because I didn’t want him to find out from an errant post. It truly felt like a old friend had passed. The news hit hard, as Scott was struggling with his own mortality, and we wondered if the band would continue. 

So when these shows were announced, we were excited and decided to go all-out and attend as many as we could afford (LA, Vegas, NYC, Berlin, NYC again and Chicago)! We’re long-time fans, having attended almost every tour since World Violation. Scott and I met because of the band. Our DM love runs deep.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

The spoiler bit:

I’m not someone who actively avoids spoilers, so going into the LA show I already knew some of what to expect. Tonight in LA, Dave’s voice was in good shape, sounding strong and clear - however, during Precious, he struggled to hit those high notes. I wonder if Precious will stay in the rotation past the next few shows. 

It’s No Good brought us a video of a man walking donkeys on a gorgeous tropical beach, scooping up sand, and walking the donkeys away again. While I didn’t really get the point of the video (Oh, Anton, you minx!), it was interesting to watch. 

Sister of Night performed with full band was just :chef’s kiss:. While Martin has sung it solo during his acoustic sets, the full band version just fills out its atmospheric quality, and it was the highlight of my night, to be sure. 

I have to say I’m a little disappointed that they are playing the set list so safe, with arrangements borrowed from prior tours. While In Your Room is my absolute favourite song (hell, I even have a tattoo dedicated to it!), they featured it in a gorgeous video featuring two dancers last tour. I wouldn’t have minded Mercy In You or heck, Higher Love

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

The one surprise of the night was switching out a beautifully stripped down version of Condemnation in the place of Waiting For the Night. Dave said, when he looked out, that the cell phone lights were “like when lighters were a thing”. 

And finally, Andy. While we often joked about his love of bananas, his clapping, and his questionable keyboard skills, he offered a bit of comic relief for us fans, and we loved him for it. I thought the video tribute during World In My Eyes was lovely, and that Dave sang the song by staying still and letting Andy be the centre of attention. 

I know I’m probably more obsessive than your average fan, who probably thought the show was amazing (it was), but I thought they could have maybe chosen a few deeper cuts, dropped Just Can't Get Enough and ended triumphantly as they did on Never Let Me Down Again. This is because at the end of Just Can't Get Enough, Dave led the fans in a reprise of the chorus, which didn’t get the reaction I suppose he hoped for, as fans caught on that they were supposed to sing, Dave said “Oh, now you want to sing?” and the lights went out. It was a bit awkward for such an otherwise polished show. 

To sum up, we needed these shows, like a victory lap. I imagine Dave and Martin needed these shows as well, to celebrate who and what Depeche Mode is with us. Come say hi if you’re going to be in Vegas or NYC!

Thanks Jenn!

Tuesday 28 March 2023



Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

For the second review of the tour, we welcome back Kristin Vogel-Campbell. Kristin reviewed two gigs on the Global Spirit Tour and happily she has agreed to return to reviewing duties. As ever, Kristin's review is a great read and I know you'll all enjoy it. Thanks very much Kristin and I look forward to review number 4 some point later this year. All pictures are Kristin's unless otherwise credited.

David, am I the first official hat trick reviewer for the blog? Previously, I contributed two shows for the Global Spirit Tour: Sacramento 24/5/18 and Hollywood Bowl 12/10/17. I’ve been to quite a few Depeche shows in my life, this show being my forty-sixth. My husband, who I would call a casual fan, was attending his third. I thought it would be nifty to weave both my perspective as well as his into this review, as we are experiencing this on completely different levels.

This review almost didn’t happen. Just as I was set to take the 45 minute drive south from San Francisco to San Jose, my car battery started to go through death throes. Like Frankenstein’s monster, we gave it a jump to squeeze whatever life remained to make it to our destination. As someone who deals with anxiety on a daily basis, this was not the mindset I wanted to be in for the show. Thankfully we managed to make it to the venue with time to spare for a quick bite to eat and an alcoholic beverage to calm my nerves.

A Marquee and beautiful California twilight

In addition to writing this review, my other task for the evening was to nab a t-shirt for a dear friend who had planned on attending the first show in Sacramento but had to cancel due to a family situation. I knew that the merchandise lines would be ridiculously long from my experience in Sacramento, and that the best time to buy something was during the show. As we meandered through the crowds towards our section, we came upon one such line. My husband’s reaction to seeing $55 tees and $100 hoodies was “Jesus Christ those shirts are expensive. Aren't they already rich?” Yes, yes they are, and getting richer with each swipe of a credit card.

One of the most incredible parts of being part of this fandom are the friends I’ve made over the decades. We’ve lost some along the way, but their memories live on at each show. Seeing familiar faces each tour is one of the things I look forward to most. We’re all aging, just as Dave and Martin are. Just as Fletch should be.

Kristin (right) and a dear friend Gigi

Our seats were very high up, and the SAP Center is very steep. To top it off, the folks in our row were the type that expected you to climb over them while they remained seated. We had been in our seats for a few minutes when I noticed Jonathan “The Baron” Kessler pop his head into our section, run over to two women a few rows below us on the aisle, handed them two paper tickets, and quickly left. It shall remain a secret to the end, but it should have been me.

The lights come down, and the band, accompanied by Peter and Christian, alight the stage. Compared to the Global Spirit Tour, this is a very stripped down stage, with a large “M” screen in front of the full length screen. Dave’s feline movements appear to be purposeful and graceful, as opposed to the chaotic prancing and sometimes chicken dancing from a few years ago. He seems prepped, ready, energetic. Granted, it’s the beginning of the tour, but something feels different.

I was appreciative of the inclusion of several songs of the band’s new album, Memento Mori, and honestly would have been ok sacrificing a classic or two for more new songs. The new material sounds fantastic live. Speak to Me was giving off a very Nine Inch Nails The Fragile vibe.

The San Jose setlist is setlist “A”, the same songs that the band played in Sacramento a few nights ago, and was reviewed by Glen. As this is going to be the default set list for the majority of the reviews, I’m not going to do a song by song breakdown, as that will cause a bit of stagnation for later reviews. Instead, I’d like to focus on a few observations throughout the show.

In 1983, Depeche Mode were baby-faced musicians who were developing a taste for the dark, but they were also dabbling with important social issues: The Landscape is Changing focused on environmental concern, while Everything Counts was a jab at capitalism, greed and corruption. Fast forward forty years later where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are engaging the crowd in an Everything Counts singalong after the debacle of dynamic pricing left many fans with a sour taste in their mouth. Robert Smith of The Cure proved that the artists DID have a say in how tickets were priced. Depeche Mode and their management choose to engage in these tactics, and some fans will continue to feed into it. Come on people, you’re letting me down.

The other interesting bit about Everything Counts that doesn’t involve a gripe were the visuals of a person in a black body and face suit with white gloves, very Jim Henson-esque, seemingly signing along to the song. I had attended Thursday night’s show with a friend who is fluent in American Sign Language, and he said what he recalled didn’t match up. However, after doing some research into signs for British Sign Language, I believe that some of the signs are from BSL. If there is a fan in Europe who is fluent in BSL, this would be great to look into. I found this to be an interesting correlation between my love for the band and my day job as a Special Education teacher, researcher and writer.

Martin sounded spotless, per the usual. There was a great crowd response for A Question of Lust, and even a few lighters out. Shocking! Soul With Me is one of the greatest Depeche Mode songs in the past twenty-five years. I loved hearing it live, and hope that it’s the second or third single from this album. I’d also like to hear People Are Good on the next leg of the tour in the fall/winter.

Enough will be said about the Fletch tribute during World in My Eyes, I cannot truly do it justice. I managed to get through it this time without crying, unlike in Sacramento. When Dave bowed down to Fletch’s photos at the end of the song, it gripped my heart a bit.

The other highlight of the evening for me was Dave and Martin singing Waiting for the Night. My casual fan date turned to me and exclaimed “look at them, they are having a tender moment”. In actuality, everyone in the arena was having a tender moment. However, the transition from such a beautiful performance to the camp fest that is Just Can’t Get Enough was very jarring, and not well planned. Again, the majority of the fans were just eating it up, and it even got a “goddamn, that was good” from my concert partner.

Such was my 46th Depeche Mode concert, and I am glad I got to share it all with you. May you all have the opportunity to see the band on tour this year.


Thanks Kristin!

Sunday 26 March 2023



Welcome back. The A Memento blog project starts here and it could start in no better way than with a review from Glen Hammarstrom, the man behind Breathing In Fumes, the only Depeche Mode podcast you will ever need. Glen attended the opening night of Depeche Mode's Memento Mori World Tour and here is his review. All pictures are Glen's.

As I sit here staring at a blank screen I am asking myself why did I offer to do this? Why did I jump up as fast as I can to be a part of this? Because David is a supportive friend and I want to be a part of anything he does. That’s why. Then the weight of the moment hit me, “I don’t think I’m the right person to capture the moment for this amazing project”. Like a lot of you, I too have devoted an immeasurable amount of mental and emotional bandwidth to this band and went on a minor mental journey as I prepared for tonight’s show in Sacramento. Not only have I never attended a tour opener, I had never attended a show without Andy Fletcher on stage..

I was watching all the TV performances, listening and reading all the interviews, consuming all the fan reactions, and all the usual stuff we fans do as the new album and tour is rolled out. Then suddenly I started thinking about, “wait, this is the tour opener” and I froze... for lack of a better term. I had slowly been distancing myself from conversations and group chats with friends who get info early and mentally accepted the fact that I want to walk into tonight's show blind. Being at the nerd level of fan that I am, I have known the set list of the shows and heard the album in advance from Devotional on. I have seen them before ’93, but had the shows spoiled from that tour on. I knew every moment, every turn, every nuance of the Global Spirit Tour before the band stepped on stage. I didn’t want that with tonight. A week ago they did a rehearsal show and fans were posting the set and luckily I didn’t see it, but I had to take a break from social media if I had any chance of reaching my spoiler free goal. 

It was a surreal moment walking into the arena not knowing what was going to happen, a refreshing one at that. I know if you’re reading this, you’re not one to wait and I get it. I am the same way and probably would have done the same if I wasn’t attending tonight. At this point the album had leaked and I knew fans were listening to it, but I didn’t. I wanted to hear and soak in the new songs they picked to showcase the record live. I can listen to the album tomorrow and think about why they chose the songs they did. And I am so glad I did.

To circle back to the emotional bandwidth comment above, I was also feeling the weight of the first show without Andy. I wore my Andy Fletcher shirt in his honour. And I being the over obsessed fan that I am, I found myself thinking about the strangest things. Things that are none of my business, yet things a person this invested would think. Or at least assume they do. Like how nervous are they, how the pre show bear hug would be without Andy, walking on stage and his keyboard rig and presence would be missing, family and close friends in attendance reactions etc. I know that sounds a bit involved, I didn’t obsess on it, but these were things floating in and out my mind as today progressed.

Not that a Depeche Mode show needs anything else added to the experience, but I was able to see so many long time friends and meet online friends in person for the first time that travelled in for the show, it just made it that more special. I wish I could have seen more, but there is only so much time. We skipped Kelly Lee Owns to spend more time with family and friends, but could hear her set and it sounded good. I usually skip the openers to be honest, but I’ll probably watch one of her sets at an upcoming show. Nothing against her of course, I quite like her music. 

Enough about all that, let’s get into the show. Obviously anything moving forward is going to be FILLED with spoilers, so stop reading if that’s not your thing. By the time this gets posted, everything about the show will be out there, but I’ll share some of my insights from the show. As we said our goodbyes to friends and headed to our seats, the preshow techno set started and the energy in the arena started to build. Interestingly, it wasn’t mixed, just songs played back to back. So maybe it hasn’t been recorded yet or Mart didn’t mix a set this year. Same energy, just a detail I noticed. The lights go out and I am really in a sombre state, “this is it, first show without Andy.. I hope they’re ok” which I have no reason to feel, but I do. The intro starts in the dark and they stay in this moody dark setting for My Cosmos Is Mine and it’s is AWESOME! Peter walks out and plays live bass for it as well, so that just added a different tone for the opener. I think the music combined with Anton’s amazing visuals put on a mood worthy of the Memento Mori aesthetic. 

The stage reminds me of a blend between the Singles, Exciter, and Delta tours. The placement of the band is a little different, but I love the overall layout. Seems like Mart’s station might be in Dave’s way, but Dave tended to move to the back of the stage more than side to side this time. Big catwalk of course. The flow and the energy was really good. I loved the flow and pacing of the last tour, it’s very similar, so take from that what you will. One thing they did that I have never really seen them do is use arrangements that were used on previous tours. Same intros, same everything. Considering the Covid pandemic and Andy’s passing, I could care less. But I can already see fans bitching about that before the song was even finished. For example, the same intro versions for Everything Counts and Wrong were used, among others. It didn’t bother me, but I can see fans saying it’s lazy. It’s not. And who knows, maybe this is just for the small amount of dates they are playing to promote the record. They could change it for the rest of the tour.

They looked like a band that was ready to play. Dave was in full Dave form and used every space the stage offered him. It’s odd seeing him on the small stages for the tv performances, he needs the space. Also, his voice sounded as amazing as ever! How he maintains his vocal range is beyond me. Mart’s voice was beautiful as always and I am still trying to process the majesty of Soul With Me. While it was only performed acoustic with Peter, it was so moving. The album hit Spotify at midnight, so after the post gig party.. that was the first song I put on from the album and listening to it at least 10 times in a row. Just.. wow. Everything else was a traditional Depeche gig for this era of the band. Just amazing, 10 out of 10 with Sister Of Night being the one true jaw dropper of the set. I was floored. After they finished Dave said, “We’ve never played that one live… It’s a good one” or something to that effect. 

Ok, the Andy moment. World In My Eyes. No intro from the last tour, but after the first few bars played, huge photos of him appeared on the backing screens. The photos moved slowly from his glasses coming on, to his eyes closing, to him covering his eye. The band knows that the fans know this was Andy’s favourite song and I am so glad they played it for him. During the set Dave motioned towards Andy a few times and bowed to him as well. When it ended, Dave said “That’s for Andy Fletcher”. No funeral, just a fitting honour to Andy. That’s all it needed... it was perfect. On a personal note, I got to meet Daniel Miller after the show. I have never met him, and I got the opportunity to thank him for all the amazing music and chat a little about a few things. Just shaking his hand after seeing a tour opener… I don’t even know how to express it, so I won’t. Simply put, it was amazing and to experience these moments with family and friends just made it that much more special.


Thanks very much Glen.

Thursday 9 March 2023



I think we can all agree that of Depeche Mode's 21st century output, the best album opener they've given us is A Pain That I'm Used To from Playing The Angel. Ok, Going Backwards was good, setting the tone for what was to come with Spirit, but other openers such as In Chains or Welcome To My World just haven't exploded into life like APTIUT.

As the first reviews of Memento Mori start to appear (UK magazine Uncut gave it 8 out of 10 which is encouraging), the band have released the next song from the album and it is the opener My Cosmos Is Mine.

Here it is:

A couple of things jump out from the off. Firstly, the bassline that starts at 17 seconds is highly reminiscent of The Gravedigger's Song by the much missed Mark Lanegan, a friend of Dave's and a great influence on him. The song is also very odd for a Depeche album opener and that is a very good thing. I'd seen the lyrics before I heard the song and feared an In Chains style track, but this is something much more enjoyable.

Martin is of course still writing about celestial bodies but that's what we've come to expect with latter period Gore. The production is what makes this track stand out. Dave's vocal is beautifully understated and Martin's backing vocals float in and out wonderfully, giving the track a unique feel. Depeche Mode haven't sounded like this before - somehow weary but positive at the same time. Musically, there is an industrial feel to it which is tremendously pleasing and overall, there is something almost puzzlingly warm about it.

I will always get over excited about any Depeche Mode release and with a new album on the horizon, my senses are definitely set to annoyingly positive. In an attempt to set my natural reaction to one side however, I've listened to My Cosmos Is Mine a lot and I do genuinely like it. It's a bold, quite strange and a really rather gorgeous start to an album.

If this and Ghosts Again are a sign of what is to come, then these are intriguing times. Who knows, perhaps even a song called Caroline's Monkey might turn out to be a classic? (Hmmmmmm).