Wednesday 12 April 2023



For this review we welcome back Stephanie Crone. Stephanie reviewed gigs for the Global Spirit Tour Project and I was delighted when she signed up for this new adventure. As you will see, she had a wonderful time at the San Antonio show. Thanks very much for this great review Stephanie and thank you for the wonderful videos and photos.

Let me begin by saying I am still on a high and on cloud-freaking-nine, now three days after the show in San Antonio. It was spectacular.

Upon entering the venue we could hear what I thought was a sound check going on – it definitely sounded like they were playing and curtains were closed tight, staff ushering us all away. But a friend told me during a stage tour he was told that sound engineers use recorded tracks to get sound equipment just right.

The evening began in the VIP room, with amazing pieces of DM history on display (apparently they are bringing this to every show, it was in Sacramento where we also had VIP). Many friendly faces in the VIP area! We visited, took photos, had some appetizers and overall just got very excited for what was to come! (Mart looks like he does NOT approve! ha!)

Luckily this was my fourth show this leg, I attended the opener in Sacramento, followed by San Jose and Las Vegas, then rounded my first leg of DM adventures out in San Antonio with a seat in the second row, Martin side, of course.

From the get-go with My Cosmos Is Mine then Wagging Tongue, it was apparent the boys had started to find their flow after getting used to being on stage again. Sacramento, although amazing, was a bit stiff, each show got better but now they are getting back on their game. The energy coming from the crowd was palpable, Texas Devotees are not messing around!

When the lights were cut the crowd rose up and cheered with anticipation as the intro to My Cosmos Is Mine pulsated from the speakers.

The crowd seemed to receive the new songs well, the album being so new many fans had not had much time to properly absorb (I am not part of those many, absorption complete by now). The fact that Mart and Dave (RIP Fletch) were sharing a stage yet again after years of anticipation, wondering if they would ever tour again, seemed to whirl collectively in the minds of the concert-goers that evening. Everyone stood back and appreciated what they were witnessing.

Next up, Walking In My Shoes. Forever a devotee favourite. Naturally, Dave sauntered over to show us his perfectly polished boots. Not much more to add, brilliant. 

It’s No Good – definite evidence that the boys are still on the very start of their tour and getting used to singing for huge crowds on the regular. Some pitch issues from Dave but do I care? Nope. All wrapped up with a bum wiggle.

And now…big sigh…..Sister Of Night. A classic for any proper devotee. I had heard Mart do this in Hollywood for the Global Spirit tour but hearing the full production with Dave’s vocals, bliss. Although, once again, we hear the pitch issues. He is obviously not used to belting out this tune (yet) but it is still breathtaking (although I can hear some idiots chit chatting away in the background, why are you here???)

Up next… In Your Room. Another favourite, although this seemed to be completely 100% resurrected from the Global Spirit tour. Same remix, same everything except the backing video. I do wish the boys would change it up a bit, there are a plethora of amazing and well-known songs to choose from so I do not understand. Nothing remarkable to add regarding this one. 

And now… my personal favourite… Everything Counts. Again, this was pretty much a re-do of the Global Spirit tour’s performance, but this one always gets me going. Mart on the keys is the best. The new backing video seemed to breathe new life (get it?) into the performance. Towards the end of the song, as most of the audience was focused on Dave doing his thing on the catwalk, I sat in front of Mart in row 2, pointing to him while chanting “Everything Counts in Large Amounts!!!” and making heart signs as I danced (okay I was screaming too, what’s a Gore girl to do?). The huge smiles he flashed my way melted my cold heart like nothing ever could again, probably. This might be my most treasured DM concert moment ever, right behind getting to meet the band in 2017 (so lucky I got to meet Fletch!).

I am thrilled to have Precious showing up on the set list this tour. It is an amazing song and I think it is really spectacular live. It was followed by Speak To Me, the third song from Memento Mori that was played tonight. Once again, the audience seemed engaged and quietly listened. 

And now, it is all about Martin. Swoon. A Question of Lust did NOT disappoint (I mean, how could it?). It was followed by the fourth song of the evening from Memento Mori, Soul With Me.  An instant classic - that voice though! 

Dave returned to the stage next and the boys performed yet another new song, the first single from Memento Mori, Ghosts Again. The audience all seemed familiar with this new tune and everyone was up and dancing. I did not snap any pictures or video of this one, must have just been taking it all in <3 

Another duplicate from the Global Spirit tour followed - I Feel You. Again, I do wish they would mix things up and play some other songs but this one is always a banger and it rocks my socks off live. 

They moved right along into A Pain That I’m Used To. Another high energy performance that did not disappoint. I rocked out. 

And now for some real emotions. World In My Eyes. Always one of my favorites and now has a deeper meaning. I held my heart as I listened and watched the boys serenade the crowd while honouring our Blesser of Devotees, Andrew Fletcher. The performance was definitely on the solemn side. Dave pausing and looking back at the screen when he would usually be preening along the stage at that point in the song. Tears were shed. Fletch you are sorely missed.

After World In My Eyes came Wrong. I adore this song and once again was taking it all in (no pics or videos of this one). I love that they are doing this one live, it is different and not as popular as some of the other choices. My favorite part is where Mart sings “too lonnnnnnnnnng”. Good stuff.

Now, back to business. Stripped. As anticipated the first notes of this song grabbed everyone’s attention and the masses were singing along. At one point Dave came over and pointed the mic to a girl in the row in front of me, she shook her head “no”! I was laughing. He stayed there anyway and I belted it out as best I could. Next up - John the Revelator. I am not sure if I had ever heard this song played live before this tour. I have always enjoyed this song. I am still trying to decide if I like the live version, but I will forever enjoy watching Mart play his star guitar and Dave’s hootin’ and hollerin’.

And now… we have arrived at Enjoy the Silence. I kind of lost it during this song, so emotional. Knowing that when it plays we are coming near the end of the show and it had just been so many years of anticipation, I did not want it to end. I sang and cried and cheered. Then cried some more and hugged my friends. Told them I was soooo fucking happy. Towards the end when Dave introduces Mart, with his drawn out “Martin…..L…… Gooooooooooooooooore”, he had made his way back over to our area and pointed the mic towards me shouting Gooooooreeee :) I did not get any pictures of this but will remember forever.

Encore time……….

I had seen some shows were getting Condemnation, others Waiting For The Night. All three shows I had seen previously were the latter so I was hoping for Condemnation, but I will take whatever these guys are handing out. Once again, no pics or video (they were behind me so…). You could absolutely hear a pin drop in that arena, such stunning harmonizing. Dave bungled the lyrics at one point but it was just a testament to the fact that Dave is human and forgets shit sometimes haha. Bows and hugs between Mart and Dave at the end and of course roaring applause. I love these guys.

Never ever thought I would hear the boys play this live - Just Can’t Get Enough. At first I was a little disappointed, this is definitely not one of my favorites and I will admittedly skip when this song comes on my playlist rotation. But the crowd went nuts and the boys freaking brought it, it was so much fun.

Now we really know things are coming to an end for the evening, time for Never Let Me Down Again. Words are very unnecessary, if you are reading this you know what’s up.

As always the show was rounded out with Personal Jesus. When I hear this song it always brings me back to the feeling of “oh no the show is almost over and that is it”. It is a strange feeling haha. Another remarkable performance from our boys. I never wanted it to end, but it did and the smile on my face has not faded yet.

And that’s a wrap. I have told friends I wish I could just permanently live in this experience. My devotee heart is so full and I cannot wait until I get to see them again this Summer and later this Fall. Depeche Mode forever and ever and ever!


Thanks Stephanie! 

Sunday 2 April 2023



For the fourth concert of Depeche Mode's world tour, we welcome back Roger Erickson to reviewing duties. Roger last wrote for the blog on the Global Spirit Tour Project and I'm delighted that he's signed up once again. Here's his great review of the Las Vegas show. All the photos are Roger's so don't steal them, at least not without giving credit.

The anticipation for the Las Vegas show seems to have been well rewarded by the band’s performance at the sold-out T-Mobile Arena show. I noticed something shortly after I arrived at town for the show tonight, everywhere I looked on the strip I saw either billboards for the show or fans wearing Depeche shirts. It was such a wonderful experience to be walking in Vegas and have other fans notice your shirt and greet you like family. But such is the fan base for Depeche Mode, we are like a family, or perhaps a not-so-secret society with one very strict admission rule, a love of Depeche Mode.

Walking into the venue about 30 minutes before Depeche went on stage at 20:45 (08:45pm), the excitement in the air was palpable. I witnessed fans who were encumbered by age and possible medical issues, along side youthful teens bouncing around, eager to see the band that like many of the previous group, provided the soundtrack to their ongoing youth. Fans complimented other fans they just met on their attire or discussed the new album as the stage below was finished being prepped by the crew. Then, the lights went out…. 

The volume and clarity of the sound system the band was using has to be acknowledged at this point. The sound was so loud, but not in a painful or distorted way. But in a way that harks back to those youthful moments in your room listening to a Depeche album with the speakers turned to levels so loud the most within a short distance of your house could enjoy the tunes as well. The throbbing pulse of the intro music began, and stage lights pumped in sync to the heart like beat of the music. Then the first clip of the percussion for My Cosmos Is Mine began, as crew members whisked the curtains off the giant M in the background off the stage, and the boys took their spots. The lights remain hauntingly dim as Dave began to sing. Dave’s voice maintained a richness and clarity through out the show that was more reminiscent of classic Gahan, reduced were the blues like stylings that he used on more recent tours. The crowd cheered in response to every move, every yell, every change in song at near deafening levels that even overpowered the music at times.

Song after song the Mode gave the best of itself to the fans. Nothing holding back, engaged, lively, and a nearly perfect performance was delivered from the band. I heard it mentioned by many in the crowd that night and since, that there was a finality to the performance. That feeling that there may not be another tour after this, and knowing this, Depeche is putting it all out there as a gift for the fans every night. I have been to many Depeche concerts over my 35 years as a fan, and I have to agree. Whether self-projected or not​, there is something of a tender but tangible emotional underpinning to the performance that gives one the feeling of an Irish Wake, a black celebration, to celebrate the band whose music has helped many of us at one point or another, to see the back of another black day, and rejoice in the morning after.

One notable highlight of a show that was almost constantly filled with them, would be Dave noticing a young girl by the name of Addi, on the side of the catwalk, holding a sign announcing it was her 13th birthday and asking Dave to sing to her. Dave saw this following the performance of Waiting For The Night on his way back from the end of catwalk performance. Dave knelt down facing the young girl, read her sign then led the near 20,000 fans in attendance in a rendition of “Happy Birthday”, then giving her one of Martins guitar picks. Such a sweet moment and one that no doubt sets the bar unobtainable high for her for any future gifts for a birthday. 

Yet, another highlight was Dave telling all the countless people with their cell phones out to “put down your phones for f***’s sake and enjoy the show”. Seeing the entirety of the T-Mobile arena waving hands in the now iconic Never Let Me Down Again arm wave is a sight I will never forget. Then as the last notes of Personal Jesus ended the fans knew it was time to say good night to our favorite band, with a hope that we will all get a chance to “see you again next time”. Dave, Martin, Peter, and Christian took their bows for a longer time than I have seen in any tour prior. They seemed to be soaking it up more than before, taking stock of the moment they created before them. Dave with a notable emotional response to the crowds outpouring of love and gratitude as the night came to an end. Not all stood for the entire show, not all could stand for the show due to issues, but their exuberance and excitement were no less. 

Even leaving the venue there were cheers of gratitude from fans to other fans, hugs, group pictures outside the venue, friends both new and old made. That’s what makes a Depeche Mode concert for fans like a religious pilgrimage, you come when you need something to lift you in your daily life, and leave feeling rewarded not only by the band and their music, but by the loving culture that exists in the fanbase for each other. So perhaps this is the last tour for the band, perhaps this will be the last album, but this night we were there to enjoy the moment, those concerns, and hypotheticals are for another time, but not tonight.


Thank you Roger