Thursday 20 July 2023


He's back again. Blog favourite and everyone's favourite Greek (so he tells me) Panos Sialakas returns with this superb review of Depeche Mode's show at the legendary San Siro on 14th July. I had intended to go to this gig when the tour was announced but couldn't make it. This review helps make up for that - thanks Panos. Thanks to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for the pictures. If you are going to use them, credit that group.

I have been to Italy several times for Depeche Mode: Turin (indoor), Rome (outdoor), Bologna (indoor and outdoor) and of course Milan (indoor and outdoor). Knowing how warm the Italian audience is and the special aesthetics and acoustics that the Stadio San Siro offers, I decided for the third time in a row to visit it for my second Memento Mori show (the first one was exactly one month earlier in Dublin).

I have to admit that I was very excited when I arrived at the Front of Stage section of the San Siro, as I was there with several devotees/friends that I hadn't seen for a long time (fuck you, Covid), and so I knew that I was going to have a great time.

What I did know - the warm atmosphere of Milan - was immediately felt as soon as the intro kicked in. My Cosmos Is Mine and Wagging Tongue, although probably the weakest start in Depeche Mode's live history, set the stage for the essential opening with the intensity of the now classic Walking In My Shoes and the always positive vibe of It's No Good.

Sister Of Night, besides being magnificent, is the true test of Gahan's voice, and in Milan he sang it so beautifully that it became clear that we would be in for an excellent show.

Everything Counts is one of the highlights and it's amazing how timeless it sounds 40 years after it was first released (judging by the ticket prices, lol!). The whole stadium was singing and dancing along with Dave as he reached the edge of the sidwalk for the first time.

Martin's set (A Question Of Lust and Soul With Me) was a great opportunity for all of us in the pit to see how intense the atmosphere was throughout the stadium and to have an understanding of the dynamics of the acoustics. During Soul With Me in particular, many of us started filming the people in the stands who had turned on their mobile phones by the thousands, creating a beautiful mosaic of light and glowing.

The second part of the show kicked in with Ghosts Again and the gig really took off. The compact version of I Feel You is probably the best in years. World In My Eyes is the best homage to Andrew Fletcher (we love you Andy!), Wrong is as powerful as it can get (again thanks to Dave's sublime vocals) and Stripped a timeless celebration.

The whole stadium went crazy for Enjoy The Silence, and that's no surprise at any Depeche Mode gig. It's probably the best way to end the main set.

Another highlight of the show, and another indication of the amazing atmosphere at the San Siro, was Waiting For The Night, with both men, Dave and Mart, in the corridor singing to each other and to us all.

I've had enough of Just Can't Get Enough, and so have so many others... so how come we all dance and sing when it's on? Oh well, it's a big party when they play it, and more importantly, it's a song that the vast majority of people enjoy listening to without thinking about the setlist. It was the same in Milan.

And then the two most famous Depeche Mode live songs, Never Let Me Down Again and Personal Jesus, came to round off a wonderful evening and a very good show.

In my Dublin review I wrote that I had some reservations about the setlist, and that has to do with the Memento Mori and Playing The Angel songs. And while in the case of Memento Mori, I accept that the show is part of the overall album promotion (though less so than previous albums),  but in the case of the Playing The Angel songs, it's a shame. The songs are brilliant on the album but don't translate well in a live environment.

Also the setlist is basically the same as on the last few tours and in this particular case even the versions are the same.

Nevertheless, and especially after the long time of dealing with a unique situation like Covid, including no trips, meetings and gigs, these reservations are not strong enough to spoil my feelings about the Milan concert. It was a great night and I had a great time!

Next stop: Barcelona 24!


Thanks Panos!


  1. I agree with both comments about the weak start (Crystal Palace being the best!) and Just Can't Get Enough.

    Having gone for so many years not playing it, it seems really odd that it seems to have become a fixture, especially with so many great songs not written by Vince Clarke not featuring.

    1. JCGE kills in a stadium setting, I bet that's why it remains around

  2. Great review. I was there too and never ever heard before Dave playing with the audience singing "eh oh" "eh oh". That was not usual. I thought he had a special connection with us, the audience, that night!