Frankfurt Revisited

Dave Gahan on the catwalk in Frankfurt, June 2009.
Dave Gahan on the catwalk in Frankfurt, June 2009.
Photos | Videos | Date: June 12, 2009

Nearly two months after the gig, I’m finally posting about it. But hey! At least I’m committed to posting them, right? Frankfurt was another great gig. There were signs leading to the venue from our hotel, so we thought we could walk. This turned out to be a mistake as the signs led us into the middle of a forest then disappeared altogether. Commerzbank is nestled in a very woodsy area, obscured by tall trees. It was a nice walk, but disconcerting as we found ourselves wondering where the heck we were going. We asked a nice gentleman for directions (thank God for Tara’s German skills), found the venue, but had no idea what side we needed to be on for the Front of Stage entry. Unfortunately none of the venue staff we asked knew either. We walked back and forth around what turned out to be the back of the venue, until we saw a huge poster/sign above a security person who didn’t know anything, despite the sign above his head! Finally we had our heading and took a long hike around the venue and through the woods (again). We were greeted by friendly familiar faces – the hardcore German crew that was first onto the floors in Leipzig and Berlin, who had been right in front of us on the rail at each gig.

By this time I was still hopped up on Sudafed (i.e. a bit dehydrated and able to sleep in line) for the raging tempest that was my sinuses besieged by a wonderful infection. The weather was kind, if a bit erratic. Scattered clouds were drifting through the sky, leaving us baked when the sun was shining on our black pants, and chilled when clouds obscured the warm rays.

It really is too bad I suck at running. For this show, Tara got hung up by a security lady, and I was one of the first through the gates because security ignored me completely! I bolted as best I could, but my muscles were starting to feel the wear from the previous gigs and no matter how hard I tried I felt like I just couldn’t pick up much speed! I got passed by quite a few people. Security here tried to create speed bumps of themselves, one even stepped right in front of me at full power. I swiveled on one foot and ducked under his outstretched arms to take the final bend around the catwalk to our usual haunt in front of Dave’s mic. Frankfurt was the shortest run to rail of all four shows. Tara whizzed past me at some point, managing to secure us a spot on the rail itself, in the corner where the front meets the catwalk. Woo hoo! It was then that I realized I had pulled a muscle in my inner thigh, probably when dodging the security road block. 🙁

Tara and I hung out on the rail and chatted the rest of the afternoon away. The dude on the rail behind me was at his very first DM gig! Nice placement for a first gig! He was very excited and interested in talking to us about what to expect. 🙂 DM did not disappoint, delivering another solid show, though Dave came in early during “It’s No Good,” as he did in Berlin. Oops! The setlist was the same as the Leipzig and Berlin shows, but still proved entertaining. “Come Back” was still a highlight for me, as were “Master and Servant” and amazingly, “Personal Jesus.” I also captured a great video from “In Your Room” that reminded me of how amazing Dave has been despite the medical problems he faced only weeks prior.

We were confused when the projection for “Strangelove” flooded with red – I almost thought it was broken until it lasted for more than a few seconds. I didn’t know about the censorship in Tel Aviv at this point so it came as a surprise. The rest of the show proved another night of romping good fun with good friends. Martin and Dave sounded in excellent form and “Waiting for the Night” was as breathtaking as ever.

I think the highlight of this gig was the crowd. They were LOUD! Especially in my immediate surroundings, we were dancing and hooting and chanting with fervor! Berlin had the biggest crowd, and the electric energy, but Frankfurt Front of Stage was losing its collective mind! Every silent gap was filled by someone or some people doing something – singing, screaming, anything. I found out when we showed up in Munich that the German crew that had been in front of us at each gig didn’t go to that show, so Frankfurt was their last stop for a while. This could explain why they were jumping and dancing with even more gusto than the previous nights. It was a great crowd to be immediately surrounded by, though at this point my jumping beans were running out of steam. I kept dancing as much as I could, including making goofy faces at the camera guy who appeared quite amused by watching us flip out. At one point I motioned to ask for the setlist but he’d already promised it to one of the girls from the hardcore group. She also got a lot of love from Dave that night, who had probably recognized her and her friends by this point. After the show, the sound guy brought out backstage passes for her and her boyfriend. Wow, talk about a lucky night for a DM fan! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, but was great to see someone who really deserved it be rewarded. No joke, her and her friends had to have been at the venue 7am or earlier at every show because not only did they beat us, there were also people that had come after them but before us.

Another great gig behind us, we trudged out to the trains. It’s amazing how horrible I felt before and after the gigs, but during that two hours when DM were on stage, I almost forgot I was sick, or didn’t care. I started feeling it a bit more in Frankfurt and Munich because I would try to bounce but my body would object after just a few jumps. Try to sing, only to be thwarted by sinus drainage in my throat. But I suffered well. 😉 Sometime on the way to the train, sadly, my body stopped feeling the concert high. I was losing ground. Needed food and sleep badly! I had my own hotel room that night due to some weird booking issues, so I soaked in a nice hot bath, hoping to relieve my aching muscles.

I turned on the TV when I went to bed, flipped through the channels and saw news from home on CNN and BBC.. Talking about the crap economy as usual, but also talking about Obama’s trip to Germany. They showed a part of one of his speeches. This was the first time I realized I was a bit home sick – I saw the NEWS on the telly and was like “OMG, home! ;o;” Then there was the breaking news of the Iran elections and North Korea’s usual shenanigans.. We were so busy and enjoying ourselves, I hadn’t really had time to stop and think I hadn’t been home, on the internet or read the news in nine days. Talk about living in a bubble. Doing this sort of trip makes you start to realize what it might feel like for the band on tour, albeit on a more compact scale. Eventually I managed to find sleep, somewhere around 2am. The next morning would be another early one – the gig in Munich was back-to-back with Frankfurt.

Amanda

Amanda is an enthusiastic, globe-trotting Mode fan who discovered the band in late 1998. Although she often feels like she got a late start in the Depeche Mode's career, she's survived nearly 20 years of the fandom, five new albums and multiple meetings with her love for the band intact (and stronger than ever). Amanda is a life-long creative, a classically trained graphic designer, working professionally as a User Experience Designer for one of the world's largest technology companies. When not at work or traveling for Depeche, she enjoys character illustration, comics, movies and Japanese Culture. And cats. Lots of Cats.