Munich Revisited

Martin Gore, Munich, June 2009.
Martin Gore, Munich, June 2009.
Photos | Videos | Date: June 13, 2009

After a scrambled morning that involved a 7am cab ride, a few hours on a train to Munich and a long walk to our hostel, we arrived at the impressive Munich Olympiastadion around 1:30pm. This was by far the weirdest line set-up.. there were several lines at different gates around the venue. We stuck around in the one that looked like it’d be the straightest shot to the front of stage area. Fortunately though the day was sunny, we had dappled shade from the ample trees and a cool breeze. The atmosphere was light and mellow. I didn’t manage to sleep any while in line this time, though I wished I could have.

We ended up being part of a group they let through the first gates early by accident, so we had a little head start once the main gates opened. However, that was only after we stood around in the sun for 30-45minutes while they figured out what they were doing. Unfortunately once we were in the venue, this was a run similar to Berlin in that we found ourselves at the top of the stadium with a huge column of stairs to descend. However, unlike Berlin, the stairs near our gate dumped directly into the right side of the front of stage section. My legs were barely functional for running by this show, and it was the best I could do to jog down the stairs and around the catwalk. Not to mention the horrible security bottle necks. I think I had to pass through like four different check points just to get to the Front of Stage area. By the time I arrived, a six foot tall man ended up in front of me. I was freaking out, thinking my last gig in Germany was going to be stuck behind this guy, craning my neck around his very broad shoulders the whole time. Fortunately when the shows started, we shifted around a bit and my view was no longer obscured! Phew!

Before the show, the people around us were exceedingly friendly and wanted to know all about where we came from, what North American gigs and audiences were like, etc. It was the first time we really had a group of people asking us a lot of questions, one guy was even considering taking a California vacation and wanted to know about So Cal. Throughout our gigs, we had usually maybe one or two people stop and ask us where we were from, though most seemed to think we were from England at first. Nights before, we met some Germans who’d moved to England, a gal from France and even a fan from Mexico City who stopped to talk to us when they overheard our English. In Munich there was a large crew from Italy, the “Italian Spacewalkers.” From reading boards, I know there were even more citizens from around the world, too. Germany: international Depeche Mode mecca!

Depeche put on another amazing show and several of us cheered when Dave came into “It’s No Good” on time – even the band shared a smile. The crowd around us was warm and friendly, though not as insane as Frankfurt or Munich. One of the gals we chatted with before the show even leaned back toward me to sing the chorus of “Never Let Me Down Again,” to which I responded by leaning forward with my head next to hers to sing along and dance. I think this was one of my big highlights of the show – singing and dancing along with a complete stranger, but as friends united under a common passion for the music. 🙂

Martin surprised us (finally!) by switching up the setlist a bit, swapping “A Question of Lust” for “Home.” The song was so well received, it’s no wonder he has continued to sing it for the majority of the tour thus far. “Home” is always a treat, as it’s a personally special song for me, but I think I preferred the TTA version more since it was such a unique arrangement for the live setting.

The rest of the show was tight and went off well. What can I really say without repeating myself? Oh yeah, “Come Back” is still epic.. I don’t think I’ve said that before.. 😉 I managed to take some decent videos here, including this nice one of “Stripped”:

After the lights went up, I tried to get the attention of the central camera man to ask for his setlist, but he couldn’t hear or see me, as he was hard at work disassembling his station. I then shouted “Can I have the setlist??” to which the lead sound engineer (..? I’ve seen him a lot, on TTA too, always doing the mic checks and working at the board on the side) responded by tossing me his as he was coming down the catwalk. Amusingly, it fell short, landing half way between him and I, in the pit. The crowd let out a collective “Awwwwe,” after which the camera man got down and handed it to me. I thanked them both and told them how I’d come out from California and it was my last gig, so it meant a lot. The camera man’s body language was like “damn!” as he shook his head in amusement. After telling them goodbye and I’d see them in San Francisco, I turned around to find a gaggle of fans who all wanted pictures of my setlist! LOL. The tall guy from before took it and held it up so everyone could get pictures of it. At Tracy’s suggestion, I stuck it in my passport wallet to ensure I wouldn’t lose it, as I had been misplacing things left and right throughout the trip.

As we were leaving, I found myself happily punch-drunk. Four gigs, a back-to-back night, post-concert glee and the cold/infection finally took their toll – I spent most of the trip back to central Munich rambling to Alex, ogling photos and videos on my camera, and being otherwise random. Tara and Tracy were cracking up because I may as well have been drunk but I hadn’t had any alcohol, and hadn’t had any medication for many hours. Ah, exhaustion. We came out of the subway to find one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing in person, to which I exclaimed, “Holy shit! That’s awesome!” and made a general big deal of it. Tracy told me I was doing a great service to my country. LOL

As we attempted to find our way around sometime past midnight, we had a rather wild-looking elderly (possibly homeless) lady stop to help us, but then she stalked us for several yards. I think Thomas managed to convince her we had our heading and were quite fine from there, to which she wandered off on her own. We had a great dinner to conclude our last night together. Though I was starved, I only managed to finish half my raviolis. My appetite was dismal the majority of the trip. I’m not sure if it was the stress or the illness or both – all I know is I felt very rude for it!

We didn’t get back to the hostel until nearly 3:00am. After making some conversations with other hostel guests who liked DM and last minute trades with Alex and Thomas, I packed all my things for the flight the next morning. After all was said and done, I didn’t get to bed till 4am. It was more like taking a nap rather than going to bed, though, because we had to be up at 7:30 to leave for the airport.

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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.

  • Infinite

    Thank you for such a nice review of the show. I've also been there and now I've got another point of view =). And photos on Flickr are also impressive.