So its 4am, this is a German keyboard with weird buttons so please ignore typos.
Damn this show was awesome!
I wouldnt say it surpases Berlin or Vegas, but it is up there. It was just so much fun. I didn’t weep like a school girl, I didn’t have any strange religious out of body experience, it was just a LOT of FUN. There was a ton of love in the arena (between the band and from the audience). The audience was singing along so loudly, I got choked up on NLMDA of all things, in that “wow” kind of way. The audience was creating their own singalongs at every turn, not just Home. Some folks in front row were even doing the backup abstract vocals from Behind the Wheel.
On the band side, I have to say Martin blew me out of the water. I have never seen him take command of the stage and the audience the way he did tonight. Taking the mic out of the stand, pacing the stage, coaxing and conducting the audience (-before- the audience did anything on their own), projecting his presence and sounding gorgeous. I was very impressed! I have felt like Mart has come out of his shell a lot with each tour, but I’m not sure there’s much shell left!
Dave was a wildman, spazzing in that Dave-fashion that we all love. Sometimes more than some shows I’ve seen. He was giving everything he had, but I can see the fatigue showing through. He still sounds great, but being in the front row you can pay attention to little nuances many may miss in the dark or turned away. He has kicked a lot of ass, and unfortunately had his ass kicked too. A long tour will do that, even without the health problems. Even a tired Dave is amazing, but my heart is glad he will have a long, well-deserved rest very soon.
Because I am a goober that likes to make the boys laugh, I made two signs. One said “From CA with Love” with a Cali flag and my SOTU piece (from which I took my current avatar) and the other “Dave Gahan: His Royal Hotness.” The former illicited a nice smile from Dave, the other a laugh and a head shake as he ran down the catwalk for WIME. Sometimes entertaining them in dumb but amusing ways is just as fun as being entertained by them. I realize I may never be one of the “cool kids” with my goofiness, but meh! Entertainment is best as a two-way street, right? The signs amused the media pit, too, and some even took a few pictures. (Kinda shy about those!) If you guys seen any pop up, please let me know.
Tonight was the first time I heard Dressed in Black and Insight and I was just so happy. I spent the better part of the last several months thinking I’d be relegated to YouTube and LHNs, but tonight was great. Insight choked me a bit, I really do love me some Ultra. What I found really interesting, was noticing the changes in the songs from six months ago. When I saw them in Vegas, some songs (ETS, In Your Room, Its No Good) had some subtle changes from the June Germany shows. Tonight, the songs have evolved further with the elongated intro to PJ going to include the first verse, not just Mart’s playing. Even more echos on IYR now than before, some new improv from Peter here and there, and Home feels like an almost a different version completely!
Having seen shows in the very beginning of the tour, the early middle and the end, I really love hearing how the songs have evolved over the tour. They are constantly working on them to make them better, showing a real care for their craft and an interest in what they are doing every night. I get an impression from fans who think Depeche Mode live is very cookie cutter. It’s not always about doing the weird and random. Depeche is very much about creating an experience, a show piece. I believe they tweek, turn, and change until they’ve felt like they have created the best presentation they are proud of. Though I’d love rarities as much as the next DM nerd, as an artist and an ex-performer, it makes perfect sense to me.
Tomorrow… the final gig of the universe and boy, it’s going to be killer! (Especially on my voice, which seems to be a bit sore already!)