The 25th Anniversary of 101 by Depeche Mode (And Why it Still Hurts)

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Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Depeche Mode’s 101 concert, held on June 18th, 1988 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  It was the last stop of their Music for The Masses tour, and although I had already gone to a show during that tour in San Diego, I needed to attend this one because it was announced this would be a very special concert filmed by D.A. Pennebaker, the same director of U2’s Rattle and Hum.  It proved to be a great show because Thomas Dolby and OMD were set to open.  As a devoted fan, of course I bought a ticket straight away and was all ready to go.  But because of traditional Filipino superstitions, my mom and dad were afraid of my travelling to see a show right before a big event: my high school graduation.  Needless to say, they vetoed my trip.  I begged, pleaded, wrote heart-felt letters and cried, but to no avail.  I ended up selling my ticket to my friend Aaron, who said that if my situation ever changed I could just say the word and the ticket was mine again.  Aaron, along with my friends Robby and Brad even made a last-ditch effort to come by my house on the way up to Pasadena to convince my parents to let me go, but they just couldn’t be swayed.  I found out later that the most casual of Depeche Mode fans from my high school were there.  I truly felt like everyone went, except for me.

I listened longingly to 91X that day, hearing updates and live feeds from the Rose Bowl, wishing I was listening to updates by Richard Blade on KROQ for the real deal.  I silently roamed around the house like I was lost.  Finally, my mom convinced me to go shopping, and she bought me several Depeche Mode records and CDs, all to satiate me but it just wasn’t enough.  My fate was sealed, and I would not be a part of history in the making.

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For someone who relives those moments at odd times, like when we’re driving on the 101 in Los Angeles, I sure have quite a bit of memorabilia of that day.  I think Robby brought me back the shirt pictured above.  Later when the movie was complete, I still went to a showing here in San Diego because I still wanted to be a part of it, even thought I wasn’t really a part of it originally.  I had strategically placed Depeche Mode stickers all over the back of my little red Honda Civic hatchback back then, and returned from the movie to love notes with phone numbers from other fangirls, who I’m sure hoped the car belonged to some cool British guy.  I should have had one of my guy friends call them back for shits and giggles, but I wasn’t that cruel at that time.  In fact, I suppose I could have lied to my parents back then as well, telling them I was just going to hang out with friends and just went to the concert, but I was just too innocent and honest back then.

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So here I am, 25 years later, still a bit bitter.  I think it’s why I made sure to have my name in the Talk Talk book and in the liner notes of Cy Curnin’s new album, because it makes up for not being a part of one of the biggest moments in Depeche Mode’s history.  I mentioned in a previous post (here) why I didn’t pick the Music for The Masses tour as one of my favorites because of the 101 concert being a sore spot for me.  Despite the sting in my brooding heart, I have included the set list of the San Diego date of the Music for the Masses tour, which I believe emulates the 101 concert.  I just noticed Just Can’t Get Enough is not in the second encore of the San Diego show, but it is in the 101 concert CD and movie.  They also played Somebody for the 101 concert, but they didn’t play it for the San Diego show.

I know it reads like sad memory, but it really is just a vivid memory.  It’s amazing what you can recall when there is enough emotion behind it, even when it’s 25 years later.

Music For The Masses Tour – San Diego, CA; December 7, 1987

  1. PIMPF
  2. Behind The Wheel
  3. Strangelove
  4. Sacred
  5. Something To Do
  6. Blasphemous Rumours
  7. Stripped
  8. Pipeline
  9. The Things You Said
  10. Black Celebration
  11. Shake The Disease
  12. Nothing
  13. Pleasure, Little Treasure
  14. People Are People
  15. A Question of Time
  16. Never Let Me Down Again


  1. A Question of Lust; Master & Servant
  2. Everything Counts

 (Note:  All items pictured are from my personal collection.)


  1. Aw! I feel your pain. I’ve been on the receiving of overly protective Filipino parents and missing out on cool and fun things but nothing like this! (I was living in North Chicago at the time and suffering that everyone around me was listening to rap.)

    1. Hi Darlene! The ironic thing about not going to that show is that my parents let me go on a road trip with the same friends AFTER the concert! If only the concert was a week later…our Filipino parents, how did we survive our teen years?!


    1. Really…college?? My first concert with just my friend was my first Depeche Mode concert when I was 14. My dad dropped me and my best friend off at the then Sports Arena. Once I could drive, I just went with friends. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get to go to the 101 concert…*sigh*


      1. I guess I never was into going to concerts during my jr high/high school years. my parents wouldn’t let me go anyways. When I had my own job and a car and could afford the tickets, that’s when I started going to concerts.

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