I know I have other posts to put up of events that I’ve attended. Before I post those, I must indulge a little more in my love of Depeche Mode, as I have just seen them in concert over the weekend at The Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista through Live Nation. That long awaited night was more than worth the wait, because it has been eight years since I have seen them live. I went with my husband, my sister and her husband. We then met up with my best friend Janice, and friends Angi and Suzanne, and we all sat together on the lawn. Eileen, who saw Depeche Mode with me for the first time back in 1985, was also supposed to attend, but she couldn’t make it due to work obligations. When did we grow up? I also got to see my friends Shirley, Rene, Tifany and Merrick (he is pictured below in the third shot), and I want to say hi to Suki, Kirsten and Suzi, who I didn’t get to see, but I who I know were there. I love that so many people I know share the same love of such an influential band.
When we arrived at the gig, my sister and I left our men to “jump” the long line by making $10 donations each to the Sleep Train Foster Kids charity program. This allowed us to get some good real estate in front of the lawn area. Unfortunately, we happened to be right behind a speaker post, making picture capturing challenging, but still doable. Crystal Castles opened up, and my husband described them as Garbage, but darker. I can see why they toured with Depeche Mode, as they definitely are in the same genre of music. I’m afraid that I was way too anxious about Depeche Mode to fully pay attention, so I won’t attempt to review their performance. I’ll have to give them a listen when I’m off of my Depeche Mode high.
As it started to darken, I felt my anxiety rise. And the moment the lights went out and the first few notes and lights began to emerge, I leapt up from my seat and lunged forward. Everyone laughed as they have never seen me move so quickly. I think I scared my poor husband, thinking he had to save me from falling down to the walkway below. Although I knew I was in full control of all of my faculties, I felt my heart nearly beat out of its chest hearing my all time favorite band live again.
I enjoyed every second of this concert, because I am a fan in every sense of the word. I have loved this band for more than half my life, and I felt I have been with them through everything. I can assign a Depeche Mode song to every important event in my life and create a soundtrack that would describe the very essence of who I am, and where I have been. This is why I wanted my husband to attend this show with me because he is a part of the soundtrack of my life. If you ask my son who my favorite band is, he will tell you resoundingly that it is Depeche Mode. Their music has permeated every part of my existence, down to the name of my blog.
It really is difficult to choose any one favorite part, but if I was made to choose, I would say hearing But Not Tonight live was amazing (I think Janice enjoyed what we called the porn intro to Personal Jesus, and my sister enjoyed Black Celebration because of memories of the “curtain drop” and A Question of Time because Dave brought back his spinning from days of old). I have always enjoyed that song, specially the extended version, and I even bought the soundtrack to Modern Girls just because that song is in the movie. It really summed up everything I felt that night, because there wasn’t a night quite like that night.
My first concert was the Some Great Reward tour, and the evolution of their show is quite astounding. My husband and I watched The World We Live In And Live In Hamburg video cassette yesterday (yes, you read that right) and we just marveled at just how young they were, and I was when I saw them in concert so long ago. They played to half of The Sports Arena back then and it was sold out. Here they are now, larger than life, still selling out, but bigger venues. They sold out The Rose Bowl at their beginning of their ascend in 1988, and look at them 25 years later.
In reviews I have read, and opinions I have heard about the song choice, I feel like I should step in here and remind those who are more casual fans that I think omission of the incredibly popular older songs like People Are People, Strangelove, Everything Counts and Master and Servant were by design. Their song library is 23 albums deep. How can you possibly fit years of hits into a two-hour set without including your most current music? You can’t. If you have been along for the ride as long as I have, you would have heard songs live that you will never hear again, and I think that’s how it’s meant to be (check out my post about some of the shows I have attended and the set lists from those concerts to see what I mean). They’ve been around, they’ve played it all, and now they’re going to play what they want to, in the style they choose. Enjoy it while you can.
My husband said he enjoyed the concert because he got to hear his two favorite songs, Policy of Truth and Enjoy the Silence, but also because he has never attended a fully sold out show. During Never Let Me Down Again, he was stunned at the sheer volume of people following Dave Gahan, knowing exactly when to sway their arms (I explained this is because of the 101 concert). He truly was impressed, and was very glad we experienced this together. I have included the set list below from Setlist.fm, and also the video I recorded of But Not Tonight. I know this isn’t quite a concert review, but more of the experience of a true fan, expressing how happy I was to see my band. In the words of Martin Gore, I felt like I was home.