Earlier this month, I attended a fantastic night of music at San Diego’s House of Blues with my sister Rholnna, and my best friend Janice, featuring three tribute bands: Only-U, a tribute to Kraftwerk; SIN, a tribute to Nine Inch Nails; and Strangelove, a tribute to Depeche Mode.
Unfortunately we missed Only-U, but I swear it was for a good reason! But we did catch SIN, and they were fantastic. They played the staples like Closer and Head Like a Hole, but it was good to hear them include NIN’s version of Joy Division’s Dead Souls.
The highlight of the evening was of course, seeing Strangelove. Prior to the show, we had the honor and privilege of interviewing the band (coming soon), which allowed us to have a backstage view like I’ve never had before.
STRANGELOVE is (left to right):
Jim Evans as “In The Fletch” – keyboards, sequencing, backing vocals, percussion
Freddie Morales as “Devotional Dave”– lead vocals, visuals, lighting design, sequencing
Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin”– music director, keyboards, vocals, guitar, melodic, sequencing, percussion
David Sepe as “Alan Wildest” – keyboards, sequencing, backing vocals, percussion
With Janice and Rholnna backstage.
As a Devotee to the religion that is Depeche Mode, I must insist that you see Strangelove live. If you are a regular follower of my blog, you know how big of a fan I am Depeche Mode, and when I closed my eyes at the Strangelove show, I not only hear them, but I feel them. It is truly amazing how much they devote to not only sounding like them musically, but Freddie (“Devotional Dave”) and Brent (“Counterfeit Martin”) also use British accents to complete the authenticity. Since Dave is the main visual focus of the group, Freddie turns it up a notch by taking the audience through a history of Dave Gahan’s looks, like the fringed jacket in the Personal Jesus video, the white outfit from the World Violation Tour and Dave’s more current sleek suited look from the Delta Machine tour. Freddie truly does Dave’s live persona justice to the point where is it almost uncanny, not just with his near exact replication of Dave’s vocals, but by the way he dances and interacts with the audience. But really all of the members take their rightful place in their true-to-life rendering of when The Mode were a fabulous foursome. Jim (“In The Fletch”) may be in the back, but he is incredibly energetic with his tell-tale Andrew Fletcher glasses. I nearly cried when Dave (“Alan Wildest”) played a spot on version Somebody on piano and Brent had me breathless at how much he sounds like Martin Gore on his amazing renditions of Home and Somebody.
From one song to the next, their set list reads like the greatest Depeche Mode show that would ever be played, and the sold out crowd loved every minute of it! In my upcoming interview with the band, Brent explains that some of the sounds are authentically Depeche Mode, received from none other than Alan Wilder himself! Still need convincing? I’ve included their version of Get The Balance Right below from the HOB show.
I want to thank the gentlemen from Strangelove for taking the time to talk to me and especially to Brent for inviting me, Janice and Rholnna backstage to experience their live show. I hope you enjoy the pictures, and stay tuned for the upcoming interview post!