Tag Archives: House of Blues

Strangelove: The Ultimate Depeche Mode Tribute Band in Concert!

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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.

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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.

IMG_6108 (2) (1280x961)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

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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.

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With Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin” (Violator dress by Idil Vice, Some Great Reward clutch purse by Sugar Shox Crafts)

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!

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IMG_6607 (2) (1280x1280)All live photos of SIN and Strangelove were taken by Rholnna Jiao.

Pay Tribute & Go See Strangelove in Concert Tomorrow!

Strangelove Tickets

I have concluded my week-long mind, body and soul refreshing experience, and I’m ending it in spectacular manner by finally seeing Strangelove, “the ultimate Depeche Mode tribute band” tomorrow at San Diego’s House of Blues.  My BFF Janice and my sister Rholnna will be in attendance with me, and I believe tickets are still available here.  I’ll have a full review of the show, and hopefully a little more.  If you go, please make sure come up to me and say hi!

New Wave Dance Party: Meeting Richard Blade!

With Richard Blade HOB Downtown Disney

Just a quick little post about one of the nights during our trip to Anaheim last weekend.  My mother-in-law purchased tickets for us to go to the Disneyland Resort, which included a park hopper between Disneyland and California Adventure and marked Dominic’s first time at Disneyland.  But before we ventured into the lands of Disney, Deon’s mom watched Dominic while we snuck in a date night by dancing the night away with none other than DJ extraordinaire, Richard Blade!  My 80’s bucket list definitely included seeing Mr. Blade deejay live at some point, and it just so happened he was hosting a New Wave Dance Party at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney last Friday.  Richard is such a nice guy, and even played Joy Division for me because of my shirt!  More pictures of our trip to come!


This photo is from Richard Blade’s official Facebook page.  If you enlarge the picture, you can see me and Deon on the upper left hand side (Deon is wearing a hat).

With Larry at HOB Anaheim

This is Larry & it was his birthday. Needless to say, it was a quite the blurry evening because I forgot about this picture. I found it on my phone, sent by my hubby!

Studded jacket and mid rings

Just a little shot of part of what I wore (other than my Joy Division shirt):  My new studded bomber jacket and mid-rings from SwayChic (the Recoil ring is by Suki Bijoux).  Nail polish is Fuzzy Coat by Sally Hansen in “All Yarned Up”.

More Weekend Pictures: Surprise, We’re Seeing Erasure in Concert!

Last Sunday, Janice took me out for what I thought was going to be a simple night out on the town with my best friend, which actually ended at the sold out Erasure concert at The House of Blues!  She first took me out to dinner at Pink Noodle and dessert at The Melting Pot (pictures & reviews on those places later).  Then we took a mini detour by heading to Horton Plaza (a mall in Downtown San Diego), which threw me off.  I now realize that she was stalling a bit because the concert wasn’t to start until 7pm, and we finished dinner and dessert earlier than planned.

Finally, we headed to House of Blues because Janice mentioned that she wanted to buy tickets to the upcoming Bangles concert she was planning on attending in November before we headed home for the night.  We saw a very long line and asked the couple at the end of the queue what it was for.  She said it was for the Erasure concert, which I had forgotten was happening that same night.  Since we missed Duran Duran the night before, I was about to tell Janice that we should just stay in line to buy tickets, but felt slightly deflated when we were told it was sold out.  Then, as if planned, Janice said, “Well it’s a good thing I already bought tickets!”  SURPRISE!  I squealed with delight and people in line looked over as I hugged Janice, still trying to figure out if this was really happening.  I felt like I was on a television reality show and won a contest!

Frankmusik getting funky!

The concert started off with Frankmusik, an English electropop musician who produced Erasure’s most recent album, Tomorrow’s World.  I was not familiar at all with his music, but was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.  It was an upbeat and very danceable set, which was the perfect segue into Erasure’s set.

I loved the gargoyles and circular theme throughout Erasure’s stage set.  Andy Bell was just as energetic as ever, his voice as beautiful now as it was back in the 80’s.  They rounded out their vocal sound with incredibly impressive back up vocalists, Emma Whittle and Valerie Chalmers.  Vince Clarke stayed behind one of the gargoyles for much of the show, but came out to play guitar.

Erasure at the start of the concert

The last few times I saw Erasure was back in 1987 when they supported Duran Duran, and then in 1988 for The Innocents tour.  I must admit when I saw them last week that I wasn’t as familiar with some of their later music and music from their latest album.   But of course they played quite a few hits from Wonderland, Circus and The Innocents like “Sometimes”, “Chains of Love”, and my all time favorite “Oh L’Amour”.  Although they closed with “Stop!”, I felt like “A Little Respect”, “Victim of Love” and “Love to Hate You” (a cover of the ABBA classic) received the most audience reaction.

During the song “A Little Respect”

The pictures in this post were from my iPhone, which was the best I could do from where we were standing.  But since I didn’t have my edited “concert” purse (usually a cross-body purse with just my essentials), I thankfully had my Flip camera with me.  I was able to capture “Oh L’Amour” relatively properly and have included it below.  Thank you Janice for a wonderful evening!  You really surprised me, and I will definitely return the favor.