Depeche Mode @ London Stadium – 3 June 2017

Posted by Gig Junkies on Saturday Jun 3, 2017 Under Alternative, Arena, Electronica, Indie, Rock, Synth-pop

Gig Review by Zyllah Moranne-Brown with Photography by Ken Harrison.

Legendary. Inspirational. Influential. Iconic. These words are more than apt for a band that have delivered so much on multiple levels for well over three decades, and remain right at the top of their game. Bizarrely in the UK, their home turf, they have remained stuck in this “cult like” status, while across the rest of the world they are at the top of all touring artists with stadia tours. Well tonight,  after a career of more that 37 years, to a sold out London Stadium with a potential gig capacity of 80,000, Depeche Mode have come home. To show us exactly what they are giving to the rest of the world on a their ‘Global Spirit’ Tour.

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These guys from Basildon have released something like 14 studio albums, 10 compilation albums, 6 live albums, 8 box sets, 13 video albums, 71 music videos and 54 singles. They’ve sold well over 100 million records worldwide and won multiple awards. And that’s just part of what they deliver – Depeche Mode are one of the world’s best live bands, and the excitement is growingly palpable as support The Horrors take their leave, and the masses wait.

So, at around 8.15pm the rolling dance music begins to crank up, getting louder and louder , a remixed DM electronic loop, with the direct intention of getting the masses attention.  Stopping abruptly The Beatles ‘Revolution’ strikes up. Once over huge cheers, DM take to the stage, marching legs on screen (taken from their ‘Spirit’ album). The backdrop screen a Hurst-inspired bright splash of colour, Gahan’s vocals ring out with ‘Going Backwards ‘ from new album ‘Spirit.’ He’s already strutting and preening, akin in bright red jacket, visible right at the back of the venue.

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Another newbie ‘So Much Love‘ the two side screens in mono, with a luve feed of the band, Gahan singing and grinning and dancing, infectious already.  The jacket is off, Gahan is grinning, never the chattiest, he welcomes us with a shout of “Good Evening London!” before they’re into ‘Barrel of a Gun’, Gore on star shaped guitar, Gahan dancing , swirling, whiggingly that arse of his and even a rap mid song: “Don’t push me cos I’m close to the edge.... ”

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A Pain That I’m Used To’ funked up and hard core dance with the Jacques Lu Cont remix, Gahan’s never-ending energy and soul is spreading through the crowds like a virus. ‘Corrupt’ singing is heart out, Gahan bats his eyelids to the audience. Depeche Mode may have a new album out, but their rules are simple on every live performance. Give the fans exactly what they want. And he’s the starts ‘In Your Room’ dark and rolling, infectiousness, before ‘World in My Eyes’ – every single punter is now in the palm of Gahan’s hands. ‘Cover Me’ up next, before Gahan take a break. Gore is now centre stage, as his rising vocal give us ‘A Question of Lust’, and the ‘Home’. The “woohoo”s ring out around the stadium as the song completes – Gahan returns to ensure our compliance in the singing.

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“You are the best!” shouts Gahan. Of course. We know this. As a newbie’ Poison Heart’ and then the politically motivated, flag waving, rallying cry, ‘Where’s the Revolution.‘ The ‘Wrong.’ Blasts out. No time to catch a breath, the rain may be falling, but we’re in full on party mood singing our little heads off, and the grabbing hands are in the air to ‘Everything Counts.’ A massive car engine strikes up, bass tones, ‘Stripped’ powers out.

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Anton Corbijn, responsible for the iconic graphics on the screens tonight, give us bizarrely coloured animals, the time sis going so quick, and one thing it isn’t is silent as ‘Enjoy The Silence’ fulls the stadium. And in full flight with ten’s of thousands of hands waving side to side in the air, Gahan is still massively energetic as usual, his booming vocals imploring us to join in ‘Never Let Me Down.’

A brief beak to get our breath and Gore is back with the beautiful track, released and shared with ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ back in the day: ‘Somebody’. Gahan has been opening vocal with the inspiration and influence of this artist, a Londoner, and an unusual cover version for Depeche Mode: David Bowie’s ‘Heroes.’ Gahan’s screaming and dancing, strutting, he own this, he owns us,  the vocals shrieking out to ‘I Feel You’, before that infectious stomping rhythm,  the iconic ‘Personal Jesus.’

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So. Breathe.  I first saw DM in ’84. At the Birmingham Odeon. And ok, as you can gather, I’m one of the devoted, I’ve seen them more times than I can mention. Small gigs, big gigs.  Yeah over the years there have been ‘big’ stadia gigs Crystal Palace way back in ’93 on ‘Songs of Faith and Devotion’ and Hyde Park a few years ago – and this one was something special. On their home turf, they can play massive stadia;  they rewarded to us, the UK fans; Depeche Mode in their full stadium, mass audience glory.

What makes DM different is that they’ve stuck to their guns, at times not deemed cool, but they are truly uniquely. They take their own path. And always have done. They’ve inspired a generation of bands from so many genres (they were the first band to issue a house track), a have a huge back catalogue of classic unique tracks. Every time they play – they know what the fans want – they deliver the new and the classics too. Gahan’s vocals are the best they’ve ever been and his on stage energy, moves and dance ability, would put most guys half his age to embarrassment. All done with a million percent commitment, passion, a wiggle and always with a broad grin on his face.

Two hours and 15 minutes and it’s over in a flash. We just want more. Right now.

For more images from tonight’s gig visit our Flickr page.


Setlist:
Going Backwards
So Much Love
Barrel of a Gun
A Pain That I’m Used To  (‘Jacques Lu Cont’s Remix’ version)
Corrupt
In Your Room
World in My Eyes
Cover Me
A Question of Lust
Home
Poison Heart
Where’s the Revolution
Wrong
Everything Counts
Stripped
Enjoy the Silence
Never Let Me Down Again

Encore:
Somebody
Walking in My Shoes
Heroes (David Bowie cover)
I Feel You
Personal Jesus


Footnote:
As we left the gig tonight along with thousands of fans, we heard the news of the incident in central London. What we can say; this team have covered three gigs this week, security arrangements at gigs is visibly thorough, the safety of all fans is paramount.

Our hearts go out to all those involved in and affected in London, as with previous incidents and especially those in Manchester and previously at the Bataclan in Paris, which as Gig Junkies touched us so much. Music brings us together in a way that nothing else can; to a lyric from ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ the words we sang so loud tonight, we remember.

“See the stars, they’re shining bright…”

2 Responses to “Depeche Mode @ London Stadium – 3 June 2017”

  1. Neil henshaw Says:

    Absolutely outstanding. As a mode fan for over 35 years of course i could of wished for more more obscure songs but it was perfect in every way people who haven’t bothered to listen to them well its their loss. Outstanding

  2. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Depeche Mode + RE-Tros @ Birmingham Arena – 19 November 2017 Says:

    […] I’ve seen them more times than I can mention, including earlier this year at their massive London Stadium gig. Why are they such a force live? Because they give the fans exactly what they want;  the old […]

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