Last night at Jiffy Lube Live, Depeche Mode gave its sold out crowd of devotees a show to remember in support of its new CD Delta Machine. This wasn’t just a concert – it was a spiritual experience!
Incredible baritone singer Dave Gahan, guitarist, and songwriter Martin Gore, and keyboardist Andy Fletcher have been rocking 33 years, and they look and sound impeccable. Together with keyboardist Peter Gordeno and drummer Christian Eigner, they really rocked the joint. Filmmaker Anton Cobijn’s video screens eightened the experience with symbolism, split screens, action, and blasts of color – including women yogis in contortionist poses. Gore stood on the left of the stage, Gahan in the center, and Fletcher on a raised stage to the right. The drummer Eigner was right behind Gahan, and keyboardist Gordeno was behind Gore.
Depeche Mode is on an international tour until March 2014 that will take them across the US, to the United Arab Emirates, and Western and Eastern Europe. For this tour Depeche Mode has joined forces with Charity Water and Hubolt asking their fans to make a donation to clean water projects around the world.
Depeche Mode’s music has extended to people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities and the diversity made up last night’s audience.Their music is timeless. Most of the fans were waiting for the popular older hits and reacted louder to them than the songs off the new album.
The first two opening songs, “Welcome to My World” and “Angel,” were from the new album Delta Machine. The first song was performed enthusiastically by Gahan, looking every bit a rock star, strutting on stage wearing a jacket and black pants. Gahan slowly got rid of his jacket, where he wore a yellow backed vest, and eventually no vest at all during the show.
But the real fun began when Depeche Mode played their popular songs: “Walking in My Shoes,” “Precious,” “Black Celebration,” and “Policy of Truth.” Next came another new song – “Should Be Higher,” followed by the classic “Barrel of a Gun.”
Gahan took a break mid-set and Gore took over singing duties for “The Child Inside” and “But Not Tonight,” which slowed the tempo of the concert. Once Gahan returned the frenzied pace picked up again as did the audience’s reaction. Gahan sang two more of the newer songs – “Heaven” and Soothe My Soul.” The remainder of the concert and the encores were filled with hits from their earlier albums – including “Enjoy the Silence,” “Personal Jesus,” “I Feel You,” and the big crowd favorite “Just Can’t Get Enough.”
If Gahan wanted a second career, he could be a dancer. He can swivel his hips like a belly dancer and he has six-pack abs. He ran back and force across the stage many times, sweat glistening off of him, and other times grabbed the mike stand and swirled around like a Whirling Dervish during the song “A Question of Time” (making the crowd go crazy). His voice was strong and deep. To get the most impact he would crunch over to let his voice take over. He is a charismatic showman and engaging with the crowd especially when he was yelling, “Come on!” and “Washington!” For the song “Never Let Me Down Again” he had the crowd waving their hands in the air swinging back and forth while the cameras projected the crowd on the screens.
Gore wore a silvery, sparkly vest and a long, black skirt with lacquered, black fingernails. He exchanged different shaped guitars through out the evening. One was shaped like a box. He still has his trademarked blonde hair and his voice strong as velvet. He sang three solos, but the final one – “Home” – sung during the encore -had the most impact. The crowd reacted enthusiastically to Gore’s smooth vocals and kept singing along even after the song was over. Gahan playfully bowed at Gore as the audience kept singing. Fletcher stood stoically behind his keyboard wearing his trademark sunglasses through out the show, clearly enjoying himself, while gazing among the adoring throng.
Drummer Einger was particular magnificent on the song “I Feel You,” with a strong drumline. Fletcher and Gordeno did an excellent job on the keyboards especially with the song “I Just Can’t Get Enough,” which is heavily dependent on their fabulous playing. Gore provided strong backing vocals to Gahan, especially on “Never Me Let Me Down Again.”
It was a glorious concert at Jiffy Lube Live that appealed to the new, the in between, and older fans who worshiped at the altar of Depeche Mode.
Here is the song setlist courtesy of setlist.fm:
1. Welcome to My World
3. Walking in My Shoes
5. Black Celebration
6. Policy of Truth
7. Should Be Higher
8. Barrel of a Gun
9. The Child Inside (Sung by Martin)
10. But Not Tonight (Acoustic; Sung by Martin)
12. Soothe My Soul
13. A Pain That I’m Used To (‘Jacques Lu Cont’s Remix’ version)
14. A Question of Time
15. Enjoy the Silence
16. Personal Jesus
17. Home (Acoustic)
18. Halo (‘Goldfrapp Remix’ version)
19. Just Can’t Get Enough
20. I Feel You
21. Never Let Me Down Again
Running time: Two hours and fifteen minutes, with one intermission.
Depeche Mode played one night only on September 10, 2013, at the Jiffy Lube Live – 7800 Cellar Door Drive, in Bristow, VA. For future performances, check their calendar of events.
Depeche Mode website.