With a career spanning more than two decades and countless hits, Depeche Mode proved they still have what it takes to be rock stars. Thousands of fans braved the first brutally cold day of Chicago's approaching winter for the sold out show at the Allstate Arena!
Depeche Mode: Live In Chi-Town
Story and photos by Donna Rickles
With a career spanning more than two decades and
countless hits, Depeche Mode proved they still have what it takes to be rock
stars. Thousands of fans braved the first brutally cold day of Chicago's
approaching winter for the sold out show. The stage of the Allstate Arena was
transformed into a futuristic space station, complete with synthesizers encased
in shiny silver spacecraft
control panels. A large silver globe flashed random messages across a side
panel, but stuck with a consistent "hello, hello" as the lights dimmed and
the crowd cheered the arrival of David Gahan, Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher.
As usual, Martin Gore had on a fantastically
insane outfit, this time dressed as some type of dark brown bird, a rooster
perhaps? Last tour he was dressed as an angel, with wings and sparkly silver
pumas. Gahan and Fletcher opted for simple blazers and slacks. David would
eventually sweat off the top half of that outfit due to his erratic dance moves.
Opening with "A Pain I'm Used To" off the new album Playing The Angel, DM
set a dark sexy mood as the words "misery, contempt, torment" flashed
across the silver globe.
Dave spun around with the mic stand, going
straight into "John The Revelator," also from the
new album. Off came the blazer as he strutted and
postulated to the crowd and they greeted him with a cheer, then rocked their
bodies and softly sang the words with him.
Perhaps it was just me, perhaps it was my friends
agreeing with me, but it seemed as if Gahan was having just a bit of a hard time
hitting the high notes in the first two songs. He
seemed a little nervous, but all that changed
with "A Question Of Time." The crowd roared
and came to life as he ran out on the catwalk
portion of the stage to sing and shook hands with fans as
out and strained
to touch him. Most
of the people on the arena floor were now on their feet and screaming. The love
of the fans seemed to relax and fuel him as he unbuttoned his vest, stepped up
the passion in his performance and delivered his vocals with perfection.
The first half of the show was dedicated mainly to
the new album. The band
performed "Precious," the first single, a beautifully sad song that Gore wrote
about his two young children and how they were dealing with their parents' recent divorce.
crowd was affected by this very personal song and its impact was written on
their faces. I am always impressed with an artist who is willing to share their
pain and personal lives through their music. They
followed with "Suffer Well," "I Want it All" and "The Sinner In Me," breaking once for Martin to perform his
blazing guitar solo "Home," during which he removed his fuzzy "bird"
cap setting off a roar from the crowd that
echoed throughout the arena.
performance, there were some amazing video projections on
a huge screen. The images ranged from
beautiful black and white portraitures of the band, to night vision style live
footage that changed to the beat of the music.
It was accompanied by an amazing white
light that suddenly exploded with a flash into
colors and moved about the stage with blinding fury.
David Gahan, Martin Gore, Andrew Fletcher
But, all lighting paled in comparison to the
lights during "I Feel You" from the album Songs Of Faith And Devotion. It
looked like there were thin beams of white laser light raining down from the
ceiling onto the crowd. The starkness of those bars of lights
coupled with an
extended instrumental intro, drove the crowd into hysterics, myself included.
This was followed by a string of Depeche Mode classics.
Picture the venue pitch black and all you hear is
the sound of a car trying to start. Wild with
anticipation, most people caught this right
away and started cheering before "Behind The Wheel" actually started. The
mood of the crowd continued to elevate as Dave let go and put pure force into
his performance. His
body was dripping with sweat as he ran his hand across his bare chest then down
his leg, while the standing crowd shrieked. The whole arena was dancing, rocking
and jumping during this tune. This
killer song was followed by "World In My Eyes" and "Personal Jesus."
"Enjoy The Silence" had an illustrated version
of the music video projected in the background. In
it, Dave was dressed as a king and walked
through various landscapes with a lawn chair. The
audience shouted and screamed during the song and was totally into the show.
Dave then took the opportunity to introduce the band before waving good night
and exiting the stage.
The departure was brief, as with most shows, and
the entire time fans never stopped cheering. Martin returned to the stage alone
to perform an emotional version of "Somebody," a
crowd favorite. The mood quickly shifted as
the catchy dance beat of "Just Can't Get Enough" got
the audience rocking out hard again. The frenetic
level of excitement continued all the way
through "Everything Counts" with the audience, as tradition dictates,
singing the end a cappella.
returned for a final encore with "Never Let Me Down Again" and closed with "Goodnight
Lovers." It was a fantastic end to an incredible show as Martin
and Dave shared the end of the catwalk and sang the song together. This time,
there was a more formal goodbye as the band mates lined up to bow together with
a group hug involved.
This may be a biased opinion, but I don't care.
This is my all time favorite band and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had
the opportunity to see them again. It was a spectacular show from performance to
set design. For those of you who have not already done so, you need to add Playing The
Angel to your CD collection. It's a return to Depeche Mode's more "synth-pop" days. . .think
Violator and backtrack from
there. It's one CD you definitely want to
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