Let’s get a few things out of the way. Yes, I like pretty much all music. And yeah, J makes fun of my “complete lack of music discrimination.” Whatever. Yes, I love Depeche Mode. I have the first DM singles compilation and every release since Music For the Masses (’87.) I just love music. Since I didn’t pay for half of the CDs I own (thanks Borders!) you’re not even allowed to make fun of my collection.
The other thing I like is free stuff. It could be a ticket to see Janice Kapp Perry and I’d probably go, as long as you won it and I wouldn’t really have to go. Jenny won tickets to see Depeche Mode and agreed to take me! (I wouldn’t have paid to see them, but free is different, free makes even questionable cheese samples good.)
I was really excited to see the opening band The Bravery. If you don’t know The Bravery, maybe you should.
Jenny looked fabulous in her new haircut and I made the somewhat unwise choice of wearing stiletto tall boots (‘cause you stand at rock shows, member?) with my new velveteen jacket.
Jenny and I acquired our nibbles (soft taco and the inferior Diet Coke known as Diet Pepsi, respectively) and found our seats.
When the big silver globe lit up stage right, the place went nuts! I, hoping for a rip in the Space-Time Continuum, thought it might be The Bravery, no such luck, it was Dave Gahan. He was a tiny dancer dressed in tiny black leather pants with a matching vest (and you thought vests were too Bono, for shame!) Jenny thinks he looks like French Stewart and Rick Astley; she is right. We notice that the Silver Globe Alien has several words on it: "Pain," "Sex," "Love," "Angel" and one that might have been "Bunnies." The words light up red, it was pretty goth. Of course, the whole show was pretty goth. I guess Depeche Mode is a lot more goth than I remember.
The biggest impression that one gathers during the show is that Depeche Mode take themselves VERY SERIOUSLY. Not a hint of irony, sarcasm, not even Kraft Dinners. During the third song Dave Gahan threw his arms back wide and did the Creed Arms Wide Open thing. Isn’t the third song of the show a little premature to be busting out the megalomania? Davey then started throwing out the long stem red roses. I am not lying.
Martin Gore also looked….uhm…goth? Black shirt, black pants, torn black shiny kilt (courtesy Glad?) over said pants, eyeliner and, yes, wait for it…black feather angel wings with matching feather boot covers (jealous?) DM didn’t fool around; they played the newest songs first so we could get down to the songs that people really came to hear.
I Feel You was very amusing. For several songs now we’d been getting close-ups of Dave Gahan’s writhing chest and other assorted body parts on the six large screens. I Feel You starts and there’s a model who looks vaguely Russian on the screen. They split her parts up, panning in and out. All of a sudden her shirt is gone. Closer the camera goes, the more uncomfortable you feel….I just really didn’t want a giant boob shot covering all six giant screens. They did stay at a moderately respectable distance, you know, for a topless shot. Props to the DM, though, on using a girl with itty-bitties.
The couple one row down were possibly the most unattractive people I’ve seen in a while. He, let’s call him Craig, was wearing a vertically striped shirt (not the new kind) and black pleated pants. Something J would have been wearing when I first met him (this is not a good thing.) Craig also has a receding hairline (which I do not have a problem with) and is growing out the rest of his hair to compensate (which I have a serious problem with.) His luhver, Dawn, hasn’t cut her hair since the Music For the Masses Tape Release Party. Thankfully, she keeps her wispy bangs trimmed and curled.
At first Craig and Dawn are grooving closely. Grooving soon turns to grinding which segues straight into snogging. Even when Dawn takes an extended bathroom break, Craig keeps grinding to the music. You might think this is the result of some imbibed spirits, or a desperate plea for the rains, but you would be wrong. The only time they don’t have their lips attached to a location on the other person, they are sucking down their Pepsis. (I mean, not like it’s ever acceptable to make out at a show, but you kind of give people a grace period, say, up to the age of 23. Craig and Dawn, class of ’86, are well beyond the grace period.) Perhaps I lack sophistication, but I don’t quite get Dawn’s belly dancing moves. Dawn and Craig then roasted a goat, ate until their bellies were full, and their lips glistened with the goat fat. While they eventually restrained themselves before out-right consummation, they also didn’t let up for the whole show.
Do you ever realize after years of hearing the same song that the song is about something totally different than what you thought it was about because you were too young to known better? Guess what World in My Eyes is about! (Hint: not traveling.)
DM ends on Never Let Me Down Again (one of my favorites.) The whole place is still going nuts. As seriously as The Mode are taking themselves, the music was played (synthesized?) well and they can work the crowd (need I remind you of the red roses?) I even forgive Dave Gahan’s almost Mick Jaggerish movements (I hate hate hate hate Mick Jagger.) Every time I go to one of these shows with aging rock stars I sit there and think, “This is their job. This is what they do for a living. How amusing.” Thanks for taking me to the rock show, Jenny and Jenny’s fab new hair!