Depeche Mode - Live - Peter Neill

DEPECHE MODE – Live at their recent London show
Photo by Peter Neill

There are bands who just can’t get enough. And there are bands who just don’t know when it’s enough. On Monday DEPECHE MODE proved that there is a big difference between those two categories and that they definitely belong to the first group.

As soon as the pioneers of electropop entered the stage of the sold out O2 World in Berlin there was no doubt that they still belong right there.

Welcome To My World from the new album Delta Machine was the first song of the night. Following that invitation and coming into the world of DEPECHE MODE, one really finds a microcosm which includes not only an ingenious and inventive use of synthesizers, dispositions of sounds and classical instruments but also 14.500 Fans immediately singing along while Dave Gahan spreads out his arms like a preacher. Not to forget the eclectic and sophisticated light and video show completing the impression that even after twenty years and thirteen studio albums DEPECHE MODE have lost none of their legendary status.

Considering the age of the audience it seems that most of them were fans from the very beginning. Some of them apparently haven’t changed their outfit since then.

Of course age does not prevent from being enthusiastic and playful – that applies to Dave Gahan showing his still shapely body and doing salacious dance moves and to the ladies (and the gay fellows probably as well) reacting and screaming like teens.

Most of them were in fact teens when DEPECHE MODEreleased Violator, their most successful album, in 1990. When the band intoned the biggest hits of that time – Enjoy The Silence and Personal Jesus it was like a thousand memories rose with the singing of the fans celebrating and recreating the emotions of their youth.

While Dave Gahan undertook the role of the entertainer, Martin Gore was in charge of the softer tones. All alone in the middle of the stage he performed a very melancholic and acoustic version of the 1986 B-side But Not Tonight, looking like a little vulnerable boy, overwhelmed by feelings. There were surely quiet a few people with tears in their eyes and the audience appreciated this emotional and modest interpretation with repeating the “Uh-Hu” of the songs end for several minutes.

Shake The Disease, one of the songs of the encore, was performed by Martin as well, before Dave took the wheel again and let it rip with the blitheful Just Can’t Get Enough and the spell binding I Feel You.

After two hours of euphoria Gore, Gahan and Co. bowed out with the almighty Never Let Me Down Again – not without animating the fans to do the usual arm wave. For this night the ride was over but for sure DEPECHE MODE won’t let down their fans and keep on drawing on their excessive creativity. The Delta Machine is not about to stop.

Written by Friederike Bloch