Depeche Mode at the O2
With almost 40 years behind them, there is no need to introduce Depeche Mode. Not recognised as mainstream and equally impossible to be labelled as underground, the band played at the O2 for the London stretch of their worldwide tour promoting new album Delta Machine.
Starting with Welcome to My World, Depeche Mode stood before a venue full of devotees. Surrounded by Anton Corbijn’s gothic videos, the stage resembled the altar of a new wave church, with a tattooed Dave Gahan as the Messiah, undulating on Martin Gore’s guitar rhythms. The ambiance was electrifying.
The public – of an average age of forty – gradually descended into this concept of a resurrection of the masses. The sound was as forceful and sharp as the performance. The repertoire was a mixture of their best anthems (Black Celebration and Policy of Truth) and tracks from the new album Heaven, which held the masses in a vibrant trance.
Walking In My Shoes lifted the crowd’s mood, while Soothe My Soul brought them to their knees. At the end of the intense Enjoy the Silence, Gahan took a crucifixion pose with arms open to his fans, which was perfectly timed with the next song. The first notes of Personal Jesus acted like a hard drug shoot and the crowd are no longer simply Londoners, but also a dancing sea of pilgrims that have come to meet their prophet. Later, a slower and deeper version of Halo, the Goldfrapp remix, was a diamond in disguise.
Gore, Gahan and Andrew Fletcher diffused their energy like gods of rock and electro. They have a relentless empathy for the crowd who just can’t get enough: screaming for Gahan’s vocals, Gore’s smiles and asking for more of Fletcher’s human beat box.
Like an old lover, the crowd at the O2 moved in perfect harmony, synchronised with every one of Gahan’s gestures. He was the MC, the venue was his temple and everyone tonight received an absolution.
Depeche Mode proved once again that they do not care about trends. Instead, their show was uplifting, offering a lesson in music history and made for a glorious and memorable electro rock concert for their fans.
For further information and future events visit Depeche Mode’s website here.
Watch the video for Soothe My Soul here: