Berlin – with: Strangelove – Depeche Mode Tribute
La Mirada Theatre – 2/8/19
Review and Pictures: Diane Lynn
It was a “Flashback Friday” at the La Mirada Theatre in La Mirada, Ca! The internationally known band, Berlin kicked off their 2019 Tour at this beautiful venue to the delight of 1200+ cheering fans!
Berlin took to the stage like it was the 80’s all over again. Actually, Berlin is celebrating their 40th year together. Forty years?!, and they are still out there touring, drawing in crowds AND still making NEW music!
There are very few front-women who have been able to captivate an audience the way that Terri Nunn has and STILL does and tonight was no exception! The lights dimmed to a sultry red glow and the band took the stage. A moment later the talented signer made her way out, rockin’ a “little black dress” and a pair of black stilettos’ she started the set with the first classic hit of the night, “No More Words”!
Seeing a band live in a theatre setting usually brings the debate of “should I stand or sit”, well the first few notes of their first song ended the debate. Not only was everyone standing, they were dancing and singing along…the “Berlin Party” had instantly come to life.
Terri took a few seconds to mention their new album, which is coming out soon, and gave us a few little tidbits about a few of their songs; insight into their meaning and what was happening for the band during the time they were written. It was a good mix of crowd interaction and music. Adding to the crowd interaction, about the halfway mark of the show, during the song “Dancing In Berlin”, a select group of fans that were given wrist bands before the show were allowed to join Terri and the band on stage to dance, sing and take selfies. It was definitely a treat for the dedicated Berlin fans!
At one point during the show Terri hopped up on the shoulders of a handsome, muscular young man, who took her around the venue a bit, high-fiving and shaking hands with those who were towards the back of the crowd.
Terri and the band were so much fun to watch. It’s always nice to see a band on stage genuinely having a good time with each other and Berlin were definitely having fun up there! It enhances the overall experience of the show if the band is having a good time the crowd usually are as well.
Terri Nunn – Lead Vocals
John Crawford – Bass Guitar
David Diamond – Guitar
Chris Olivas – Drums
Carlton Bost – Guitar
Dave Schulz – Keyboardist
Each member of Berlin carries a long list of talents, experience and awards and it was my good fortune to see them all together on stage playing the great music of Berlin!
A highlight of the night for me was seeing/hearing Terri and John Crawford singing the duet “SEX (I’m a)” live for the first time. I remember when this song came out (1983) when I was in my late-teens, it was so sensual, so risqué and I recall my mother upon her hearing it – looking at me as if to say, “what am I hearing and why do you know the words to it”? I still love that song to this day!
Another memorable moment was Terri and David Diamond slowing down the set a little bit, coming close to the front of the stage to sit which made it more of an intimate setting while Terri sang the beautiful hit “Take My Breath Away” with David accompaning her on guitar and harmonizing vocals.
The Set list was a Hits list:
No More Words
Matter of Time
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane – Cover
Now It’s My Turn
I Want You
Dancing In Berlin
Take My Breath Away
SEX (I’M A..)
Show Me Tonight
Highway To Hell – AC/DC Cover
The songs played this night were a mix of classic Berlin hits, a couple of covers (Terri singing “Somebody to Love” was killer!) and a few of their newest songs. Yes, Berlin has new music and if you haven’t heard any of the newer songs you should because I know you’ll love them like I do! Terri sang a song for us this night called “I Want You”, which she noted was a new song from a new album coming out.
I’m being told that they do indeed have a New Studio EP in the works which is the collaboration of the three original members, Terri Nunn, John Crawford and David Diamond! If the new album is as good as the song “I Want You” that they performed for us, then I have to say they have another hit album on their hands! Expect the new album sometime in the early summer of 2019.
Berlin is showing tour dates currently through June of this year but with the anticipated release of the new album I’m sure those dates will be extended. Keep checking their website for the album release date and more tour dates and grab those tickets quick, you won’t want to miss out on seeing this band live!
The “Flash Back Friday” actually started with this exceptional tribute to one of the best “New Wave” bands to hail from the UK and set the 80’s on fire!
Taking on the job of presenting a Depeche Mode “Experience” cannot be an easy task. They have a certain look and sound that would be hard to match, yet Strangelove has done just that!
I came across Strangelove not long after covering Depeche Mode last summer during their Global Spirit Tour and after viewing a few of their You Tube videos my interest was piqued. Since this tribute seems to tour all over the country even venturing outside of the country, as well, I knew it might be a while before our schedules crossed paths, so I was delighted to find out they were opening for Berlin and I was scheduled to cover it.
Strangelove brought us some of the best of the best from DM while including a few deeper tracks/B Sides as well. Hard core Devotees definitely appreciated the setlist as it was played. The set list included several DM hits that we all still know and love today such as “People Are People“, “Personal Jesus“ and of course “Strangelove“.
As the Strangelove members took their places under the dim lights and heavy smoke, they also took us all back in time. With the stage setting, the outfits and of course once the band began to play the first notes of “A Question of Time” it was the 80’s all over again. There was some anticipation though, wanting to hear that rich baritone voice of Dave Gahan that usually accompanies the tune being played, but to my delight Leo Luganskiy delivered it beautifully. The harmonizing with Brent Meyer as Martin Gore was fantastic as well and when they added in all of the intricate pieces that each talented band member provided – the Depeche Mode Experience had begun!
Strangelove – The Depeche Mode Experience
Leo Luganskiy as Dave Gahan, Lead Vocals
Brent Meyer as Martin Gore, Guitar, keys and backing vocals
Julian Shah-Tayler as Alan Wilder on Keyes, Percussion
James Evans as Andrew Fletcher on Keyes, Percussion
*Chris Olivas of Berlin sitting in on Drums*
Strangelove Set List
A Question of Time
People Are People
Just Can’t Get Enough
Behind The Wheel
-Intro Chris Olivas
It’s No Good
Walking In My Shoes
Enjoy The Silence
Never Let Me Down Again
I’m hoping to see more of this band in the future. They tour extensively so I know it will only be a matter of time before they come around my way again. If you are a Depeche Mode Devotee and can’t wait for Dave, Martin and the rest of the band to head out on tour again then I suggest seeing Strangelove – The Depeche Mode Experience to fill your void!