Depeche Mode – The Global Spirit Tour 2018
Honda Center, Anaheim, CA – 5/22/18
Review and Picture: Diane Lynn
Continuing their Global Spirit Tour into 2018, after three quick stops in South America, Depeche Mode finally brought the tour to North America with a glorious night right here in Anaheim, Ca. The Honda Center crowd, old and young fans alike, were very eager to see their favorite band who hadn’t toured in these parts since 2013.
Depeche Mode came together in Basildon, Essex in 1980, releasing their debut album in 1981 and to date have released a total of 14 studio albums over their 40 plus years. Their most recent album, “Spirit” was released in March 2017 and the band have been touring in support since its release under the banner The Global Spirit Tour.
DM jumped into the main stream, new wave scene with a sound that was not quite like the rest of the other English Electronic bands that they were labeled with. Their songs always held more depth, and lyrically they wrote about topics that begged you to think and that continues with their songs today. David Gahan, with his rich baritone voice, had Depeche Mode standing out from the rest. They have quite a large fan base of ”Devotees” that are loyal to the core, and were very visible this night.
As I walked in to the Honda center I could feel the mood was different for this show. It wasn’t the typical hurry to get to your seat or worrying about long lines at the concession stands. The mood was light, people weren’t rushing, everyone seemed friendly and it felt as if we all knew each other. For a Tuesday evening the fans were arriving early, grabbing their drinks, a few snacks and even grabbing their souvenirs before the show started. After the opening act, there was a pause for the final adjustments to the stage, the lights were dimmed and it was time for what I’ll call My Depeche Mode Experience.
Instead of the usual silence just before the band comes out and begins their set, the song “Revolution” by the Beatles played instead, that went immediately into an alternate (instrumental only) version of the Depeche Mode song “Cover Me” which is off of the “Spirit “album. At that same time the recognizable Spirit Feet came up on the giant screen that was set just to the back of the stage and the crowd went wild. The band members casually made their way to the stage; first the two touring members Christian Eigner and Peter Gordeno. Immediately following were Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore but no sight of David Gahan, yet. A catwalk was set up high along the back of the stage crossing the giant screen; suddenly it and the screen were flooded with a colorful obscure pattern of reds, blues, greens and purple. Out from the right you see a shadowy figure appear just as their first song “Going Backwards” begins to play. That figure was the man himself, Mr. David Gahan.
Dressed to the nines’ (of course) along with his trademark shades with his skin sprinkled with glitter he glided along the cat walk giving us all a shadow dance, if you will. His presence almost takes your breath away and you can’t stop watching him as he moves along the stage, posing and dancing as he emotionally sings out the lyrics. The amount of positive energy coming from the stage was exhilarating and the Devotees were giving that energy right back and it just grew stronger with every song.
Their show isn’t filled with a ton of pyrotechnics, fancy stage sets or costumes, just some well-choreographed lighting, a few smoke/steam machines and the amazing talents of each band member.
Dave Gahan – lead vocals (1980–present)
Andy Fletcher – keyboards, backing vocals, bass guitar (1980–present)
Martin Gore – keyboards, backing and lead vocals, guitars (1980–present)
Christian Eigner – drums, percussion
Peter Gordeno – keyboards, bass guitar, piano, backing vocals
Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, two of the four founding members (Vince Clarke departed back in 1981) are such an integral part of the band. Gore taking over the lead writing duties from Clarke shortly after he left and also providing keyboards and bass. Fletcher intertwining it all together with his work on the synthesizer, including bass parts, pads, strings and drone sounds as well as various others that adds to the unique sound of Depeche Mode. Although Gahan has song writing co-credits, when it comes to the live performances both Martin and Andy seem content with Dave taking the lead on stage. He dances and keep the Devotees on their feet and sings everything with the exception of the songs “Home”,“I Want You Now” and “The Things You Said” which see Martin Gore taking a turn on load vocals. (Note, “The Things you Said” hasn’t been performed live since 1988).
The band touched on a large portion of their musical catalog; pulling songs from what I counted as eight of their albums. The songs came in waves, some soothing and some crashing. The packed arena taking it all in. It was fulfilling but they just didn’t want it to end. I was streaming live on FB the last part of the show for a few friends and family who couldn’t be there and the comments coming in were of amazement and love for the band. One viewer even saying “I love David Gahan’s voice, it touches my soul”.
I’ve always really liked Depeche Mode, they were a staple in my youth but from my teen years into adulthood I had always gravitated towards more of the metal scene. There were certain Depeche songs that I definitely really like but never really knew how many until tonight.
After almost two hours of performing the encore was just as fantastic; they did a four song encore that ended with my favorite, “Personal Jesus”. As I turned to begin my way out and was slowly crossing through the exit doors, I noticed a girl walking next to me who appeared to be wiping a tear. I asked, :”are you Ok” and she replied “Yes, it’s just their music, their music moves me”. I paused and realized after this incredible live show, I knew exactly what she felt.
(The Beatles song)
Cover Me (Alt Out)
It’s No Good
Barrel of a Gun
(with ‘The Message’ (Grandmaster Flash) snippet)
A Pain That I’m Used To
(Jacques Lu Cont’s Remix version)
World in My Eyes
The Things You Said
(First time since 1988)
In Your Room
Where’s the Revolution
Enjoy the Silence
Never Let Me Down Again
I Want You Now
Walking in My Shoes
A Question of Time
I must add, over the years Depeche Mode has supported and been involved with several charities such as MusiCares and the Teenage Cancer Trust and since 2010, they have partnered with Swiss watchmaker Hublot to support Charity: Water, aimed at the provision of clean drinking water in developing countries.
You can help Depeche Mode and Charity: Water and maybe win A ONE-OF-A-KIND HUBLOT WATCH AND A TRIP TO SEE THE BAND by clicking on the link below. They are holding a raffle, ending July 1st and with a donation of as little as $10 you can help get drinking water to those in need.
Charity: Water Link