Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour

Arguably one of the most enduring bands out of the early '80s synth pop/new romantics/new wave, Depeche Mode continues to absolutely BRING IT in album and concert form.  Their 14th studio album "Spirit" was released earlier this year, launching a "Global Spirit" tour. 2017 also marks their second nomination for introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour

If this sounds like I'm bragging, that's not my intention at all. Depeche Mode has been one of my favorite bands since I was a kid, and somehow despite YEARS of trying, I'd never managed to see them live. Luckily for me, this tour landed two shows within an hour of my house. Of COURSE I went to both.

Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour
My super patient housemate came with me and my daughter to the show.

The experiences couldn't be more different; the first show took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. While the seats were up in the nosebleeds, it was more important to me to be able to take my 11-year-old daughter to see them for her first time, too.  The sound mix was awful, though; too much bass, not enough high end — not the optimal first time experience for sure.

Of course, there were also the rude as HELL people sitting next to us who kept blowing pot smoke our direction, so maybe I asked them to stop more than once, because obviously, kid.

Despite those downsides, the first show really was an incredible experience.  Depeche Mode's frontman and lead singer Dave Gahan is a force of nature on stage, dancing and swaying for the two-hour-plus performance. Don't let headlines like the local Mercury News dissuade you; the setlist is a wonderful mix of recognizable classic hits with several tunes off Spirit, including "Going Backwards" (which they open the show with).

Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour

For the second local show, maybe I bit the bullet and got a better seat, because I HAD TO.  The Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA had several front row seats still available for the show the day before, and somehow I managed to get a pretty amazing spot on the first level off the floor, which meant I could see over the stage.

Even more surprising, the fact that I had my row of three seats completely to myself for FREAKING DEPECHE MODE. Cue me standing and dancing for the entire show, and getting two kisses blown my way by Dave.  Yes, I died a little bit, especially after "Stripped".

Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour

While not as musically tight as the previous show, the energy closer to the stage was simply incredible! I would almost put forth that maybe Dave was having health issues due to the amount of smoke from the various Santa Rosa/Napa fires, making poor air quality a very real thing for the Bay Area. I did witness him removing his in-ear monitors more than once and shaking his head as if to dispel water.

Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour

The stage design of having a thrust walkway out into the main floor audience was a treat. Seeing Gahan do his best Mick Jagger strut RIGHT THERE in front of me was something that was worth every single penny.

At the tail end of "Cover Me", Dave came out to the very end of the stage, to make for probably some of the best phone photos I've ever taken at a concert. The audience was under his spell, obviously, and it was magic.

At about the halfway point in the show, Gahan takes a break and heads backstage, leaving lead guitar player and songwriter Martin Gore to perform an acoustic version of "Question of Lust" and "Home".

The pre-encore chant of the crowd was deafening. Cell phone flashlights completely replaced lighters, and lit the arena up like day. I could not stop smiling pretty much the entire show.

Depeche Mode Is Freaking Awesome, Global Spirit Tour
I took very few photos, I wanted to be in the moment as much as possible. This was as the encore chant was still going on.

Depeche Mode continues their tour this week with a four night back to back stop at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. If you have the chance, do yourself a favor and GO SEE THIS TOUR.

It's worth it. So, so worth it.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!

Mary Anne ButlerAbout Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool. 

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

 Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

 Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional
Comments will load 20 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.