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DEPECHE MODE @ AK-CHIN PAVILION - PHOENIX, AZ (09.27.17)

Written  Wednesday, 04 October 2017 by 

As I walked up to pick-up my press credentials on Wednesday night, I took a moment to reflect on DEPECHE MODE and how influential they are on music as we know it today.  Now I’m not just speaking of dance or alternative genres, but ALL music.  Bands like COLDPLAY, LINKIN PARK, and RAMMSTEIN cite DEPECHE MODE as powerful influences on their music, and it should be no surprise with the success they have had since their humble beginnings in Basildon in 1980.  Since that time, they have released 14 studio albums, topped the charts with countless top-10 singles, and have sold north of 100 million albums worldwide.  It’s not a stretch to put DEPECHE MODE among my top-10 bands of all-time, and it shouldn’t be for you either.  DEPECHE MODE is the real deal.

As the show was ready to begin, the near-capacity crowd at Ak-Chin Pavilion began to work themselves into a frenzy as THE BEATLES classic, “Revolution” rocked the massive amps located throughout the amphitheater.  Fans immediately jumped to their feet as the song came to an end signaling that the show was ready to begin.  As dim lights went black, Martin Gore made his way to the stage (guitar in hand) with Andrew Fletcher following suit on his keyboard perch, stage right.  Then, centered directly behind the stage, Dave Gahan appeared in what appeared to be a massive video screen.  Donning his trademark sunglasses, he threw his fist into the air, smiled, and launched into 2016’s “Going Backwards”.  Probably one of my favorite tunes off their most recent release, Spirit, and almost certainly based on today’s turbulent political climate.  Great song choice to open this show.

Over the next 2 hours, Devotees from all over the world celebrated with one another as DEPECHE MODE cranked out an amazing 22-song set list spanning their entire catalog.  From classics such as “Everything Counts” and “Stripped”, to more recent releases such as “Where’s the Revolution” and “Wrong”, there was something for everyone at Wednesday night’s performance.  My personal favorite of the evening was “In Your Room”, off 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion.  I feel this could be one of their most underappreciated songs, and was super excited that it was part of their set.  Thinking the 10,000+ in attendance probably felt similar.  The show came to a spectacular end with a killer five-song encore that consisted of “Somebody”, “Walking in My Shoes”, “Heroes” (a David Bowie cover), “I Feel You”, and probably the most popular DEPECHE MODE song of all-time, “Personal Jesus”.  Wasn’t a huge fan of the Bowie cover, but many in attendance dug it and added a little character to an already packed set.    

As the crowd began the trek back to the parking lot, I took a few moments to speak to a number of DEPECHE MODE fans regarding their take on the evenings show.  One fan who had flew in from Argentina said that this was his first time attending a DEPECHE MODE concert and was “simply in heaven” after what he called a “bucket-list show”. Another from Texas had said this was her 100th DEPECHE MODE show, and was all-smiles as she recapped with me her night of “incredible memories”.  I received glowing feedback from many other fans that evening, and could not help but smile myself as I packed up my gear for my short drive back to Chandler.   

Overall, I think that DEPECHE MODE hit a home run on under the beautiful desert sky on Wednesday night.  The setlist was diverse, the bands energy levels were high, and the crowd was engaged from start to finish.  And when you consider that this band has been selling out shows for over 37 years, it’s no surprise that Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andrew Fletcher are still as relevant as ever.  With over 100 shows logged this year, it’s safe to say that this live performance was in my “Top 5”, and don’t see them getting knocked out of that group anytime soon.   Bottom Line - DEPECHE MODE continues to put an exclamation point on the worldwide music scene, and will probably go down in history as one of the most important musical acts of our time.  Until next time,

Stay Frosty and Rock On!

 

Setlist:

  • Going Backwards
  • So Much Love
  • Barrel of a Gun
  • A Pain That I'm Used To
  • Corrupt
  • In Your Room
  • World in My Eyes
  • Cover Me
  • A Question of Lust – Acoustic
  • Home
  • Poison Heart
  • Where's the Revolution
  • Wrong
  • Everything Counts
  • Stripped
  • Enjoy the Silence
  • Never Let Me Down Again

Encore:

  • Somebody
  • Walking in My Shoes
  • Heroes – David Bowie Cover
  • I Feel You
  • Personal Jesus
Matthew Belter

Website: iceboxphoto.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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