Last night we (Si & me) were at the Depeche Mode concert in Düsseldorf. It's the first concert we've been to in Germany and probably the first we've been to since seeing DM in Manchester about 4 years ago.
Concerts here are different to how I remember them in the UK (open air festival style excluded) here there are people wandering up and down in the seating selling caipirinha cocktails (there was also the odd ice cream seller) and you can take your beer in with you & your plate of chips. There was surprisingly a no smoking rule (only because the roof was closed - thank god) but this didn't stop the guy next to us lighting up!
Depeche Mode have been in existence since 1980 and apart from being Simon's favourite band (he has everything they've recorded in one form or another - vinyl, 12inches and cd's) have a special place in my affections. Back in January 1988 Simon asked me to go and see Depeche Mode in concert in Birmingham (their 'Music for the Masses' tour) and it was this (and the treating me to a cornetto during the concert*) that made me realise his intentions were more than that of a friend!
So, last night's concert...was good. The accoustics were shite (concrete and glass football arena with a retractable roof, no chance) and we were so so high up I could nearly touch the roof but the sheer energy that Dave Gahan (pronounced Gaan, but the Germans struggle with this and want to say 'Ga-han' which makes me snigger dreadfully) at the age of 47 exudes is amazing. He was bouncing around the stage for 2 whole hours. There was very little chatter with the crowd, nothing really more than 'helloooooooo' and 'thankyou' but then again why should there be? We were there to be sung to, and we were.
It was back to back songs, although the Germans post concert were complaining that this song wasn't played or that one, but this is a band who've been making music for 20 years, 12 albums worth of material to choose from, it's impossible for them to play every hit.
The Germans were also complaining that there was only 1 encore. I hadn't expected any more (because I'd seen on the internet that all the previous concerts only had 1 encore, so why should Düsseldorf be any different?) and in total they were playing to us for 2 hours, is more really necessary?
Another complaint I've seen is that the beginning of the final song 'Personal Jesus' was too slow, I thought it was great, a few weeks ago they played the Albert Hall (which is where the link is from) and played the same arrangement, it's what I call 'dirty country', loving it!
There were some real die hard fans there, who'd obviously been to lots of the other concerts on the same tour (it started last May) in the 'pit' area to the front of the stage during one song (Policy of Truth) there appeared lots of balloons, floating around above the heads of the audience (don't ask me why) but there were enough of them throughout the arena that it was clearly something that those in the know, know to do. Then in the first song of the (1) encore Martin Gore (who looks to me like a fallen angel, he has an angelic halo of yellow/blonde pin curls but dresses like the rock star that he is - black/silver/leather/wasitcoat ensemble) sang solo 'Dressed in Black' and suddenly there were sparklers alit in the arena (couldn't imagine that being allowed to happen in a UK concert either).
All in all a great night out!
* apparently I'm a cheap date, but expensive to live with.