Depeche Mode's "Tour Of The Universe"
Had a ball at the Depeche Mode concert at Washington, D.C.'s Nissan Pavilion on Tuesday night. Was it a perfect evening? No. But an uneven Depeche is better than most people at their best, so I was thrilled to see them again, 21 years after first attending the "Music For The Masses" tour. Yes. I'm that old.
Despite being a bunch of near-geezers, the trio -- vocalist Dave Gahan, keyboardist Andy Fletcher, and composer/instrumentalist Martin Gore -- kick surprising amounts of ass onstage. The sound is full and powerful, and the energy, especially from Gahan, is infectious. The muddy acoustics of the venue hurt some of the arrangements, notably "Master and Servant" and "Hole To Feed," which came off as walls of sound rather than songs.
But in large part, the arrangements were stellar -- a glam-rock variation on "I Feel You," a surly "Personal Jesus," and best of all, an exquisite acoustic arrangement of "Home." The video design (as you'll see in the photos below, snapped with the best of intention on Damion's -- aka Queering The Apparatus -- iPhone) was remarkably varied and powerful, especially when it challenged the audience with postmodern religious quotes, transgressive lesbian S&M, or existential astronauts (!!!).
The tour is making its way across North America right now...and it's definitely worth the $$$, if you're so inclined. It's going to be a great few months for concerts: my beloved Kylie Minogue, The Gossip, and Pet Shop Boys, one right after the other. (I can't find anyone to go with me to see PSB. Maybe I'll go by myself? I've never been to a concert alone, but there's a first time for everything.)