Depeche Mode - Comcast Center, Mansfield MA July 31, 2009
Comcast Center, Mansfield MA
Friday July 31, 2009
Support: Peter Bjorn + John
Thursday afternoon I got a message via "Twitter" that if I responded back to a certain "Twit" I'd get a pair of tickets to Depecehe Mode. Figured I had never seen them, it was a Friday and "Free" well I had to give it a shot. Before 2pm on Friday (day of show) I had a message back saying I had a pair of tickets waiting for me at will call. At the time, it was raining sideways, but I decided "what the heck".
Rewind 20+ years ago. I saw "People are People" on MTV and decided to track down some of their work. After the massiveness that was "Violator" and the double live cd "101" I have to admit, my affection started to taper off. I had never seen the band live, they were just sort of falling off the radar with me but all the while I understood what they had added to "alternative" and or/ electronic music.
Arriving at the venue I could tell my suspicion was correct. This show had been horribly undersold. The Twitter response I used ran for over 24 hrs saying "everyone that responded would get tickets" and earlier in the week my brother forwarded me a note from Harpoon Brewery with the same sort of "reply now for a pair of free tickets' and they were giving out 500 pair! All along I figured my free seat(s) would be the lawn of the 19,000+ capacity amphitheater. To my surprise (and pleasure since it was still raining) I was in Section 4. I tried in vain to give my second ticket away. Some folks that were buying needed more than 1 as they wanted to sit together. Once inside, I noticed the entire lawn was "closed' and the open air seats had smattering of people. Even still, the crew at the Comast Center was waving people down into the shed..there was that much room.
Onward to the show. The band gets points taken off for having us wait for over 30 minutes to come on stage. I mean really, the stage was clear and set up w/smog rolling over it for close to 1/2 hour. Cut the shit and get out there and play. Even if its the same set list, let the fans go home early. Its not like the venue is making beer sale revenue since all concessions close at 10pm anyway. When the band did arrive on stage the sparse crowd showered them with affection and then all but sat on their hands. Opening with three songs from their new cd "Sounds of the Universe" the band really didn't open with a bang. Singer Dave Gahan tossed the mic stand above his head and shook his backside at the au dice. Guitarist Martin Gore was to his right and could remain in said slot for the bulk of the evening, while Andrew Fletcher worked full time to the left on one of the keyboards.
Four songs in the "casual" fans like myself got "Walking in My Shoes". The mid tempo track was a nice "reminder' of the bands pop sensibility and reminded me why I liked their music at one time. Then we sort of hit the breaks again. The set list, which could be riddled with hits seeming plodded along. Martin Gore took center stage for two solo tunes "Little Soul" and "Home". Both were "okay" but for a band better know for its poppier/dancier tracks placing a two song set, of solo sort of 'ehhh' music didn't help.
Before you cry fowl, I looked..trust me often..at the people around me and over to my left..and there were a lot of motionless people. Those that were moving were reaching for their cell phones it seemed to either text, or take a quick picture, it just was not what I expected.
After that bump in the road the set really seemed to start to warm up. "Policy of Truth" started a great run right up to the encore. "I Feel You" was a rocking a rousing version and even broke the mold and sort of "jammed' the song a little extending the guitar part and having a drum break down, it was really a decent moment. The main set ended with "Never Let Me Down" and that too was very strong.
Heading to the encore I knew the trend with the band was 4 songs, another break, then 2 more to close out. The set list has not changed at all up to this point barring the dropping of the very last song (prolly cuz they wait to freaking long to come on stage and lose time due to curfew..just sayin). The encore was "Stripped" "Master and Servant" and "Strangelove". Okay good..three songs I knew, the audience knew and the band seemed to be feeding off that.
They closed out with probably their biggest, or at least most widely known tune "Personal Jesus" closed it out. The band never really said much to the audience and to their credit they did play the show like it was a sell out, but I am not sure that would have even helped, having that large a crowd I mean.
Glad I saw them, but even for free I am not sure I'd go again. I was poking around the bands forum and seems like many fans liked it (go in 2-3 pages) and that is great. I am glad others had fun.
Here is the Setlist:
Hole To Feed
Walking In My Shoes
It's No Good
A Question Of Time
Fly On The Windscreen
Policy Of Truth
In Your Room
I Feel You
Enjoy The Silence
Never Let Me Down Again
Master And Servant
Labels: live review