by Gustav's Electric Cafe,posted Aug 12 2009 11:48AM
The arena was sold to near capacity this evening, and there were a LOT of people who were clearly long-time fans of the band. I noticed a large eastern-European contingent, which I thought might have been due to the cancelled shows from earlier in the tour. Of course, it could also simply be (as my wife told me) people that were already there in Seattle, and that they might not have necessarily flown all the way over for the show.
The entire performance was simply amazing. They opened with 3 tracks from "Sounds Of The Universe" and also hit several songs from "Violator" as well as "Songs Of Faith & Devotion." Personal high points for me included "Stripped","Fly On The Windscreen","Master & Servant","Strangelove" and a fantastic duet with Dave & Martin on "Waiting For The Night" to close out the encore. I was a little surprised that "People Are People" hadn't been included in the set, and it would have been fun to have heard something from more of the classic catalogue (perhaps from "Construction Time Again" or "Broken Frame") but nonetheless, the boys from Basildon didn't disappoint. Martin did his trademark solo songs toward the middle of the set, including "Jezebel" and a very evocative "Home."
I was most impressed with Dave. For a man who is still recovering from Gastroenteritis, an exhausting tour schedule, and everything else that has been happening in his life over the past few years, he was in top form on stage. All of the trademark Gahan moves were still there... the strutting, the encouragement of the audience singalongs, and lest we forget, the spinning around with the mic stand. Vocally and physically, he was in top form. I could close my eyes, and it seemed like it was 1987 all over again, and it was clear this evening, that that's what the band was aiming for. What I witnessed was a young, fun and vibrant Depeche Mode. The hug between Dave & Martin toward the end was especially poignant, as I had never seen that sort of thing from them on stage before. Fletch seemed his usual self, standing tall behind one of the synths at stage left, his arms in the air at times.