Author Nualan O’Brien
Photos: Kostas Thomopoulos
(excluding the David Dahan Photo © Depechemode.com)
Depeche Mode: still going strong since the 1980’s
There aren’t many 80’s bands who – if they were to go on tour in 2014 – would fill up a small concert hall, let alone the rather roomy Zurich Hallenstadion, but Depeche Mode did just that. With over 100 million album sales, “I just can’t get enough” is more than just one of their best-known lyrics, it appears to be the appetite the public has for this band.
How their music evolved
Like all successful artists, their music has evolved. While they began as “pioneers of electronic music” from the mid- eighties they added more guitar into their melodies. In 2000, they did the “Exciter” album, which had its own tour. “Playing the Angel” followed and this was a huge success. “Delta Machine”, their 13th album was released in 2013 was their most recent album.
David Gahan and the Band’s Highs and Lows
This band has had highs and lows. They lost band members: the first Vince Clarke after the very first album in the 80’s. He was replaced by Alan Wilder, who also left in 1995.
Apart from that, the band are the original line up. David Gahan is the front line man, with a Freddy Mercury style showmanship. Martin Gore, the chief songwriter has called Gahan: ”the band’s instrument, our voice.”* Andy Fletcher is on keyboard.
While Gahan’s eye makeup and body-hugging waistcoats have a certain campness, he is the quintessential alpha-male on stage. His voice is good, his movements deft, his engagement with the crowd very natural. His stage charisma and his well-toned physique with the bad boy tattoos make him a big hit with the ladies. While Gahan sang most songs, Martin Gore on guitar, and Andy Fletcher on keyboards had their own solos too. Gore with his black-varnished nails and heavy eye make up also has a good stage presence.
David Gahan has made many headlines, not just for music but also for his past heroin addiction. Like many artists, the beauty of their music seems to come from a troubled place. “Sometimes I am so happy, sometimes so depressed,”* Gahan has said in the past.
The three high-definition videos playing videos – sometimes featuring the band, at other times featuring videos with dancers -at the back of the stage were impressive. The lights at the concert were mesmerizing and the music sound was good. David Gahan gives it his all: he jumped, he twirled, he sang. Depeche Mode is more than just a concert, it is definitely a show.
*Quotes translated from the German from: “On the Road to Heaven, Die Story von Depeche Mode”, Soulbooks.de © 2013.
Photos Copyright: Photo of David Gahan © Depechemode.com
All others © Zurich-Events.com