Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...October 21, 2017 (Depeche Mode - Hollywood Bowl - Oldies & 90s Hits)

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Depeche Mode's Hollywood Bowl Finale: A Sing-a-Long, Surprise Oldies & Oodles of '90s Hits

  Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode closed its four-night stand at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday with a '90s-heavy set list, a few surprise oldies, and even an impromptu sing-a-long.
The band -- recently named as a 2018 nominee for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame -- is in the middle of its Global Spirit Tour, which has more than 100 dates scheduled through March of 2018. The trek launched on May 5 in Solna, Sweden, and reached the U.S. in August. The tour is in support of the band’s latest studio album, Spirit, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart earlier this year, marking the act’s 22nd charting effort and eighth top 10 set. Spirit was led by the single “Where’s the Revolution,” which gave the group its 20th hit on the Alternative Songs chart back in March.
Here are some notable moments from Depeche Mode’s Oct. 18 concert at the Hollywood Bowl:
Four the History Books: Depeche Mode played four shows at its Hollywood Bowl engagement for the Global Spirit Tour: Oct. 12, 14, 16 and 18. According to Andrew Hewitt & Bill Silva Presents, the shows' promoter, the four-night run is the most shows any act has played in a single engagement since the promoter began working with the Hollywood Bowl in 1991. (Outside of the summer season, Hewitt & Silva promote the bulk of shows presented at the Bowl -- mostly rock and pop concerts. During the summertime, the Los Angeles Philharmonic presents and promotes its annual season of events.)
“You Say You Want a Revolution?” The show started at 8:38 p.m. with The Beatles’ “Revolution” blaring through the sound system -- fitting, considering the first single from Depeche Mode’s latest album, Spirit, was “Where’s the Revolution.” The band hit the stage at 8:41, launching into the Spirit single “Going Backwards,” with frontman Dave Gahan strutting on a catwalk at the rear of the stage. (The catwalk also doubled as a gigantic video screen.) The show wrapped about 135 minutes later, around 10:56 p.m., following a finale of 1990’s Violator smash “Personal Jesus.” (Note: the show had to conclude by 11 p.m., which is the curfew for the outdoor amphitheater -- Monday through Saturday.)
A Down ‘Home’ Sing-a-Long at the Bowl: An impromptu sing-a-long broke out at the conclusion of “Home,” which was sung by the band's Martin Gore while Gahan was offstage. (Watch a video of the performance, below.) At the end of the song, after the lights went down, the crowd kept on singing -- prompting Gahan, who had returned to the stage, to say “We got some singers tonight.” He grabbed his mic and thrust it into the crowd, encouraging them to keep it up. Then, the band joined in to accompany the fans. “Here’s to the Hollywood Bowl!” For nearly two minutes, the fans kept on going, eventually ending with Gore exclaiming, “Wow!” and Gahan adding, “You really were the best!” (A nod to the three earlier Bowl show crowds, perhaps?)

Surprise Oldies: While the bulk of the show’s 22-song set list doesn’t change from night to night, the band switched up its songs a bit for the Bowl finale, including a tune that they haven’t played in 18 years: “Useless.” The track, which was a single from the 1997 album Ultra, hasn’t been performed by the band on tour since 1998. Also making their Global Spirit Tour debuts at the Oct. 18 show: “Precious,” “But Not Tonight” and “Sister of Night,” which got its first onstage performance since 2009. Further bonus for fans: both “But Not Tonight” and “Sister of Night” were performed acoustically and sung by the band’s Martin Gore (the original versions saw their lead vocals handled by the group’s frontman, Dave Gahan).
Ultra Ultra: Because of the addition of Ultra’s “Useless” and “Sister of Night” to the set list (which already included the album’s “It’s No Good,” “Barrel of a Gun” and “Home”), the show boasted five tracks from the 1997 album -- the most songs in the show from any Depeche Mode album. In fact, the show focused squarely on its 1990-1997 era, with its three studio albums released in that time (Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, and Ultra) getting a full 12 songs out of the 22-song set list. (Comparably, the band’s latest album, Spirit, saw just three songs performed: “Going Backwards,” “Cover Me” and “Where’s the Revolution.”)
Dancing Dave: The 55-year-old Gahan remains one of rock’s great front men, strutting and dancing across a stage with total confidence -- and coolness. At various points through the show, he spun like a top, did a modified pole dance with his mic stand and grabbed his crotch (which of course the in-house video screens zoomed-in on). There was a moment where Gahan wiggled his butt for the crowd (the first of a few wiggles in the evening) and we saw a woman spring out of her seat and clasp her hands over her mouth, clearly elated. She turned around to the women behind her and exclaimed, “You know we love it!”
Dance Break: When the band launched into “Enjoy the Silence,” the crowd was quickly illuminated by the glow of smart phones, recording the performance. (Not surprising, since the track is band’s only top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 8 in 1990.) The track was enhanced by an excellent extended funky bridge that turned the Bowl into a dance party.

Too Many Hits! For a band with a long career full of recognizable singles -- many from the '80s and '90s -- it must be difficult deciding which classic tracks get dusted off for a tour. In total, the band has charted 37 songs across the Billboard Hot 100, Alternative Songs and Hot Dance Club Songs chart -- combined. At the Oct. 18 show, just five songs from the 1980s were showcased: “Everything Counts,” “Stripped,” “Never Let Me Down Again,” “Personal Jesus” and “But Not Tonight.” (That means tracks such as “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “People Are People” and “Strangelove” were left out in the cold for the evening.)
Depeche Mode’s Oct. 18, 2017, Hollywood Bowl Set List:
“Going Backwards”
“It’s No Good”
“Barrel of a Gun”
“A Pain That I’m Used To”
“In Your Room”
“World In My Eyes”
“Cover Me”
“Sister of Night”
“Where’s the Revolution”
“Everything Counts”
“Enjoy the Silence”
“Never Let Me Down Again”
“But Not Tonight”
“Walking In My Shoes”
“Policy of Truth”
“I Feel You”
“Personal Jesus”

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