What a special year it’s been. So many great tours. Who would have thought that one of my very final ones of 2023 would be with a band I have loved for over 40 years? Probably the group I have seen the most in my life. I wish I had kept my concert stubs, but I am guessing 8th time? That number probably seems minuscule to the diehards. 😉
And while some bands fade out, Depeche Mode is only getting better. When they visited us in Denver at a sold-out Ball Arena recently, it was one of my fave DM shows yet. Dave Gahan’s voice was rich, deep and like dripping honey for the entire night. Martin Gore switched between keyboards and guitar as well as gifting us with an acoustic version of “Strangelove,” which is my very fave DM song. (Full setlist is below!)
Openers Young Fathers blew me away. Someone said they reminded them of TV on The Radio and that was totally accurate. Formed in 2008 and from Scotland, this trio filled the arena with drums and gorgeous vocals – as well as magnetic dancing that basically put me in a trance. They finish out the tour with Depeche Mode and have a few headline dates on the east coast next Spring. Here’s hoping a Denver date gets added!
So, OK… I have to admit I kind of hate it when people call Depeche Mode an 80s band, seeing as they have steadily been putting out excellent (and successful!) albums since their debut with Speak & Spell in 1981. One thing I think we can all agree upon, though, is that these new wave pioneers have influenced countless bands with their innovative takes on electronic music.
We all missed original member Andy Fletcher, who passed away in 2022, but the band paid homage to him during the song, “World In Your Eyes.” Images of Fletch morphed behind them on the enormous screens that were shaped in a gigantic M – symbolic for the name of the latest tour and album Memento Mori.
The album was in the works before Fletcher’s death; the theme had been ignited by COVID and Gore questioning his own mortality. The band briefly considered not continuing, but decided it was the best way to move through their grief. Both Gahan and Gore have stated the only good thing to come from Fletcher’s death is that it has brought them closer together.
And frankly, you could see it on stage. Several people who also saw the show said it seems like the most fun Depeche Mode has had performing in ages. I absolutely agree. Dave was all over the stage dancing – I mean literally – much more than I have seen recently. Smiling! You know they were very sad to lose their friend and partner – but it was clear that they were thrilled to be back to performing the music and being with the fans.
If we have learned anything over the past few years, coming together to see the music we love performed live is a precious thing. It’s both healing and outright fun. Thanks to Depeche Mode for a fantastic night of new memories to add to my collection.
They finish out the North American leg of the Memento Mori tour in mid-December and pick up in Europe next year. I hope you had or have a chance to see them!
P.S. See if you can find the photo below where Dave noticed I was wearing a Depeche Mode tshirt while photographing. ❤️
Photos displayed in random order. Click any thumbnail for a larger version. Then use the navigation arrows (or your keyboard arrow keys) to move left and right through the photographs.
Young Fathers – Denver Concert Photos
Depeche Mode – Denver Concert Photos
Depeche Mode Setlist – Memento Mori Tour
11/16/2023 – Ball Arena Denver
My Cosmos Is Mine
Walking in My Shoes
It’s No Good
Policy of Truth
In Your Room
My Favourite Stranger
A Question of Lust
Strangelove (Acoustic, sung by Martin)
I Feel You
A Pain That I’m Used To
World in My Eyes (Dedicated to Andrew Fletcher)
John the Revelator
Enjoy the Silence
Waiting for the Night
Just Can’t Get Enough
Never Let Me Down Again
See photos from Depeche Mode’s 2017 stop in Denver!