Finally, another bucket list item marked off. Last week on September 18th my best friend of nearly 20 years and I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to see Depeche Mode perform at the Ascend Amphitheater.
Depeche Mode has been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them at age 14. My sister who is 5 years older than myself had the ‘Depeche Mode Singles 86 > 98’ album the year it came out and I was hooked from the start.
I had always watched Live concert footage on Youtube thinking that one day I would experience their music live. I never expected it would come so much later in their career, however for a group of silver foxes in their mid-to-late 50’s they are still killing it!
If you’ve never been, the Ascend Amphitheater is an open-air venue, it’s right in the middle of downtown Nashville next to the river. It was a scorcher of a day in Nashville; about 90 ° (32 °C) but by the time doors opened at 7:00 pm the sun had gone down and the breeze from the river was glorious.
The opening band was ok, I spent most of their set standing in the merch line waiting to buy a Depeche Mode beanie hat.
Once the band hit the stage they didn’t stop for 2 hours they caressed our senses with a great setlist. They opened the show with ‘Going Backwards’ a song off their newest album ‘Spirit’ and then hit us with a lot of the classics, and a few of Martin Gore’s ballads peppered throughout, mostly to give Dave a breather I think.
I don’t know who their art director was for the scenes shown during a few of the songs, but they did an excellent job. The band even played a live remix of ‘A Pain That I’m Used To’ which I found rather amazing. You can see that performance and others from the night on my Youtube channel below.
Dave Gahan still has the ‘jagger swagger’ (as I like to call it) going on. The rest of us mere mortals can only hope to have half the energy and stamina that he possesses at 55 years old. OH, THE BOOTY SHAKING! He ain’t ashamed of a thing, he’s strutting like a rooster, shaking it, caressing the mic stand and even grabbed the goods a few times; all of which are quite a sight to behold when projected onto the jumbotron screens on either side of the stage. 😀
They took a few minutes to muster more energy and came back for a four-song encore, which included their lovely tearjerking tribute to David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’, they released a video for it this week on the 40th anniversary of its original release. (Get the tissues!)
They closed out their performance in Nashville by playing ‘Personal Jesus’, it’s always a crowd pleaser after 28 years and I think at this point they know they can’t NOT play it.
Depeche Mode still appears to really enjoy entertaining the masses and they do not disappoint. There’s still time for you west coasters to see/experience them before they head to Canada and then back to Europe to finish out the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.