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Depeche Mode - Live at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida (Concert Review)

Updated on September 15, 2016

"Strangelove"

Released in the UK on April 13, 1987, "Strangelove" was the first single released for their sixth studio album "Music for the Masses". It reached number 1 on the US dance charts and remained there for 3 weeks while placing 50th on the Billboard Hot 100 list.

My Musical Background

I LOVE music - all kinds of music - Industrial, jazz, electronic, show tunes, movie soundtracks, hard rock. Over my lifetime, like most people, I have gone through different phases of what I listen to on a day to day basis, but there is one band that has always remained at the very top of my playlist.

Depeche Mode.

There have been countless times when people have asked what my favorite band is and I always get the same reaction. "Aren't you a little young for them?" That may be true considering my very favorite song "Strangelove" is just about the same age as me. Album after album they have continued to keep me listening with their deep electronic roots and meaningful lyrics (no matter what age I am at the time). Depeche Mode's music makes me dance, cry and raise my hands to the sky and sing at the top of my lungs. They have stood the test of time for me, as well as with the rest of their deeply devoted fan base.

The first time I saw them live was in 2009 during their "Tour the Universe" tour after the release of their 11th studio album Playing the Angel. It was a rainy, humid night at the Tampa Amphitheatre, but I was blown away by their performance despite the awful yet typical Florida weather. While walking to my car through the mud I was already dreaming of the next time I would get to see them live.

The empty stage before the show - it was torture!
The empty stage before the show - it was torture!

Opening Act

On Sunday, September 15, I got my second chance to see them in concert. I traveled to Sunrise, Florida to the BB&T Center which is an NHL hockey arena.

Waiting for your favorite band to come on stage is always the worst part, but thankfully there was a great opening act for Depeche Mode. Bat for Lashes had a 45 minute set that most of the arena missed since 75% of the audience didn't show up until well after she was finished. The female singer had a soulful and haunting voice with soft, electronic music as her backdrop. She played various instruments herself and was great about keeping the small crowd ready and excited for the main act.

Usually I am really into openers for concerts since I understand a good deal of them don't normally get this type of exposure. I have to admit - this is the first time in my life after hundreds of shows that I didn't pay as much attention to Bat for Lashes as they deserved. I was far too anxious to see Depeche Mode. I can't count how many times my boyfriend placed his hand on my knee to get it to stop bouncing up and down.

"Welcome to my World"

Grand Entrance

With a booming roar of blustery bass, the lights went down in the arena and the band made their way onto the stage. My heart fluttered as lead singer Dave Gahan, songwriter Martin Gore and keyboardist Andy Fletcher trickled onto the stage along with their live band members drummer Christian Elgner and keyboardist Peter Gordeno. The first song performed was "Welcome to my World" from their new album Delta Machine, their 13th album. It was slow yet invigorating enough to send shock waves through the arena and get the crowd roaring. "Angel" was next on the list, another song from Delta Machine with a darker sound. The new songs sounded fantastic and it was easy to tell that the band enjoyed playing the songs live just as much as the audience enjoyed hearing them.

Production Design

The stage used for Depeche Mode's Delta Machine Tour was designed by Anton Corbijn who also directed the short clips shown on the screen in the background. Corbijn has been working with the band since the mid-80's directing videos for songs such as "A Question of Time", "Strangelove", "Never Let Me Down Again", "Behind the Wheel", "Personal Jesus", "Enjoy the Silence", "Policy of Truth", "World in My Eyes", "Halo", "I Feel You", "Walking in My Shoes", "In Your Room", "Barrel of a Gun", "It's No Good", "Suffer Well" and "Should Be Higher".

"Should Be Higher"

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A crowd favorite, the classic "Walking in My Shoes" had everyone in the audience on their feet singing along with Gahan as he danced along the stage in his usual fashion. As I watched him wiggle his hips and spin around in circles with his mic stand held high above his head, I was immediately reminded what makes Gahan such an amazing front man. "Precious" followed with the giant screens posted behind the band displaying a video of adorable dogs. (Despite NOT being a fan of Depeche Mode, my boyfriend's only complaint about the concert was that there was no bulldog in the video...I'll take that as a win.)

The crowd erupted once again as they easily recognized the start of "Black Celebration". The circular lighting rig over the stage began to sink down while bright red laser lights shot out from the backdrop. Other popular favorites "Policy of Truth" and the lesser-known "Barrel of a Gun" had everyone singing while another new song "Should be Higher" was tossed in the middle to mix it up.

The thin digital ad screens around the BB&T Center were synchronized with the video playing on the larger displays on stage during "Should Be Higher". One of the coolest films shown during the concert was during this song as it showed hooded men dancing with fire in slow motion. Bright oranges and reds lit up the entire auditorium beautifully.

"Walking in My Shoes"

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After an exciting first block of music, most of the band members left the stage as Martin Gore stayed behind. Over a soft piano, he beautifully sang two songs solo as the audience sang along and used their voices to provide another instrument. Some concert-goers took these two songs as a bathroom break or to get another drink, but most stuck around and took part. First was "The Child Inside" from their new album followed by "But Not Tonight". Gore's voice echoed brilliantly through the arena and the heartfelt feeling left behind from the songs hung in the air while the other members walked back onto the stage. Frontman Dave Gahan applauded the audience as they continued to chant along to the song which had already ended.

Two songs from Delta Machine would work to reignite the crowd starting with the first single "Heaven". As the lights faded and the crowd applauded after the slower song ceased, the pace quickly sped up as my favorite song from the new album titled "Soothe My Soul" took charge of the show. The hard beat of the song had everyone dancing along with Gahan, whether they knew the song or not.

Next on the setlist was a remixed version of the second single from the album Playing the Angel. "A Pain That I'm Used To", the Jacques Lu Cont Remix version was a unique live performance as the format and overall sound to the song was almost indistinguishable until I started singing along with the lyrics. To put it simply - it was super cool and an unexpected surprise.

"A Question of Time"

The next block of music had my legs sore from bouncing up and down and dancing while screaming at the top of my lungs. "A Question of Time" is my favorite song when performed live. Gahan doesn't even need to sing the chorus. The audience is put in center stage as he holds the microphone out to them. As soon as the first chorus is over, Gahan does his signature 'spin around like a crazy person' with the mic stand clutched tightly in his hands. It makes you feel good when the band performing is having just as much fun as you are!

"Enjoy the Silence" and "Personal Jesus" followed, each with their own twist - both being tied in my opinion as the most easily recognizable songs by Depeche Mode in the United States. (It makes my friends realize who they are anyway.) "Enjoy the Silence" had a quirky breakdown just before the last chorus while "Personal Jesus" started off as much slower than usual. Martin Gore's marked guitar intro was creeped along with both Gore and Gahan singing together until pausing dramatically before the song took it's true and highly favored form.

"Home"

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Encore

Depeche Mode left the stage for only a few short moments before Martin Gore returned along with the keyboardist. As the piano started to play, the tears instantly began rolling down my face. The song "Home" has always meant so much to me and I someday plan to dance to it at my wedding. I cried happily while singing loudly with the rest of the arena and gladly followed Gore's instructions towards the end of the song as he ran back and forth along the stage, leading his fan-filled choir.

I hardly had enough time to wipe the tears from my face before a haunting rendition of "Halo" began. This was only the beginning of the five song encore. One of their oldest and another popular favorite tunes "Just Can't Get Enough" had the crowd rocking and singing with Gahan as he began to strut his stuff once more. The sexy sounding "I Feel You" had the fans roaring with excitement as they danced along with Gahan and the other members of the band.

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Perfect Ending

"Never Let Me Down Again" was the song that would end the night - and what a way to go out! With light piano and keyboards along with the lively tempo, the group led the crowd in an enthusiastic ending as the entire arena sang along to the familiar lyrics. At the very end of the song, even after the final chorus, Gahan shouted, "let me see those hands!" and then sauntered towards the end of the runway without his microphone. He paused and then waved his arms back and forth high over his head as the audience followed along gladly. He stared out over his fans with absolute adoration and took in the love and respect being directed towards the band as the crowd continued to sway back and forth.

"Never Let Me Down Again"

What about YOU?

Have you even seen Depeche Mode live in concert?

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You know it's been a good concert when you leave the venue and you're unable to speak, you can't lift your arms above your head and you're completely soaked with sweat even though you were indoors and in the air conditioning for 4 hours. It sounds kind of gross, but it always means that you've had an incredible time. The only way I could describe it to people the next day - "They took me to church."

Depeche Mode played for over two hours and there wasn't one single minute that I would change or take away.

Well, I would maybe throw in "Strangelove", but that's it!

Depeche Mode - Sunrise, Florida Setlist

Song
Album
Year
Welcome to My World
Delta Machine
2013
Angel
Delta Machine
2013
Walking in My Shoes
Songs of Faith and Devotion
1993
Precious
Playing the Angel
2005
Black Celebration
Black Celebration
1986
Policy of Truth
Violator
1990
Should Be Higher
Delta Machine
2013
Barrel of a Gun
Ultra
1997
The Child Inside
Delta Machine
2013
But Not Tonight
Stripped Single
1986
Heaven
Delta Machine
2013
Soothe My Soul
Delta Machine
2013
A Pain That I'm Used To
Playing the Angel
2005
A Question of Time
Black Celebration
1986
Enjoy the Silence
Violator
1990
Personal Jesus
Violator
1990
Home
Ultra
1997
Halo
Violator
1990
Just Can't Get Enough
Speak and Spell
1981
I Feel You
Songs of Faith and Devotion
1993
Never Let Me Down Again
Music for the Masses
1987

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    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Very in-depth and well written Hub! This must have taken a long time and it shows. Very interesting!

    • Tygher41 profile image
      Author

      Megan Carroll 3 years ago from Boynton Beach, FL

      Thank you CraftytotheCore! It was fun to write! =)

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