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Depeche Mode amazes with a sensational concert in Madrid | Culture

by News Room
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The lights are turned off. Then, purple lighting emerges and an industrial bass sound breaks through. We were not wrong: we are at a Depeche Mode concert. Also for the passionate reception: 17,000 people, tickets sold out. Just like on Thursday at this same venue (WiZink Center in Madrid) and on the 16th at the Palau Saint Jordi in Barcelona and on the 21st at the BEC in Bilbao. It is the endorsement of a coherent and integral career, with its logical valley periods; perhaps, along with The Cure, the most respectable trajectory of the bands that triumphed in the eighties and are still active. A statement that none of those who were at his Madrid concert last night will be able to refute. Depeche Mode overwhelmed for two and a quarter hours in a sensational recital full of classics, with stops on their new work and with a host, Dave Gahan, who was absolutely dazzling.

The British group has been losing members over four decades of life (first with the defection of Vince Clarke and then due to the death of Andy Fletcher), but the now duo (Dave Gahan and Martin Gore) maintains an unwavering artistic commitment. To show that they are still creatively alive, last night they opened the concert with two songs from their new work, Memento Mori, 2023: the apocalyptic My Cosmos Is Mine, y Wagging Tongue, the song that U2 would like to compose today but that doesn’t come out. It is surprising how little electrical hardware the group uses and the rocky sound armor it generates. The only instrument that barely takes a break is the almost orchestral drums of that wonder of the drumsticks that is the Austrian Christian Eigner. Only three other men on stage, one of them not playing. But what Dave Gahan contributes is a departure.

Panoramic of the stage, last night. From left to right: Martin Gore (guitar), Dave Gahan (vocals) and Christian Eigner (drums).

With a black suit, light shirt, very elegant, sexy and with flamenco-heeled white boots, Gahan looked like a nocturnal Romeo with touches of a histrionic and cynical Joker (Joaquin Phoenix version). The singer exhibited movements of a plasticity that Nureyev would admire. A feat for a man who has used his now fibrous body to experiment with all kinds of hallucinogenic chemicals and who in a couple of months will turn 62 years old. Even his graceful finger snaps were a work of plastic art. And his voice, powerful and serious, filled the pavilion with drama. In contrast, Martin Gore, with curly blonde hair, remained static for almost the entire concert, concentrating on the keyboards at times and at other times on the electric guitar and performing some very accurate choruses. He was sensational especially with the guitar, playing it without exhibitionism, in a restrained way and extracting sounds that were both sharp and beautiful. Gore had him lead vocals halfway through the concert, performing Stragelove y Somebody, that he chained with sensitivity. They were the most relaxed minutes of the concert. When he returned to the stage, Gahan complimented his partner: “A wonderful angelic voice.”

The stage was sober and beautiful, with a giant screen in the back where fragments of video clips with images of what was happening on stage. A huge letter M appeared superimposed on the screen and artistic visuals emerged. A catwalk emerged from the stage along which Gahan occasionally slid (to say that he walked would not be true) to remain a few meters from the audience on the track. The singer addressed the audience with mastery and finesse. No shouting and “come on”. No no. He moved his body and people followed him, hypnotized. Because the recital took place under his distinguished control, without major concessions to pavilion demagoguery. Only at the end, in Just Can’t Get Enough, Gahan played “oeeeeeeeh” with the audience.

Another moment from the Depeche Mode concert at the WiZinz Center.

The singer put together a good aesthetic equipment with the microphone stand, which was his submissive dance partner throughout the night. Even when he grabbed his genitals with one hand and thrust his pelvis lewdly, he did it with class. A humble recommendation for the male sector: don’t try it, especially surrounded by people, because it will never turn out like the Depeche Mode singer did.

They sounded classics like Policy of Truth, Walking in My Shoes, I Feel You, It’s No Good…They dedicated Behind the Wheel to Andy Fletcher, and in Enjoy the Silence They invited a dancer, Belén López, to provide a flamenco touch. Well, this is much better than waving a flag of Spain, where she is going to stop. They then took a short break to string together four infallible final pieces that put the WiZink at its feet: Waiting for the Night, Just Can’t Get Enough, Never Let Me Down Again and a very rocking version of Personal Jesus.

When the four of them hugged at the edge of the stage to say goodbye to the audience, Gore raised his arm and pointed his index finger at Gahan: even his partner surrendered to the vocalist.

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