Key Arena, Seattle - Monday, December 7, 1998
All of a sudden there I was, directly in front of the band that a surprisingly large percentage of modern day artists are more than happy to say inspired them to greater things. A band that is far from involved in the current eighties revival, primarily because they never faded away, and a band that still puts out some of the coolest electronic music around.
I'm talking, of course, about Depeche Mode, who are somehow able to play to packed arenas here in the United States and around the World over a year after putting out one of electronicmusic.com's all time top twenty album's, Ultra.
Okay, so there's no mystery surrounding the reason why Depeche Mode are able to attract hundreds of thousands to their shows. They did after all dominate the eighties electronic music scene, putting out a surprisingly large amount of music that helped set the scene for what we are experiencing here in the back end of the nineties.
But it was only six months ago that I attended a Prodigy show that took place in a venue approximately half the size and to about a third of the people, yet they were almost single handedly responsible for pushing UK electronic music, albeit the hard dance type, in the faces of an audience that just maybe actually ready for something other than guitar rock . So what's the real attraction.
Well for one thing they've never been afraid of standing shoulder to shoulder with the bain of any self respecting "alternative" band, namely that thing called pop. In fact you'd be hard pressed to find any Depeche Mode song that runs over four and a half minutes, and what about those choruses that get stuck in your head for days at a time.
One such chorus can be heard a few minutes into the song Barrel Of A Gun, from their 97 full length release Ultra, which was met with spontaneous and, quite frankly, deafening approval from the audience as soon as it fired up, and another example, Never Let Me Down , one of my all time favourites and an absolute delight to experience live, again came across sounding as good as I could possibly have imagined.
Painkiller, Question Of Time, World In My Eyes, Policy Of Truth, It's No Good, Never Let Me Down, Walking In My Shoes, Lose Myself, Sister Of Night, Home, Condemnation, In Your Room, Useless, Enjoy The Silence, Personal Jesus, Barrel Of A Gun. Encore 1 - Somebody, Behind The Wheel, I Feel You. Encore 2 - Just Can't Get Enough.