Depeche Mode Go To Martin’s Hometown to Play an Intimate Show at The Santa Barbara Bowl

Depeche Mode Concert Review

Depeche Mode on stage at the Santa Barbara Bowl (Photo © Richard Chavez)

Reviewed by Richard Chavez
Fans from all over the world (Denmark, England, Germany, etc.) came to see their favorite band, Depeche Mode, play an intimate show at the Santa Barbara Bowl in, of course, Martin Gore’s hometown of Santa Barbara. The Bowl holds around 4,500 people so this was one of those venues the fans would most definitely want to see them play at. And some fans even camped out overnight to make sure that they were right up against the barricade when the doors opened.
At around 5:15 the security got the okay to let people into the venue. Finally after waiting under a hot sun for hours, the fans were allowed in and from that point it was on, every man, woman and child for themselves as a wave of fans were hiking up a steep, exhausting hill just to get inside the Bowl. Some fans were getting sick; others made it with ease. Then the countdown began for when Andy Fletcher, Martin Gore and David Gahan would hit the stage.
After Crystal Castles played an hour set and around 45 minutes or so later, the lights dimmed and the intro music began. The moment we all had been waiting for for what seemed like four years…Depeche Mode’s David, Martin, and Andy hit the stage. Dave came out spinning slowly across the stage, opening up with the first track of their latest CD release (Delta Machine), “Welcome To My World,” followed by track two, “Angel.” They played all sorts of hits including “Black Celebration,” “Precious,” “Policy Of Truth,” “Barrel of a Gun,” and their latest single “Should Be Higher” which during the song had some great visuals filmed by Anton Corbijn. Martin came out after and sang “Child Inside” and a song they said they’d never play because for some reason they didn’t like the song… Yep, you guessed it: “But Not Tonight.” Even though it wasn’t Dave singing, it still sounded great acoustically. Dave Gahan came back out to sing “Heaven,” “Soothe My Soul,” and a few others. During the encore Martin Gore sang two more songs then finally ended with “Never Let Me Down Again.”
The show lasted almost two hours due to the venue’s curfew. They played a total of 19 songs – all great. Despite the technical difficulties David was having with his ear pieces, the band was having a great time. Dave’s gyrating hips and struts, Martin’s jumping around, Andy’s dancing around and hip shaking (that’s right, Andy too was shaking his rump) high fives, hugs, laughing, just feeding off of each other as well as the crowd’s energy. The night was beautiful.
Depeche Mode have a few shows left in the US then it’s back to Europe for the second leg of the Delta Machine Tour.
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