Depeche Mode Lets Loose At Pearl
By Jordan Healy ~
Depeche Mode’s Tour of the Universe made its stop at The Pearl concert theater on Saturday and proved to be one of the best concerts to hit Vegas in 2009.
For a tour that has been dubbed ‘Tour Of The Unicurse’ by many fans due to the cancellation of 14 dates on this tour alone due to various health ailments inflicting lead vocalist Dave Gahan, the group showed no signs of sickness or slowing down. In fact, they proved their music has the capability to take on a life of its own live and becoming its own monster.
Prior to the show’s start, tension was running high in the venue. It was already blistering hot, and the sound of fans anticipating the night’s performance in several different languages was flooding the air. Fans had come from as far as Germany for the intimate performance, as the venue is the smallest the group will perform in on their current tour.
When the lights finally dimmed and the band walked onstage, a deafening roar erupted and the hot venue became an inferno. The group launched into the set with the first three tracks off their newest record, ‘Sounds Of The Universe’.
Though almost 50 years old, Gahan hasn’t lost any of his charismatic stage presence as he paraded around the stage wildly, never letting his hips stop to catch a break. The same praise can be given to his vocals, which were utterly immaculate.
Martin Gore, the group’s primary songwriter and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist, also delivered a flawless performance, all the while adorned in a sparkly silver suit.
For ‘A Question Of Lust‘ and ‘Shake The Disease’, Gore took lead vocals and performed solely with a backing piano courtesy of keyboardist Peter Gordeno. These songs ignited the crowd into two of the loudest sing-alongs of the evening, moving several audience member to tears.
Many aspects of the group’s performance made them sound like a metal band at times. Gahan’s screams during ‘I Feel You’ were hair-raising and the double-timed drumming at the end of ‘A Question Of Time’ sounded powerfully similar to the blistering drumming featured in industrial metal act Ministry’s ‘Just One Fix’. It was enough to work the audience into a sweaty frenzy of gyrating bodies and surprisingly, also cause some to headbanging.
After the group closed out their mainset with a performance of ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ that had the entire venue on their feet and waving their arms in the air, the group let the audience stew in the dark for a moment before coming out for an encore.
When they returned, they treated the crowd to four more tracks, including moving performances of ‘Stripped’ and ‘Personal Jesus’. The latter track in particular felt utterly soul-wrenching because the bass was turned up so high that it felt as though the beat was literally the audience’s chests, leaving something behind to hold the rabid crowd over until the next time Depeche Mode comes to town.
Peter Bjorn and John, the opening act, didn’t seem like the most logical choice to play before Depeche Mode, but they proved to be extremely entertaining and sounded great musically. While they are primarily known for their 2006 single ‘Young Folks’, many other tracks the group played were very enjoyable, although the audience really didn’t show much enthusiasm until their hit track was played.
During the track, vocalist Peter Moren came down from the stage and danced on the floor of the venue while singing, prompting a much more lively response from an audience that had previously seemed comatose. The evening was more than simply a concert – it was more of an experience. In a room filled with thousands of devout fans, all of whom paid an extremely high ticket price to see their favorite band, one can only expect to have some sort of religious experience. Couple that with a heart-stopping performance and one has something akin to bona fide musical salvation.
Source: The Rebel Yell