This was probably my last Depeche Mode concert. I think they seem old and tired. I have seen them at least 3 times earlier + a Dave Gahan solo gig. This week's concert wasn't anywhere near as good as any of the earlier gigs I've seen.
Andy Fletcher reached new heights of idiotic stage behavior. I swear I saw him yawning behind his email-reading-desk at one point on the big screen. Wisely they didn't film him much though. The drummer Christian Eigner looked like he could collapse at any time for most of the gig. Singer Dave Gahan had some energy left, and if you could forgive his silly mustache, he was still able to entertain, being the great front man he's always been. His voice was a bit so-so, but most of the time it was pretty good. Martin Gore looks older too, but he was the one who could be most satisfied with his performance. He is the only of the 3 DM core-bandmembers, who actually plays on any instruments live and he sang several ballads really well.
The setlist was kinda disastrous. The new album "Spirit"  is boring as fuck. Funnily enough, it's just as boring live. When you include 5 songs from this new album in your setlist and you further add 2 songs from the equally terrible album "Sounds of the Universe" , then you are asking for trouble. The first hour of the gig was really slow, and every time it was about to take off then it was soon brought to a complete stop again. A band doesn't have to play for more than 2 hours when half of the gig is rather boring.
The sound quality wasn't great. We were in the Golden Circle area near the stage, where the sound is usually best, but most of the time it sounded like a MP3 with too high compression played on a transistor radio that was being pushed way too hard. Parken can actually sound a hell of a lot worse than this, if it really wants to, but that doesn't change the fact that the sound quality left a lot to be desired.
The stage design was rather spartan. There was a big screen behind the stage that was used for some pretty interesting video clips and effects, but that was about it. The stage itself was ridiculously low, making it almost impossible to catch a view of the band, unless you were in the first row or at least 2.5 meters tall. It's not acceptable being in the Golden Circle area and only being able to see the band on the video screens.
When they played the older hits, the party was about to get started. But every time it really began to take off, it was soon brought to a halt again. Also the endless sing-a-longs were just too many and too drawn out. It is somewhat more satisfying to hear the band perform, than it is to listen to people around you, who can't sing a bloody note. I also very much prefer David Bowie's own version of "Heroes" to the version they played at this gig.
Parken was it's usual charming concrete hell. I've already written about the sound quality. Accessibility in/out is always a genuine pain in the ass. The Golden Circle area was ridiculously large and totally over-crowded. Bar and toilet access was as shitty as always. Why don't they tear down this ugly concrete structure and build something new instead, worthy of our time and age? Make sure to hire some Germans to handle the logistics of it all, Parken Entertainment has got no clue.
I hope this was my last ever visit to Parken, and it's probably the last Depeche Mode gig I'll ever attend. I prefer to think back to my nice memories of much better concerts in the past. I have given up any hope, that they will ever release a great album again. Technically, their recording career (of any importance) probably ended with "Playing the Angel" .
Going Backwards, So Much Love, Barrel of a Gun, A Pain That I'm Used To, Corrupt, In Your Room, World in My Eyes, Cover Me, A Question of Lust, Home, Poison Heart, Where's the Revolution, Wrong, Everything Counts, Stripped, Enjoy the Silence, Never Let Me Down Again.