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SKK, St. Petersburg & Olympiski, Moscow, Russia / Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine
4th, 6th and 8th February 2010
Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb

May it be really interesting to visit three almost identical concerts of the same band? I would say it depends to a large extent on a band itself, and if we take into consideration that all three shows were played by DEPECHE MODE, a legendary formation indeed, it will become obvious why many fans from different parts of Russia, and not only Russia, went to St. Petersburg, then Moscow and finally Kiev to get the most out of the performances of their idols.

DEPECHE MODE is a unique and very successful band that recorded 12 albums, including the latest release ‘Sounds of the Universe’ followed by the support tour called “Tour of the Universe”. DEPECHE MODE is David Gahan, Martin Gore, Andrew Fletcher and two touring musicians: Peter Gordeno (keyboards, backing vocals) and Christian Eigner (drums, keyboards). /

4th February, SKK, St. Petersburg, Russia

Nine years after my first DEPECHE MODE concert and not long after the concert in Tel Aviv, I’ve got a chance to see the musicians again. The queue on the way to the venue could hardly give an idea of what I found inside: to put it mildly, SKK was overcrowded. During the gig of NITZER EBB I just tried to find a good place to observe the performance, but it was a way too hard considering the quantity of the people in the hall, so I was mostly listening to the concert, instead of watching it. The first act of the evening passed by me nevertheless the band played its show quite well and managed to heat up the audience. When the formation left the stage the fans stood pending and finally, after some time of breathless expectation DEPECHE MODE came to us.

Music & Performance
The setlist exactly repeated the one of the previous concerts: the opening song ‘In Chains’ made the audience feel excited, while the next composition ‘Wrong’ roused the whole avalanche of emotions. The other songs from ‘Sound of the Universe’ were ‘Hole to feed’ and rocking ‘Miles Away’. The hits from ‘Songs of Faith and Devotion’ were performed accompanied by very bright and partly aggressive lighting effects, but they didn’t distract the people from the solemn ritual going on the stage and all the fans sang along with the vocalist, straining their voices absolutely. ‘Precious’ from the previous album of DEPECHE MODE entitled ‘Playing the Angel’ was met with a great ovation and some old compositions pleased everyone as well: energetic ‘A Question of Time’ immediately exploded the venue and melancholic, yet powerful ‘Stripped’ overflowed the crowd with its melody and everyone was delighted, enraptured, ecstasized.

To the joy of the fans, the band didn’t forget about such songs as ‘It’s no Good’, ‘Behind the Wheel’ and ‘Policy of Truth’. Of course the musicians couldn’t do without the hits ‘Enjoy the Silence’, ‘Never Let Me down again’ and the audience looked like a storming sea. Martin performed three songs supporting by the backing vocals of Peter. ‘Insight’ sounded like something painfully familiar but at the same time it assumed some new subtle shades, catchy and impressive. ‘Dressed in Black’ made me totally happy and I think that if you have an opportunity to listen to the song written in 1986 and the lyrics of which you know by heart is worth many years of waiting. The final peace ‘Personal Jesus’ simply left the crowd almost unconscious and indeed some people even fainted but mostly because of the heat and the crush.

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 6
Total: 9 / 10

6th February, Olympiski, Moscow, Russia

This time the queue was a bit smaller but anyway we had to spend in the street much more time, shivering with cold and warming ourselves with the thought that soon we would see the concert of an amazing band again. The event started a bit later but in general it was quite bearable. As usual, NITZER EBB played during 40 minutes and the band was followed by a DJ-set and this time I could listen to the music of the formation more attentively yet still couldn’t appreciate its true value. Someday I’ll definitely visit NITZER EBB’s concert with pleasure but on the 6th of February we all were aiming for the show of DEPECHE MODE and I just didn’t concentrate on anything else. The idols came to the fans and the whole story repeated.

Music & Performance
The first part of the concert passed surprisingly quietly if “quiet” is the right word to describe the mess that went inside the venue. The second part turned to be much more energetic and vigorous and everyone stood up, even those who watched the show from the stands. The setlist was still the same but the atmosphere changed a bit and all the songs were performed in a more vivid way. All the members of the band were just gorgeous and they managed to play an unforgettable concert. The sound was better than in SKK but the audience was a bit passive I would say. There were no surprises during the performance but actually there were some advantages in all that stability. Dave and Martin immediately established a strong connection with the audience and controlled the crowd during the whole set.

Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 10
Light: 8
Total: 9.1 / 10

8th February, Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine

We came to the Palace of Sports about three hours before the event and as usual saw a long queue of the fans. It was even colder than in Moscow and this time we were really chilled, but sooner or later we must be rewarded for our patience: finally the doors opened and the throng of frozen yet happy people poured into the venue. The concert started just in time but the gig of NITZER EBB was 10 minutes shorter nevertheless very vigorous and the audience screamed, waved their hands and danced during the whole set. Of course we enjoyed the music but anyway we came here to see DEPECHE MODE for the third time already but it didn’t really matter. The band appeared and the magic started again.

Music & Performance
This time there was no ball over the stage but just a projection of it, but I didn’t really notice it at first. The setlist was still the same but I had a feeling that this concert was the first one and like everyone else I was impressed by the show. With the first sounds of ‘World in My Eyes’ I realized that I could spend even more than three hours in the street just to listen to the song and to see Dave looking at us and smiling. The audience was just beyond praise and everyone was overjoyed: the fans sang along all the songs, screamed “Dave!”, “Martin!”, “Depeche Mode” in pauses between the songs and the excitement overwhelmed the crowd. I’m sure it was the best concert among all three and the one that impressed me the most.

After ‘Personal Jesus’ the people didn’t want to leave the hall and continued to applause and to shout but the miracle didn’t happen and DEPECHE MODE didn’t come for the second encore. Nevertheless that fact didn’t spoil the impression produced by the concert of the wonderful band.

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 10
Light: 8
Total: 9.7 / 10

Setlist of all three shows

01. In Chains
02. Wrong
03. Hole to Feed
04. Walking in My Shoes
05. It’s no Good
06. A Question of Time
07. Precious
08. World in My Eyes
09. Insight
10. Home
11. Miles Away
12. Policy of Truth
13. In Your Room
14. I Feel You
15. Enjoy the Silence
16. Never Let Me down Again
17. Dressed in Black
18. Stripped
19. Behind the Wheel
20. Personal Jesus

Written by Elena Budanova, Translations by Nataly Night / All pics by Anastasia Grablina

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