Tonight I had the honour to attend a Depeche Mode concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was a special night (not that they usually perform at the Royal Albert Hall, usually The Wembley Arena or the O2) as they were performing for a charity, Teenage Cancer Trust.
So I got there by chance as Luis (many thanks), a friend from Spain who had an extra ticket. he’s spared it with me in exchange of accommodation in London. I wasn’t expecting something very unusual in this concert apart from a couple of changes in the set list. It all when good until they had a few guys with violins for 3 of the songs (something they did back in 1993). But, to my surprise and to the surprise of a few thousand people at the venue, Alan Wilder appeared on stage and played the piano with Martin L. Gore to perform Somebody.
Apologies for the quality of the recording, it’s all I could get.
So, for those of you who might find this boring, Alan Wilder left Depeche Mode in 1995, after a devastating (but glorious) Devotional Tour during which many weird things happened (among them, David Gahan on drugs, etc). Lots of people considered this as a turning point in Depeche Mode’s career as Wilder was probably a musical genius that brought everything together: Martin’s nice lyrics and ballads, Gahan’s voice and front lead, Andy’s face (pun intended) and Wilder’s sounds. It hasn’t been the same since.
But tonight, he was playing on stage, with Depeche Mode. Something that many have wished it came true. Too good to last though, as it seems like a one-only thing, kind of special occasion. People have moved on though. They (Depeche Mode and Alan Wilder) have moved on too. You can tell by their concerts. You can tell by the people who attended tonight (I felt very young among today’s crowd, and I started listening to Depeche Mode in 1989). They don’t attract new people these days, people get moved on by the good old classics from 15 years ago, people rock and dance with them in their concerts, not that much with the new stuff.
Anyway, people who know me know that I moved on as well. I no longer listen to much Depeche Mode these days. For me it’s like the memories of an ex-girlfriend for whom I was in love a long time ago. It brings nice memories, but nostalgic memories as well. And that’s why it needs to remain there, where it’s still sweet, otherwise…
However, tonight’s concert has moved me. To say that I’m excited is an understatement. Here I am, unable to get any sleep and writing this blog entry because I had the chance to watch something unique and something that’s moved me after all these years. I really enjoyed tonight, it’s been like making peace with that ex-girlfriend (yeah, but not what you are thinking, I can see you coming here… )
So, thank you Depeche Mode.
I hope you guys enjoy the video.
As a side note, I found this with unseen footage from 1998, recorded by MTV which has also reminded me of the days I started listening to Depeche Mode. Hope you like it.