I take it back. I take it ALL back.
I've been waiting patiently to sign back on and let you know that my original post about my beloved Depeche Mode and their newest album was all wrong. After a few more listens, as predicted, it grew on me and now when I hear it I smile. I was hasty, and a bit preoccupied I suppose, when I gave Playing the Angel it's first listen. By the fourth or fifth run through, I was singing along and feeling the love. It's not their best album, by any means, but it's a good solid record with some great tracks and just enough of the classic Dave Gahan gloomy good-stuff and willowy Martin Gore melodrama.
But I still wanted to wait and reserve final judgement until after I'd seen the live show. I waited for the night with anticipation and a little anxiety, a little voice in my head telling me not to expect too much. They are old, after all. It has been 25 years of magic and no band can be expected to truly rock for that long. I paced and pouted at the thought that the reserved and conservative "Toronto chin-scratchers" would ruin the show with their silence and their sitting down.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong again.
Now, I'm not a music reviewer, so I'll leave the professional review up to a profesional. I think Ben Rayner has done a great job with his review so give it a read if you're interested.
If you want my side of the story, here it is.
Let's just say that the entire evening not only renewed my faith, it actually allowed me to reach out and touch it. This was easily the second best concert that I've ever seen, and THE absolute best that I've seen in Toronto. Let me just explain that he first-best concert was when I saw Madonna's Drowned World tour in 2001 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. Hands down, best show ever, and the day that I see a show that can top it, will be the day that I can die happy. But I digress. It's not fair to compare, really.
Okay, last night.
I attended the show with my favourite guys: Crown, Mr. Rush and my own Personal Gsus (aka GParty). Any night is a good night when it's me and the guys, but there really are no guys better to see a show with than these ones. They have fun and they are not afraid to show themselves having it. It's why I've loved each of them since the moment I met them. Last night was no exception.
We screamed, we danced, we sweat. Gsus faked passing out and gave me a big belly laugh. Crown had on his dancing shoes and busted his phenomenal whistle (of which, by the way, I am insanely jealous). Mr. Rush bopped and bounced. I sang EVERY WORD TO EVERY SONG at the top of my lungs. The special part? So did everyone else. Hallelujah and praise the Lord. Toronto HAD FUN.
There was a moment, during "Personal Jesus", when the sold-out crowd at the ACC was reaching out to touch faith in synchronization and I swear I had a religious experience. If you know me, you know, I'm not religious. But there is nothing like being in a crowd of 20,000 people, all on their feet, all singing out loud to a song that you love and waving their hands in unison. It blows your mind. It blew mine.
Had God actually floated down from the rafters and landed on the stage, nobody would have even noticed him (her?) because ALL EYES were on Dave.
Dave. He is God. Remember when he died and came back to life? Yeah. Now I know. He actually did die, God took his body (who wouldn't? It's HOT) and came down to spend eternity singing "Personal Jesus", shirtless, to sold out crowds. That's right, his shirt was off in the first 15 minutes, and all was right with the world.
I cried. Not a shock, I'm sure. But seriously, when Martin Gore walked out alone on the stage for the encore, flooded in red light, and the first pulsing strains of "Somebody" filled the stadium, I may have had an orgasm. That song? It's all ravaged teenage emotions, unrequited passion, first loves, first dance, first broken heart, "first time," all rolled into one. You may wrongly think that I was having a "chick" moment, but nope. I think the guys felt it too. In fact, I'm pretty sure the entire stadium shared my ecstasy.
TWO encores. TWO ENCORES! The second one whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that I thought the roof was going to blow off the building. The roar was actually deafening and I noticed a few people around me screaming out loud and plugging their ears at the same time. I would never have guessed that they would actually come back out a second time, but Crown was defiant. "We're not leaving until they they sing that song I love. There is no way I'm leaving until that happens."
The song, he loves? "Never Let Me Down Again." Guess what? They didn't.
Picture it again. 20,000 people singing together and waving their arms in happy, sweaty unison. "See the stars they're shining bright, everything's alright tonight." Indeed it was.