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Depeche Mode
A Concert Review

June 22, 2001

The Tweeter Center

Tinley Park, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
I must admit that I’m not a huge Depeche Mode fan, but I will give them the respect they deserve. I write this because, well, for a band that doesn’t get much radio play anymore they have a devoted fan base that supports everything they do, show up in droves, and the band responds by not just being a greatest hits act but by trying to keep expanding their music base. This was most evident at their show at The Tweeter Center outside of Chicago this cool June evening, but maybe they shouldn’t try to expand their music base quite so much.

Getting to the venue it struck me a little odd that, if you work at an outdoor venue, wouldn’t you check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Sure the fans came dressed for the weather, some in full goth mode, others who just got out of work and were in business casual, but most with a light jacket or at least long pants. But there, in the venue, with a chilly breeze making its way through the pavilion, stood a shivering girl, dressed in short-shorts and a spaghetti shirt under her security windbreaker. She couldn’t even dance during the show to keep her warm because she worked there. I almost thought of offering her my jacket, but chivalry is dead and everyone’s got The Weather Channel. In any case I had my jacket on, even wore pants, and after taking care of shooting my photos I found a seat. Knowing that I wouldn’t be familiar with a lot Depeche Mode would play, I found it almost more fun to pay attention to the band/crowd interaction and wondered would the crowd like a set-list not full of the hits but rather a mix of a lot of new songs, some not so new songs but not what you might expect songs, and a few of the songs I actually knew? I think they needed to play a few more of the songs I actually knew.

From the start of the show Dave Gahan did what he could to try and keep the crowd going – he strutted, he vogued, he wiggled his butt, and he kept the crowd banter to a minimum, but for the start of the show, and I know the people were standing the entire time, but it wasn’t really until about eight songs in that the crowd really responded when "Waiting for the Night" played. Before that, I suppose maybe because most of the material was from their new album, "Exciter," but the crowd just didn’t seem to get into the groove of the show.

So the band finally got the crowd back, but then, as the crowd started getting into it, Depeche Mode decided to slow things down letting Martin Gore go acoustic for "The Bottom Line." Don’t get me wrong, it was a good song and solo, and the crowd tried to keep their spirits up, clapping along for a while, but the crowd was more respectful than excited and that carried into "Breathe" and "Freelove." But then came "Enjoy the Silence."

Finally a song I knew, but more importantly for this show a song the crowd could really get into. The lazy people got off their butts, people sang along, and this show thhogle_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = "008000"; //-->


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