Concert Blues

I went to see Depeche Mode two days ago. I’ve seen them a few times before, and have always enjoyed them. Even the last tour, which had me wondering whether they were past it, turned out to be a bit of a blinder. This time, though, they failed to impress.

I’m used to DM starting their concerts with some atmospheric instrumental intro, building up the tension, before they come on stage and give it some. On this tour they decided – who decided? – to start off with a rubbish, slow track with inadequate lighting effects to accompany the sad event. It felt like they were coming into my living room, turning on the lights, and saying “Everything ok? Mind if we practise a bit?” And it continued like that for the first half of the show until, like the last tour, it ended up as a bit of a Greatest Hits tour.

I don’t actually mind the inclusion of the singles. They made the concert a little more enjoyable. But it was all too late, and I sat their, stuck in my chair, hardly appreciating the whole affair. And then, when it was all over and I made my way to the train, I saw loads of middle-aged zombies who had also witnessed the travesty. I came to the conclusion that it may have just been a bad night for DM, but it was worse for me. I AM one of those incongruous beer-bellied oldies, wishing and hoping that the band would make me relive my past.

Footnote to future daughters to make this blog entry even mildly interesting:

Your mum and I have always been into music. Mum comes from a musical family; she played the balalaika and tuba as a young girl, though probably not at the same time. As she was growing up she listened to Pink Floyd, Dag Vag, Thåström and Guns N’ Roses.

I, on the other hand, come from an unmusical family. Your nan and grandad may have listened to music when they were younger, but, in their later years, the only CD’s I heard Nan play were pan pipe versions of famous songs, male choir versions of (most likely) the same songs, and Vangelis’ 1492 (that one was thanks to me). Despite their lack of interest I played the piano a bit and started to make my own synth music at the age of fifteen. And it was really thanks to Depeche Mode that I did.

I like synth music, and it has been with me in many forms for most of my life. Your mum and I met because of trance music, in fact. I was Djing at an event called Save the Robots in Luxembourg, and Mum was working on the door. That was the night we became a couple. Since then music has had a place in our hearts and in our home.