DEPECHE MODE + WARPAINT @ SANTA BARBARA BOWL

October 4th, 2017 | Photos

Depeche Mode @ Santa Barbara Bowl

Depeche Mode @ Santa Barbara Bowl

Photos by Debi Del Grande

A long long time ago when Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, and Andrew (Fletch) Fletcher were calling themselves Composition of Sound, they overhead an unknown singer performing David Bowie’s “Heroes” at a Basildon, England youth center. They quickly asked the teenage singer to join their band. That person was none other than Dave Gahan. Soon, they weren’t calling themselves Composition of Sound, but Depeche Mode.

Fast forward to 2017 and that song is on the almighty Depeche Mode‘s setlist for their current Global Spirit tour for the their 14th studio album, Spirit. The evening after the mass shooting in Las Vegas at a concert event couldn’t have bonded everyone together more as fans gathered to hear their heroes Depeche Mode and supporting them was our very own Warpaint. We knew we would be spiritually saved, if only for a few hours.

Depeche Mode @ Santa Barbara Bowl

Depeche Mode @ Santa Barbara Bowl

Dave Gahan might not consider himself a hero, but after the admiration and extreme devotion shown to him in Santa Barbara, he might as well be. Gahan is one of the greatest frontman a band has had. His voice never waivers, he is in constant motion – his graceful and dramatic moves reminiscent of a matador. Gahan has always been engaged with the crowd, but this particular tour is different. Gahan seems to be free of the standard choreography, pouncing at any moment, like a panther with a cheshire grin.

Of course, their mega monster hits like “Personal Jesus,” “Enjoy the Silence,” “Everything Counts,” “Stripped,” stand out every single time at every single show. There is nothing like being in a crowd, waving your hands during “Never Let Me Down Again.” There is a strong bonding among strangers standing next to each other as we sing together. It never gets old. But when “Heroes” was performed, Gahan’s voice was softer and maybe it had something to do with the events of today’s world, but it was powerful.

Depeche Mode @ Santa Barbara Bowl

Depeche Mode @ Santa Barbara Bowl

Another hero? Of course, that would be Martin Gore. Gore has lived in Santa Barbara for years. So when Gore sang “A Question of Lust,” “Home,” and “Somebody,” his hometown crowd couldn’t have screamed more. He may not command the stage like Gahan does, but Gore is an integral part of Depeche Mode and a pretty damn good DJ.

It isn’t a Depeche Mode show without the artistic direction of Anton Corbijn. He has outdone himself once again bringing visual life to songs like the new “Cover Me.” (see video below). The classic songs have new life to them, remixed a tad and always relevant.

We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

Going Backwards
So Much Love
Barrel of a Gun
A Pain That I’m Used To
Corrupt
In Your Room
World in My Eyes
Cover Me
A Question of Lust (acoustic; sung by Martin)
Home (sung by Martin)
Poison Heart
Where’s the Revolution
Wrong
Everything Counts
Stripped
Enjoy the Silence
Never Let Me Down Again

Encore:
Somebody (sung by Martin)
Walking in My Shoes
Heroes (David Bowie cover)
I Feel You
Personal Jesus