Depeche Mode Spirit Tour / Live Review – Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden



Depeche Mode – Spirit Tour: May 5, 2017. Friends Arena. Stockholm, Sweden.

Before The Show

It’s the warmest day of the year so far, about 20°C, and Stockholm is booming. Friday means Depeche Mode’s tour premiere, and it’s rumoured to have 40,000+ people attending. Beforehand we’ve seen people expecting to attend the show from all over Europe and also the US. My fiancée, my mother, and I (Tristan) arrive in Stockholm later in the afternoon and begin our journey to Friends Arena for the first time. We get there and are greeted by a massive building. After some confusion we find the entrance and make our way to the merch to get some t-shirts, nice quality and some older shirts (Some Great Reward). We move forward to go and have a beer before the show and enter the area halfway through the supporting act, The Raveonettes. We were not sure why they were chosen to play, since they are more into the indierock/pop genre. The band did not receive much interest from the crowd, but overall the music was pretty good.

The Main Act

They fooled everyone. The venue turned dark and stage lights turned up, everyone is beaming with anticipation. Then “Revolution” by The Beatles starts playing…we all have a laugh and think it’s a clever move. Now the “real” show starts, a long intro and the backdrop show us the “Spirit” feet walking backwards. Yep, you guessed it, the band enters the stage and start playing “Going Backwards”. (Don’t worry, I will not spoil the setlist through this review, I’ll add it in the end with a spoiler alert.) Throughout the show, DM are using their background in such clever ways that I was amazed and almost in a trance just watching. We all instantly fell in love with the new stories playing and they also gave some new meanings to old songs. DM show that they got more darkness to provide us and also a pretty strong stance in some political and social views. I’ve seen them twice before during the SOTU tour, but I didn’t have the greatest view. This time we had the chance to see the screens pretty well (unfortunately I’m pretty short and had some tall people in front of me). The show was a perfect mix of new songs, oldies, songs everyone knows by heart, 101-moments, tears, laughter, the lot. They gave us over two hours of pure joy. Dave has learned how to twerk and toned down some of his Elvis-moves, Martin makes us all cry and Fletch makes us laugh. DM will always be DM. I must say that the band poured all their energy, heart and soul into this show, however some in the crowd were not having it.

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The Venue & Crowd

Some time into the show we noticed that we had some bad luck with the people standing around us. It seemed to be a mix of “I just want to hear the old songs, I want Alan back!” and “Oh, Depeche Mode!? I’ve heard about them before, would be cool to see them so I can tell my friends about it.” But afterwards when I talked to a friend of mine who was on the other side, there was an obvious difference. Everyone was dancing, singing and clapping over there, which makes me a bit sad. The fault here is with Live Nation and the venue. They kept releasing tickets and I’ve heard that the Golden Circle area was huge. The sound was just awful since we barely heard what Dave was saying. There was a huge “cringe” moment when “Where’s The Revolution” came to an end and Dave asked us to sing. The arena went silent after the applause. Me, my fiancée and mother just looked at each other, since nobody around us seemed to care. If you want to see what I mean you can find this moment on YouTube. I must say a lot of my experience was ruined by the huge arena since it “allowed” the show to be more of a festival performance than a concert. I can assure you that next time I will spend the last of my money on a Golden Circle ticket.

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After the Show

We went to the after party at “Klubb Blå” about two hours after the show. However everyone was very tired and the music was too loud. We decided to head home and put energy into the next day instead. The day after we were set to have lunch at the hotel were DM was staying. No, we unfortunately did not meet with any of the members. But we did see some luggage roll by in the corridors with “Spirit”-tags on them. I wonder what room they stayed in, maybe it was “101”?

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SETLIST *SPOILER ALERT*

  1. Intro (Revolution – The Beatles)
  2. Going Backwards
  3. So Much Love
  4. Barrel of a Gun
  5. A Pain That I’m Used To
  6. Corrupt
  7. In Your Room (’93 Live Version)
  8. World In My Eyes
  9. Cover Me
  10. Home (Martin)
  11. A Question of Lust (Martin)
  12. Poison Heart
  13. Where’s The Revolution
  14. Wrong
  15. Everything Counts (101 sing-a-long)
  16. Stripped
  17. Enjoy the Silence
  18. Never Let Me Down Again
  19. Encore: Somebody (Martin)
  20. Encore: Walking in my Shoes
  21. Encore: Heroes (David Bowie cover)
  22. Encore: I Feel You
  23. Encore: Personal Jesus

If you made it this far, and maybe won’t get the chance to see the band this tour, the whole concert is available on YouTube. I recommend checking out “Walking in my Shoes”, “Cover Me”, and “A Question of Lust” from the show. “Enjoy the Silence” also had an amazing background video!

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