Tag Archives: depeche mode

What I did last summer (Martin Gore – twice! and Fat Bob)

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Last summer, everyone who was involved in writing this blog post met up in Chicago to see (worship at) a Depeche Mode show. The three of us (me, H and K) have all been internet pals for a long time but we’d never all been in the same city at the same time, and we are all huge Depeche fans. We had lots of adventures in Chicago, but the main event was seeing Depeche Mode, and Martin Gore, our favorite.

I’m an extremely anxious person and so I wanted to leave really early on the day of the show. The venue wasn’t that far away, but I get nervous. I was literally shitting bricks so finally H agreed to head towards the show. It turned out there was horrendous traffic getting into the venue, so we barely made it in time. All three of us had panic attacks in the car by that time.

I have to say that the venue we went to was one of the most poorly planned venues I have ever seen in my life. We ended up parking in VIP and not paying for it (shhhhh it’s our secret),and running to our seats just before Depeche Mode hit the stage.

Finally, we were in our seats and ready to go. All of us had our anxiety amped up to maximum levels and so it was inevitable that we all had emotional breakdowns during the concert. Martin Gore, sensitive and elfin as ever, stepped into the spotlight in his silver suit to croon Shake the Disease, and our collective knees buckled. We all held each other up while we sobbed our hearts out. I am not kidding. We were crying like babies. When people say, “I cried like a baby,” they may not mean it, but I totally mean it.

For the rest of the night, we each took turns bawling our eyes out over Depeche Mode, especially when Martin was singing. They had two set lists on that tour, and I was praying he’d sing But Not Tonight, but it wasn’t meant to be. Still, the show was incredible and we all agreed it was better than we had hoped for. There was a magic in the air that could never be recaptured. Thanks, anxiety!

Tickets for Austin City Limits (ACL) were going on sale a few weeks later. Depeche Mode and The Cure were both playing, so I knew I had to go, no matter what, and my friend H was coming with me. Martin Gore and Fat Bob (Robert Smith) are two icons from my holy trinity of goth (Morrissey is the third, if you were curious), so It was going to be insanely great.

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ACL had it set up so that Depeche Mode played on Friday night, and The Cure played on Saturday night. This was basically a dream come true for me. I could not believe I was going to see two of my favorite bands in one weekend, with one of my best friends!

My friend didn’t want to spend all day at ACL, and I agreed, because it was hot as balls and also because there are so many other fun things to do in Austin. We went to Book People, and gasped loudly when we spotted an entire magazine dedicated to Depeche Mode. Yes, I bought it and we squealed over it like teenagers. Whatever, don’t judge me!

We went to ACL that evening, and  I parked at my office, which was two miles away, and those two miles seem pretty far in the hot weather. We were already wilting.

We hardly got to see any bands besides the headliners, because we had to get a decent spot in the crowd. We went on the second weekend of the festival. The first weekend had temperatures in the 70’s, absolutely perfect weather. The second weekend predicted rainstorms, so we had rain ponchos.

Depeche Mode’s show is so fun when you’re in a big, excited, festival crowd. I love hearing everyone singing along to every song. I didn’t cry as much this time, probably because I wasn’t as anxious as I had been in Chicago, but when Martin sang But Not Tonight, I lost it. I think it was raining by then too, so when he sang, “Oh God, it’s raining, but I’m not complaining,” every cell in my body exploded with joy. I tried to sing along but I couldn’t, because I was crying too much. I wasn’t sobbing, just quietly letting tears run down my face while I mouthed the words. When the song ended, I was kind of embarrassed, until a man standing nearby gently patted me on the shoulder and told me that was a beautiful moment. I choked up just writing about that moment.

H and I had a great time laughing at Dave’s crazy dancing. He grabbed his dick a lot, as usual. I remember shouting, “Look at that chicken leg!” during one particularly lecherous grope. Dave, never change.

When the concert was over, we walked the two miles to the car in the rain. We had our ponchos on, but honestly, they don’t help much. You still get wet and then also feel clammy. By the time we got to the car, we were exhausted and hungry. We stopped at Kerbey Lane for some late night grub and I felt (and looked) like I had been run over by a truck. That was only day one!

The next day, we woke up and still felt terrible so we planned to go even later than we did the day before. We ended up seeing the Arctic Monkeys, but had to leave early to get a good place to see the Cure.

We were really excited to worship at the altar of Fat Bob (affectionately nicknamed by Siouxsie, so we aren’t body shaming, okay?). I’ve been listening to the Cure since Let’s Go to Bed. I remember scoffing at the people who discovered the band when The Head on the Door came out. I’m still a terrible music snob, sorry. (not sorry)

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I knew it was supposed to rain again that night, and as promised, the deluge began about halfway through the show. I didn’t have a rain poncho and I forgot my umbrella, so we huddled under H’s umbrella. Seeing The Cure play One Hundred Years in a heavy rainstorm through a sea of umbrellas was probably the ultimate experience I could have as a Cure fan. I will never ever forget that.

I’d seen The Cure play at Coachella in 2010, so I knew they were notorious for breaking curfews and playing for hours and hours. They played on, covering their equipment with tarps, makeup smearing in the rain. Sadly, due to the storm, they were cut off. You could tell that Robert did not want to leave the stage, as he reluctantly shrugged and waved goodbye.

We trudged out of Zilker Park, and got lost trying to get to the car. I think we walked an extra mile out of the way. I was soaked to the bone. When we got home, we bundled up and I had the chills. The next day, I was miserable, the park was flooded, and ACL was canceled due to the fact that we had over a foot of rain.

The only band we really wanted to see on Sunday was Franz Ferdinand. They were playing a secret show at a club downtown. I felt so awful that we didn’t get in line early enough. I knew we weren’t going to get in, but after three hours, we ended up sneaking in only to be escorted out seconds later. We saw the band walk into the club, and I touched Bob on the arm as he went by. Oh, the humanity!

To salve our disappointment, we went to dinner and got some Amy’s Ice Cream. I felt terrible because I’d been a whiny bitch all the time we were in line. I seriously felt so sick, though.

After I dropped H off at the airport the next day, I went home and passed out. I ended up calling in sick the whole week, because I had a bad upper respiratory infection. They thought maybe it was pneumonia or pertussis, but I dodged those bullets, thank goodness.

I’m not sure I will ever go to ACL again. I could just livestream it all on the web, and see more bands than we saw. If it wasn’t for Depeche Mode and The Cure, I would have never gone in the first place. I guess I’ll go back to ACL for a Smiths reunion…haha! As if…

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The night Martin Gore proved that eye contact = sex

It should come as a surprise to no one that my obsession with Nick Rhodes led to an obsession with Martin Gore.  They are both blonde, elfin, girlish, and play keyboards.  There were a few differences, though.

Nick Rhodes wore makeup like a woman does – to make himself look “pretty”.  I would use photos of Nick to guide me on eyeliner application.  (Especially during his Cleopatra period during Arcadia.) Nick preferred pastel pink lips, and a smoky eye.

Martin Gore was a different story.  He wore ruby red lipstick, smeared eyeliner, and bondage gear.  I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, but it’s obvious now.  He even had a shirt that said, “SUBMISSIVE” on it.  Martin Gore was kind of scary and dangerous to me back in the 80’s.  I knew he liked girls, because he would always talk about his German girlfriend Christina when he was interviewed in Star Hits.  The question was, what did he like to do WITH those girls?  Knowing his girlfriend was German, I am pretty sure golden showers were probably involved.  EEK!

My Depeche Mode fandom reached its peak during the Music for the Masses tour, aka the 101 tour.  DM came to Phoenix twice that year.  The first time I saw them, I didn’t have a very good seat.  I vowed to be right up front next time.  The band came back around in June of 1988.  I think we were the show they played right before the legendary Rose Bowl show.

My friend and I slept in the parking lot in front of the Diamond’s Box Office in a very bad neighborhood.  I’m surprised nothing happened to us.  We chose this box office  because we knew hardly anyone would buy a ticket there, so we’d be first in line.  No one else camped there, so we were the only people in line.  Luckily, our bet paid off and we had front row center tickets!  I remember that I cried after we paid for these tickets.

I started planning what to wear to the show.  I wanted to stand out and be noticed.  I knew that most DM fans wore black (and the boys wore skirts, which I loved).  I decided to do the opposite, and bought a skintight white mini-dress.  At the time, I was 5 ft 8 in and weighed 100 pounds, so I probably looked like a bag of bones, but I thought I looked super hot.

It has been many years since I was at that show, but there are so many defining moments that I will never forget.  I remember Martin and Alan bashing away at sheets of steel and lead pipes.  I remember Dave Gahan twirling around with the mike stand in his white outfit (Dave grabbed his crotch and shook his junk at my friend Leslie that night, scarring her for life) .  I remember Martin Gore playing A GUITAR during the encore (Pleasure, Little Treasure).  It blew everyone’s fucking MIND that he played a guitar.

But the moment that stands out the most for me is when Martin sang The Things You Said.  I remember he was shirtless, wandering the stage in his bondage gear and softly singing about how someone did him wrong.  I knew all the words, and sang along, my eyes following him wherever he went.  Towards the end of the song, he stood at the edge of the stage, right in front of me and my friends, and looked me right in the eye while he sang a few lines.

I grabbed my friend Sophia’s arm and held on tight so I wouldn’t fall over.  When he moved away, Sophia and I jumped up and down in excitement, and she was screaming “He sang to you!” over and over.  I could have died right there and been the happiest corpse in the morgue.

DM is releasing a new album and touring next year.  Hopefully, I’ll get a good seat.  Even after all this time, I love me some Martin Gore.  I loved his floofy hair, his rat tails, and his wonky teeth.  I wish he hadn’t gotten his teeth fixed.  Who am I kidding?  He’s perfect no matter what.

Oh, Martin….*happy sigh*

Hanging out in the commode listening to Depeche Mode

Note from mekkalekkah: This post is written by my lovely friend H., who I have asked to be a contributor to this blog whenever she gets the urge. As you might have noticed, I’m in a bit of a slump and haven’t been posting. I just finished reading this post and was laughing out loud FOR REALS. I look forward to seeing more posts from her! You can read her blog at The Thousand Book Project.

I love Depeche Mode.  I think they’re genius.  Sexy, profane, intelligent, and what can I say, I’m a sucker for synthesizers.  And such snappy dressers!

Well – not quite.  Hence this post.  What I think is interesting about Depeche Mode is that for a good portion of the 80s, their image didn’t really match up with the music.  Duran Duran matched, they wrote glamorous dancey songs and their image was very glamorous and jetsetting. The Smiths made sad, mopey music, and they all wore ladies blouses and sad cardigans. Jesus and Mary Chain made noise, and they looked like they didn’t give a fuck. These groups matched, they looked like they made the music they made, but not Depeche Mode. Before about 1986, when they released Black Celebration and they all started wearing black leather, it was a little confusing.  Are you students?  Goths?  Goth students?  Literature students?  Hobos with synths?  (Side note, Hobos With Synths is my new band.)  In any case it makes for some hilarious retrospective viewing.  Join me, won’t you?

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