Depeche Mode Get ‘Spiritual’ in New York on 9/11

Dave Gahan getting in the ‘Spirit’ at MSG on September 11. (Photo: Wes Orshoski)

Nothing could be more fitting than a show on September 11 in New York City, wrapped around Depeche Mode‘s 14th studio album Spirit. Partly fueled with political angst, it might be hard for some to think the world is in a better place 16 years later, but Spirit isn’t Depeche Mode sending negative vibes out to the world. As with anything the band has done in their nearly 40-year career, there’s always some darkness, and a light. More empowering, Spirit attests to strength, perseverance, longevity, love—and all came across on stage Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

The second of two shows at the Garden backing their Global Spirit Tour (the first, Sept. 9), the band glided on, following The Beatles’ “Revolution” and an instrumental “Cover Me” with Dave Gahan slithering along a neon, spray painted backdrop into Spirit’s “Going Backwards,” before flashing back in time to the band’s 1993 hit “Policy of Truth.”

Along with Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher—joined by touring musicians Peter Gordeno on piano and bass and drummer Christian Eigner—Gahan delivered a spiritual experience to new fans, and older ones, some who haven’t seen the band for more than 20 years. “One of the most magical things is still the sing-a-longs,” said Gena Elizabeth Mims, who last saw the band in 1994 at the end of the Devotional tour, which also birthed a concert film of the same name directed by longtime collaborator Anton Corbijn, who worked with the band on more than 20 videos, including several off Spirit. “There is some kind of tribal pride, [and it’s] still exhilarating after all these years.”

Flashy visuals oozed sexiness for “In Your Room” from 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion, and even a voyage into space in the band’s latest video “Cover Me,” (also directed by Corbijn). Pop art filtered pigs, rabbits, dogs and other creatures commanded the screen during “Enjoy the Silence” before a brief respite, an acoustic version of “Judas” with Gore on vocals.

“Nothing feels like home, right?” asked Gahan, who has lived in New York City for the past 20 years. Switching his metallic garb throughout the more than two-hour set, Gahan never halted. Gore kicked off the evening’s encore with a subdued “Strangelove” before Gahan rejoined for “Walking in My Shoes” and David Bowie’s “Heroes,” which he dedicated to “all the heroes of 9/11,” before B-side “I Feel You” and closing on “Personal Jesus.”

Photos by Wes Orshoski


Cover Me (instrumental)
Going Backwards
Policy of Truth
Barrel of a Gun
A Pain That I’m Used To
In Your Room
World in My Eyes
Cover Me
Poison Heart
Where’s the Revolution
Everything Counts
Black Celebration
Enjoy the Silence
Never Let Me Down Again

Walking in My Shoes
I Feel You
Personal Jesus