Pierre Robert

Pierre Robert

Pierre Robert

October 25th, 2023

Over 40 years into their career, synth-rock stalwarts Depeche Mode are still deeply in love with their fans. It’s a longstanding affair, and on the Philadelphia stop of their Memento Mori world tour, their devotees didn’t let them down.

Their 24-song set at the Wells Fargo Center showcased the eclectic twists and turns of the band’s journey. There was the dark allure of “I Feel You,” the industrial hypnosis of “Everything Counts,” and the poppier side of goth with “Just Can’t Get Enough”. They’ve transcended musical trends and weathered internal challenges, reinventing themselves time and time again without straying from the crux of their success: explosive songwriting chemistry. It seems to have only strengthened over time.

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Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are the Mick and Keith of new wave, bouncing off of one another with ease. Gahan was nearly levitating, spinning on his toes with arms wide, about to take flight at any moment. Gore held down the iconic riffs of “Policy of Truth” and “Walking In My Shoes” with calm charisma as Gahan pirouetted across the stage with the mic stand as his dance partner.

The absence of founding member Andy Fletcher was felt, and the room swelled when his image was shown on screen for “World In My Eyes.” Fletcher passed away in last year, but was able to witness his legacy preserved in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when the group was inducted in 2020.

Longtime touring members Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner filled out the rhythm. Eigner was a force, throwing his body into the drums, and Gordeno anchored the sound on keys and bass. The Philly crowd was just as much a part of the experience as any of the men on stage. Gahan would often beckon the arena to sing along, but not to overcompensate – his baritone is as robust as ever. It was to let everyone in on a dark, romantic secret that’s too good to keep to yourself. As long as they continue to reach out, Depeche Mode will be there for the faithful.

SETLIST: Depeche Mode at the Wells Fargo Center, October 25th, 2023

My Cosmos Is Mine
Wagging Tongue
Walking in My Shoes
It’s No Good
Policy of Truth
In Your Room (Zephyr Mix)
Everything Counts
My Favourite Stranger
A Question of Lust
Soul With Me (Acoustic)
Ghosts Again
I Feel You
A Pain That I’m Used To (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
World in My Eyes
Black Celebration
John the Revelator
Enjoy the Silence
Waiting for the Night
Just Can’t Get Enough
Never Let Me Down Again
Personal Jesus
Happy Birthday to You (sung to Mary, in the first row, who held a sign saying it was her 45th birthday)

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