Winter Concerts

I only made it to two concerts over the post-holidays winter period. I'd planned to go see Ian Brown's show but wasn't feeling well that day and ended up missing it. I did go to see the Crystal Method but it turned out that their show was more of a DJ set than a concert. Disappointing. I left early. The shows I did go to, however, were quite good.

Peter, Bjorn & John

Most people I know probably couldn't recall the name of this indy rock band, but they had big hit back in 2006 with the immensely catchy tune “Young Folks”and its whistled refrain. The show was at B2 which is a stone's throw from my apartment so I decided to pop over and check them out. These guys have a very melodic sound which is something I like, and the small venue size was perfect for them to interact with the crowd. They took a chance (much like Natalie last December) and played the big hit in the middle of the show. The effect was perfect — it livened up the crowd and made the remainder of the show more interesting. I'd see them again if they come to town. Still need to listen to their albums though.

dm

Depeche Mode

Well, what does one say? Probably my favorite music act of all time and I still never tire of seeing them live (this was my 6th time, not including seeing David Gahan solo). This year's tour focused more on their later albums with not too much nostalgia although they did surprise with some tunes from Black Celebration and a couple of other choice oldies. David Gahan's voice still booms, as does Martin Gore's. Martin strummed his guitar, Andy pretended to be playing something, and the backup band supplemented that which was sequenced. It all sounded great.

If I were to complain about anything it would be the enlarged general admission (dancefloor) area in Olimpiisky as that meant not everyone on the floor could actually see the stage (I strained to catch glimpses of the band). Also, the system for getting bracelets for admission to that area of the arena — in a tent outside the venue after standing in line in the cold — was probably the dumbest thing I've seen. Oh, and the overflowing cloakrooms were a mess. In fact, one of the worst organized shows I've seen.

But, in the final analysis, it’s not such a big deal? I saw Depeche Mode. Rock on.

One footnote: Nitzer Ebb was DM’s opening act. I’ve loved these guys’ music since school, and I danced like a fool when they closed with “I Will Give to You”, but I thought they just sounded poor in an arena setting. I’ve seen them twice in club settings and that’s a much better venue for their style. In Olimpiisky, their sound just didn’t fill the space.

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