Concert review: Depeche Mode’s playful Pearl return

Dave Gahan
Photo: Corlene Byrd

Three and a half stars

Depeche Mode October 6, the Pearl

Dave Gahan arrived like a disco ball Sunday night, silver jacket reflecting light as he spun across the stage. The singer’s spirited entrance turned out to be to be a sign, that he and his Depeche Mode bandmates would treat this Pearl date more playfully than the iconic dance-rockers' somewhat somber 2009 performance in the same venue.


In case we weren’t sure, the huge-screen accompaniment to fourth number “Precious” drove home the point, treating our eyes to a series of cuddly dogs even as our ears heard Gahan sing weightily of “angels with silver wings” and “God’s master plan.” Visuals played a huge role throughout the night, providing clever backdrops for the Brits’ 21 songs (just eight of which overlapped with ’09). Most notable video: a cluster of contorted female bodies pressed up against a glass wall during “Enjoy the Silence,” though the screens served a greater purpose as a focal point during the less-familiar “Should Be Higher” (a flurry of red sparks) and “Heaven” (creepy masks and mysterious triangles) off March album Delta Machine.

Not that the venue’s crowd—which plunked down $160-$220 per ticket to sell out the room months ago—waned in energy (much) during new songs. Gahan, full of verve and in solid voice at age 51, helped see to that, gyrating suggestively and treating his mic stand like a stripper pole to keep fans attentive. Founding guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore also played a significant role holding the room’s attention, singing three tunes, two of which produced extended audience chants after the music had ended. The setlist hardly hurt either, leaning more heavily on classic cuts (“Personal Jesus,” “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “I Feel You,” “Never Let Me Down Again”) as the show wore on. What’s not fun about that?


“Welcome to My World”


“Walking in My Shoes”


“Black Celebration”

“Policy of Truth”

“Should Be Higher”

“Barrel of a Gun”

“The Child Inside”

“But Not Tonight”


“Soothe My Soul”

“A Pain That I’m Used To”

“A Question of Time”

“Enjoy the Silence”

“Personal Jesus”




“Just Can’t Get Enough”

“I Feel You”

“Never Let Me Down Again”

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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  • At this point, the only constant from album to album is the band’s dedication to ambition.

  • “This record has very little insecurity. It was a blast to make, and it’s really fun to play live.”

  • Anyone who discovered COC at the band’s popular height should be satisfied with this effective return to the familiar.

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