With a poignant celebration of the anniversary of the passing of their legendary keyboardist and co-founder Andrew "Andy" Fletcher, the Depeche Mode phenomenon lit up Leipzig on Friday night as they kicked off the first German concert of their current tour. According to organizers, about 70,000 enthusiastic fans flocked to the sold-out outdoor concert to experience the British music icons. Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, the remaining pillars of the band, commemorated their late colleague with heartbreaking images and memories. Fletcher, who was considered a quiet force and calming influence between the charismatic Gahan and Gore, left the world stage on May 26, 2022, at the age of 60.
For their majestic "Memento Mori" tour, the two musical virtuosos enlisted the support of two musicians. They presented fresh works from their current eponymous album, including "My Cosmos is Mine" and "Ghosts Again," as well as their immensely popular anthems from the '80s and '90s, such as "Everything Counts" and "Walking in my Shoes," which were frenetically celebrated by the audience.
Depeche Mode, still at the peak of their musical journey, have seven more shows scheduled in Germany. The next stop is in Düsseldorf on June 4 and 6, before they are expected in Munich's Olympiastadion on June 20. This will be followed by two more shows in Frankfurt/Main (June 29 and July 1) and finally two in Berlin (July 7 and 9).
The history of Depeche Mode, one of the most important and influential bands of the post-punk and new wave movement, is rich in musical highlights and personal twists and turns. Formed in 1980 by Vince Clarke, Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore and Dave Gahan, the band from Basildon, Essex, has undergone an enormous transformation since its beginnings. The name Depeche Mode, derived from a French fashion magazine, reflects their fondness for fashion and the synthetic sound that was emerging at the time. Their first album, 1981's "Speak & Spell," which included the hit "Just Can't Get Enough," immediately established them as pioneers of electronic music. Despite personnel changes, including the departure of founding member Vince Clarke and later the tragic death of Andy Fletcher, the band managed to keep reinventing themselves. With their gritty yet catchy blend of synth-pop and rock and hits such as "Enjoy the Silence," "Personal Jesus" and "Walking in my Shoes," they have secured a permanent place in music history. Despite challenges, including Gahan's battle with drug addiction, they consistently proved their musical relevance and endurance, and to this day stand as a shining example of creative evolution and musical integrity.
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