After I used the refund from Neil Young’s canceled show to buy tickets to Depeche Mode‘s concert at Barclays Center on Friday, I was thinking about the last time I saw the band. I was positive it was at Radio City Music Hall in the summer of 1983, the day that I returned from a trip; I remember being tired from traveling. I liked the idea that I’d be celebrating a 30-year Depeche Mode concert anniversary at Barclays. But as I was getting ready to write this post, I couldn’t find any evidence of a Radio City concert at the right time. There was a concert in March 1983 at The Ritz but that seemed off. I wouldn’t have been returning from my first visit to England at that time. I wouldn’t have even been in England yet. But how could it be later? I couldn’t think of any other big trips.
I eventually found a June 11, 1986, New York Times story that said Depeche Mode had sold out three shows at Radio City “without the benefit of a hit single or top-selling album” having “amassed a large and fervent cult following through a shrewd mixing and matching of styles.” It finally hit me that the “trip” I was returning from was my first year of college at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. (I transferred to Columbia University for my sophomore year.) So, it turns out that I marked a 27-year concert anniversary, which is not the nice round number of my dreams, but still impressive.
On Friday, I did my best to dress in something I might have liked at the time of my first Depeche Mode concert. I didn’t have the right bottoms, though. I’m not a fan of “jeggings,” and in 1983, I wouldn’t wear anything except the skin-tight, dark-blue jeans I bought in England. By 1986, I was probably wearing black leggings exclusively, so knowing the right year wouldn’t have helped.
At that time, a couple of my friends wore loose, cropped jeans (preferably with a “paper bag” waist) too. So loose and cropped it was. Then I wondered, “What jacket would I have liked in the ’80s?” The answer was obvious.
It turns out my idea of what I would have gravitated to in the 1980s has been consistent throughout the 2000s. I didn’t realize till later that I wore the same look to see Madonna in 2008. Ha! At least I styled the jacket a little differently when I wore it to see Lady Gaga in 2010. Clearly this jacket has become my go-to fun concert look. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I ended my streak of awesome concert photos with Depeche Mode. We had floor seats, but not at the front. I always have mixed feelings about floor seats. If it’s not a general-admission concert and I can’t fight my way to the front, the view isn’t necessarily that great.
The sound was awesome though!
I like that the 1986 New York Times article’s description of Depeche Mode’s music still fits:
“Influenced by the West German band Einsturrzende Neuubaten [Wendy’s note: the correct name is Einstürzende Neubauten], whose music incorporates the sounds of industrial noise, Depeche Mode has evolved a clangorous, crunching style of pop that at times verges on heavy metal. Its mechanized dance rhythms are shot through with abrasive, often ominously metallic sound effects. In concert, even its most cheerful music suggests a merry-go-round playing at half speed.”
But I would say Martin Gore, the main songwriter and occasional lead singer, at age 52 no longer “cultivates a look whose mixture of satanic spikiness and pouty glamour resembles that of the pop star Billy Idol.” That was then …
… and this is now.
He’s still working the shiny clothes, black nail polish and eye makeup at least. I approve! And singer Dave Grahan twirls, struts, and shakes his thang with his shirt off. Sex-ay AND emo? A (grown-up) teenager’s dream. I’m going to make a point to see Depeche Mode again in exactly 27 years. Someone tell those boys to take their vitamins! They need to stay in shape for me.
UPDATED TO ADD: I added this to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday post. Click here to see the other visible wimmins.