Posted on by Oran

Every once in a while, the stars line up with the perfect gig, on a bank holiday weekend, and in this case, it couldn’t have gone any better for UK post-punk, eletro-pop crew, Depeche Mode…

Photos – Abigael Paquet exclusively for © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

The anticipation for Depeche Mode’s return to Ireland has been steadily building for a number of months following their sensational performance last June in Malahide Castle.

And as the lights dimmed this past Saturday night the crescendo of appreciation exploded when Dave Gahan and Martin Gore emerge from the shadows and began a triumphant ceremony, loaded with anthems of our youth.

Opening up with ‘My Cosmos is Mine‘ and ‘Wagging Tongue‘, the first noticeable aspect is how much more intense the new material from ‘Memento Mori‘ is in a live setting. Much like the electronic intestine-rumbling experience many of you will associate with seeing the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode scoop up the sold out arena capacity within the first few minutes, and hold them for the entire duration of the show.

What follows is a setlist that is littered with iconic nostalgia from the bands impressive back catalogue, much to the delight of the ecstatic crowd, who sign along to every word with, almost, cult-like admiration.

Photos – Abigael Paquet exclusively for © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Walking in My Shoes‘, is followed by the magnificent slick ‘It’s No Good‘ from 1997’s ‘Ultra‘ opus. The tremendous sound is matched with the giant screen and a prominent “M” which casts silver shadows over powerhouse drummer, Christian Eigner, and multi-instrumentalist, Peter Gordeno, who is filling the rather large shoes of the late Andy Fletcher, who sadly passed in May 2022.

Policy of Truth‘ inspires an almost deafening sing-along, much to the joy of Gore and Gahan who exchange wide-eyed glances at each other throughout the show. The setlist continues to pulse with Depeche Mode’s truly unique blend of synth-pop, proving that there really is no other entity that can match the true essence of turn of the century electronic pop music like they do.

As tracks such as ‘Everything Counts‘ (1983) fall in line perfectly alongside 2005’s ‘Precious’ and recent material, ‘Before We Drown‘, just solidifies the genius that is Depeche Mode. Their exceptional stage presence sees a now sweat-drenched Dave Gahan in this iconic waistcoat and white cuban heels twirling under the flickering stage lights, transfixed, joyful and totally locked in with his bandmates, and that is a sight that would lift even the heaviest of hearts.

A touching dedication to ‘Fletch‘ comes with; ‘Behind The Wheel’ before ‘Black Celebration‘, ‘Stripped‘, ‘John The Revelator‘, and the unmistakable brilliance of, ‘Enjoy The Silence‘, which sees the entire venue explode with movement.

The final stretch sees a flawless encore of, ‘Condemnation‘, an extended version of ‘Just Can’t Get Enough‘ where every voice under the roof was put to the test from Gahan, where he confessed; “Wow, so much better than England!“, inciting rapturous cheers from every corner of the 3Arena.

With the end in sight, we are treated to a booming rendition of ‘Never Let Me Down Again‘, and the unmistakable, and timeless classic, ‘Personal Jesus‘, before a jubilant and emotional farewell.

There is no mistaking the brilliance of Depeche Mode, and if tonight is anything to go by, their ability to cherry pick genre-defining anthems from the last forty four years, proves that they truly are a force to be reckoned with live and a band that I urge you all get to see, at least once in your life.


Oran O’Beirne

Photos – Abigael Paquet exclusively for © 2024. All Rights Reserved.