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WPGM Reviews: Depeche Mode Live At Utilita Arena Birmingham (In Pictures)

In the 80s, Depeche Mode became titans of the electronic sound. From the blend of synthesisers and drums, to haunting lyrics, they were at the forefront for the synth pop movement. In 2024, they continue to be one of the most enduring and influential acts in the history of music.

Depeche Mode brought a captivating performance to Utilita Arena Birmingham, providing a night filled with nostalgia. As the lights dimmed and the anticipation grew near, one by one, the band made their way to the stage, and were greeted with loud cheers and applause from everyone in the room.

From the first chord of “Speak To Me”, from the band’s latest album Memento Mori, it was evident that they were ready to deliver nothing short of a spectacular show. With the commanding presence of frontman Dave Gahan, he captivated the audience from the very second with his confidence.

From Andy Fletcher’s bass lines, Martin Gore’s synth playing and Christian Eigner’s energetic drum beats, this complements the band’s overall sound and proves why they were and still are such an important band to have graced the music industry. As musicians, their music is still very timeless, as they continue to draw audiences in from all ages to play sold out shows across the country.

The visual aspect to their set added another layer to the already exciting night. This tied it all together and made their time on stage a mesmerising performance. Depeche Mode provided their fans a setlist consisting of newer material, as well as fan favourites.

From songs including “Wagging Tongue” and “Policy of Truth”, to “Enjoy the Silence” and “Personal Jesus”, the setlist was able to showcase the band’s evolution while staying true to their signature sound. Every song delivered conviction and passion which kept the audience entertained throughout their set.

The visual elements of the show were impressive, with striking lighting and projections that enhanced the mood of each song. After every song, the band was met with loud cheers and applause. The set design was simple yet effective, as they let their performance do the talking and it allowed the focus to remain on the music while still creating a visually stunning atmosphere.

Throughout the performance, the band made a genuine connection with the audience, feeding off their energy and enthusiasm. Each member was in perfect harmony with each other on stage, effortlessly completing each other’s passion and energy.

Gahan’s charismatic stage presence of interactions with fans added a personal touch to the show, making everyone feel like a part of something special, no matter where they were in the room. They were able to create an intimate atmosphere despite the size of the venue.

Depeche Mode’s performance in Birmingham was nothing short of memorable, leaving a mark on all of the fans who were fortunate enough to have witnessed it. From the stage presence, the relationship between each member of the band, to the audience’s participation and enthusiasm, the show was a testament to their legacy and talent.

As the last chords and track filled Birmingham’s Utilita Arena, it is evident that the band’s music still stands the test of time, and reminding everyone why they were and still are timeless in the world of music.

Words and photography by Sarah Akomanyi

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