BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Depeche Mode really gets it. With their latest, and 14th studio album, Spirit, they go back to their goth punk roots and get political. This comes at a time where we need to be actively political, both with what we say and definitely with how we act. The album is a clear reaction to Trump and Brexit, especially most notably with their song "Where's the Revolution?"
"What's dangerous about someone like Richard Spencer is, first of all, he's a c*** - and he's a very educated c*** - and that's the scariest kind of all."
I was lucky to attend their show on Monday at Madison Square Garden, where Gahan sassed us in a red and black leather vest and booty shakes. Some of the highlights were "Walking In My Shoes," "Enjoy the Silence," a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" (which felt particularly thoughtful on 9/11), and "Policy of Truth." But really, every song they played was artfully and masterfully executed, from the light to the video to the performance and energy.
But what really moved me is their overt activism, which was seamlessly made part of their show (and, of course, isn't hard considering the aesthetic of their latest album). For instance, before the show started, a video showed their charity work with Hublot, where they are selling a limited edition "watch for water" in conjunction with their new album and current Global Spirit Tour. The sale of the watch "will raise funds for charity: water, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries," according to Hublot's statement. The statement went on to explain the band's involvement:
"Hublot and Depeche Mode have been partners since 2010 and have supported charity: water on three other occasions since 2013. During this period, the funds raised by Hublot and Depeche Mode have given life to 229 projects in Nepal and Ethiopia, with 220 standpipes and 19 wells drilled and dug by hand that now bring safe, clean water to over 30,000 men, women and children. For this new campaign, Hublot and Depeche Mode have set the goal to beat this previous achievement and bring clean water to 50,000 people around the world."
One of the videos they played was a new, reinterpretation of their song "Walking in My Shoes," showing a transgender woman getting ready in the morning and going about her day. The simplicity and quiet aesthetic of it works and tells a story that needs to be told, that deserves more light to be shed on.
My sister and I lived all of our teen goth dreams.
Dave Gahan // Depeche Mode // MSG // 9.11.17 🖤 • • • • #davegahan #depechemode #msg #livemusic #music #globalspirittour #gif #musicphotography #musicphotographer #concert #concertphotography #rockphotography #estersegrettophotography #thephotoladies #nyc #creative #composition #artofvisuals #postthepeople #chasinglight #canon #lifestyle #culture #makeportraits #bandportraits #canonphotography #teamcanon #tpltpl2017
Their videos, illustrations, and animations that played on in the background were amazing all around.
Also, can we just laugh at the sense of humor they have on their Instagram?
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (The Operating System, 2017), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016) and the editor of A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). Joanna received a MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, a managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM, as well as an instructor at Brooklyn Poets. Some of their writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, Apogee, Spork, The Feminist Wire, BUST, and elsewhere.