Anyway, I met up with snesgirl and bumped into a load of other people at the show including the ever lovely cookwitch, d_floorlandmine, colin_boyle and club_slut to namedrop just a few.
First up were The Bravery...or what I'll call The Bravery II as I'm 90% sure that they have a new lead singer and a new guitarist or bassist since last time I saw them. Certainly the lead singer was a lot less agile and charismatic on stage, didn't have as a good voice as the original and let the original guitarist do a lot of the talking to the crowd. I don't know if there's been a split in the ranks or if the singer was just having an off night (and with my eyesight I couldn't be 100% definite he was different). In any case they weren't as vibrant as early last year and the set didn't really kick off until half way through when they played 'Honest Mistake' which ws their breakthrough hit last year.
I'll stop here a moment and say I'd forgotten what good large 'Arena' shows are like. Most of the bands I see play to crowds of upto about 4-5,000 I'm guessing (Festivals aside). I don't know how many people the Arena holds but I'm guessing it's more in the 15-20,000 range. It was packed out last night. Apparently the tickets had sold out in two hours upon being made available last year. Depeche Mode's stage set was brilliant. As was their light show, as was the useage of six giant tv screens set at angels at the back of the stage. Visually they were one of the most exciting bands I've seen in ages and you can really tell the difference - in quality as well as everything else - between them and most other bands around at the moment. Dave Gahan still looks fantasic and IS A GOD (and let no one tell you otherwise). He was certainly a lot more camp this time round, strutting his way around the stage, going topless and showing off his fine physique..ahem. Anyway, with a back catalogue going back 26 years you can guarantee that there are plenty of hits to be rolled out at shows like these. They didn't disappoint either with a host of past hits with four (I think) new tracks from their latest album sprinkled in for good measure. The most glaring omission, for me at least, was the lack of 'Master & Servant' which is one of my all time favourite DM tracks.
Anyway, to round off it was an absolutely cracking show. I hope everyone who is going to tonights gig has as much fun as I did last night. Depeche Mode go down as one of the truly brilliant bands to have ever graced this planet. I'm so glad I got another chance to see them. May I get many more.