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Depeche Mode at Aaron’s Amphitheater, Atlanta
by Kerry Reid

They say time travel isn’t possible – but I would argue it is. Last Thursday night in Atlanta, synth titans Depeche Mode, on tour to promote their latest release, “Delta Machine,” took me on a whirlwind musical timeline of my life. Playing a 21-song set spanning more than 30 years, the band transformed me from gangly kid to brooding teen to middle-aged audiophile all in the span of just two-and-a-half hours. It was simply amazing.

Any concern among the decidedly Gen X crowd at Aaron’s Amphitheater that the definitive, but aging English techno rockers might disappoint was squashed in the opening number reverb of “Welcome to My World,” their most recent single. The band emerged in black; guitarist and songwriter Martin Gore and keyboardist Andy Fletcher stood behind synthesizers while lead singer Dave Gahan, clad in a suit and Cuban heels spun pirouettes to the microphone.

At a time when most rock elder statesmen are gearing down, Gahan, 51 — who over the course of his career has survived a heroin addiction, cancer, a heart attack and two divorces — is clearly at the top of his game, and his utter charisma is a large part of what makes them such a great live act. By the third song, “Walking in My Shoes,” from 1993’s “Songs of Faith and Devotion,” the suit jacket and vest were shed to reveal a six-pack and biceps that belied his age, and from the first note, a rich, baritone that has held up well. Gahan, with all of his strutting, sauntering, and sashaying like a Goth Mick Jagger, has the dark eroticism and dangerous seductiveness of a stranger with candy – you know shouldn’t trust him, but you’re too hypnotized not to.

Gahan is not the only gun in the arsenal, and one of the most crowd-pleasing moments was when he left the stage and Gore, the band’s sensitive, creative force, emerged center stage to sing a poignant, slowed-down rendition of “But Not Tonight,” from 1986’s “Black Celebration.” Accompanied by only soft piano music and the voices of nearly 19,000 people in attendance, Gore’s darkened-stage serenade shows that when deconstructed, the songs are not about synthesizers or gimmicks, but truly beautiful songwriting.

The five songs from “Delta Machine” buttressed nicely with the staples from throughout their career, including those from 1990’s “Violator” hey-day which generated the most excited crowd response. Other standouts included a slow grinding, bluesy rendition of “Personal Jesus,” which allowed Gore to show off his guitar skills and Gahan to ramp up his hip swiveling and the lively, I-can’t-wipe-the-smile-off-my-face dance number, “Just Can’t Get Enough” from 1981’s “Speak and Spell.”

A typical arena rock show, the production was highly stylized, this time complemented by stunning movie images filmed by Dutch filmmaker and frequent music collaborator Anton Corbijn, which played on the gargantuan screen behind them and accentuated the songs well. (The most talked-about and visually interesting of which were the movements of female contortionists during “Enjoy the Silence.”)

Following a five-song encore, which included the Godfrapp remix of Halo, the middle-aged throngs left the amphitheater, many claiming it had been the best show they had ever seen, and I knew then that I had not been the only time traveler that night.

(Photos by Kelley Burnham Brown)

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Bosnian Rainbows @ Terminal West in Atlanta on the very first night of their North American tour. Was not sure what to expect, but Teri Gender Bender led us through an amazing set of music. Band to definitely watch out for and catch if they make it to your area.

Photos by Cliff Judd and The Lost Sandal. If you like our posts and pics, please follow us, we would love your support! We are also on Facebook!

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Bosnian Rainbows @ Terminal West in Atlanta on the very first night of their North American tour. Was not sure what to expect, but Teri Gender Bender led us through an amazing set of music. Band to definitely watch out for and catch if they make it to your area.

Photos by Cliff Judd and The Lost Sandal. If you like our posts and pics, please follow us, we would love your support! We are also on Facebook!

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Bosnian Rainbows @ Terminal West in Atlanta on the very first night of their North American tour. Was not sure what to expect, but Teri Gender Bender led us through an amazing set of music. Band to definitely watch out for and catch if they make it to your area.

Photos by Cliff Judd and The Lost Sandal. If you like our posts and pics, please follow us, we would love your support! We are also on Facebook!

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Seeing a show @ The Tabernacle in Atlanta is an experience in itself. But when you are able to catch three musical acts at the very top of their game, it becomes something you would liken to a religious experience. At least that is the way this music fan felt Thursday night, Valentines Day, at the Nico Vega/Atlas Genius/Imagine Dragons show in Atlanta. 

I honestly was the most excited to see Nico Vega as I have always been a fan and can feel the band really coming into their own. And they left quite an impression on me when they played Deluna Fest back in 2011. We had a chance to talk with them after the show at Deluna Fest and found that they were not only very genuine people but music fans as well, taking the time to walk around and catch some of the artists who were playing in the early hours of the evening.

After the show Thursday night, we bumped into guitarist Rich Koehler and drummer Dan Epand who remembered Deluna Fest very well and were so impressed with the fans and of course the local. Rich was especially taken by the beaches and was so bummed that they had to leave so early the next morning. Well, all I could say was, please come back and stay as long as you want! I really hope they do make it our way, as they are clearly firing on all cylinders.
— with Nico Vega at The Tabernacle.

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