Anyone that wasn’t in their seats for Warpaint at Rogers Place, Edmonton, on Friday October 27th 2017, missed a fucking incredible experience. The four piece from Los Angeles belted out a stunning, but not nearly long enough set. All members were given equal frontage on the stage, and that there was still plenty of room for them to mingle and vibe as each song offered a different lead vocal, and unique take on the funk that is the foundation that Warpaint are know for. Unfortunately the stage was kept quite dark throughout the set, and from the back half of the venue shadowy figures of the band were really all that anyone could see.
In case you were wondering…and you should be! From stage left; Stella, Theresa, Emily and Jenny Lee are Warpaint.
As well as playing newer tracks including New Song, older favorites Elephants, Disco//Very, and Intro; leading to Keep It Healthy, were not forgotten.
A set far too quickly over, and a fabulous choice to lead the way for the headliner.
Breakdown was pretty rapid, and Depeche Mode were on the stage by 20.45, a silhouette of an obviously revered Dave Gahan writhing and contorting to Going Backwards, on a riser behind the rest of the band. True to form this was a show to promote their current release, and SPIRIT is yet another excellent record by his trio, but some older members of the audience did seem disgruntled by the fact that the 80’s and 90’s hits that shot the band to fame, were not being covered during the early part of the show, and they ignorantly sat down playing with their cell phones! Of course true fans have supported the band throughout, and have kept up to date with all of the music that has been released during their four decade career….and rightly so, because it’s all absolutely fucking mind blowing.
Gahan has a history of being a troubled soul, but FUCK. Just FUCK. If Rudolph Nureyev and Jane Fonda produced a child, and named him Freddie Mercury, but he had an alter ego driven by nitromethane, here is the result. Demanding adulation throughout the two hour and fifteen minute show, and absolutely deserving of it, this guy is a mother fucking artist, he’s a singer, he’s a dancer, he’s a performer, he’s the man that words are not sufficient to describe him.
Of course there are other members of the band, and mainstay Martin Gore showed his metal by fronting the vocals on three songs during the show, while Gahan was taking a break. Gore has a more than excellent voice, and his musical contribution is absolutely key to the Depeche Mode sound, but he isn’t the presence that is Gahan, and as it became glaringly apparent through the show, there is no other frontman, or woman, alive on earth at this point in time that is even coming close to what he is.
Let’s not forget that this tour is running for ten months, with four more months to push…these guys will produce this show one hundred and six times, and yet they are giving 250% of their all each time, and then squeezing the audience for just a little more. Being onstage, performing, putting on a show, is an obvious spiritual occurrence for Gahan. He is in the zone, but this is not a selfish act. This is about everyone in the room, about giving and receiving…and it is so much more of a religious experience than anyone could ever get in the village church..Unless Gahan happens to step in for your local vicar and become your Personal Jesus!
The set list was put together with a lot of thought, with a few slower numbers peppered through, and an unexpected cover of David Bowies Heroes added to slow the encore and make you take stock, but also with enough older “popular” songs in the final eight to get the more mature folk in the audience off of their phones and onto their feet.
If you weren’t blown away by this show in it’s entirety, and you are not as sad as fuck that it’s over today, then you need to check in and get on board, because you got way more than you paid for . This shit is the real deal.
KG Headbangerwoman Oct 28 2017