Depeche Mode - BB&T Center, Sunrise - September 15
If you were wondering where your nearly middle aged, bald friend or brother or husband was last night, they were at the Depeche Mode concert at BB&T Center. That's right. The hockey arena was a hotspot for smooth-headed, black T-shirt wearing, mostly straight guys. They gathered there to emote and dance enthusiastically with their arms. Some were in bro pairs, others brought along less amped girlfriends, but all sang along with the band.
Now before all the world's bald dudes get pissed about being called out here (it's about the music!), we'd like to point out that their presence illuminated something. While an ignoramus might assume Depeche Mode is the stuff of women in not-totally-sexy pleather corsets and skinny gay dudes in 300-pound boots, the bald guys at the show proved otherwise. With their emotional yet masculine songs, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and the rest of the band drew a significantly male, and somewhat mainstream crowd, in Broward at least.
Maybe it was also partly because Gahan showed 15,000 fans that if you're tall, have good hair, and a nice physique, you don't ever have to learn to dance like a cool guy, and chicks and even straight dudes will dig the shit out of you anyway.
The night started though, on a feminine note. Bat for Lashes brought a set of beautiful songs and delightful Kate Bush-iness to the place. Now, a lot of people have beautiful voices, but they don't always do the right things with them. Natasha Khan isn't one of the misguided. She does all the right things with her pipes. All of them. In an impressive floor-length black and white striped gown, her haunting vocals likely induced a goosebump epidemic in the crowd.
And Gahan kept those hairs high when he literally twirled out onto the stage. The band welcomed us to their world with, well, "Welcome to My World." Gahan seriously had some of the most amazing, though not exactly smooth, dance moves we've witnessed in an arena setting. He used flamenco hands. He made the mic his very own stripper pole to the overwhelming delight of the whole audience during "Policy of Truth." He knocked off a few thrusts from Elvis, and even did a semi-Mick Jagger chicken dance. There was even some minor crotch grabbing too, a la MJ. But it seemed the butt wiggle was the night's winner. He was twerking like Miley, as in not technically twerking, but working his derriere somewhat.
After the first song, Gahan took his jacket off to reveal a vest, black in front and gold on the back. He went through several vests throughout the course of the night, all in different colors. Black was the only constant, of course. But by the time the band got to "Enjoy the Silence," toward the end of the show, he was simply vest-less. It just looked really hot up there, to be honest. Even in the seats it was a little sweaty. Perhaps it was the bum twitching?
By about song three, "Walking in My Shoes," people were already getting into it and singing along as a unit. But it was probably the entrancing video of simply dogs sitting on a sidewalk -- one at a time, sitting, walking away, looking at the camera -- illustrating "Precious," and the frenzy induced by "Black Celebration," that ensured everyone was paying full attention. We were all committed to this night, and it had just begun.