Depeche Mode and Kings of Leon Captivate Lollapalooza With Dueling Headlining Sets

August 8th, 2009 by J. Edward Keyes Leave a reply »

Depeche Mode’s Friday night headlining set at Lollapalooza began with a whimper. First, there was the tiny, steady blip of a pre-recorded drum track. Then came a bed of synthesizers, misty and mysterious. Finally, Dave Gahan’s voice — barely a whisper — floating above. When all of those elements finally cohered, it was pure rapture — a kind of revelation in phases.

In a way, that slow build and long sustain is an apt metaphor for Depeche Mode’s career. A trio of over-styled foppish young men, they were nobody’s top pick for arena giants, let alone a sure bet to be bankable career artists when they started 30-plus years ago. Their quirky techno seemed built for the moment, not for the ages. Even their name means “fast fashion.”

Photos from Lollapalooza ‘09: Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon and More

Funny thing, though: Depeche Mode have not only endured, they’ve prospered, and during their startling and frequently riveting set they proved that often the greatest rewards come from patience and restraint. Their songs remain mysterious and doomy, Andy Fletcher’s black synth lines walking lockstep around Martin Gore’s grizzled, distorted guitar. Live, they feel fantastically ominous: “Hole to Feed” was primal and thumping, its icy electronics contributing to the air of menace. “It’s No Good” was all cold industrial grind, Gore’s weird, robotic guitar lines coaxing the song to an apocalyptic conclusion. As they did in New York last week, they concentrated on slower, deep cuts, which yielded their greatest dividends for longtime followers (some of the mo...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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