Not everyone wore black to see Depeche Mode at the American Airlines Center. Fans in Cowboys jerseys also made their way in. It was, after all, Sunday, and the Cowboys were victorious. But the Cowboys weren't the only winners — every Devotee in North Texas was, too.
The show opened with "My Cosmos Is Mine," a stripped-down, industrial-infused track off the band's new album Memento Mori, following that with "Wagging Tongue," before dipping into the back catalog with "Walking in My Shoes," "It's No Good," "Sister of Night" and "In Your Room."
Memento Mori is the band's strongest album in years, with new tracks like "Ghost Again" already at stadium-singalong status. The forays into the new stuff were welcomed, and the audience never felt like it was biding time until the classic stuff was played.
Frontman Dave Gahan's voice is age-defying — something that cannot be said of all his contemporaries — and songwriter Martin Gore, sounding as angelic as ever, has written lyrics that stand the test of time. Gore also took center stage, once again, treating fans to a stunning acoustic version of "Strangelove," one of the highlights of the evening.
And after four decades-plus in music, Depeche Mode is more relevant now than ever. "Everything Counts" might be a reflection of Thatcher-era Britain, but the song is a timeless tale, packing the same wallop in 2023 that it did in 1983.
But that's true of all great Depeche Mode songs: they tackle both big and small issues but do so honestly and with emotion. This is why a stadium full of people were singing their hearts out to "Enjoy the Silence." These songs, these words mean a lot to many people.
The encore brought "Never Let Me Down Again," a track that received a new generation of fans thanks to The Last of Us, as well as “Just Can't Get Enough” and “Personal Jesus.” The acoustic version of "Condemnation" was absolutely beautiful.
Depeche Mode has always been an amazing studio band and an incredible live act. It's a rare combination. There is a reason why Cowboys fans made a beeline from the game and the watch parties to this concert. Depeche Mode matters — a lot. Just ask any fan at the American Airlines Center last night.
On Oct. 4, 2023, Depeche Mode's Memento Tour goes to Houston. For the full tour schedule, check the group's official site.