One of my best music memories is connected to spending the summer when I was twelve helping my best friend Cort run a shaved ice stand across from the five & dime in rural Idaho. Our soundtrack believe it or not was Depeche Mode's two cassette album of the infamous 101 tour (see youtube A, B). We were taking cues from the older siblings of our 'new wave' friends but you could say were somewhat aware of how freaking cool DM was all on our own. So you can imagine my excitement when I scored tickets to Depeche Mode last night at the E Center for their Tour of the Universe. I took my friend and music editor of City Weekly, Jamie Gadette to see the show out at the scortched earth of Western Valley's E. Center. We returned victorious with the knowledge that Dave still has his sexy voice and gender-bending dance moves; Martin, the theremin like vibrato, plus a new guitar for every song and Anton Corbijn's video/art direction was as surreal and colorful as ever.

From the evidence contained in the video clip above however, I am prepared to confirm that audiences in Israel are way, way, way more excited about seeing the Mode live than they were out in Western Valley City, Utah - on a Tuesday night at least. I tried to convince Gadette not to observe the other concertgoers until we were safely in the building and positioned towards the stage, in total darkness but did she heed my advice? No!

They just make people bigger once you're past 21's South. Maybe it's something in the water? Whether you're big or small, wide or tall, I highly recommend you get to know this influential synth rock band more. You can buy live recordings of the recent concerts at But I would start with the remastered DVD or recording of 101. Thanks to Dave at United Concerts for hooking us up with the show, you're wonderful!