Depeche Mode Play ‘Live on Letterman,’ Keep the Faith With New ‘Delta Machine’ Material
At this point, Depeche Mode songs pretty much write themselves — lust, obsession, redemption, repeat — and onstage, given the band’s reliance on prerecorded synth sounds, they could probably play themselves, too. But during Monday night’s (March 11) ‘Live on Letterman’ taping, an hourlong performance shot at the Ed Sullivan Theater and webcast live via CBS and VEVO, the Mode steered clear of autopilot, proving why, after 30-something years, they’re still the slinkiest, sexiest electro-gospel pop outfit this planet full of sinners has ever known. Diffuser.fm was there, and we reached out and touched faith.
The ‘Letterman’ webcast (watch it above), which prefaced an appearance on last night’s ‘Late Show,’ was Depeche Mode’s first concert in three years, and not surprisingly, the band drew heavily from their forthcoming 13th album, ‘Delta Machine,’ due out March 22. In interviews, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Martin Gore and singer Dave Gahan have compared the record to classics like ‘Violator’ and ‘Songs of Faith and Devotion,’ and to prove it, they followed brand-new openers ‘Angel’ and ‘Should Be Higher’ — thumping industrial hymnals reminiscent of DM’s early-’90s heyday — with the 1993 hit ‘Walking In My Shoes,’ presenting the three as separate books in the same studded, black-leather-bound bible.
In addition to the ‘Ultra’ cut ‘Barrel of a Gun’ and three more ‘Delta’ jams — ‘Heaven,’ ‘Soft Touch’ and ‘Soothe My Soul’ — the Mode aired their career-defining ‘Violator’ smashes ‘Personal Jesus’ and ‘Enjoy the Silence.’ Gahan shone on both, doing his sleazoid preacher-man lounge-rat Elvis routine as Gore plucked rockabilly riffs on his enormous Gretsch hollow-body. Mysterious third man Andy Fletcher stood behind a keyboard in a black polo, looking like the gothiest dad on the youth soccer sideline.
The Mode follow their ‘Letterman’ concert with a pair of appearances at SXSW, and after several months in Europe, they return to the States in August for the just-announced North American leg of their Delta Machine World Tour.
Watch Depeche Mode Perform ‘Heaven’ on ‘Letterman’