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Depeche Mode, Memento Mori Tour. The closed circuit rehearsal related by Cristian Flueraru, the Romanian fan who appears in the documentary Spirits in | FESTIVALPHOTO

Depeche Mode, Memento Mori Tour. The closed circuit rehearsal related by Cristian Flueraru, the Romanian fan who appears in the documentary Spirits in



Exclusive: Depeche Mode, Memento Mori Tour. The closed circuit rehearsal related by Cristian Flueraru, the Romanian fan who appears in the documentary Spirits in the forest. On July 26, Depeche Mode is at the National Arena

In the preview of the Depeche Mode tour, Meemento Mori, with which the band will arrive in Bucharest on July 26, a rehearsal of the closed-circuit concert took place in Munich, with access by invitation only, dedicated exclusively to fans.

At this rehearsal was also Cristian Flueraru, the Romanian fan of the Depeche Mode band who was one of the 6 protagonists of the documentary Spirits in the forest.

"As usual before the tours, Depeche Mode also organized a larger rehearsal on February 19. This year, Munich was chosen as the host, the event being accessible only by invitation, these being distributed by various radio stations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The initial details were quite laconic: Alte Kongresshalle and 30 minutes of music accompanied by a QA session with the German radio presenter Marcus Fahn.

The choice of location was a little surprising: a conference center designed in 1952 in a retro futuristic style with a capacity of 5-800 people. As well as that of the moderator: a well-known radio and television personality from Bavaria. My initial projection aspired to a more intimate space and a discussion led by one of those close to the band (Daniel Miller, Anton Corbijn).

With these thoughts I went to Munich, in full strike of the employees at the big airports in Germany. Once we arrived in front of the conference center, the above mystery deepened even more. From the outside, the building looks like a normal cinema, guarded at night by 2 police cars. It is possible that this choice was a little forced by the Security Conference in Munich dedicated to the war in Ukraine, which made many of the spaces suitable for a concert unavailable.

At the end of the day, when I thought I had seen them all, I literally came face to face in front of my camera with Martin Gore, the musical genius behind Depeche Mode. Although my knees were shaking, I manage to whisper "Hi Martin, I am Cristian from Spirits in the Forest movie". We talk for a while, during which I congratulate him on the album and the new single, after which we see each other on our way. He was probably amused by the unexpected meeting in the hotel hallways, I thought I could have said something more articulate. But maybe there will be more opportunities this tournament.

And the long-awaited day has come!=. Already in the morning, the fans started to gather in front of the hotel where the band was staying. They came more with the idea of an autograph or multimedia souvenir, not being holders of the "golden ticket". We exchange a few opinions and I walk towards the concert hall.

There, the atmosphere is totally different from the previous evening: quite a lot of people and a queue that surrounds the market. Most of them are the lucky winners of the guests from all corners of Germany, but also, again, a few without access. Between them, Szilvia from Budapest drove over 650 km from the Hungarian capital to be here.

It's not long until the start of the concert, so everyone rushes to the hall hoping for a place as close to the stage as possible. Until then, however, the organizers had in mind a very ingenious solution to make mobile phones unavailable: a mini purse in which everyone places their device, to be sealed with a magnetic system. I couldn't help but think about the situation where someone forgets to switch to silent or airplane mode.

I'm among the last but I manage to get around to a good place and finally I can relax and look around a bit. The scene is dominated by the already well-known theme with the 2 pairs of wings on a black background. On the right side is Christian Eigner's drum kit and in front of him is the microphone where Dave Gahan will sing. The left side is the electronic area with Peter Gordeno's synthesizers and Martin Gore's microphone.

The decor is completed by red lights and 300 impatient fans. The energy starts to increase with the volume of the background music and I realize that restricting access to phones was not a bad idea at all. Everyone looks around and chats, without stories or live streams on social networks.

20 minutes late, Depeche Mode are on stage! Dave Gahan dominates the entire landscape with his red boots. As never before, he talks a little with the audience and compliments the fans in the front row: "I see some familiar faces here".

The first song is Ghosts Again, which seems to sound better and better. His voice Dave is perfectly aligned and Christian duplicates him excellently with the percussion. Next comes Wagging Tongue and My Favorite Stanger, two songs in the first audition with a slight touch of Joy Division and New Order. Dave is in great shape and shows off a part of his choreographic arsenal, to the delight of the female audience. There are also some out of sync, but everyone is having a lot of fun on this topic. The finale is a classic one with Precious and Personal Jesus, followed by the QA session.

Marcus Fahn opens the ball in the old-school way: "I want to see how loud 400 people can hear". And yes, they are loud, no surprise here. Next comes a lesson in applied German geography, through which he reviews most of the radio stations where the invitations were won. He points out some of the fan stories, the most interesting being that of a girl who has a towel thrown in public by Dave, 30+ years ago in Frankfurt.

In the meantime, Dave and Martin return and the first questions are about the concert that just ended. The boys declare themselves delighted to be in front of the public again and say that it was good but it could be even better. "We've been rehearsing for a month, even if tonight it wasn't really seen", laughs Martin, to the laughter of the audience.

The discussion reaches Memento Mori, how they see the meaning, how the album was born, etc. Dave says that the idea took shape in 2019, Martin had already been writing for some time. "I didn't do the same thing, I wasn't inspired to write. I played the guitar more." DG. The pandemic completely changed the initial plan, so the decision to enter the studio in July 2022 was made via Zoom.
Depeche Mode at San Remo 2023

Inevitably, I think of Andy Fletcher and his tragic disappearance. And I'm not the only one who does this. What I missed the most was the final picture at the end of the concert, when all the band members come to the front of the stage for a bow. Martin ends this moment on a positive note: "we must think positive, we have to make the most of each day".

The questions about the album's artwork also bring some new details. Anton Corbijn had independently prepared the draft of the concept, which was presented to the band in the studio in Santa Barbara where they recorded. The decision to adopt it was very quick, the only unknown being the meaning of the symbolism: wings or the letter M.

The Ghosts Again video was also dissected, with a Captain Obvious moment from the moderator. He evoked some scenes from Ingmar Bergmann's film, The Seventh Seal, which served as inspiration, asking the band members if they knew this and if they had seen the film. Yes, they knew and saw it.

In the same vein, the concept of the stage for the tour will also come from Anton's laboratories, without knowing much about how it will look. An occasion for a new sample of Martin brand humor: "on March 23 we debut and the album will appear the day after".

Towards the end of the interview, we enter the area of more or less classic questions. What are your favorite cities? What does a normal day in the tournament look like? But a normal day outside the tournament? (!!). What songs would he like to compose. I only remembered from here the fact that Dave likes to spend about an hour in the morning having coffee. Plus a consistent tribute to David Bowie and his Life on Mars.

The last moment takes place right before the exit from the scene when Dave recreates the moment of throwing the towel in public for the lucky owner. This time he offers it elegantly, to general applause. The lights on the stage then go out and the audience slowly heads for the exit.

It will probably take me over a week to properly process this experience. It was a unique, warm and real event. Depeche Mode are back. "


Skribent: Vlad Ionut Piriu
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