Montag, 23. April 2018

Depeche Mode in São Paulo, March 27 or "things get damaged"

So, my last South America blog is written.

You can read it here, because I wrote the review for the great blog of David McElroy (check it out):

Now I will have a break from nearly 2 months until I start again with the " Isle of Wight" festival.

How you could read, the South America tour ended for me with mixed feelings.

But only concerning Depeche Mode.

The journey was the best in my life, I never saw so beautiful places, discovered so interesting cities, experienced so much.

In the next days I will post here a few more pictures of the journey and will share a few experiences.

Come back if you are interested.

The countdown is started, only a few concerts left on this tour and after the tour, the blog will come to its end.

But I love blogging, so I will start a new blog, a mix of my normal life in my hometown Cologne with event tipps, ideas to survive in this city, restaurant tipps, recipes for vegan meals, journey experiences, concert reviews ( no Depeche Mode).

Mittwoch, 18. April 2018

Depeche Mode in La Plata, Argentina, March 24 or Depeche Mode far away from good or evil

I was so happy as I arrived in Buenos Aires. With our taxi we drove along the Avenida 9 de Julio, it's called the widest street of the world. To cross the street you need more than 5 minutes....
We saw a skycraper with the counterfeit of Eva (Evita) Perón. I think for us Europeans the most famous argentinean person! Evita Perón, second wife of Juan Perón, at that time still Minister of Labor and by her support from 1946 President of Argentina! She was very popular with the working class and did a lot for the rights of women in Argentina. She was either loved or hated, I cannot relate to this position, I know to less about the situation in Argentina. She died very young at cancer.

Our hotel was close to the Obelisque, a really good start point to discover this big city. This was another long life dream of mine, to come to Buenos Aires, can't say why.... I loved from childhood on the name of the city, the sound saying ' Buenos Aires"!

Our hotel " Broadway hoteles and suites" wasn't like the both hotels in Lima or Santiago, it was a bit more basic, but I loved the clean white room with the two small beds. 
They have a gym and a wonderful deck on the top with a funny pool, tiled red, so it looked like as I swam in blood. Great view over the city. We enjoy every minute in this nice hotel with the friendly crew!
The first evening we met our two american friends. Martin rested in the hotel, he didn't feel so much better. We other 5 had a great vegan/ vegetarian meal. The waiter was so friendly, I felt so beloved!

Next morning Martin recovered finally and after gym, swimming and breakfast we started our sightseeing tour through Buenos Aires. 
Plaza Mayor..... and Palermo, a quarter with many small restaurants and bars, shops and cafés.
We had an unbelievable delicious lunch in a vegan restaurant. As we sat there a while two waitresses came to us - we wore Depeche Mode t-shirts - and told us, that Martin Gore had lunch there 30 minutes ago.... Arghhhhhhh, we were so close to him.... 
Later we found a nice bar and watched the football game / international friendship game between Italy and Argentina. Italy lost, but for me it was a pleasure to see my big hero Gigi Buffon back on the lawn!

The rest of the evening we walked through the busy city.... a city that never sleeps... a real Metropolis with all the bright and dark sides!
Next morning we met our Argentinian friends. They made the impossible possible, they found a front of stage ticket for my friend Martin! We are so thankful, because now we could enjoy the concert together. They gave me a present, a box with " Alfajores", small cakes with "Dulce de Leche", a speciality of Argentina. Can you imagine this? We are the guests and became gifts? Thank you Veronica and Guillermo for your friendship and kindness! Hope I can give it back to you one time!

"No Gore"


Then we rented a car and drove to La Plata. La Plata is the main city of the province Buenos Aires and yes, La Plata is part of the agglomeration Buenos Aires, but La Plata isn't Buenos Aires.
We heard that the argentinean fans are angry because Depeche Mode announced a concert in La Plata and not in Buenos Aires. Next day other argentinean friends told us there is a kind of Mafia, which is controlling all events in Buenos Aires and it is not easy to make a fair deal with them. However that be, we will never really know why Depeche Mode made this deal with la Plata!

On our way to La Plata we came through the small town Quilmes, known for its beer brewery, an old seaside resort at the River La Plata, which is now so extremely dirt, that the old resort is completely expired. On our way we saw many " ghettos". Argentina is a very poor country with a high inflation which is marauding the country. The gap between rich and poor is unbelievable big. The country was corrupted by a few rich people. A city, a Metropolis, a moloch with many faces.

La Plata offered the same, a beautiful place in the  middle of the town, but then the streets looked very ruined. The neighborhood of the stadium " Estadio unico de la Plata" was ghetto like, the stadium modern, place for more than 50000 people. We catched our t-shirts with the flag of Argentina, met a german friend, Torsten. He came for the concert and to tango in the centrum of tango.

I met a few facebook friends, devotees, we are connected, I was really happy to meet some of you finally in real life.We found a good place in the spacious front of the stage area, no alcohol again.
After the long playing support band and a 30 minute pause Depeche Mode entered the stage at 9 p.m!

Depeche Mode was welcomed with an unbelievable applause, long awaited by the argentinean fans. 
What a screaming as Dave walked down from the podest, which looked meanwhile like a temporary arrangement, because the crew use the lower part of the podium which is part of the screen, to replace parts of the sidescreens, which are partial broken.

Dave was in an very good mood, he looked again very good in his red jacket and he started with wild moves.
" It's no good ", Dave made his first pirouettes and the audience started dancing and singing.
At the end of the song, the screens on the sides didn't work anymore!
"Barrel of a gun", powerful like every time ended with Dave's welcome slogan " Good evening .... Buenos Aires!" But the most fans reacted a bit angry, there was no big cheer after this, because Depeche Mode didn't play in Buenos Aires.
For the most fans it was very uncomfortable to come to La Plata, and still more uncomfortable to come back home after the concert, so they weren't amused by his slogan!
" Pain that I used to", Dave came like every concert on his catwalk, but only the fans in the front of the stage area could enjoy this, bcause the screens didn't work anymore. The stadium was big and without the screens Depeche Mode look like dolly-birds on a model railroad layout! 

Dave gave his best to do a good show, but all his poses wasn't made for a stage in a huge stadium. It was  made for the screens, on point, sometimes only grimaces to underline a song but not effective without the screens. The lightshow was made as additional to the screens and so the show and the mood of the fans began to wobble.

We were disappointed too,we heard about the unbelievable mood of concerts in Argentina, but here many things come together ( it was raining) to destroy the good will of the fans.
As Martin come on stage and sang as second song " Home" the screenings started again. What did Dave? Did he fix the screens or the technical equipment all by himselfs?

So the mood getting better, but as " Where is the Revolution" the problems came back and the normal film did not start. We saw Dave in the middle of a big spotlight, I took amazing pictures.

" Everything counts", Argentina you deserve to be the best, because you gave all.

Songs like " Enjoy the silence" and " Never let me down" didn't need any screen.
How often we were so angry about the screenings because you look only to the screens and didn't see the band or didn't enjoy the music.
I ask myself, " deaf or blind" and in my opinion I came to a concert to enjoy the music live.
But in these days all is only a big event, a show machine and everybody want to get the maximum show effect.

I enjoyed the show with my friend Martin, for him the last show in Southamerica. We danced happy together to "Personal Jesus"! 

Dave say Goodbye and see you in better times! But no statement by the band or any excuses. No special song or setlist change. Depeche Mode didn't cry for Argentina!
So many poor people gave all their hard earned money to see the band after a long time again and then this happened.
I'm so surprised by this great fans which made the best mood as possible under this circumstances.

We drove back to Buenos Aires with mixed feelings:
A few years ago, screenings were not so important, all the arounds became more and more important over the years. Costumes, gestures, everything just for the screens.
Of course a band looks like toy figures from so far back in a giant stadium, but does not music remain the main reason for coming?
I really don't know. Many fans were very happy after the show, many not. 
My doubts from the beginning of the tour came back.
Next day a digital excuse via Facebook by Depeche Mode aka the webmaster. That's all.

Next day Martin and me visited La Boca, an old Italian Quarter with many Tango Bars, Cafés and stores. Home of the Football Club Boca Juniors.

The rest of the day we spent with an old friend from Cologne, which turned back a few years ago to Buenos Aires. I love to travel to meet peoples, old friends, new friends....
It was my last evening with Martin, next morning he had to say Goodbye, he had to go home....

So I spent my last day in Buenos Aires alone by walking through this city. I saw this city from many sides, not only the beauty side, no, I saw behind the scenes and believe me, it must be very difficult to live there.

Goodbye Buenos Aires, Goodbye Argentina!

Montag, 2. April 2018

Depeche Mode in Santiago de Chile, March 21 or " Santiago or Chile?"

Next morning was travelday again. 
I recovered totally and so I was in a very good mood as we landed in Santiago de Chile, where my friend Martin and I decided to use the public traffic options ( first a bus and then the tube) to our hotel in the heart of the city! 
It is a real good option to travel safe with Uber, but if you use busses or the metro you could breathe more normal life. I prefer to be a part of the normal life. You have to buy a metrocard ( same system like in Madrid or London) and put so many tickets on it like you need. Very cheap, easy system and safe! 

But we had a problem with the names of the station of the metro, we thought the station " Universidad de Chile" was the same like " Universidad de Santiago"! Lol, a big fault, so our journey into the city took a while longer then we thought. Santiago is the city, Chile is the country.....
Make sure where you are!!!!

Our hotel ( Plaza San Francisco) was located at the Avenue Libertador Bernado O'Higgins, the "aorta"  of the city. An old hotel in an old pompous style, clean with everything you needed.
Excellent gym and a big pool, I swam every morning! 
Best included  breakfast ever in a hotel! 

We walked through the city to find a vegan restaurant, but the only one we found was closed, my " Happy Cow" app ( a app for finding vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafés) told not the truth.

So we had a meal in a cantina, but the food wasn't very good, to greasy  .
As we came back into our hotel my friend Martin got ill. The food, or gastroenteritis, too, we didn't know, but he had more problems then me and had a really hard night.

Next morning he gave his best and we walked through the city again, took the funicular to the " Cerro San Christobal",  a hill with the statue of the virgin Maria. 22 meters high with a small chapel inside, from there you have a wonderful view about Santiago. There is a small  crossroad up to the virgin Maria.  You hear chants of monks if you walk along the crosses, I was so impressed by this. From the hill we catched the cablecar, and made a roundtrip in windy heights about the hill and back!

It was a really hot day, my weather, and I bought a typical beverage of Chile called "Mote con Huesillos"( Mote are wheat groats and Huesillos are dried peaches). A wonderful delicious drink to refresh! You have to try it if you are in Santiago!

Then we strolled through the city, the vegan restaurants are all closed so we had a wonderful vegan lunch in Koreatown of Santiago, an area with many market stalls. 

You could feel more safe in Santiago then in Lima, the whole atmosphere is more european, the people are richer than in Mexico and Peru.

But this country have a hard history and as I came into the old Estadio Nacional I remembered the book  " the House of Spirits" of Isabel Allende. She describes the circumstances while the Pinochet era, as many people after the coup against the Allende government were captived in the Estadio Nacional. Don't forget the history, all these countries are not only vacationing countries, they have a background and a history and I think you have to know something about the countries you are travel to! 

The stadium was very old and they didn't sell beer or any other alcohol while the concert.
I bought my t-shirt with the flag of Chile, a kind of routine!
This time we saw the support band "Matias Aguayo & the Desdemonas", I liked their music.  The singer Matias Aguayo grew up in Gummersbach near by Cologne, Germany. He came on the catwalk, I laughed because there are rumours Dave hates it when the supporting bands entering his holy catwalk.

Then Depeche Modem came on stage. Dave looked recovered as well and he had a new haircut, so he looked very good! 
We stood near by the catwalk really close to each other. I missed my friend Martin because he rested in the hotel, he was to ill to came with me.

The mood wasn't so good like in Lima, the first rows and the middle part of the front of the stage area made a good mood but the spark did not leap over. You could hear the people on the cheaper places more than the fans in front of the band. The prices for a ticket in the Front of the stage area was so high for the Chileans, no wonder. It was like in America, an event audience in the Front of the stage area. I lamented, that I didn't buy a cheaper ticket to be more part of the audience. The most people in the Front of the stage area started to clap hands as the beginnig of the songs, but then it stopped every time after a short while. Only a few people  danced at " Personal Jesus", never, really never I experienced this!
While " It's no good" Dave's microphone got broken, sometimes you didn't hear him. He looked very angry! He got a new one after the song! Poor Sarne, the sound engineer!
Dave welcomed the audience with " Good evening!" Than after a while ( you could hear him thinking.... "where I am? Santiago? Chile?") and then he said " Good evening Santiago" with a very deep voice!
He made a crazy dance to " Useless" and laughed in an expressive kind!
To " World in my eyes" he danced like an old ballerina or a figure skater.
Sometimes I asked myself, what is surviving in his brain after all this wild pirouettes? 

After " World in my eyes" he asked the audience " Hey, how are you doing? Everybody good? Good!"
He sang " Cover me" with an incredible voice, loved it.
But the scramble became to hard for me, I found a better place at the site and instead nobody was dancing at the sites, I did and so I enjoyed this concert really much, just the band, specially Dave and I..... me, myself and I.... Depeche Mode trinity.

It was still quiter while the Martin songs but a nice small sing a long as Dave came back on stage....
" In your room" , meanwhile the small film sucked me, I kept a eye on Dave, how he danced with his microphone stand, he rubbed against it like a table dancer.....Who loves who more? I don't know!!!
After "Where is the revolution" Dave shouted " That's right!"

Then " Everything counts", he came to the cat walk and waved to everybody, but this song didn't work like in Europe.... !
The Europeans had many memories mentioned to " Everything counts", it was a part of our youth, that's my explanation!
Instead Dave said his " Santiago, you are really the best!"

The Santiago front of stage area was maybe to stoned and maybe to welll-fed, to make a party!
I met facebook friends and they wrote, it was an amazing concert but they stood in the first rows. I knew that, you gave all the best in front of Dave and he smiled to you and you felt unique, but you didn't recognize what is behind you. This time I had the desistance. Don't understand me, it was a great concert and if it was your only one, it must be so great. I saw so many of Depeche Mode concerts on this tour, Santiago was number 55, maybe I was to well fed. 

While " Stripped" Dave looked into the audience with a scruntiny!
Then " Enjoy the silence" and I loved Dave's view as the audience woke up.... he made his show but you have to know him to see the little differences and undertones in his mood.
He turned to stage and shot the rabbit on the screen. The drum clown did his best to destroy this genius song....
" Never let me down", well welcomed but the audience didn't wave their arms until the end of the songs.....
"Strangelove".... Dave came back and said " Beautiful couple" to Martin and Gordeno and then a lot more of laudarory attributes for Gordeno.... please, David, stop it!!!
" Walking in my shoes", meanwhile I was so bored by the film.... I had to find old pictures of my apartment in Berlin, it looked like the apartment of the guy Mikey Woodbridge in the screening of " Walking...".
I thought, please no more screens, I want only the band. Dave and Martin danced so wonderful together to this song, Gore most of the time one step beside the beat, I love it! 
Then Dave put one leg on the box and threw his silver shoe a kiss..

" Question of time"! What was in Dave's mind? This song caused something special in him!

" Personal Jesus", the hardest shock for me because most of the people left the stadium while this song....
This is the problem with the front of the stage area and with the unbelivable expensive tickets. A normal resident of Countries in Southamerica couldn't pay this extraordinary prices.
I know a few bands who are possible to control what their management is doing. Unluckely Depeche Mode aren't interested in the situation of their fans. This is really disappointing! 

We left the stadium and walked nearly 30 minutes until we had the luck to catch a Uber car.
Very bad traffic situation after the concert...

Next morning, after 30 minutes swimming and the great breakfast we left the town via Buenos Aires!
Not the best but not a bad concert, but I liked this lazy town! Adios Santiago!!!

Depeche Mode in Lima, Peru at March 18 or "I flying high"

We had a good flight to Lima and after a ride with a Uber, we arrived in our beautiful hotel in San Isidro. 
Clean, big and beautiful rooms, a pool and a very good breakfast, I highly recommend this hotel for a save stay in Lima. The neighborhood  is so safe, you have a supermarket and good small restaurants, we found a small vegan restaurant and I had the best food since several days. I felt a bit better and I was so happy to be together with my longest travelmate Martin from Cologne. We had to tell us so much during this first evening.

 But it was concert time again!

Another Uber ride to the Estadio Nacional, it was new renovate and looked very modern. So many people around the stadium, selling Depeche Mode  stuff and beer. It was like in an anthill, what a swarm.. but everybody was on his way into this stadium, it was well organized, a big front of the stage area with portable toilets, flying beer sellers and official merchandise where I bought a t-shirt now with the peruvian flag! Great!

We missed the supporting band, in every city played a local band.

The mood was very good, I could smell that it would be a very good show, sometimes there is something in the air....

And it was a wonderful concert from he beginning. The people danced and sang from the first song!
The people on the seating places are very loud, we and I think the band, too, could hear them very well! 
A very special athmosphere!

Dave didn't look good, he looked really tired and ill. He sweat every concert but in Lima, he sweated so 
much, he has really dark shadows under his eyes and sometimes he stood only there and breathed deeply. But he is a really hard guy and his performance got more and more wilder. I have had the whole day convulsions, I'm not totally recovered of my gastroenteritis, but like E. T. and Elliott I felt better with every step or move Dave made. We was and are connected, I'm sure! 

" Cover me" was wonderful, but Dave didn't touch anybody, because he felt not so good!
Every song was good, my friend Martin liked " Enjoy the silence" most, for me " Never let me down" was the best song of the evening:
" I'm taking a ride with my best friend... we're flying high.... never want to come down!"
After the Machu Picchu experience and the first impressions of Lima I was in such a happy attitude!
I absorbed every tone, I enjoyed really every moment, I was a small part of this great concert, a small ant in the big anthill!
Many peoples danced very wild and I gave my best at " Question of time" and " Personal Jesus", forgetting my stomach pain and became play dough in Dave's hands.

The Lima people like the Martin songs, too, but Dave was their hero, every move, every small word...." Lima, how you are feeling?" was answered with a huge applause. 

Lima, thank you so much for this unforgettable concert!
And Dave, you are really the best! 

Next day, we made a big tour through this city with its many faces. Never saw a city like Lima, every neighborhood was so different. The traffic was the craziest thing I ever experienced, you have to be really strong and hard to survive driving a car in Lima or crossing a street.
We saw many really poor people, another really hard metropolis with more than 8 millions residents. 
But I will return to Lima and to Peru, have had many happy days here and I will discover more of this country!

Hope you enjoy my pictures!!!

" Monastery of San Francisco at Plaza de Armas "

" Plaza de Armas "

Mercado Central de Lima
A very interesting place because of the variety of fruits and vegetables.
And ( I'm vegan) if you eat meat, use the whole animals. They sold every peace of the animals there. 
We saw the poverty of this city, of this country, so the people are more heedful of their food. 
We have to think about our attitude in our rich and saturated countries.

" The sigh-bridge" in Barranco, Lima "

" Pacific Ocean"