After almost 30 years of being around, Depeche Mode still manages to fucking rule. If punk isn’t dead, new wave is absolute mainstream, single-handedly supported by this band. The last time I’ve seen the whole sports paleis (hey that’s the official english name) on its feet like that was at the R.E.M. concert, which was without a doubt the best concert in many years to come. From Dave Gahan singing how "this is free love" to a completely silent crowd, or Everybody, from front to back (and A Lot of people go in the sports paleis), raising up their arms and shouting "Reach Out and Touch Faith!", it all just gave me goosebumps.
The set consisted mostly of metallic painted space-craft stuff, it reminded me more of Daft Punk than Depeche Mode. To the stage-right side of the stage (right hand side when facing crowd) there was a big orb-ball thing decorated with LEDs that could display text. Every piece of decoration, including the funkadelic standards for the keyboards, had clusters of LEDs with the brightness of a decent spotlight. These bundles each consisted of LEDs of every color so amazing effects were possible. The whole set gave sort of a 70’s electropop-look, but once the lights kicked in, they were pretty much all you saw.
Usually there is a gigantic LED screen behind the stage to provide background effects. These screens can do anything a white screen and a projector can, only far better. Because LEDs can glow at different brightness, smooth objects are no problem, and with the invention of equally bright colored LEDs, the sky is the limit. This is Belgian patented technology, by the way. At the Depeche Mode concerts, there were 4 screens, hanging at different height, and of different dimensions. They could be hung crooked, and one of them, a relatively narrow and high one, had a stretched image, so you had the illusion it was hanging with one side further to the back. All this made it seem the screens were hung up totally randomly, and a few times they let each screen display multiple images and letting them overlap, they could make you think there were far more screens hanging up. Who ever thinks of these things, is an absolute genius.
Concerning sound, the person responsible was just as outstanding in his work. The first magnificent move was boosting the drum. You have to admit, Depeche Mode is pretty calm music, so it’s hard to really get a crowd going with it. Turning up the bass and using it to sort of hang the music up on, makes it seem like you’re listening to old school minimalistic house, only with songs that you love so much that you were willing to pay for a concert. To me, the highlight of the concert was the song ‘personal jesus’, which, with the buffed bass and added guitar solo (yes, guitars), boomed right through your body and unified you with everyone in the room, without it mattering if they were Timberlake-obsessed schoolgirls or 3rd generation ex-"I lost my wallet, it’s on the floor here somewhere"-type dancing new wave freaks.
Down side on the concert, however, were the sometimes plainly lame songs on the tracklist, and the moodkilling silence in between. The woman with the guitar and mohawk-hat was a great artist, but letting her sing a few songs was a Bad idea. They were slow, they were tame, and she made a face like she actually took them seriously.
A couple days ago we had to build a party for Telenet, a local cable provider. After having to deal with a french crew chief and one problem after another I was asking my colleague, ‘Remind me why I do this job for 5 euro an hour, again?’ Well now I remember.
Concerning my 2nd source of income, unemployment funding, things are starting to get a little tight. The policy changed and instead of having to get a stamp 2 times a month, they will now check every 3 months or so if I have been trying to find work. That sucks really hard because if I try and find work, I actually risk Getting work. I did some math and on a full year, the state gets about as much from me as I get from the state. Provided that I keep up this average, of course. So in my eyes, there really is nothing wrong, aside from a set of new rules that wull put me and my colleagues in a big fat load of shit.
What I want to do, is rent a place in Ghent, so I don’t have to sleep over somewhere each time I’m being dropped off at 3 in the morning, after work. Then I could try and find some more companies with the same policy as RoadRunner and start doing this job more professionally.
Of course, this will have to wait until after I do all that other shit I still want to do.