Personnel: Peter Gordeno (keyboards); Christian Eigner (drums).
Audio Mixer: Adrian Hall.
Photographer: Anton Corbijn.
The saying "never trust a synth pop band over 30" goes out the window as the arena-filling Depeche Mode present the 2014 film Live in Berlin, a career-spanning set that breathes new life into old numbers, while tackling new tunes with the same power and commitment. Thank lead singer and hyped showman David Gahan for all the power, as on this soundtrack, he growls, cries out, and full-bodied croons these soul-bearing lyrics, including the Delta Machine newbie "Should Be Higher," which soars about three or four stories higher that its studio version. Gahan takes the verses as if he's Leonard Cohen, and then belts the chorus like he's Freddie Mercury crossed with Trent Reznor, but in the case of fan favorite "Enjoy the Silence," he's often off the mike, allowing the audience to take over the singing with a couple "come on!"'s in support. The first disc's "Black Celebration" and "But Not Tonight" preview the second disc's absolute overflow of classic chestnuts, up to and including the early hit "Just Can't Get Enough," which is reborn as a roto-tom-fueled stadium anthem. Those who don't like their Depeche so "big" and "rawk!" can skip it, but fans looking to celebrate some 34 years of dancing with the dour get to do so thanks to Live in Berlin, with their fists high in the air. ~ David Jeffries