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Tour Of The Universe - Tour Blog

Royal Albert Hall, London - February 17th
author: brat
date posted: February 19th, 2010

I am sitting here, trying to come up with something to say regarding the Royal Albert Hall show. Yes, it was a great show. Yes, it was a hometown show (if you stretch the boundaries of Basildon to include Kensington). Yes, it was for a great cause (Teenage Cancer Trust). In the end, though, there is only one word that can totally and completely sum up the night: Alan.

I arrived at the Royal Albert Hall around 10am on show day, to start taking some venue pictures. I caught up with Hels, who was placing the signs on the doors (production, dressing room, catering, et cetera). Seeing a sign saying "Alan Wilder" go on a door, 16 years after his departure from the band, was a sign that this show would be legendary...and it was.

I came back a little later, and saw the soundcheck. As the tour is about a half dozen shows away from ending, I was a little surprised to see a soundcheck scheduled that had the band involved. By this time in a tour, it is usually just the crew making sure all the levels are right on the instruments and microphones. After a few minutes, in walks Martin, Fletch, Peter and Christian...and a string section. Ooooh - a good sign. The string section worked out arrangements to One Caress, Home and Come Back (a nice surprise). While the string section was soundchecking, Mr Wilder began walking around the venue. I knew this was shaping up to be a historic night.

After a while, Alan took to the stage, and did one run through of Somebody, and then the band left the stage. It was a little after 6pm. In a few hours time, I would be hearing one of the loudest crowd screams of my life.

The show started with opening act The Horrors. Before Depeche Mode took to the stage, Roger Daltrey (of The Who) came out and sang (not literally, sadly) the praises of Depeche Mode, showed a short film about the Teenage Cancer Trust, and then introduced Depeche Mode with these words: "Every decade throws up their icons, and some of them stand the test of time better than others. This lot stand as tall today as they ever do. Please welcome Depeche Mode!"

The crowd was ready for a legendary show, and the band did not disappoint. The screams from the fans when the string section were setting up were near-deafening. The crowd (and band) participation at the end of Home (complete with band jam session) was great. They were nothing compared to the moment Alan hit the stage, though. It was a combination of shock, joy, and tears throughout the crowd. People were virtually speechless, and it was amazing. If that wasn't amazing enough, the band brought out Photographic soon after!

At the aftershow, it was literally a "Who's Who" of Depeche Mode history. Most of Mute Records was in the house, as well as Ben Hillier, Flood, the legendary JD Fanger, Anton Corbijn, and almost every family member of the band.

A great night. A great cause. A great moment in Depeche Mode history. To all of you who were there, thanks for coming out and supporting Teenage Cancer Trust. For those of you who could not make it, enjoy these pictures from the show.

Images:
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Blog #1: Somewhere over Germany

Blog #2: Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Blog #3: Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Blog #4: Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Blog #5: Zentralstadion, Leipzig

Blog #6: Zentralstadion, Leipzig

Blog #7: Olympiastadion, Berlin

Blog #8: Somewhere in Germany...

Blog #9: Somewhere in Germany (2)...

Blog #10: Bratislava

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Blog #12: Leaving Prague...

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Blog #38: Bremen - November 1st

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Blog #48: Lyon - November 23rd

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Blog #64: Lieven - January 17th

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Blog #72: Helsinki - February 2nd

Blog #73: St. Petersburg - February 4th

Blog #74: Moscow - February 6th

Blog #75: Kiev - February 8th

Blog #76: Lodz - February 10th

Blog #77: Lodz - February 11th

Blog #78: Royal Albert Hall, London - February 17th

Blog #79: The O2, London - February 20th

Blog #80: Horsens (1) - February 22nd

Blog #81: Horsens (2) - February 23rd

Blog #82: Dusseldorf - February 26th

Blog #83: Dusseldorf (2) - February 27th

Blog #84: Echo Awards - March 4th

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