One small pleasure in life is when you’re letting YouTube play on after it’s played a video you’ve chosen, and the algorithm hits the sweet spot. One major thrill in life is when a band you truly love surprises you with a song that takes your breath away. Both of these happened recently when I caught Depeche Mode’s One Night in Paris on YouTube. The concert was filmed by Anton Corbijn in 2001 at a Paris show during the band’s Exciter Tour and was released on DVD as One Night in Paris – The Exciter Tour 2001 – A Live DVD.
One evening I had fired up the Roku and had been watching some of Depeche Mode’s live performances, and it rolled to “Never Let Me Down Again” from this film. The person who uploaded it included on the title that it’s the best version of the song. Many fans would argue that the 101 version is the best, but this one really, truly, rocks. Hard. It’s the final song of the show, and the band leaves the crowd with a banger. Martin digs in and lets it rip with the guitar part, the piano/keyboard part is loud and jangly, the backup singers sing and dance, Dave is giving it his all with the vocals and stage moves, and the crowd is exuberant.
Of course after watching that a few times, I found the full concert and pulled it up on the Roku. I tend to do five things at once, so inevitably I got distracted and started doing something else as the concert played. Sometimes I just listen and then go back and watch when that happens. I think I started doing some grading or something, but then they started performing this song that made my head jerk up and start watching. I backed up the video a bit to the beginning of the song and was enthralled by their performance of “When the Body Speaks” from the Exciter album. I’ve recently been working my way through a few of their albums that I don’t know very well, and Exciter is one of them. In fact, I think I had only absentmindedly listened to Exciter when I encountered this concert video. It’s a lovely, lovely song. Dave starts the song saying, “Come a little closer, Martin. I can’t feel you back there. I need you closer” – this is Dave at his charming best. The melody is beautiful, and the lyrics trace the connections between the desires of the body and the heart, mind, and spirit. Again, Dave gives this one his all, and he seems to be connecting to the lyrics and to the crowd more than usual. A great moment is when he hushes the crowd so he and Martin can finish the quiet ending to this delicate, ruminative song.
I decided after watching the concert on YouTube that I needed the DVD in my collection. The whole concert is just that good. Incidentally, Martin plays acoustic guitar a couple of times during the concert. Back in the 80s, I never would have imagined I’d ever see that happen!
Here are the YouTube videos – watch “When the Body Speaks” first and be taken in by this quiet gem. Then watch “Never Let Me Down” and be prepared to get off the sofa and dance along. Go ahead. Nobody’s watching, and I won’t judge. I’m doing the same thing.