Off to Depeche Mode, and Texas, Respectively

The photo you see above is me in May, 1988, when I and a group of friends went off to go see the band Depeche Mode at the Blossom Music Festival amphitheater outside of Cleveland (here’s the set list, from the Depeche Mode wiki, because of course there’s a Depeche Mode wiki). Tonight, 35 years later, I and some of those same friends are going to another Depeche Mode concert, also in Cleveland, because this may be the band’s last tour (they are down to just two original members at this point) and also because hanging out with old friends is a lovely thing to do.

Then on Saturday I hop on a plane in Cleveland (I am not driving all the way across the state just to hop on a plane in Dayton) and head to Austin, Texas, for the Texas Book Festival, where on Sunday I will do a panel, a signing, and, I presume, eat my weight in brisket and/or Tex-Mex. Then on Monday I fly back to Cleveland, because that’s where my car will be, and then drive back home, perchance to sleep for 72 hours.

All of which is to say that if I’m scarce here for the next few days, this will be why. Also, if you’re in Austin this weekend, please come to see me there and say hello.

Look at this kid! He had hair! And a chin! Man, I miss that chin.

— JS

23 Comments on “Off to Depeche Mode, and Texas, Respectively”

  1. The Music for the Masses tour was a good one. I’ve never gone to a ton of concerts, but that was definitely one of them. There were in Austin that year on May 11, so before the date in Cleveland. As my last Christmas/birthday gift, my younger son took me to the Memento Mori concert in San Antonio earlier this year. Enjoy the concert and the book signing!

  2. Wish I was going!! I love Depeche Mode, they are one of my all time favorite bands and probably the only one I can listen to incessantly for years/decades and never burn out on. I saw them at their previous tour in 2017 and it was great. I was wearing the t-shirt I got from the concert just the other day and my mechanic glanced at me and was like “That’s a throwback.” I was like “????” and had to ask him what he meant and he pointed at my shirt. It hadn’t even occurred to me that other people just saw them as an oldie band and not something they are still currently listening to, haha. Sad I probably won’t make it to another concert for them, but can’t blame them for winding down, 40+ years is a good run!

    And as an aside, I listened to Starter Villain on audiobook this week and really enjoyed it! Thanks for making my week much more entertaining than average :-)

  3. Hope Depeche Mode are better for you than they were for us. Went to the Barclay Center last month, similarly 30 years or so after last seeing them: it was kinda a sad experience. Partly my own fault for forgetting to bring earplugs; partly the woman behind me who screamed for the whole 90 min; partly that they were (reasonably!) playing mostly new stuff instead of the stuff we remembered best. O well – have fun!

  4. I grew up about an hour south of Blossom, and my junior year, a friend’s older brother had an extra ticket to that show with OMD. My friend told him she didn’t think I’d be interested. (Yes, we stayed friends.) I finally saw OMD a few years ago. Depeche Mode was an integral portion of my life’s soundtrack from ages 17-21, and tonight in Cleveland will be my first show. Enjoy.

  5. Oh, please tell be it will be brisket and not Tex-mex! No self respecting Californian can justify ground beef in a bland enchilada topped with tomato sauce.
    I remember the hair and the chin too.💕 I also myself with a butt that fit into airline seats. 🤣

  6. I hope it will be brisket and not Tex-mex! No self respecting Californian can justify ground beef in a bland enchilada with tomato sauce!

    I remember that chin and hair, too.💕
    I also remember when my butt still fit into airline seats. 🤣

  7. Brisket and/or Tex Mex. I do admire a person who understands the local community.

    Also, I would love to have brisket and Tex Mex for dinner

  8. Brisket and/or Tex Mex. I do admire a person who understands the local community.

    Also, I would love to have brisket and Tex Mex for dinner.

    Also, ignore any Californian making derogatory Tex Mex comments! The real stuff is not bland.

  9. Man, Depeche Mode puts on a great show (or at least they did 10+ years ago when they played Lollapalooza). They were honestly one of those bands I “appreciated” more than “loved” – I’m a little too young to have grown up with their classic material – but seeing them live helped me to truly “get” them. I do believe that their 21st-century output is very underappreciated.

  10. I’ve seen that guy before! He’s me at the same age with a haughty look of derision for others foolishness.

    Or you’re just bored, or tired, or it’s the resting face.

    Never saw Depeche Mode but I did catch Roxy Music before they split, and I hear they had a 50 year concert with the remaining members recently. I know the Blossom Music Center well I caught a few acts there so should be a good show.

  11. ::Also, I am not stoned in that picture, nor drunk. I just looked that way sometimes at 19 years old.::

    Didn’t we all at 19? I’ve got a picture somewhere where I look like James Spader’s more wasted stunt double—it was taken during a shoot I was helping on, and I remember because nobody was drunk or high when we were working.

    Afterwards was another story….

  12. The Blossom Music Center is a very nice venue. I say that having only attended one concert there, back in 1970, but it was a wonderful one, namely Blood Sweat & Tears promoting their new (1969) eponymous album. My sister, her fiancé and I were on the hillside that slopes up from the stage, under the stars, and the sound was great!

  13. Is Blossom still there? A lot of things in the Cleveland area have disappeared or massively changed since I was last through.

  14. Blossom is very much still there and seems to be doing quite well, though I know a number of folk who are up in arms over the new rules forbidding attendees from bringing their own lawn chairs. At this point, Blossom is the kind of institution that is deeply rooted in the community and as it’s directly owned by the same organization that owns the Cleveland Orchestra, it really doesn’t seem likely to go away any time soon.

    Also, wow that is a VERY 80’s photo of our host.