Recorded during their 1993 sold out world tour, Devotional was a major transition point in the career of Depeche Mode. It was the last tour and project that former member Alan Wilder participated in, a remarkable run with Depeche Mode that began in 1982. It was also the last tour performance that would proceed without directly addressing frontman Dave Gahan’s spiraling drug addiction. It was also the first tour to include live drum performance, which added a heaviness to the show in places. During that time the band was arguably more successful than they had ever been before, or perhaps since.
From a cinematographic point of view, Anton Corbjin, who directed and act as stage and projection designer, made good use of cuts and angles in conjunction with Patrick Woodroffe’s lighting to create a very exciting and engaging performance that is as much Kraftwerk-ian synth pop as it is pulsing arena rock. It makes the concert seem much more like a midnight mass at the shrine of Depeche Mode.
As is usually the case, the transfer from VHS to DVD increases the potency of the performance, allowing for increased clarity in sound. Additional songs that had been in the original set-list but had to be cut for time on the VHS version have been restored. These songs are "Behind the Wheel", "Mercy In You", "Fly on the Windscreen" and "Everything Counts". They make for a more accurate representation of the vivid concert as seen by the live audience in attendance. Tracks "Halo" and "Policy of Truth" have also been added as special features on disc one, and are enjoyable even if they were initially cut from the performance film because they were shot at different locations and did not sync up well with the rest of the film.
Disc two is devoted entirely to bonus features that include a commercial free 22 minute Rockumentary that originally aired on MTV Euorpe, as well as a Monologue by Anton Corbjin, six promo videos and eight of the live projections that were displayed as backgrounds during the Devotional tour.
For the longtime fan this DVD is a no-brainer. For someone who is wondering what all the fuss about Depeche Mode is, this DVD and the 101 DVD offer incredible insight into the magic that is Depeche Mode.
Depeche Mode official site: http://www.depechemode.com