1998-09-05 Olympiski, Moscow, Russia

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Notes

Here is the diary entry by Jez Webb from Bong magazine issue #40:

Today was one of those days I like to refer to as “submarine duty”. Twenty eight hours spent on a bus as it crossed the border into “Mother Russia” and made the long journey towards Moscow… you don’t come up for air much on this sort of trip. Our tour convoy was held at a small Russian village for nearly six hours while a customs point there ‘sorted out’ some paperwork. Local children descended on us and happily spoilt their evening meal by consuming large amounts of British crisps and chocolate. At least when their mums sent them to their rooms, they could pass the time by sticking the Depeche Mode postcards we gave them on the walls. It was also here that four gentlemen in army fatigues and carrying guns, sent by the promoter, joined us. To help us on our journey, just in case there was any trouble!!!

This colossal indoor arena was built for the 1980 Olympic Games. Tonight, Depeche Mode’s first show in Russia is attended by nearly thirty thousand Muscovites. Halfway through the show Martin is concerned that the ones down the front seem a bit glum. We later realise that the barrier has started to collapse and a line of soldiers now form a human alternative. I’m sure during “Somebody” I saw them swaying along though. The evening proves to be one of the great Depeche Mode moments. The crowd were fantastic and probably haven’t had this much fun in the arena since the US boycotted those Olympics in 1980 and the Russians asked ‘Uncle Sam’ to hang another gold around Nadia’s neck… thanks a lot.

And here is the diary entry by Jody:

We arrived in Moscow today, and there were a lot of fans at the airport waiting for us. The fans followed us (in their cars) from the airport, all the way to the hotel (sticking their heads outside their cars - while driving - and screaming). Now, they're waiting outside the hotel. The second they see Fletch, Martin or Dave, they start screaming at the top of their lungs.

The band will be catching up with their old friend Flood in St. Petersburg on Monday (he is currently staying in St. Petersburg).

We did the concert tonight in Moscow. It was a huge success. The fans in the front actually broke down the barricades, so the Army was called in (in combat gear) to form a human barricade between the fans and the stage! On the way to the gig, we unfortunately had to stop at every traffic light. At every stop, fans would come and scream at the van we were in. One car full of fans even had a Russian bear in the back seat, ducking his head out at us. Also, the band did interviews for MTV Russia (which should launch soon), as well as for WTN, which should go out on worldwide circuit.

[The day after] we got into the van, and basically drove around Moscow. We went to see the Kremlin, Red Square, and we also went to a museum. We got to learn about the history of Russia, as well as see things like Faberge Eggs, et cetera.

Eugene Finkelshtein of PMI Corporation told Audience magazine in 2017:

"We brought Depeche Mode to Russia for the first time in 1998. It was during the financial crisis, and we incurred losses. The local infrastructure was not developed enough to host shows at that level. We had problems transferring their equipment through the border, and security during the show was performed by uniformed police officers. "Nevertheless, that concert was where the story of PMI Corporation began, it was our debut. Since then we have brought Depeche Mode here seven times."

Purity was the support act. Tim Simenon DJed before and after Purity's set.

Set list

  1. Painkiller
  2. A Question Of Time
  3. World In My Eyes
  4. Policy Of Truth
  5. It's No Good
  6. Never Let Me Down Again
  7. Walking In My Shoes
  8. Only When I Lose Myself
  9. A Question Of Lust (*)
  10. Home (*)
  11. Condemnation
  12. In Your Room
  13. Useless
  14. Enjoy The Silence
  15. Personal Jesus
  16. Barrel Of A Gun
  17. Somebody (*)
  18. Stripped
  19. I Feel You
  20. Just Can't Get Enough

Sources

  • Source 1 is an okay audience recording.
  • Source 2 is a good pro-shot video recording of the first three tracks, plus some footage of the support acts.
  • Source 3 is Source 2's soundboard audio by itself.