Recently, I purchased the Depeche Mode, Live in Berlin box set. This box set focuses on the band’s 2013-2014 tour. The box set contains 2 DVDs, 2 CDs and 1 Audio Blu-ray CD along with a 16 page booklet. As someone who attended a show on this tour (Read my review here!), I was anxious to purchase this and remember the show! So far, I have just listened to the CDs and taken some time to look at the booklet/packaging. What do I think about the parts I have checked out so far? Before I dive into that, I noticed that there was a little warning on the back of the box. It reads, “Contains moderate sex references: Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over. Not to be supplied to any person below that age.” I gotta ask. Is this rating thing new? If so, where have I been? Does this replace the parental guidance sticker about explicit lyrics? Then, we are going to have to look at ratings like movies with ages connected to it?!
I will try not to worry about it too much as I think about the packaging and audio instead. The discs and the booklet come in a little box. Inside the box, each disc is in its own envelope. Right away, I’m frustrated. The box looks cool and I like that it contains the entire package but those individual sleeves are pains. I always struggle to get out the disc. Then, I worry that there will be a ton of my fingerprints all over it. As I look at the 5 discs, I can tell right away which ones are the 2 audio as they are labeled Audio 1 and Audio 2. The DVDs, on the other hand, I don’t know which is the “Live in Berlin” and which one is “Alive in Berlin”. The backs of those both contain the set lists so that isn’t a help. Why make it challenging for me to figure which one is which? Am I suppose to know? Did I fail as a Depeche fan? The booklet matches the style of the box set, which is cool, and does contain a few live pictures of the band and the screens used during the live show. There are also pages with the plans for the visuals used in the show. Lastly, it has the credits for the box set. In general, the booklet was as I expected. While I would have liked more pictures, I was not bothered by the inclusion of the plans. Will the CDs be similar–will they just meet my expectation?
What are my expectations when it comes to listening to live CDs? Simple. I want the live album to bring me back to that night(s) that I saw the band. I want to envision the show in my mind. I want to be able to turn it up loudly in my car and rock out to it. I want it to capture the show as best it can. Now, obviously, I did not see Depeche play in Berlin but in Chicago. Thus, I realize that there might be some moments that only happened there that might be included on the album. If so, will those moments bother me or remind me, again, of my show?
In general, it is a solid live album. It does bring me back to August of 2013 and the memories from that night and that show. You can clearly hear the audience when appropriate but the audience isn’t overwhelming. There is one criticism I have and this isn’t unique to this album at all but I hate that I can’t really turn up the album in my car. I hit a little bit of volume and my whole car feels it. The wall of sound is too much. This definitely detracts from my enjoyment as I have no choice but to turn it down.
How are the DVDs? I will let you know that next week after I have had some time to watch! Until then, does anyone else have this box set? What do you think?