Depeche Code Broken by Flying Rodent

Well, by now you’ve probably heard that Depeche Mode cancelled their show last night, after about 5 songs in. Here’s what happened as near as I can tell:

– Show time on the tix read:8PM. She Wants Revenge, who we were stoked to see, got put on stage 30 minutes prior to stated show time. Word in the crowd was that the promoters wanted to push the show up as early as possible to get DM on and off the stage because there was some concern over the abundance of bats up in the towers last night. Yes, there are bats galore in the Starlight towers. We see them at ever show there – inside the venue and out in the parking lots. The lights draw the bugs, which draw the bats. At any rate, we missed She Wants Revenge because they went on much earlier than stated show time (we tried to catch them at the Record Bar last winter, but the smoke was killing Sarah so we left after Roman Numerals).

– DM sounded great. Dave Gahan sounded a bit off. He also looked a look like Harry Shearer in eye-liner. We heard his voice crack here and there and he did an occassional spaz move that at the time we thought was him dancing, but in hindsight I think it was him swatting bats.

– The band starts into ‘Stripped’ and Dave does a little turn to face the band, ducks, laughs and says something like “Oh no!” The music stops, the band pauses before the music starts anew. They get through the song although Dave is visibly distressed, missing lyrics and not singing the chorus at all, instead allowing the audience to take on that duty (which he did for almost every song). The song ends, they go into another song and Dave mumbles something into to the mic (which sounded like, “My eye!”) and then he runs off stage.

– Martin steps up to the mic and plays a song as though this were part of the show.

– Someone announces they’re having some technical difficulties and that band is going to play another song because it’s a bit easier at the moment. (I’m sitting with Sarah at this time and we can’t see anything due to the people standing in front of us. I tell her something’s wrong with Dave.)

– After that song, someone announces that they’ve lost their “man-in-the-middle” and the show is over. No one believes it. So no one leaves. We hear whispers in the crowd about the bats.

– Someone asks whether we want the show to end or to continue with Martin. The crowd cheers for the latter.

– Martin announces that Dave’s backstage, being treated for a minor medical emergency. He plays two songs, all the while keeping one eye up in the rafters.

– The show ends, even after chants of “Martin”, and we file out.

– On the way to the parking lots, we hear plenty of rumors about what might have happened: Dave was jacked up on drugs, he was hungover from his b-day the night before, he had diarrhea…but the one piece of chatter that cropped up over and over again were about the Starlight bats – that one attacked him and damn near knocked him over.

– This morning I check out the Buzz to see if they have any explanations. Afentra claims they know as much as we do, that backstage was on complete lockdown and people were wandering around with their contracts out. THEN, some chick calls in and mentions the bats – and that she heard Dave had to get a rabies shot! Now, someone called in right after to say there hadn’t been a documented case of rabies in 30 years, so take all that with a grain of salt…

Rock, Roll and Rodents in the Air.

[Updates 1:42PM –

The Star’s report.’s report. – jpp]

[Update 3:40pm –

The Pitch’s report. – jpp]

[Final Update – 5/11/06 8:49am

The word from the DM camp.

Bat Attack Captured on Film! – jpp]

Depeche Code Broken by Flying Rodent

11 thoughts on “Depeche Code Broken by Flying Rodent

  1. Oh, it’s nice to see a spot of humor in all of this! The bat thing is a nice touch! Imagine Dave going home and writing…”Dear Diary, Today I got bitten by a bat!” I hope this all turns out to be nothing more than a minor illness.


  2. Pissed in St Louis says:

    If DM really cares about their fans they will rememdy this! I called the Starlight Theater (800) 776-1730 and spoke to Joanna. She said to send a complaint and a copy of the ticket stubs. Like someone else said earlier, she told me they (concert mgmt co.) considered that a full show and aren’t going to give a refund but they are hoping that they can resolve this somehow. SO EVERYONE SEND YOUR COMPLAINTS PLEASE-email, fax,letter. ATTN: Joanna
    Write: Starlight Theatre 4600 Starlight Road Kansas City, Missouri 64132
    Fax: (816) 361-6398 May this be resolved!


  3. i’m with you, liz.
    (although methinks happy’s sentiment is going to be the eventual reason behind the show-stoppage.)

    concert mgmt considers 50 minutes and what, 6-8 songs a full show?! that’s retarded.


  4. Pissed in St. Louis says:

    I got this response from the Starlight Theater today.
    We at Live Nation understand your frustration and disappointment in the
    night’s performance, and we will continue to fully address this issue.
    We ask that you please provide us with further contact information (home
    and/or business address and phone number where we can easily reach you) for
    further correspondence. Once again, thank you for your time, and we will get
    back with you with more information as soon as possible. You may contact us
    at, or by writing us at Live Nation 633 N
    130th St, Bonner Springs, KS 66012, Attn: Melissa.
    So I guess they are now passing the buck onto the promoter.??????????


  5. thanks for keeping me updated on this.
    i don’t hold starlight to blame. their only obligation for the event was to make certain space was available (and facilities in working condition). i think this is a promoter/band mangagement issue and, given that reports have stated the band was only obliged to play for 50 minutes at a minimum, i don’t hold out hope for a refund.


  6. Pissed in St. Louis says:

    Has anyone contacted Live Nation? I have 3 times now, I believe.
    Here’s my response and their reply.

    I am growing extremely tired of getting the run around
    from Live Nation. I, and probably many others, asked
    for some sort of resolution for this DM concert. Have
    you seen this?
    I completely agree with what people are saying here.
    I am not dropping this until something is done, no
    matter how long it takes.
    I have filed complaints with the Better Business
    Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office and I
    probably won’t be the last person to do so.
    Something needs to be done and now.
    This is ridiculous. I want a full or partial refund!

    As the promoters, it should be your jobs to make this
    right. Contact the band. Tell them what is going on if
    they don’t know. Do SOMETHING. NOW.

    I really apologize for your wait…for everyone’s wait. I promise you
    this issue is being taken care of, and we’re not trying to give anyone
    the run-around. Although I know my words might seem empty and/or
    worthless at the moment, I can tell you we are going to take care of
    fans in the best way we possibly can, but there’s no real information I
    can offer at the moment. I promise promise promise you will hear from
    us soon! Thank you for your patience!

    Anyone belive this or does it sound like the smoke is blowing?


  7. Pissed in St. Louis says:

    Here’s their reply today, 5/26. They must have gotten my complaint from the BBB.

    We are writing you with regard to your inquiry about the recent Depeche Mode show at Starlight Theatre. We appreciate your patience and understanding with this matter, and we’ve been steadily working to address the issue.

    As everyone is aware by now, Dave was unable to finish the show in Kansas City due to illness and was not able to perform the next night in Chicago. No one involved with the show wants the fans in Kansas City to be disappointed with this abbreviated performance. For this reason, we have put together a special offering to you for taking the time to contact us in this matter.

    Live Nation will forward to you a voucher for tickets (equal to the number of Depeche Mode tickets purchased) to any Live Nation show in Kansas City between now and December 31st. This includes Live Nation promoted shows at Starlight Theatre, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater or any of the other locations Live Nation promotes shows. Furthermore, Depeche Mode will include a piece of band merchandise for you in appreciation of your continued support of the band.

    Depeche Mode and Live Nation would like to see that some further good comes out of this difficult situation. For that reason, a donation of $10,000.00 is being made to establish The Music Cares Fund for the Kansas City Missouri Public School District. This money will establish an endowment fund to purchase new instruments for young musicians in the Kansas City school system and create new opportunities for area student musicians in the Kansas City arts community.

    Thank you once again for your patience while we worked through this totally unexpected situation.

    Depeche Mode


    Your friends at Live Nation

    *Please provide address and ticket stub information to if you have not already done so. We will need this information before vouchers are mailed.*

    I can’t believe this is the solution they have come up with! I guess it is better than nothing, but I don’t wanna go back to K.C. for another show, guess I’ll sell tix on Ebay to recoup our money.
    Interesting that they can donate to a charity, but it infuriates me because all I want is the $175 spent on the tix, not $10,000. And what the hell is DM going to send, a tee-shirt? Whoopity do. Still pissed in St. Louis.


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