Depeche Mode

One Night in Paris: The Exciter Tour

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One Night in Paris is the perfect follow-up to Devotional for both Depeche Mode and director/designer Anton Corbijn. Shot in high-definition video at a live performance in support of Exciter at Palais Omnisport in Paris on October 10, 2001, the film captures the band maturing gracefully and wonderfully. Dave Gahan's voice might show signs of strain from endless touring and various substances he'd abused over the years, but otherwise, he, Martin Gore, and the ever comically static Andy Fletcher are firing on all cylinders. Backup vocalists and additional touring musicians add extra passion and fire, though Alan Wilder's presence is certainly missed (his drumming featured prominently in Devotional). The film is a treat for three primary reasons. First, Gore emerges as a charismatic performer; he jokes with the audience, swaggers about the stage wielding a fierce guitar, and just generally enjoys himself to the extent that his energy becomes infectious. Second, Corbijn's visuals are breathtaking. He superimposes giant images on a screen behind the band. A goldfish and a shark perform a suspenseful ballet, Gore straddles a Western vista, the band frolics at a diner in a mini-movie, and pristine drops of water plunge into a pool of water. "Black Celebration" is worth the price of admission on its own, with its '80s-style staccato iconography. Finally, One Night in Paris feels more personal than Devotional. Though the earlier film is an aesthetically marvelous piece of drama and mood, One Night in Paris benefits from lingering close-ups and more in-your-face band interplay. The tour and this video memento are a perfect depiction of Depeche Mode's consistent maturation and Corbijn's singular visual-style. The DVD release of the film adds some wonderful bonus material on its second disc: fascinating band interviews, humorous fan interviews, Corbijn's analysis of photos taken during the tour, a performance of "Sister of Night" taken from the same night, and more. One Night in Paris is a fine addition to Depeche Mode's videography and an essential part of any fan's collection.

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