1988-03-07 Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle, East-Berlin, East-Germany

From DM Live - the Depeche Mode live encyclopedia for the masses
Jump to navigationJump to search


According to Sascha Lange and Dennis Burmeister's book Monument, none of the 6481 tickets were sold freely to citizens but were distributed among the higher education schools in East-Berlin (which of course meant that some sold their tickets for ridiculously high prices).

In 2013, German TV channel MDR reported on concerts in East-Germany, featuring this concert as well. Dave Gahan said in this report:

"I still remember that concert very well. I remember travelling to Checkpoint Charlie, trying to get in East-Berlin in the first place, the hotel we stayed in, the curfew after the concert, being locked up in the hotel and told not to leave... All these things, to a young 23/24 year old starting from Essex in England, it was kind of strange to have your freedom taken away from you."

In 2009, Andy Fletcher told Frankfurter Rundschau (translated from German):

"We have been wanting to play in East-Berlin since forever, but we were never allowed to. We performed in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia - but two cities did not allow us in: Moscow and East-Berlin! For years we had been asking our management about it - and one day they said: We did it! You can go to East-Berlin. Later on we heard that we were being presented as the main event of the anniversary of the DDR's youth organisation, in order to score points with the kids. We heard that normal fans had almost no shot at getting tickets. We did not know this; at the time we were simply excited to be playing in East-Berlin. Looking back, we should not have done this concert. We were used by the Party. The funny thing about the tickets was that it did not have our name on them! But during the concert we did not notice the real fans who managed to enter the venue. It was nevertheless a great gig. But there were unpleasant aspects: there were hundreds of cops during the soundcheck, and streets were sealed off for miles. The fans would gather around in the area - but could not come close to the venue. It was really frustrating. We were being completely shielded. Before the show we knew nothing about our DDR fans, and after the show we didn't know anything about them either. We could also only spend that one day in East-Berlin. I remember taking a walk through the city, but forgot much of it. After the concert, we were immediately being escorted back into the hotel, and the road and hotel were completely empty. What was weird was that we knew that we were one of the most popular bands there, but someone told us that it was the most bug-infested hotel in the world - really eerie."

Production chef Gerald Ponesky said:

"The concert was a compromise. Offering tickets to the public would have given us massive problems. The fans would have burnt the house down. That's why the tickets were given to schools and colleges. It would be decided there who would get to go to the event and who wouldn't. Depeche Mode were okay with receiving 5000 D-Mark ($2851). But we only had a few days to build a stage, and deliver light and sound equipment. They asked for fruit, water and beer. The band shared it all with the ten fans who got to meet them."

Fan Andreas Schreiber said:

"Around 4PM I and my friend arrived at the venue. We were hoping to score tickets after all. Just as we were about to give up around 19:45PM, I nevertheless approached a tall man. And he actually pulled four tickets for the concert and four tickets for a meet and greet with the band members from his bag! As it turned out, he was tour manager Harald Bullerjahn. It seemed to me that he was purposefully looking for REAL fans. Because most guests were just FDJ employees. Afer the concert, we were hanging out with the band at the venue for about an hour, drinking beer and eating bananas. I got their autographs. For a moment, I thought I was on another planet."

Mixed Pickles was the support act. Fan Rolf Klopfleisch said about the reception of the support act:

"Suddenly the whole hall was whistling! At the second song they had to call it quits. Otherwise, the masses would have jumped on stage. People were already throwing objects at them."

German newspaper Tagesspiegel wrote a long retrospect in 2008 here; someone translated it to English here.

Set list

  1. Pimpf
  2. Behind The Wheel
  3. Strangelove
  4. Sacred
  5. Something To Do
  6. Blasphemous Rumours
  7. Stripped
  8. Pipeline (*)
  9. The Things You Said (*)
  10. Black Celebration
  11. Shake The Disease
  12. Nothing
  13. Pleasure, Little Treasure
  14. People Are People
  15. A Question Of Time
  16. Never Let Me Down Again
  17. A Question Of Lust (*)
  18. Master And Servant
  19. Everything Counts


  • Source 1 is a good, though fairly noisy audience recording.

Ticket scans