The day finally came: Thursday, November 4th, to be able to see Alan Wilder in person, accompanied by Paul Kendall, who looked like a younger version of Andy Warhol. I think Warhol would have liked the scene in Niceto Club which resembled Andy´s The Factory loft in New York. Those who admire Warhol will know what I am speaking about. The dark atmosphere wisely interrupted by the screens with images illustrating the songs. Shall I call these pieces of intense, intelligent music songs? Andy would have loved seeing the computers and keyboard that the musicians used for triggering the sensual pieces that we fans were delighted to listen to.
Alan´s concert had been a pending matter for fans after his departure from Depeche Mode leaving us with the wonderful arrangements of Songs of Faith and Devotion. I was lucky to go to Velez Sarsfield Football Stadium in 1992 for Depeche Mode´s first concert in Buenos Aires. Both at this concert and at DM´s Sounds of the Universe concert in October 2009 at the Club Ciudad, I had been accompanied by friends and circumstances didn´t make it possible for me to see the band at close range.
Niceto was a unique experience. This time I was alone and, on arriving at the club/disco, I headed for the restroom to freshen up after a long wait in the queue. I didn´t know the place as I hadn´t been there before, so, on leaving the restroom, I took the first corridor which magically led me to the stage. Fans had already crowded the room but there was this little place left on the right next to the stage. I didn´t quite welcome the loudspeaker and the supporting band that started playing their set but remained stoically there as I thought this was the right place to stay. The set lasted around twenty minutes and the curtains were drawn for assistants to rearrange the stage to lay the scene, the instruments and everything necessary for the Recoil presentation.
My patience and persistence paid off when the curtains were open to show Paul Kendall on the right of the stage at the "music table" welcoming the arrival of Alan Wilder. I just couldn´t believe I was in the presence of this man who I have admired and followed for more than twenty years. It wasn´t just the music that was mesmerizing but Alan´s cool connexion with the audience. The excitement was mounting at every single minute and the result was a combination of cheers and praises by the audience. From the initial cheering song that football fans use to support their teams ("Ole, ole, ole, ole, A-lan, A-lan) to comments such as "Master" or "Genius". He looked happy and raised his can of Argentine Quilmes beer to us fans and thanked both in English and Spanish. The cool Englishman was having fun in Palermo neighbourhood.
I won´t comment on the one-hour show itself as it may be different in different legs of the tour or complain that it was short (yes, it was short alright). I will pray for Alan to come back to present his next album that I believe he will be recording soon. This event was a proof that miracles exist, that when you least expect it, there is a bit of happiness, of total bliss awaiting you down the road, that magical moments can just happen.
He left Argentina after giving two more concerts, one in Rosario and the other in Cordoba and I believe he is now heading for Europe.
Lots of fans the world over dream of the reunion of the original members (except for Vince Clark, of course), that Alan, Dave, Martin and Fletch will be back together again. Alan was at the Royal Albert Hall to accompany Martin Gore on piano when he sang Somebody a few months ago (they raised funds for the Cancer Trust). Fans are hopeful. I like to be realistic. I think Alan Wilder will continue with his solo project with Kendall as I think it suits him better, this freedom he has chosen to create what he likes and express himself the way he likes. The result is this sophisticated, yet simple music that perfectly suits the newborn century.
Alan, you will always be welcome in Buenos Aires and Argentina and I´m sure you have already roused a new generation of followers. We will all be waiting for you to come back.
Thanks for the music and the vibe,