According to Wikipedia, the Jet Set:
“was a term for an international social group of wealthy people who traveled the world to participate in social activities unavailable to ordinary people. ...”
Despite our record of traveling to the far corners of the globe and back, I’ve never considered myself a jet setter. I mean, while working in the States we flew to Rome for Labor Day and to Amsterdam for Thanksgiving, but that hardly placed us into the category of jet setter, even with our former incomes. There was also the time we flew first class, last minute, to Hong Kong for Christmas, and had an epic trip, which included an expat Christmas party, bar hopping until 6 am, and absinthe cocktails. Okay, maybe we were jet setters. Jet setters probably don’t use miles though.
With Depeche Mode being one of our favorite bands, and having officially started this permanent journey heading to the DM Baar in Estonia, it only seemed fitting to fly across the world to see them. In fact, it totally made sense.
We were living Bali and knew that World Travel Market was going to be in London at the beginning of November. As we contemplated whether to go, I obviously checked the Depeche Mode concert schedule and noticed they were playing in Dublin just a few days later. Under the guise of a trip to Ireland to see family, and encouraging Eric’s mother to fly out to Limerick to see us, we found ourselves booking a flight to London, a Ryan Air flight to Dublin, and two tickets to see Depeche Mode at the O2 Center.
It was the first time we would be seeing Depeche Mode. It was the first concert we had been to in years. So, we figured we would make the most of it.
Unfortunately, I waited until pretty late to book a place to stay in Dublin that night and even hostels were pricing in at $50 a bed per night. Just for a bed, in a dorm room, and we would need two beds. This is how we ended up at a fairly unimpressive hotel near the airport for the night. The other option would have been to stay up all night partying and then take the first bus to Limerick in the morning. I’m too old for that.
Regardless of the complete lack of hotel character, or even amenities, we were going to make the most of the night. So, we grabbed a taxi down to The Gibson Hotel, just next to the O2 Center and splurged on a full meal, with a bottle of wine. It was so exciting. It felt very adult too. Having a bottle of wine at a fancy hotel before seeing a band that debuted in the 80s. We were not the oldest in the hotel bar, by a long shot. It was nice, though, to be in our element.
The O2 Center is actually a pretty decent place to see a show, maxing out at just over 14,000, it was quite intimate. While waiting for the action to beging, Eric grabbed a ridiculously over priced beer and I grabbed a water, with no top. Apparently, tops of bottles are not allowed inside the arena. I guess in an Irishman’s hands, a small plastic bottle top can become a weapon. Who would have thought it.
I was pretty excited, but felt a little strange, like I was some place I was not meant to be. At a concert? Waiting for a group of 50 somethings to perform 20+ year old songs. Wondering who was going to sit in front of me and block my view. Would everyone stand up the entire time, leaving my tired, old body exhausted by the end. I even “dressed up” that night, as best as I could, with a black shirt and jeans. I even wore my darkest lip gloss. To this day, I don’t really understand the concept of dressing up for a concert - to sit in the dark and listen to music. But, I did it nonetheless.
We had even been boning up on Depeche Mode’s new album, Delta Machine, in case they played all new stuff. I am sure I was not alone in the crowd in hoping they would play all old stuff. I mean, isn’t that what most people go to see at these kinds of shows.
I just wanted to enjoy myself. I wanted the show to be good.
And, Depeche Mode did not disappoint. Dave Gahan danced around that stage like it was Violator all over again. They opened with an explosive Welcome to My World, followed with a good number of their new songs, and many of Eric’s favorites. My favorites were missing from the playlist that night, but I tried to not to hold it against them. They pleased the old folks, like us, by playing Enjoy the Silence, Policy of Truth, and Personal Jesus. They even went old school old school with Just Can’t Get Enough.
I was pleased. I was standing up dancing and singing for most of it, even though most other people were not. Yeah, I was one of those annoying concert goers. But, I did not care. Carpe diem or whatever. I knew this was a one shot thing.
I asked Eric when we returned to the hotel if we could make our way to Edinburgh the following day to catch their next show. He responsibly said it was not a good idea. Our jet setting was over and done with - our expensive airport hotel, expensive taxi rides, expensive concert tickets, and expensive meal at the hotel bar. In the end, though, it was worth the splurge.