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Depeche Mode Serves The Singles In Oakland

It was a night of greatest hits this past Friday when Depeche Mode rolled into Oakland, California, where the band delivered two solid hours of their more popular work, all of which is featured on the recently released double CD and video retrospective, "The Singles 86-98."

A revitalized, smiling Dave Gahan clearly enjoyed performing the songs for the near-capacity audience at the Oakland Coliseum. He engaged the crowd in singalongs and mass arm-waving that got all but a few of the concert-goers up out of their seats dancing. The band was joined onstage by two sequin-bedecked backup singers dancing in unison.

Depeche Mode performed scores of hits, including recent singles such as "Barrel of a Gun" and "It's No Good" from 1997's "Ultra" and their latest song, "Only When I Lose Myself." Fans of 1993's "Songs of Faith and Devotion" were treated to "I Feel You" and "Walking in My Shoes," among other songs from that album.

Perhaps the best received tunes of the evening, though,

came from the 1990 disc "Violator," from which the band played "Personal Jesus," "Enjoy the Silence," "World in My Eyes" and "Policy of Truth." Also well-received was "Behind the Wheel" and the unexpected 1984 song "Somebody" off the breakthrough Depeche album "Some Great Reward." The band reached all the way back to 1981 for their show-closer, playing the classic new-wave hit "Just Can't Get Enough."

The stage set, designed by longtime Depeche Mode video director and collaborator Anton Corbijn, featured a video screen displaying montages of old Corbijn videos intermingled with recently shot footage of band members decked out in outrageous character get-ups ranging from "Sgt. Pepper" to Elvis Presley.

Depeche Mode's "The Singles 86-98" tour winds down in the West, hitting Phoenix tonight and Southern California later this week.