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in the spring of 1990 electronic were invited by depeche mode to support them at their two huge open-air shows at dodger stadium in los angeles on 4 and 5 august. regarding any contingent concerts at occasions in their own right, marr and sumner accepted the offer. pet shop boys joined them for two numbers, the recent hit getting away with it (which had breached the billboard top 40 that may) and the previously unaired the patience of a saint. as well as marking the first time marr and sumner played together onstage as electronic, the 4 august show was also the live debut of pet shop boys in america.
bernard spent most of the build-up to the gigs completing lyrics — and vomiting — but aside from a few vocal discrepancies during the concerts most of the songs proved very similar to the finished studio versions that appeared ten months later. try all you want was played as an instrumental, while big house, sun, gangster, donald and cinematic were working titles for gangster, reality, idiot country, tighten up and soviet respectively. a 30-second blast of the klf’s last train to trancentral was played as the musicians arrived onstage; marr and sumner were augmented by andrew robinson on keyboards with donald johnson and kesta martinez on percussion.
audience recordings of the shows are in circulation but they aren’t of exceptional quality, and while depeche mode’s 4 august set was filmed no footage of electronic’s has ever come to light. marr and sumner actually toyed with the idea of releasing an lp of live recordings from the gigs, but soon abandoned the concept in favour of the studio album they were halfway through completing. bernard sumner: “we were going to release the gig as an album, then we thought it was a bit wanky and boring. the gigs made us get the album finished.” click here to view a signed set list from the first show.
try all you want
get the message
patience of a saint
getting away with it
melody maker, 18 august 1990 (1, 2)
nme, 18 august 1990 (1, 2, 3, 4)
vox, october 1990 (1, 2, 3, 4)