×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Depeche Mode’s Love Affair With Los Angeles Explained, on Heels of Historic Hollywood Bowl Run

The love affair between Depeche Mode and Los Angeles — kindled in the 1980s by L.A. radio station KROQ, and still going strong some 30 years later — continues with an announcement this morning that the pioneering British synth-pop band has added a record-breaking fourth night at the Hollywood Bowl, Oct. 18, to its previously announced concerts on Oct. 12, 14 and 16 on its Global Spirit Tour.

The 30-date Live Nation-promoted run kicks off August 23 in Salt Lake City. The tour follows the release of the group’s 14th studio album, “Spirit,” which came out March 17 on Columbia Records — their second for the label — accompanied by the provocative single/video, “Where’s the Revolution.”

“They actually could have done six nights,” admits Bill Silva, who is promoting the shows with partner Andrew Hewitt. He told just that to the band’s longtime manager Jonathan Kessler last year.

“I’m shocked at how quickly the first three shows sold out,” says Kessler.

Depeche Mode had sold out three Hollywood Bowl shows in August, 2009, during the world Tour of the Universe, tying them with previous record-holders Coldplay, Roger Waters, The Cure, Billy Joel, Carole King & James Taylor, and The Eagles, according to Silva. “It’s select company.”

The British group fronted by Dave Gahan has performed large-scale shows in L.A. before, most notably at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on June 18, 1988, when the Music for the Masses Tour drew 65,000  — the biggest audience they’d ever played to at that point — and was  filmed for the D.A. Pennebaker documentary, “101.”  The group also played two sold-out shows at Dodger Stadium in 1990 for the Violator Tour, just months after causing a riot on La Cienega Blvd. when they made an in-store at Wherehouse Records the day after the album’s release.

In 2009, Depeche Mode shut down Hollywood Blvd. for an April 23, 2009, performance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” During the band’s last stop in L.A., they played three nights at Staples Center for their Delta Machine Tour in September 28 and 29 and October 2, 2013.

Kessler agrees that the band’s inordinate popularity in Los Angeles is due, to a large degree, to “the KROQ effect,” but that “the rest of the world has caught up in finding the group meaningful.” He also suggests the area’s heavy Latino population — like Morrissey, Depeche Mode has a sizable Hispanic fan base around the world — has a great deal to do with their success in Southern California as well as unlikely hot spots like Salt Lake City and Texas.

In conjunction with the record-breaking announcement, Depeche Mode will perform a free show at an “intimate venue” in Hollywood on April 26 “as a special thank-you to fans.” Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at LA.depechemode.com.

“The band seems very pertinent to what’s going on in the world right now,” says Silva, citing their new politicized single and video. “They’re very much relevant and in tune with the times.”

Adds Kessler: “The only stadium in L.A. we haven’t played is the Coliseum. But we’re ready for the new football stadium in Inglewood next.”

Tickets for the Oct. 18 concert go on sale Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Ric Ocasek'The Imitation Game' film premiere,

    The Cars' Ric Ocasek Remembered by Weezer, the Killers, Courtney Love, More

    Ric Ocasek’s death on Sept. 15 elicited reactions from all over the music industry. While Ocasek was best known as the frontman for the Cars, he was also a noted producer, A&R executive and author. Among the artists to pay tribute  on social media in the hours after news of Ocasek’s death broke were Weezer, [...]

  • Ric Ocasek Rock & Roll Hall

    Ric Ocasek, The Cars Frontman, Dies at 75

    Ric Ocasek, frontman of the popular late 1970s and 1980s band the Cars, was found dead in his New York home on Sunday. He was 75. The NYPD confirmed that Ocasek’s body was discovered after police received a call regarding an unconscious male at his townhouse. Emergency services pronounced him dead at the scene. No [...]

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Roseanne Cash, Ken Burns. Ken Burns,

    Ken Burns on 'Country Music' and Why Merle, Hank, Dwight, Loretta and Lil Nas X Matter

    The phrase “the Ken Burns effect” is specifically the name of a function on Apple computers that makes all your static old family photos move around on screen like something out of “The Civil War.” But there’s another Ken Burns effect worth talking about as his “Country Music” comes to TV screens: the impact one [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld Sets New Single Tied

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Deadmau5 Captivates Opening Night Crowd by

    Concert Review: Deadmau5 Captivates Opening Night Crowd by Going Cube-ist

    “I’m not gonna lie: first shows [of a tour] usually suck,” deadpanned electronic music producer Joel Zimmerman, aka deadmau5, Thursday night, closing out the first night of his two-night stand in Dallas, the kickoff city of his North American “CubeV3” tour. “But this one actually was great.” The sold-out crowd at South Side Ballroom roared back [...]

  • John Mayer performs at Madison Square

    Concert Review: John Mayer Is a Wonderland at First of Two-Night Stand at the Forum

    “You’re allowed to ironically celebrate your past,” John Mayer told a sold-out crowd of nearly 18,000 on Friday night at the iconic Inglewood, Calif. venue The Forum. He was introducing what is arguably his breakout hit, the college dorm hookup anthem “Your Body is a Wonderland,” but the declaration could easily have applied to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content