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.