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Beginning in 1980, Depeche Mode went on concert tour almost every year until 1990, when the intervals between tours increased. Up to now, the band went 17 times on tour, the last time in 2018.

  • 1 List of tours
  • 2 Support acts
  • 3 Dates with Depeche Mode as the support act
  • 4.1 Festivals where Depeche Mode headlined
  • 4.2 Festivals where Depeche Mode did not headline
  • 5 Bibliography

List of tours [ ]

Note Ultra is the only album to not have a promoting tour. Instead, there were two parties meant to promote the album.

  • Ultra Parties

Support acts [ ]

All acts that have supported Depeche Mode throughout the years.

Dates with Depeche Mode as the support act [ ]

Depeche Mode never liked being the support act. Dave Gahan said in the November 1981 issue of Sounds, "When we used to support, we got treated so bad. Especially at certain places in London, which I won’t mention. They tread all over you, and to the PA blokes, you’re nothing. It’s always ‘Where’s the support?’ They won’t even mention your name. Now we are the headliners – they love us. We’re playing two nights at the Lyceum – so we are the big band now!"

  • 1980-05-30 Paddocks Community Center, Laindon, Essex, England, UK: as Composition Of Sound, support act for French Look
  • 1980-06-05 Scamps, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England, UK: support act for The School Bullies
  • 1980-08-30 Crocs, Rayleigh, Essex, England, UK: support act for Soft Cell
  • 1980-09-24 Bridge House, London, England, UK: support act for The Comsat Angels
  • 1980-11-12 Bridge House, London, England, UK: support act for Fad Gadget
  • 1980-11-14 Technical College, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England, UK: support act for The Regulators
  • 1980-12-19 The Music Machine, London, England, UK: support act for Wasted Youth, along with Johnny Holliday's Escape Club
  • 1981-01-11 Hope 'N' Anchor, London, England, UK: support act for Blancmange
  • 1981-02-14 The Rainbow, London, England, UK: support act for Ultravox, along with Shock, Metro, and Ronny
  • 1981-02-26 Lyceum, London, England, UK: support act for The Passions
  • 1981-04-26 Lyceum, London, England, UK: support act for Fad Gadget, along with Furious Pig, Palais Schaumberg, and NON
  • 1981-05-12 The Venue, London, England, UK: DM was on a double bill with Shock, support act Furious Pig got replaced by Siam
  • 1981-06-02 Hammersmith Palais, London, England, UK: support act for The Psychedelic Furs, along with Siam
  • 1983-03-26 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, USA: support act for The Psychedelic Furs

Festivals [ ]

At festivals, it is the organisers who decide who gets to play before Depeche Mode, not Depeche Mode themselves, so acts that perform before Depeche Mode could arguably not be counted as a support act. Nevertheless, it is listed here for completion's sake. Only the acts that performed on the same day and on the same stage as Depeche Mode are mentioned below.

Festivals where Depeche Mode headlined [ ]

  • 1981-08-26 Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England, UK: The Chefs and Tarzan 5
  • 1993-07-24 Belga Beach Festival, Zeebrugge, Belgium: Vaya Con Dios, Van Morrison, Bjorn Again, The Wonder Stuff, Sunscreem and Sisters Of Mercy
  • 1998-12-12 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, USA: Billy Corgan (also on stage with DM), Garbage, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Goo Goo Dolls, Cake, Everlast, Semisonic, Soul Coughing
  • 2005-12-11 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA, USA: Coldplay, The White Stripes, Jack Johnson, The Bravery, Death Cab For Cutie, Hot Hot Heat and Nada Surf
  • 2006-04-29 Coachella, Indio, CA, USA: Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Rós, Kanye West, Common, The Duke Spirit, The Walkmen, The New Amsterdams, The Section Quartet
  • 2006-06-02 Rock im Park, Nuremberg, Germany: Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, Sportfreunde Stiller, Kaiser Chiefs, She Wants Revenge and Kill The Young
  • 2006-06-04 Rock Am Ring, Nurburgring, Germany: Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, Sportfreunde Stiller, Kaiser Chiefs, She Wants Revenge and Kill The Young
  • 2006-06-16 Heikeken Jamming Festival, Imola, Italy: Negramaro, Morrissey, Hard-Fi, Goldfrapp, Finley, and Kill The Young
  • 2006-06-17 Greenfield Festival, Interlaken, Switzerland: Placebo, Sisters Of Mercy, Live, Hard-Fi, Lagwagon, Therapy?, Amplifier, The Answer
  • 2006-06-25 London Wireless Festival, London, England, UK: Goldfrapp, Mystery Jets, The Dears, Thomas Dolby, The Fratelli's and OK GO
  • 2006-07-01 Eurockeennes Festival, Belfort, France: Morrissey, Enhancer
  • 2006-07-02 Werchter Festival, Werchter, Belgium: Hooverphonic, Ben Harper, Robert Plant, Starsailor, Eels, Danko Jones and Nailpin
  • 2006-07-06 Quart Festival, Kristiansand, Norway: Death Cab For Cutie, Infadels and Superfamily
  • 2006-07-19 Paleo Festival, Nyon, Switzerland: Goldfrapp, The Dandy Warhols
  • 2006-07-23 Festival Internacional de Benicassim, Castellon, Spain: Placebo, Madness, dEUS and The Rakes
  • 2009-07-03 Arvika Festival, Arvika, Sweden: Bob Hund
  • 2009-08-07 Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL, USA: Hey Champ, The Gaslight Anthem, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Thievery Corporation
  • 2009-10-08 Autodromo La Guacima, San Jose, Costa Rica: El Parque, Anemonah, Sociedad Secreta, Kabuto & Koji
  • 2009-10-17 Personal Fest, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Justin Robertson, Banda de Turistas, Volador G, Bicicletas
  • 2013-07-13 Optimus Alive Festival, Lisbon, Portugal: O'queStrada, Jurassic 5, Editors
  • 2013-10-04 Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, TX, USA: Asleep At The Wheel, Court Yard Hounds, fun., Vampire Weekend
  • 2013-10-11 Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, TX, USA: Asleep At The Wheel, Court Yard Hounds, fun., Vampire Weekend
  • 2017-03-26 BBC 6 Music Festival, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, Scotland, UK: James Lavelle
  • 2017-07-08 NOS Alive Festival, Lisbon, Portugal: The Black Mamba, Kodaline, Imagine Dragons
  • 2018-06-23 Isle of Wight Festival, Newport (Isle of Wight), England, UK: Wild Front, Slydigs, SG Lewis, Jessie J, Blossoms, James Bay, Liam Gallagher
  • 2018-06-26 Volt Festival, Sopron, Hungary: Bëlga
  • 2018-06-28 Tinderbox Festival, Odense, Denmark: Alex Vargas, Prophets Of Rage
  • 2018-07-02 Collisioni Festival, Barolo, Italy: Marlene Kuntz
  • 2018-07-09 Beauregard Festival, Herouville-St-Clair, France: Concrete Knives, Girls in Hawaii
  • 2018-07-12 Musilac Festival, Aix-Les-Baines, France: (no other act performed on the same stage that day)
  • 2018-07-17 Paléo Festival, Nyon, Switzerland: Altın Gün, Kaleo
  • 2018-07-19 Vieilles Charrues Festival, Carhaix-Plouguer, France: (no other act performed on the same stage that day)
  • 2018-07-21 Lollapalooza Paris, Paris, France: Scarlxrd, Lil Pump, Kaleo, Kasabian

Festivals where Depeche Mode did not headline [ ]

  • 1981-07-25 Zuiderpark, The Hague, The Netherlands: Check The Computer, Tuxedomoon (was the closing act)
  • 1983-02-07 Messehalle, Frankfurt, Germany: Omega
  • 1983-05-28 Euro Festival, Vechtewiese, Schüttorf, Germany: Misty In Roots, T.C. Matic, Scrifis, Little River Band, Rod Stewart (was the closing act)
  • 1984-06-02 Suedwest Stadium, Ludwigshafen, Germany: Joan Baez, Howard Jones, Gianni Nannini, Elton John (was the closing act)
  • 1985-07-06 Torhout Festival, Torhout, Belgium: The Ramones, REM, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, The Style Council, Paul Young and the Royal Family, Joe Cocker, U2 (was the closing act)
  • 1985-07-07 Werchter Festival, Werchter, Belgium: The Ramones, REM, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, The Style Council, Paul Young and the Royal Family, Joe Cocker, U2 (was the closing act)
  • 1985-07-13 Rockscene Festival, Guehenno, France: Toots & The Maytals, Midnight Oil, The Ramones, Joan Armatrading, Spear Of Destiny, Leonard Cohen, Clash (was the closing act)
  • 1985-07-26 Panathinaiko Stadium, Athens, Greece: Stranglers, Culture Club (was the closing act)
  • 2009-06-20 TW Classic Festival, Werchter, Belgium: Motor, Tom Helsen, Duffy, Keane, Moby, Basement Jaxx (was the closing act)
  • 2013-07-07 Rock Werchter Festival, Werchter, Belgium: Twin Forks, A Day To Remember, Gogol Bordello, Band Of Horses, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Editors (was the closing act)
  • 2013-07-11 BBK Festival, Bilbao, Spain: Alt-J, Editors, Two Door Cinema Club (was the closing act)
  • 2017-07-06 BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain: Rufus T Firefly, Cage The Elephant, Justice (was the closing act)
  • 2018-06-30 OpenAir St. Gallen Festival, St. Gallen, Switzerland: The Gardener & the Tree, Pedestrians, Shame, Alma, Chvrches, Kungs (was the closing act)
  • 2018-07-05 Open'er Festival, Gdynia, Poland: Rasmentalism, Ørganek, MØ, Massive Attack (was the closing act)
  • 2018-07-14 Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain: Wolf Alice, Jack Johnson, Dua Lipa (was the closing act)
  • 2018-07-07 Main Square Festival, Arras, France: Courteneers, Wolf Alice, BB Brunes, Liam Gallagher, Feder (was the closing act)

Bibliography [ ]

  • https://dmlive.wiki/wiki/Support_acts
  • https://dmlive.wiki/wiki/Main_Page
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depeche_Mode#Tours
  • 1 Depeche Mode
  • 2 Dave Gahan
  • 3 Alan Wilder

Depeche Mode brings stripped-down show and plenty of hits at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (photos)

  • Updated: Nov. 11, 2023, 2:25 p.m. |
  • Published: Nov. 11, 2023, 12:43 p.m.

depeche mode tour 90s

  • Malcolm X Abram, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Depeche Mode has been an arena, shed and stadium-filling band for three decades.

The group did it again Friday night in Cleveland, performing a sold-out show at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band’s first appearance in Northeast Ohio (according to Setlist FM) since a 2001 show at Blossom and the band’s return was both triumphant and simple.

After a nearly year of elaborate arena shows with elaborate outsized stage design, (Taylor Swift, The F.O.R.C.E. tour, Peter Gabriel) limber pop stars backed by cadres of dancers (Lizzo, Pink), themed segments and interludes, and, of course, good old pyro (Kiss, KAPLOW!!), Depeche Mode’s stripped-down stage and set were a refreshing change.

The aforementioned acts and other BIG arena show were certainly entertaining and gave fans memorable visuals and moments for their smartphone’s hard drives. But DM, which has been playing arenas and stadiums for three decades, kept it elegantly simple.

The stage was (unsurprisingly) all matte black with risers for singer-songwriter-keyboardist-guitarist and founding member Martin Gore’s keyboards, excellent hard-charging drummer Christian Eigner and keyboardist, backing vocalist Peter Gordeno both of whom have been with the band since the late 90s. At the back was a stage-sized LED screen that seldom demanded attention, with a giant 3D capital “M” in front of it, some lights and an extension of the main stage into a smaller stage reaching into the crowd.

That was all that was necessary, leaving still-lithe lead singer Dave Gahan, used to performing for massive crowds, plenty of room for his library of lead singer moves.

Throughout the two-hour show, Gahan, sporting a well-tailored pin-stripped three-piece suit, sans jacket and snazzy white patent leather shoes, seldom stopped moving. Gahan grabbed, twirled and pointed the mic stand at the crowd, wiggled his hips with Jagger-esque aplomb, shimmied and shook his shoulders, deep leaned, preened, posed, crouched like some sort of goth cat, crab-walked, stomped and stalked around the stage, encouraged singing and screaming and ensured folks had something interesting to look at for the duration of the 23 song set.

Similarly, the stage banter was kept to a minimum. “So this is Cleveland?!” Gahan shouted early on, speaking one of the few compound sentences of the evening. Mostly between verses of beloved hits including “In Your Room,” and heavier-than-the-recordings take on “I Feel You” and “John The Revelator.” Throughout, Gahan shouted encouraging declarations, of “SING IT!!” and other hard-to-parse exhortations that sounded like “DAD BOD!!” and “YEAH SPITOON!!”.

The band released its 15th studio album, “Memento Mori,” in the spring and performed four songs from it including the dark, ambient-industrial set opener “My Cosmos Is Mine,” and the catchy, retro 80s synth-pop grooving “Ghost Again,” arguably the best of the new tunes performed.

Beyond the “Memento Mori” tunes, the band skipped all of its 21st-century albums with “It’s No Good” from 1997′s “Ultra” being the most recent entry and leaned on the alt-rock radio hits and platinum-selling late 80s/ early 90s records, “Songs of Faith and Devotion,” “Violator” and “Black Celebration.”

That choice was perfectly fine with the crowd made up of GenXers and millennials and a few pockets of younger folks and families who stood up for the entire show. Black was the color of the evening, most folks were either completely clad in black or accented and many of those Gen-Xers broke out their new-wave/synth-pop gear out of the back of their closest. Torn jeans with black fishnets underneath, black leather and pleather jackets, pants, vests and even a few catsuits. There was plenty of hair teased high like an ‘80s Duran Duran video, and a few of the younger fans really got into the spirit and adorned themselves in heavy mascara, black lipstick, and even a few in corpse paint.

The band ran through many of its hits, giving a few extended outros and remixed grooves and plenty of room for the crowd to sing along to tunes such as “Policy of Truth,” “Walking In My Shoes,” “Stripped,” and the encore an extra bouncy “Just Can’t Get Enough” with encouragement and praise from Gahan. “That was awesome! So much better than Detroit!” he said successfully pandering to the crowd’s regional bias.

For a band known for its drum programming and sequencing and thick layers of synths and keyboards, there was a decidedly rock edge to many of the songs courtesy of Eigner. The drummer’s propulsive drum style and fills added some analog meat and groove to the sequenced digital bones of tunes such as “Never Let Me Down Again,” a near funky “The World In My Eyes,” adding a little bit of swing to the burbling groove of the first set closing “Enjoy The Silence’ dedicated to founding member Andy Fletcher who died in 2022. Primary songwriter Martin Gore, who’s “beautiful angelic” high tenor voice (per Gahan) has deepened and gained a vibrato sang his signature tune “Question of Lust,” and a stripped down piano version of “Strangelove”

The four-song encore included a stripped-down, drumless “Condemnation” highlighting the song’s bluesy and gospel organ and piano underpinnings. Then everyone danced, sang and frantically waved their arms-side-side as commanded by Gahan to “Just Can’t Get Enough,” and head-nodding “Never Let Me Down Again” and an extended thumping “Personal Jesus.”

There are many ways for a band to fill an arena with sights, sounds, smoke and props of all kinds all of which are effective and fun. But besides the likely cost-effectiveness, Depeche Mode’s choice to fill the arena with its music and Gahan’s arena-sized stage persona made for a satisfying and relatively old-school style rock and roll show.

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Ultimate Classic Rock

Depeche Mode Plays First US Concert in 5 Years: Video, Set List

Depeche Mode kicked off their world tour on Thursday night at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, delivering their first U.S. concert in nearly five years.

Excitement for the show was palpable inside arena, even before Depeche Mode took the stage. The performance came just a day before the release of the band's new album, Memento Mori , the 15th studio LP of their impressive career. Several tracks from the album were featured in the night’s set list, including opening song "My Cosmos Is Mine."

Early set highlights included a pair of tracks from the '90s, "Walking in My Shoes" (from 1993's Songs of Faith and Devotion ) and "It's No Good" (from 1997's Ultra ). The band was in fine form on the night, with frontman Dave Gahan displaying primal enthusiasm on top of his distinctive baritone voice. The singer spent much of the night slinking across the stage, twisting, dancing and writhing as he belted out tunes.

Watch Depeche Mode Perform 'Walking in My Shoes'

The performance also notably marked Depeche Mode’s first U.S. concert without founding member Andy Fletcher. The keyboardist died suddenly on May 26 of what was later revealed to be “an aortic dissection.” Though he’s no longer alive, the rocker’s presence was certainly felt during Depeche Mode’s show.

As the band played "World in My Eyes" a little more than midway through their set, a giant black and white picture of Fletcher was shown on the screens behind the band. The song, from 1990's Violator , was one of the keyboardist's favorite tracks, and Gahan dedicated its performance to Fletcher.

Watch Depeche Mode Perform 'World in My Eyes'

Depeche Mode closed their initial set with a triumphant performance of "Enjoy the Silence," before returning for a four song encore. Gahan and guitarist/backing singer Martin Gore dueted on an emotional rendition of "Waiting for Tonight," before closing the evening with three of the band's biggest hits: "Just Can't Get Enough," "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Personal Jesus."

Videos, pictures and the full set list from the band’s Sacramento show can be found below.

This leg of Depeche Mode’s tour will continue through an April 14 performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden. From there the band heads overseas for a run of European dates, lasting through the summer. The group returns Stateside for a fall trek in September.

Watch Depeche Mode Perform 'Enjoy the Silence'

Watch Depeche Mode Perform 'Ghosts Again'

Watch Depeche Mode Perform 'Speak to Me'

Watch Depeche Mode Perform 'Personal Jesus'

Depeche Mode, 3/24/23, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento 1. "My Cosmos Is Mine" 2. "Wagging Tongue" 3. "Walking in My Shoes" 4. "It's No Good" 5. "Sister of Night" 6. "In Your Room" 7. "Everything Counts" 8. "Precious" 9. "Speak to Me" 10. "A Question of Lust" 11 "Soul With Me" 12. "Ghosts Again" 13. "I Feel You" 14. "A Pain That I'm Used To" 15. "World in My Eyes" 16. "Wrong" 17. "Stripped" 18. "John the Revelator" 19. "Enjoy the Silence" 20. "Waiting for the Night" 21. "Just Can't Get Enough" 22. "Never Let Me Down Again" 23. "Personal Jesus"

Depeche Mode, March 23, 2023

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‘60 Songs That Explain the ’90s’: Depeche Mode, the Synth-Pop Gods Who Shaped the Decade

Paying tribute to “Enjoy the Silence” and the dance-rock stars from Essex

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depeche mode tour 90s

Grunge. Wu-Tang Clan. Radiohead. “Wonderwall.” The music of the ’90s was as exciting as it was diverse. But what does it say about the era—and why does it still matter? 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s is back for 30 more episodes to try to answer those questions. Join Ringer music writer and ’90s survivor Rob Harvilla as he treks through the soundtrack of his youth, one song (and embarrassing anecdote) at a time. Follow and listen for free on Spotify . In Episode 86 of 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s— yep, you read that right—we’re exploring Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Below is an excerpt of this episode’s transcript.

Depeche Mode formed in the town of Basildon, in the county of Essex, in the East of England, in 1980. Original lineup: Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher, Martin Gore, and Dave Gahan. Original concept: What if punk rock, but with synthesizers? I’m paraphrasing. I’m exaggerating. That’s mildly obnoxious. But at the very least, Depeche Mode in 1980 is confrontational in spirit, in instrumentation. They play synthesizers. Often they play synthesizers exclusively . This is weird for 1980. Dave Gahan, talking to Rolling Stone in 1990, says, “I think without knowing it, we started doing something completely different. We had taken these instruments because they were convenient. You could pick up a synthesizer, put it under your arm and go to a gig. You plugged directly into the PA. You didn’t need to go through an amp, so you didn’t need to have a van. We used to go to gigs on trains.”

He also says, “At the time, everybody was using electronics in a very morbid, gloomy way. Suddenly, here was this pop band that was using the stuff—these young kids who had everybody dancing, instead of standing around in gray raincoats about to commit suicide.” All right. Time to hit ’em with “Just Can’t Get Enough.”

Depeche Mode’s first album, Speak & Spell , came out in 1981, with most songs written by Vince Clarke, who ain’t gonna be in the band for very much longer. And as a consequence, this record, by far, will be Depeche Mode’s, uh, poppiest—or at least peppiest. This is a niche cultural reference, but if you’re like me you’ll never hear the song “Just Can’t Get Enough” again without thinking of Karl Pilkington. Starting back in the late ’90s, future TV kingpin and polarizing comedian Ricky Gervais used to have a radio show, and then a podcast, and then a TV show in which he and his buddy Stephen Merchant just sat around terrorizing their producer, a very colorfully dour civilian gentleman named Karl Pilkington. And then in 2010 they did a reality show called An Idiot Abroad , where they made Karl travel around the world being dour and oblivious, and there is a famous scene where Karl is roaming the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá, in Mexico, and he’s got headphones on listening to a guided tour, but he gets bored so he puts on “Just Can’t Get Enough” instead and dances around. It’s one of the silliest and most beautiful sequences ever shown on television.

Depeche Mode, not Human League, Karl—he corrects himself. You can understand his confusion, though, because after this record Vince Clarke leaves Depeche Mode. Vince goes on to form the excellent synth-pop duos Yazoo and Erasure. There are two great Yazoo records and, like, 19 great Erasure records. But in his absence, Depeche Mode will now get steadily, uh, gothier. The band’s second album, A Broken Frame , comes out in 1982 with Martin Gore now as the primary songwriter, and already these dudes sound like they’ve already gotten way more than enough.

For their third album, 1983’s Construction Time Again , Depeche Mode adds another super-talented multi-instrumentalist, Alan Wilder, and the lineup of Alan, Martin, Andy, and Dave will endure for quite awhile. Andy Fletcher will later summarize the band dynamic by saying, “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum around.” He’s being polite. Meanwhile, shit, we’re not even halfway to 1990 yet, we gotta change our approach, but this record Construction Time Again does have “Everything Counts,” which for my money remains one of the, uh, stickiest Depeche Mode songs.

The grabbing hands Grab all they can All for themselves After all

“Everything Counts” has a hook as sticky, as sharp as “Just Can’t Get Enough,” but now there’s a bracing cynicism—or realism!—to the lyrics, to the sentiment. But yeah, this is taking too long. New approach! So this Failure cover of “Enjoy the Silence” that I adore profoundly appeared on a full-length Depeche Mode tribute album called For the Masses , released in 1998. As a child of the ’80s and a surly teenager of the ’90s, I never thought super hard about Depeche Mode, and yet by the time I turned 18 I knew, like, 15 Depeche Mode songs by heart, simply thanks to MTV and pop radio and then alt-rock radio. One tended to unconsciously breathe in this band the same way one breathed in oxygen or anxiety. So this tribute album—which as far as I can tell was not well loved, and is now super out of print, alas—was quite the revelation for me in that it revealed how many different kinds of ’90s bands owed a huge debt to Depeche Mode.

The sinister synth-pop vibe that Depeche Mode cultivates throughout the ’80s will of course have a massive effect on electronic music, a massive effect on the darker corners of dance music, a massive effect on industrial music going forward, even if sometimes they’re used as foils, as enemies, as too-popular and poppy cheeseball types. The German industrial band KMFDM—the scariest band I could think of as a teenager and the funniest band I can think of now—there is the quite famous rumor that KMFDM stands for Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode. Spin interviewed Dave Gahan in 2007 and asked him if he thought that’s what KMFDM stood for, and he said, “All I know is that I think it’s true.”

But Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails—the coolest band-slash-guy I could think of as a teenager—Trent was a great deal more complimentary. In 2017, on Facebook, at the behest of Tony Hawk, and I’m almost positive I’ve got that right, Trent wrote a quick tribute to Depeche Mode that read as follows: “It was the summer of ’86. I’d dropped out of college and was living in Cleveland trying to find my way in the local music scene. I knew where I wanted to go with my life but I didn’t know how to get there. A group of friends and I drove down to Blossom Music Center amphitheater to see the Black Celebration tour.” (Depeche Mode’s album Black Celebration came out in ’86; Blossom is a cool venue, but the parking situation sucks ass. That’s me saying that, not Trent, but Trent would totally agree with me. Anyway, Trent continues.) “DM was one of our favorite bands and the Black Celebration record took my love for them to a new level. I’ve thought about that night a lot over the years. It was a perfect summer night and I was in exactly the right place I was supposed to be. The music, the energy, the audience, the connection … it was spiritual and truly magic. I left that show grateful, humbled, energized, focused, and in awe of how powerful and transformative music can be … and I started writing what would eventually become Pretty Hate Machine .”

Pretty Hate Machine , of course, being the first Nine Inch Nails record, which came out in 1989 and helped define ’90s rock music, dance music, and industrial music as we know it. Depeche Mode is also one of these deals where it’s a little challenging now to convey how revolutionary these guys were in the late ’80s. So their sixth album, Music for the Masses , comes out in 1987—that’s the record with “Never Let Me Down Again” and “To Have and to Hold” and “Strangelove.”

And that album title is supposed to be kind of a joke, right? This is pretty gloomy and thorny and S&M adjacent as pop music goes. Dave Gahan, talking to Entertainment Weekly in 2017, says, “With Music for the Masses , we were being pretty arrogant. We weren’t actually making music for the masses, but suddenly we were playing to sold-out arenas in Texas and weird places that we thought we’d never sell records. It was like a cult following. D.A. Pennebaker, who made our concert film, described it as almost like a Grateful Dead experience—people that were as rabid about Depeche Mode as fans of the Dead were about the Dead. We spoke to people that felt a little different, the ones with way too much eyeliner, the ones in schools that were bullied or had to run home. We were the odd ones and we embraced that, because that’s kind of who we were as well, growing up.”

That’s D.A. Pennebaker, the legendary documentarian for Bob Dylan and David Bowie and so forth, who codirected the 1989 film Depeche Mode 101 , which climaxes with Depeche Mode capping off a triumphant U.S. tour with a show on June 18, 1988, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, attended by fuckin’ 60,000-plus people.

The band grossed $1.3 million at that show, according to the band’s accountant, on camera, during that movie, speaking of grabbing hands grabbing all they can. Depeche Mode 101 probably needs more love on Greatest Music Documentaries of All Time lists. There is a fan-driven aspect: We hang around with a tour bus full of Depeche Mode fans for quite a while. There’s a reality-TV-precursor aspect; very prescient, very instructive. But most striking is just the sight of Depeche Mode onstage. Dave Gahan, he looks and acts and sings as though you’d asked one of those AI generators to invent synth-pop Elvis. Like you just tell the AI, Do Elvis, but give him a synthesizer , and the AI goes, Whoop : Dave Gahan. Great profile. Great sideburns. Great spin moves, his pirouettes. He radiates grandiosity, he radiates melancholy, he radiates just a little bit of silliness. You can draw a line between him and Freddie Mercury, or at least type out a line of binary code.

So you take that guy and you set him down onstage in front of three sensual-dork-lookin’ gentlemen all standing behind these huge, elaborate keyboard rigs. No drummer: An offstage reel-to-reel tape machine handles all the drums. Precious few, if any, guitars. This is rock ’n’ roll now. This is arena rock. This is stadium rock. This is Rose Bowl–filling rock. This is the future. Depeche Mode played a crucial role in preparing us for the ’90s. By us , I mean anybody in the ’90s who listened to the radio for more than five minutes. As that tribute record alone makes clear, a great many ’90s bands and artists with quite varied personal temperaments would flourish, thanks to ’80s Depeche Mode. And ’90s Depeche Mode would flourish as well, or at the very least, Depeche Mode’s best album comes out in 1990.

To hear the full episode click here , and be sure to follow on Spotify and check back every Wednesday for new episodes on the most important songs of the decade. This excerpt has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

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The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Depeche Mode

Dave Gahan pointing

Depeche Mode helped create what would become the sound of the 1980s — New Wave pop with mopey lyrics about guilt and anguish, but you could still to dance to it because of all the kicky keyboards and drum machines. Over time, Depeche Mode's sound evolved away from synth-driven stuff like "Just Can't Get Enough" and "People are People," and the British band helped usher in the alternative rock of the '90s via "Enjoy the Silence," "Personal Jesus," and "I Feel You." 

Truly the band is responsible for one of the best team-ups in music history, combining the velvety and dignified voice of Dave Gahan singing romantic and inscrutable lyrics penned by Martin Gore. This dark and wonderful collective is now one of the longest-lasting bands of all time, with its core trio of Gahan, Gore, and Andy Fletcher making interesting and progressive music together for 40 years and seeing  100 million albums sold. However, despite all their success, it's remarkable Depeche Mode is still a band. The group has suffered quite a few setbacks and tragedies on their path to super stardom, and here's the shocking, harrowing, sad, and dangerous story of Depeche Mode.

Vince Clarke left the band immediately after Depeche Mode's first album

Depeche Mode is known for its distinctive sound — dark and electronic but velvety smooth, soulful, and hard-rocking when it isn't danceable. That's a style that came with time and evolution, as Depeche Mode's first album , 1981's "Speak & Spell ," is straightforward synth pop, equal parts catchy and cold on memorable tunes like "Just Can't Get Enough" and "New Life." Probably the main reason "Speak & Spell" sounds so different from, say, "Enjoy the Silence" or "People are People" is because original member Vince Clarke wrote almost the entire thing . 

However, almost immediately after the album hit stores, Clarke left Depeche Mode. He was certainly successful, as he formed two of the most influential and popular synth-pop acts ever in Yazoo (known as Yaz in the U.S.) and Erasure. But his departure from Depeche Mode right after it broke out threatened to destroy the band and everything its members had worked so hard to achieve. Fortunately, member Martin Gore stepped up to become the band's primary songwriter, and keyboardist Alan Wilder joined to fill Clarke's instrumental post.

The German media made up a lot of stories about Depeche Mode

Electronic music has historically fared very well in Germany. Synth-loving bands like Tangerine Dream, Rammstein, and Kraftwerk all got started there. So when Depeche Mode burst onto the scene in the early 1980s, audiences in West Germany thoroughly embraced the British group and its sound. According to the BBC , in 1984, Depeche Mode's "People are People" was used as the theme song for the TV coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Germany, which propelled the song to the top of the pop charts there — the band's first No. 1 single anywhere. 

Local music magazine Bravo (which also had a TV series) became particularly enamored with Depeche Mode, but because it couldn't get much access to interview lead singer Dave Gahan and company, the publication populated its pages with tales of the band that its writers simply made up . "The last time we refused an interview with them, they made up a story about Dave having to be carried off-stage at the end of every performance, taken to a separate dressing room and kept supplied with constant fluids," band member Andy Fletcher told NME (via BBC). "The time before that they said we hated everyone under 20."

Alan Wilder was almost killed by a plummeting plane

While not an original member of Depeche Mode, Alan Wilder  (pictured left), who joined in 1982, was a vital part of the band during its creative and commercial heyday, playing on albums like "Music for the Masses, " " Violator ," and "Songs of Faith and Devotion " before leaving in 1995. But just before he left to pursue other musical projects, Wilder was involved in a plane crash ... but he wasn't actually on the plane. 

According to a contemporary news report (via a website about Wilder's other band, Recoil), the musician was driving his convertible in the hills outside Lochearnhead, Scotland, on September 1, 1994. "As I approached a sharp bend in the road, the sound of the Tornado appeared behind me," Wilder said, referring to a Royal Air Force Tornado airplane, "and as I looked up, the underside of the aircraft was no more than 50 feet above me." Reportedly flying at about 400 miles per hour, the Tornado crashed into a hillside about 600 feet away from Wilder, leaving a large crater near the road. The musician heard the sound of the jet hitting land and then saw an explosion, sending smoke and debris into the air ... and into Wilder's open-roofed car. Chillingly, Wilder also recalls seeing human remains strewn about the road. He left when authorities arrived, and it was in that moment that Wilder "realized what an incredible escape" he'd made.

Depeche Mode scared another a band into sobriety

While never a hugely popular band in the U.S., Scottish alternative rock band Primal Scream did very good business in the U.K., running up a string of glam-inspired, lightly psychedelic, and danceable hits in the '90s like "Loaded," "Rocks," "Kowalski," and "Star." Associated with the dance music scene and the equally ecstasy-driven "Madchester" sound of bands like the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, Primal Scream combined rock with grooves, much like Depeche Mode. And according to Uncut (via Webadelica ), its members also did a copious amount of drugs ... just like the members of Depeche Mode. 

Singer Dave Gahan worked hard to get Primal Scream a spot as his band's opening act on its American tour in 1994, impressed as he was by their then-new album "Give Out But Don't Give Up ." "I wanted us to be able to swing like that and be that loose," Gahan said in Jonathan Miller's " Stripped: Depeche Mode ." Primal Scream indeed joined the tour, but the group had a miserable time. According to a quoted feature from Q , the members of the band "were so shaken by Depeche Mode's level of excess" that they swore off the many drugs they'd previously used as musical inspiration and recorded their next album "with zero input of powder, pill, or spliff."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Dave Gahan suffered a heart attack during a show

Depeche Mode played around the world throughout most of 1993 and 1994 on its " Devotional Tour " and its " Exotic Tour ." However, the trip was seemingly cursed for singer Dave Gahan. During a show in Montreal, Gahan lost his voice while attempting to sing "Condemnation." (According to a source from the band's label, Warner Music, who spoke to Variety , Gahan had contracted "a bad cold.") Martin Gore stepped in to sing a few numbers, only for Gahan to briefly try once more before the band called it a night. Depeche Mode then canceled a show in Cincinnati after Gahan opened a beer bottle and cut up his hand so badly he couldn't hold a microphone. But the October 8, 1993 incident in New Orleans was easily the worst of all. According to Uncut , Gahan suffered a drug-related heart attack on stage. (While he was carried out on a stretcher, the rest of the band broke into the song "Death's Door.") 

That Depeche Mode tour mercifully concluded with a show on July 8, 1994, in Indianapolis. At the end of the concert, Gahan leapt into the crowd ... and fell 12 feet into a bank of seats. Security guards dragged him out, and he was taken to a hospital and shortly thereafter released. A few days later, after another medical consultation, Gahan learned that he'd cracked two ribs and suffered some internal hemorrhaging.

Martin Gore has dealt with stress-related seizures and alcoholism

Depeche Mode's seemingly endless touring in 1993 and 1994 took its toll on Dave Gahan, but it also proved difficult and medically upsetting to bandmate Martin Gore. According to Alan Cross' " Depeche Mode: The Secret History ," the band's main songwriter had suffered from panic attacks before, but they increased with alarming frequency while on the road. And then, during a business meeting in Los Angeles, he suffered a grand mal seizure. Gore was immediately hospitalized , and doctors attributed the event to his body and brain reacting against years of stress, drugs, and mass consumption of alcohol.

Gore long struggled with a dependency on alcohol. "I was a horrible alcoholic for years. I knew at quite a young age that I had an issue with drinking," he told The Guardian . He says he got away with it for years because "it's encouraged for rock stars to be out of control." However, he knew it had gotten out of hand when his regular breakfast consisted of two double vodkas. While he never missed a show due to his addiction, he kept drinking even after the alcohol-related seizure and ramped up his consumption while recording the 2005 album "Playing the Angel" while also going through a divorce. Gahan recalls Gore showing up for recording sessions "a little drunk," but after the album was completed, Gore sought treatment.

Dave Gahan attempted suicide

In the early 1990s, Dave Gahan split up with his wife and married concert promoter Theresa Conway. According to The Independent ,  she was a heroin user, and before long, Gahan had taken up the drug, too. "We made a pact early on that I'd never use intravenously, but of course, being a junkie and a liar, it didn't take long." By the time Depeche Mode hit the road in 1993 behind "Songs of Faith and Devotion ," Gahan had so ravaged his body with drugs that it affected his voice, and he needed cortisol shots daily to get himself performance ready. 

Two years after that, Gahan was living in a house in Southern California, split up from Conway and alone except for his drug-induced paranoid dark fantasies. "Mostly it was my own shadows I was chatting around in that apartment," he said. In August 1995, according to the Los Angeles Times , while on the phone with his mother, he attempted suicide. Gahan was treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a couple of days and recovered at home. A few weeks later, Gahan told the Globe (via MTV News ) that he hadn't set out to take his own life, that he was just extremely depressed. "I drank a bottle of wine and swallowed a handful of Valium. That combination is really stupid," he said.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Depeche Mode's lead singer overdosed on heroin

Dave Gahan spent most of the '90s in the grips of an overwhelming heroin addiction . According to NME , he tried to get sober, checking into a drug rehabilitation facility in Arizona at the end of 1994. Six weeks later, he was clean, but before long, he found himself using again "in secret," as Gahan puts it. He believes his continued use of drugs is what led to his wife leaving him. "She got sick and tired of picking me up off the floor, and she decided to split." That all sent Gahan over the edge and into a pattern of sobering up and using drugs again.

In May 1996, substances nearly killed the singer. While living in the Hollywood Sunset Marquis, he injected such a large combination of heroin and cocaine that he overdosed . He was technically dead for six minutes. "All I saw and all I felt at first was complete darkness," Gahan told Q . "I've never been in a space that was blacker, and I remember feeling that whatever it was I was doing, it was really wrong." After that, and at the urging of his bandmates, Gahan enrolled in the Exodus Recovery Center in Marina Del Rey, California, for another grueling stint at rehab. That time, he stayed drug-free.

Dave Gahan developed bladder cancer

In 2009, 16 years after suffering a heart attack during a show in New Orleans, Dave Gahan didn't even make it onto the stage after a sudden medical emergency took him out of commission. Before a concert in Athens, Greece, just the second date of the planned year-long "Tour of the Universe," Gahan fell ill with some internal pain so severe he had to cancel that night's show and head to a local hospital. "At first they said it's a stomach virus. But this guy did ultrasound on me," Gahan told Q (via NME ). "He looked at the screen and said, 'I can see something.'" 

The medic then brought in a colleague who definitively told Gahan that he had a malignant tumor on his bladder — cancer, in other words. Gahan was scheduled for surgery the next day, and fortunately, the oncologist told him his prospects were good, as the tumor hadn't "broken through the wall" of the bladder. However, as recovered, per doctors' orders , the next dozen or so concerts were postponed or canceled.

Dave Gahan got hurt onstage a few times

Shockingly, Dave Gahan's bout with cancer (and subsequent emergency tumor removal surgery) wasn't the only bad thing that happened to Depeche Mode during its 2009 tour. After Gahan was well enough to head back out on the road, the band played the BBK Live Festival in Bilbao, Spain, on July 10. While singing, dancing, and darkly gallivanting about the stage, as he's wont to do, the 47-year-old singer somehow tore a calf muscle. 

Just like after his cancer surgery a couple of months earlier, doctors told Gahan that he simply couldn't keep touring and that he'd have to stay off of his injured leg in order for it to heal properly. To give Gahan a break to cope with his break, Depeche Mode had no choice but to cancel its next two dates, the final two stops on the European leg — big shows at the Super Bock Super Rock Festival in Porto, Portugal, and at Olympic Stadium, in Sevilla, Spain.

Gahan's terrible, horrible, no good very bad 2009 wasn't over. In August, the singer injured his vocal cords , which makes performing big concerts next to impossible. Depeche Mode had to cancel two California concerts to provide Gahan with vocal rest.

Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode dealt with mental health issues

The long, grueling, nearly-200 date 1993 " Devotional Tour " (and the 1994 " Exotic Tour " extension) was Depeche Mode's biggest ever, but it threatened to destroy the band — both as a musical-making entity and as healthy human beings. According to The Independent , core members Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andrew Fletcher were barely speaking to each other during this time. And while Dave Gahan and Martin Gore suffered numerous medical setbacks both big and small, bandmate Andy Fletcher's mental health deteriorated. 

The personal tensions and being on the road almost nonstop for over a year was too much for Fletcher to bear, as was the death of his sister from stomach cancer (according to Alan Cross's " Depeche Mode: The Secret History " ), and he could no longer manage his anxiety issues. Fletcher eventually  checked himself into a hospital in England. (His absence on tour dates was explained as his need to attend to the band's business affairs). "It's so long ago, and we were very different people then. It was a small period of our lives," Fletcher said of that tour and its events to The Irish Times in 2009. "But we got over it."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website .

Andy Fletcher died

While the members of Depeche Mode would barely survive several brushes with death over the years, only voluntary exits would depopulate the band that has soldiered on for more than 40 years and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . For more than two decades, the band had functioned as a trio , but in 2022, the group suffered a profound and immeasurable loss when founding member, utilitarian musician, bassist, and synths player, Andy Fletcher died unexpectedly. "We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy 'Fletch' Fletcher," the surviving members of Depeche Mode wrote in a statement posted to its Twitter account . "Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint."

An unnamed Depeche Mode insider told the Associated Press (via NPR ) that Fletcher died at his home in the U.K. of natural causes. He was 60 years old.

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A portrait of Dave Gahan and Martin Core standing next to each other but looking in opposite directions, both dressed almost entirely in black.

The Exquisite Darkness of Depeche Mode

Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are back with the group’s 15th album. But after losing the bandmate Andy Fletcher last year, their return was anything but certain.

Dave Gahan, left, and Martin Gore. The group’s new album, “Memento Mori,” is death-obsessed even by Depeche Mode standards. Credit... OK McCausland for The New York Times

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By Alex Pappademas

  • Published March 19, 2023 Updated March 23, 2023

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Martin Gore, who is now 50 percent of Depeche Mode, works in a studio on a low hill near Santa Barbara, hidden behind jungle-green foliage and fragrant flowering shrubs.

On a Tuesday morning in January, he sat at a console in the center of the control room, which was spacious and orderly and full of California winter sunshine — a clean, well-lighted place to make songs about power, desire, faith and a world spinning ever further off its axis.

Gore wore black clothes and spotless black boots. He looked like an Englishman who’s spent decades in California — vibrant tan, straight white teeth. He had the haircut you’d get if you asked a knowledgeable barber to give you “the Martin Gore”: high and tight, with several inches of unruly tuft up top.

Two summers ago Gore turned 60, and it “really slapped me in the face,” he said with a morbid chuckle. “I don’t particularly feel like I’m 60, but you have to accept the facts. It feels like you’ve got one toe in the grave, at least.”

On Friday Depeche Mode will release its 15th album, mostly recorded in this studio, by a pandemic-era skeleton crew: Gore, the vocalist Dave Gahan, the producer James Ford (Florence + the Machine, Arctic Monkeys) and an engineer/co-producer, Marta Salogni. As always, the sound is foreboding and sleek, sardonic yet soulful — music for lovers in black-leather-upholstered bullet-train compartments, racing toward ominous destinations.

The title is “Memento Mori,” and the dominant theme is mortality — which isn’t, in itself, a departure. “Death is everywhere,” Gore wrote years ago, in a song called “Fly on the Windscreen,” whose narrator goes on to beckon, “Come here, kiss me, now,” because you never know.

“Memento Mori,” though, is death-obsessed even by Depeche standards, with lyrics full of ghosts, angels and funeral flowers. Gore said that his own mortality had been on his mind, along with Covid-19, which was still cutting a swath through the world’s population as he wrote in 2020.

But Gore knows the album and its title are destined to be read through a different lens. In May 2022, Andy Fletcher, known as Fletch, died at 60, suddenly and quickly, of an aortic dissection. Fletcher was a founding member of Depeche Mode; he and Gore had been friends since grade school.

A Depeche Mode band photograph from the 1980s, with all four members standing in a park near a big tree.

Nominally a keyboardist, Fletch’s true role in the band was nebulous, yet spiritually indispensable — somewhere between manager, quality-control supervisor and designated superfan.

“Without Andy, there would be no Depeche Mode,” the longtime radio broadcaster and Depeche fan Richard Blade said in a video interview. “He was not the one composing the music, but he was the one pulling them together.”

Gore saw Fletcher in person for the last time in 2019, at a wedding in England. He died just weeks before the band was scheduled to begin recording “Memento Mori,” the first collection of Depeche Mode songs he will never hear.

Gore and Gahan say they both questioned whether they could or should continue without him. But Depeche Mode has survived potentially band-extinguishing events before — beginning with the departure of Vince Clarke, a founding member who left the group in 1981 after the release of its debut album, “Speak & Spell,” on which he’d been the principal songwriter.

In the ’90s the band weathered the rise of grunge — which rendered synthesizers and drum machines temporarily taboo — as well as the departure of the keyboardist Alan Wilder and Gahan’s struggle with heroin addiction. (Technically, Gahan is the first member of Depeche Mode to die; in 1996, after an overdose, he said he flatlined for two minutes before paramedics revived him. He’s been clean and sober since.)

Derided early on by the British rock press, Depeche Mode made converts in America, particularly in Southern California, where the band’s champions included Blade, then an influential D.J. at KROQ-FM. Its breakthrough in the U.S. came with the platinum album “Some Great Reward” in 1984 and the single “People Are People,” an uncharacteristically strident anti-prejudice lament that became a pop-radio hit as well as a gay club anthem.

The gay community was only one of many disparate subcultures from which Depeche Mode built a fan base. On the West Coast, Blade said, the band made converts among “the white kids who would go surfing” but also connected with Latino listeners who heard a reflection of their own experience in Depeche Mode’s misfit anthems. “They might have been third-generation Americans, but a lot of people looked at them and said ‘No, you’re not one of us,’” Blade said.

Gore agreed that the band had become common ground for those who felt like they didn’t belong: “I think humanity is made up of a lot of outsiders, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve managed to do so well.”

By 1988, the group was big enough to pack the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, a show documented in the director D.A. Pennebaker’s film “Depeche Mode 101”; the triple-platinum album “Violator,” released two years later, yielded hit singles like “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence,” which pulsed like techno but brought guitars to the front of the mix for the first time.

That album was the band’s commercial peak in America; minus a 2005 singles collection, no new Depeche Mode album has been certified gold in the U.S. in 22 years. But as long as there are new teenagers, there will always be new Depeche Mode fans, primed to respond to lyrics like “It all seems so stupid it makes me want to give up/But why should I give up when it all seems so stupid?”

And the band’s fans, Gore points out, “don’t turn 30 and then decide, ‘Oh, I don’t like that anymore.’” If you have ever been between 15 and 17 years old, alienated, and a little bit in love with your own sadness, a part of you will never stop being that way; no one who goes through a Depeche Mode phase ever quite outgrows it.

This means the band remains a powerful draw; its latest worldwide arena tour begins on Thursday. Against all odds, Gore and Gahan’s group has become a legacy act, and an influence on musicians who’ve become veterans themselves.

As frontman of the venerable Sacramento alternative-metal band Deftones, Chino Moreno has covered Depeche Mode songs like “Sweetest Perfection” and “To Have and to Hold” ; his keyboard-driven side project Crosses openly channels his heroes’ stylish gloom. In a video interview, Moreno described his first Depeche Mode concert — a 1988 show at what was then the Cal Expo Amphitheater in Sacramento — as a life-changing moment.

“I was pretty claustrophobic growing up,” he said, “but I just fought my way through all those feelings, and made my way to the front barricade. And they came out, and I was just captivated by them. Dave in particular — just his stage presence. I can loosely credit me wanting to sing, and be in a group and make music, to that experience. It was larger than life for me.”

In the HBO series “The Last of Us,” people are still listening to Depeche Mode’s music after a fungal outbreak kills or zombifies much of the world’s population; survivors signal one another by blasting “Never Let Me Down.” Given their real-life endurance, the idea of Depeche Mode persisting even after the apocalypse, still helping people feel less alone, does not seem totally implausible.

But Gahan said that even before Fletcher’s sudden death, he wasn’t sure he’d ever make another Depeche Mode album.

In a video interview from New York, where he’s lived since the late ’90s, Gahan appeared onscreen against what appeared to be a red-velvet wall. It resembled the lining of a coffin, which prompted a question about the rumor that Gahan slept in one during Depeche Mode’s reportedly bacchanalian Devotional Tour in 1993. (Not true, Gahan said — although he did own a casket-shaped bed around that time, and once took a nap in an actual coffin a carpenter left backstage for him. But only once.)

In 2019, Gahan and his band Soulsavers recorded “Imposter,” a collection of 12 high-drama covers of songs made famous by artists including Nat King Cole and Cat Power, performed by Gahan in a manner evocative of both Tom Jones and Nick Cave. Shelved during the pandemic, the album finally dropped in November 2021. The following month, when Gahan played the songs at a few shows in Europe, it felt like the end of something; he spent that Christmas wondering if he’d continue making music at all.

During Covid, he said, he’d enjoyed being at home, surrounded by family and friends, finally spending time at a Montauk vacation house that he’d barely gotten to use. “I can walk along the beach in winter. You don’t see another soul,” he said. “I’m out there playing my guitar along to Stones records. I’m like, ‘I like my life right now. Why would I want to disrupt all this, to jump into a Depeche Mode record, which will take me out of that for the next three years?’”

The recording sessions for the previous Depeche Mode album, “Spirit,” had been contentious. Ever since Clarke’s exit, there’d been a clear division of labor in the band. Gore wrote virtually all the lyrics, and Gahan sang Gore’s words. But in the early 2000s, Gahan started making solo albums, and began bringing his own songs into Depeche Mode sessions as well.

As Gahan sees it, he’s always been the Depeche Mode member who’s pushed the band outside its comfort zone. After Nirvana broke out in the early ’90s, it was Gahan who showed up to record “Songs of Faith and Devotion” with hair down to his shoulders, advocating for a grittier sound. Without him, you might never have heard live drums or a gospel choir on a Depeche Mode track. “All those things were considered threats,” Gahan said.

But when Gahan pushed, it was traditionally Fletcher who pushed back. “He would always stand up for Martin,” Gahan said. “If there was a vote, I would lose.”

At the “Spirit” sessions in 2016, those creative tensions reached what Gahan called a “boiling point.”

“Martin wasn’t really keen on some of Dave’s songs,” the “Spirit” producer Ford said, “and Dave was pushing really hard for them to be on the record. It was very, very difficult.”

Ford said he was told by Depeche’s management that the project was in jeopardy. His solution was to banish everyone except Gahan and Gore from the studio — including Fletcher, their traditional buffer. “Fletch did not like this,” Gahan said. “I think in the end our manager Jonathan had to literally, physically get him out.”

Ford said the following day resembled a marriage-counseling session. Gahan recalled the confrontation “was really hard. After all those years — he said some stuff. I said some stuff.”

They cleared the air enough to finish “Spirit,” released in 2017. And Gahan said any reservations he had about making the next album disappeared the moment he heard Gore’s demo for the song “Ghosts Again.” “I was like, ‘I can’t wait to sing this song.’”

Then it was May, and suddenly Andy Fletcher was dead.

“I felt, immediately, very supportive of Martin,” Gahan said. “Like, ‘I’ve got to take care of him — this is really much harder on Martin than it is on me.’”

They decided to go ahead with “Memento Mori” — and according to both Gore and Gahan, Fletcher’s passing fostered an intimacy they’d never experienced in 40 years as bandmates.

“Every decision that has to be made has to be made by the two of us now,” Gore said. “So we kind of have to talk things out when we disagree. I don’t think I’ve ever had a FaceTime with Dave before. Now we FaceTime.”

Privately, Gahan said, Gore described their dynamic to him in more profound terms. “At one point — I always say too much, I’ll regret it later when I read this — he said to me, ‘It’s kind of like we’re long-lost brothers, isn’t it?’”

Salogni, an Italian producer and engineer who’s worked with Björk, Frank Ocean and the xx — and the rare woman in this very male orbit — said it was “wonderful” to witness Gore and Gahan’s flourishing friendship, and the creativity it engendered. “With Andy being a filter — after he passed, the filter unfortunately disappeared, and suddenly the curtain dropped and they were there to face each other,” she said. “Honesty comes to the forefront, and you just face what you perhaps haven’t faced before.”

The mood at the sessions, Ford said, “was very somber.” But there was also a lot of reminiscing — Fletcher stories told over long lunches. “It was honestly a really lovely, beautiful experience,” he said.

Depeche Mode, Gahan suggested, has always survived by evolving. “Sometimes we’ve changed naturally, and sometimes change has been forced upon us,” he said, “and I think that’s what’s happening now. We lost an integral part of Depeche Mode, who’s irreplaceable. Circumstances forced us to be different, to think of each other in a different way. We need each other in a different way.”

Audio produced by Tally Abecassis .

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depeche mode tour 90s

Depeche Mode Announce 29 Additional North American Dates on the Memento Mori World Tour

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New Fall Shows Added in the US, Canada and Mexico

Depeche mode’s first tour in over five years kicks off march 23, 2023 in sacramento, ca.

Following the rapturous reception to their new single “Ghosts Again,”  Depeche Mode  have added a new Fall leg of North American tour dates to the Memento Mori Tour, which will support Memento Mori, their forthcoming studio album due out March 24. With the addition of these 29 new shows, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 inductees will now set out on a colossal 75-date tour — their 19th tour and their first in over five years.

The Live Nation-presented tour begins March 23 with a limited North American run featuring stops at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Chicago’s United Center, and Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. The band will then embark on their European stadium tour on May 16, with noted stops including the Stade de France in Paris, Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, Milan’s San Siro Stadium, and London’s Twickenham Stadium. 

Following the end of the European summer run, the newly added tour dates bring the band back to North America in the Fall, with the tour stopping in Mexico City at Foro Sol before returning to the US and Canada. Newly announced tour stops include Austin’s Moody Center, Vancouver’s Rogers Arena, additional New York City shows at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena and more, and concluding with a multi-night run in Los Angeles at the Kia Forum and Crypto.com Arena.

Pre-sales will kick off with a Fan Pre-sale on Tuesday, February 21, with the general on sale beginning Friday, February 24 at 10am local time. For further information on the tour routing and ticket on-sale dates, please visit  depechemode.com . The full listing of dates, cities and venues is also below. On the Memento Mori Tour, the band will once again be partnering with luxury watchmaker Hublot to support charity endeavors tied to the tour.

Reception to the Memento Mori tour has been overwhelming with shows quickly selling out across Europe and North America, and over 1.5 million tickets already sold for the initial 46 shows. The tour is on track to be one of Depeche Mode’s largest to date and is also well on its way to being one of the largest worldwide tours of 2023. The tour will feature Depeche Mode favorites and rarities, alongside new songs from Memento Mori, including the new single ”Ghosts Again,” which has been heralded as “a melancholic and joyful ode” (Vulture), “hypnotic” (Rolling Stone), and “a gorgeous, haunting song” (Revolver). The beautifully stark and cinematic Anton Corbijn-directed video for “Ghosts Again” released on February 9th can be viewed at  https://depechemode.lnk.to/GhostsAgain . 

Having sold more than 100 million records and played to more than 35 million fans worldwide, Depeche Mode remains an ever-evolving and singularly influential musical force. An indelible inspiration to fans, critics and artists alike, Depeche Mode continues to forge ahead, with the Memento Mori album and tour representing the opening of the newest chapter of a peerless and ongoing legacy. 

Memento Mori World Tour 2023 – Leg One

March 23          Sacramento, CA            Golden 1 Center 

March 25          San Jose, CA                  SAP Center 

March 28          Los Angeles, CA            Kia Forum 

March 30          Las Vegas, NV                T-Mobile Arena 

April 2               San Antonio, TX            AT&T Center 

April 5               Chicago, IL                     United Center 

April 7               Toronto, ON                  Scotiabank Arena 

April 9               Quebec City, QC           Videotron Centre 

April 12             Montreal, QC                Centre Bell 

April 14             New York, NY                Madison Square Garden 

May 16             Amsterdam, NL             Ziggo Dome 

May 18             Amsterdam, NL             Ziggo Dome 

May 20             Antwerp, BE                  Sportpaleis Antwerpen 

May 23             Stockholm, SE               Friends Arena 

May 26             Leipzig, DE                     Leipziger Festwiese 

May 28             Bratislava, SK                 Národný Futbalový Štadión 

May 31             Lyon, FR                            Groupama Stadium

June 2               Barcelona, ES                Primavera Sound Festival 

June 4               Dusseldorf, DE              Merkur Spiel-Arena 

June 6               Dusseldorf, DE              Merkur Spiel-Arena 

June 9               Madrid, ES                     Primavera Sound Festival 

June 11             Bern, CH                        Stadion Wankdorf 

June 14             Dublin, IE                      Malahide Castle 

June 17             London, UK                   Twickenham Stadium 

June 20             Munich, DE                   Olympiastadion

June 22             Lille, FR                          Stade Pierre Mauroy 

June 24             Paris, FR                         Stade de France 

June 27             Copenhagen, DK          Parken 

June 29             Frankfurt, DE                Deutsche Bank Park 

July 1                Frankfurt, DE               Deutsche Bank Park 

July 4                Bordeaux, FR               Matmut Atlantique

July 7                Berlin, DE                     Olympiastadion 

July 9                Berlin, DE                     Olympiastadion 

July 12              Rome, IT                       Stadio Olympico 

July 14              Milan, IT                       San Siro 

July 16              Bologna, IT                   Stadio Renato Dall’Ara 

July 21              Klagenfurt, AT              Wörthersee Stadion 

July 23              Zagreb, HR                    Arena Zagreb 

July 26              Bucharest, RO              Arena Națională 

July 28              Budapest, HU               Puskás Aréna 

July 30              Prague, CZ                     Letňany Airport 

August 2           Warsaw, PL                   PGE Narodowy 

August 4           Krakow, PL                    Tauron Arena

August 6           Tallinn, EE                     Tallinna Lauluväljak 

August 8           Helsinki, FI                    Kaisaniemen Puisto 

August 11         Oslo, NO                       Telenor Arena 

– New dates just added – 

September 21            Mexico City, MX          Foro Sol 

September 29            Austin, TX                      Moody Center 

October 1    Dallas, TX                      American Airlines Center

October 4    Houston, TX                 Toyota Center 

October 7    New Orleans, LA        Smoothie King Center

October 10  Orlando, FL                  Amway Center 

October 12  Miami, FL                      Miami-Dade Arena

October 19  Nashville, TN               Bridgestone Arena 

October 21  Brooklyn, NY               Barclays Center

October 23  Washington, DC         Capital One Arena 

October 25  Philadelphia, PA         Wells Fargo Center 

October 28  New York, NY              Madison Square Garden 

October 31  Boston, MA                  TD Garden

November 3               Montreal, QC              Centre Bell 

November 5               Toronto, ON                Scotiabank Arena

November 8               Detroit, MI                   Little Caesars Arena

November 10             Cleveland, OH             Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse 

November 13             Chicago, IL                    United Center

November 16             Denver, CO                  Ball Arena

November 18             Salt Lake City, UT       Vivint Arena

November 21             Edmonton, AB            Rogers Place 

November 24             Vancouver, BC            Rogers Arena 

November 26             Seattle, WA                  Climate Pledge Arena

November 28             Portland, OR                MODA Center

December 1                Las Vegas, NV             T-Mobile Arena 

December 3                San Francisco, CA       Chase Center 

December 6                San Diego, CA             Pechanga Arena

December 10             Los Angeles, CA          Kia Forum 

December 15             Los Angeles, CA          Crypto.com Arena 

Media Contacts

Depeche Mode:

Steve Martin |  [email protected]

Jillian Condran |  [email protected]

Live Nation Concerts:

Monique Sowinski |  [email protected]

Maya Sarin |  [email protected]

Valeska Thomas |  [email protected]

For further information re: Memento Mori, tour updates and more, please go to  depechemode.com

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Leave them wanting Mori: Depeche Mode on tour

IQ speaks to the architects and road warriors who are helping take the band's Memento Mori tour to millions of fans

By Gordon Masson on 24 Aug 2023

depeche mode tour 90s

Depeche Mode in Bucharest

image © Daniel Robert Dinu, Emagic

The sudden death of co-founder Andy Fletcher last year had Depeche Mode contemplating the end of the band. But with new album Memento Mori invigorating both the act and their fans, the tour of the same name is arguably their best yet, with armies of ‘Devotees’ filling stadiums and arenas to celebrate the new music and the band’s legendary catalogue. Gordon Masson joined them.

In the history of rock & roll, there are not too many acts that have the deep, dark, and sometimes destructive history of Depeche Mode. But as the band work through their grief over the loss of Andy Fletcher with the release of Memento Mori (Latin for ‘remember that you [have to] die’), their tour of the same name is delivering joy to millions of fans across Europe and North America – just as their live performances have been doing for more than 40 years.

The background to the current tour was among the most complex its architects have ever had to deal with, involving the uncertainty of the post-pandemic live music sector, and a risky gamble by an otherwise usually cautious management. “At the start of 2021, when we could see light at the end of the tunnel, we started making some early plans for the current tour,” explains Jonathan ‘Baron’ Kessler, head of artist management company Baron Global Inc.

Colleague Alex Pollock says, “We could see that the built-up demand for venues in 2022 was going to be huge, and because it was already challenging enough to get a sensible stadium routing in Europe – where you’re book-ended by football dates in the major markets – we just off the bat thought, ‘Well, why not hold our tour for ’23?’”

The artist managers reveal that band member Martin Gore had been prolific during the Covid lockdowns and had written a lot of new material and songs. “So, when he and Dave [Gahan] started writing together, quite quickly we had the basis for a new album, and we sort of flipped the switch,” explains Kessler.

“We took a calculated risk and held stadium dates for 2023”

“Originally, we were planning to record the album in 2023 and tour in ‘24. But for a variety of reasons, we accelerated that. We realised that 2024 was going to be a particularly hard year to tour because Germany is hosting the Euros [football tournament], which rules out using most of those stadiums until after the middle of July. So, we took a calculated risk and held stadium dates for 2023.”

Kessler confesses the gamble in holding 2023 stadium dates happened before having the full conversation with the band. “But thank god we did, because as you know, everything started to get booked, and before we knew it, we had 15 other bands coming to us offering to buy our stadium dates if we would give them up.”

As a result, initial tour talks centred around ILMC in 2022. “We just took a suite in the hotel and met with every promoter one by one,” says Kessler.

However, with the band in the studio recording the new album, in May last year tragedy struck when founding member Andy Fletcher suffered a fatal heart attack at home in London, England.

“All of a sudden, we went from planning the album project and discussing the tour, to planning the funeral,” says Kessler. “Following that there was a very deep internal discussion amongst the band about whether they should even continue. But in the end, between Dave, Martin, and all of us, we agreed that Fletch would have wanted us to continue – he was sort of the biggest fan of the band.”

“We’ve been used to starting our tours with a stadium run in Europe, but because the reaction to the album was so strong, we had a desire to be in America closer to the album release”

Pandemic Ramifications As Baron Global plotted the Memento Mori tour structure, the success of the album caused a deviation from previous Depeche Mode outings.

“We’ve been used to starting our tours with a stadium run in Europe, but because the reaction to the album was so strong, we had a desire to be in America closer to the album release,” says Kessler.

Consequently, the band played arenas in ten key North American markets before starting their run of 36 stadia shows in Europe, in the knowledge they would return across the Atlantic for a more extensive tour in the autumn.

For many production professionals, that switch between indoor and outdoor shows can be a major challenge. But with production manager Tony Gittins notching up his fifth tour with Depeche Mode, his ability to reunite a core crew that has similarly longstanding relationships with the band, has contributed once again to smooth and seamless transitions.

When Gittins was named as The Gaffer by IQ in January 2018, he revealed that the first people he wants to work with on every tour include: “Tony Plant as stage manager, James Heath as head rigger, Britannia Row for audio, Popcorn for catering, and for transport, Stagetruck and Beat The Street.” Reminded of that wish-list prior to the Memento Mori show in Bucharest, Gittins laughs. “Yep – they’re all on this tour. In addition, we have 4Wall for lights and Universal Pixel for video. We used to use Brilliant Stages before for the set, but now it’s TAIT because they acquired Brilliant Stages back in 2019.

“It’s a tight crew: everyone knows everyone else and gets along, which is massively important when you’re on the road for months at a time”

“It’s a tight crew: everyone knows everyone else and gets along, which is massively important when you’re on the road for months at a time,” adds Gittins. “Basically, if it works, why on earth would you change it?”

In addition to earning a reputation as one of the world’s top production managers, Gittins is also recognised as being ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental matters. The Memento Mori tour is a significant beneficiary of his expertise, because despite its stadium-filling presence, the fleet of Stagetruck trailers numbers just 13.

Stagetruck have been transporting the band’s set and equipment since the 80s, and founder Robert Hewett tells IQ that when he established the company, one of his primary goals was to work with Depeche Mode.

“During the punk period, I was originally running a small PA company, but then in 1980, Stagetruck was born, and I became hooked on rock & roll trucking,” says Hewett. “This coincided with the advent of Depeche Mode breaking onto the scene, in what was an exciting period of self-expression and new music. I knew straight away I wanted to get involved with them, and although it took me five years to charm them away from their existing supplier, my hard work paid dividends, and we have worked successfully together ever since.”

Hewett continues, “The boys are great; their history with Vince Clarke, who left, and then Fletch who sadly passed last year, gives them the grit and longevity to have come through the most difficult of times. [And] the band’s manager and guiding light, Jonathan Kessler, combined with their long-time PM Tony Gittins, make for a dynamic and happy team who are always a pleasure to work with.”

“Luckily, Depeche Mode are a great band, and Dave Gahan is just one of the best frontmen, so we don’t need the bells and whistles that other acts take on the road – the performance speaks for itself”

He adds, “On this current tour, it’s clear that Depeche’s new material, along with a refresh of their classic hits, is a winning formula and drawing fans old and new to see one of their best-ever shows. To still be relevant in this time of multiple musical genres is testament to their ability to bring something engaging and different to the party.”

Making sure that the need for trucks is kept to a bare minimum, Gittins reveals a strategy that other bands would do well to follow. “We use local stages and delays everywhere we go,” he tells IQ. “If there’s already a stage in situ, then why not use it?! For sustainability, it works a lot better, and to me, it’s just common sense – I’ve been doing it for years: I allow Stageco to go through all the local promoters and do deals directly with them.

“Luckily, Depeche Mode are a great band, and Dave Gahan is just one of the best frontmen, so we don’t need the bells and whistles that other acts take on the road – the performance speaks for itself.”

Representing an act who have built a reputation on their live performance has also helped in dealing with the spiralling costs of touring, it would appear. “Costs have gone up less than we had worried they would, but it’s still a substantial increase,” says Kessler. “We’re blessed that we have a big enough margin, because we’re so lean. Even so, when we look at what we spend now versus what we spent on the last tour, the percentage increase is very large. But we pride ourselves on good decision making, so it’s still manageable.”

That sensible approach to life on the road means that the core crew for the Memento Mori stadium tour comprises just 46 people, plus drivers. “We use local crews of about 66 people,” explains the production manager.

“The Depeche Mode philosophy has always been to share as much of the resources as you can, so they’ve always been ahead of the game on the sustainability front”

With Gittins at the helm, it’s a well-oiled machine. Indeed, he tells IQ that the biggest challenge in planning the current tour has been the post-Brexit ruling that only allows UK citizens to remain in the European Union for 90 out of every 180 days. “That’s always been the case for American crew, but they’re just having to actually pay attention to it now, as are those from the UK,” he says.

Once again, there’s simplicity to the solution. “We planned the European tour leg on a 90-day run, but with the Dublin and London shows we were able to bring it back to 86, so we don’t really have to worry about it,” adds Gittins.

Audio suppliers Britannia Row have been working with Depeche Mode since 1982, with founder Bryan Grant handing the reins to client liaison and business development exec Dave Compton three tours ago. Paying tribute to the tour’s low carbon footprint, Compton reports, “The Depeche Mode philosophy has always been to share as much of the resources as you can, so they’ve always been ahead of the game on the sustainability front. For instance, rather than carry delays, you pick them up as and where you need them.”

Compton notes that the arena show production is basically a modified version of the stadium show. “The box count is almost identical – I think there are eight more boxes on the stadia production, but that still fits on the same number of trucks. At the end of this European leg, we’ll ship the control package and three of the crew to Mexico for the shows there, while our other two crew will go to Lititz to put together the new PA package for the North American arena tour, before everyone reunites in Austin, Texas.”

Jordan Hanson, head of live events at lighting suppliers 4Wall, is similarly impressed by the minimalist approach. “For the stadium shows, we increase the lighting and boost the crew by one extra person,” he says. “The production is a very clever design, thanks to [creative director] Anton Corbijn. To look at it you’d think there’s a hell of a lot of production involved, but in terms of other stadia tours, this travels remarkably light – Tony Gittins does it very well. He’s great to work with, very calm, and he employs the best of the best in terms of crew, all of whom know the 4Wall staff very well, so it’s really harmonious on the road.”

“They are very loyal, they know what they want, and as long as we don’t fuck up, then there’s no reason why that relationship would change”

Feeding the travelling Depeche Mode army are the kitchen wizards from Popcorn Catering, whose owner Wendy Deans has been working with the band since she first set up the company.

“We’ve been working with the band since 1989 and we’ve done every tour since, so they’ve been really good to us and the company,” says Deans. “They always ask for the same people in catering, which is great, although we’re all struggling to met the Schengen rules these days, because we obviously work on other tours, too.”

Feeding the crew with three meals a day, as well as providing food on the buses and in the dressing rooms keeps Popcorn’s seven-strong team busy, while even just shoping for the food has become more complex thanks to rising costs. “It’s different every day,” adds Deans. “We’re dealing with challenges all the time, but when you’re on tour with Johnathan Kessler and Tony Gittins, nothig is impossible and everyone has a good experience.”

Tasked with making sure Gittins and his road warrior army get from A to B to Z is bussing operator Beat The Street – another long-term Depeche Mode contractor, who this year expanded its remit for the band.

“We launched Beat The Street’s North American operations just before the pandemic, so the fact that Depeche Mode are using us for both continents is fantastic – they are very loyal, they know what they want, and as long as we don’t fuck up, then there’s no reason why that relationship would change,” says company founder Jörg Philipp.

“We lost shows because of the war in Ukraine”

Beat The Street is supplying four buses for the core production crew and caterers, each of whom the company knows well. “There’s never any drama when Tony Gittins is the PM,” states Philipp. “He’s calm, he’s professional, and he knows the drivers that he prefers for his tours. He’s a joy to deal with.”

But the drivers won’t be doing as many miles as originally planned. “We lost shows because of the war in Ukraine,” says Kessler. “Stadiums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Minsk, then there’s an indoor stadium in St. Petersburg that we had to take out and another again in Moscow, so we lost six big stadiums in that part of the world.”

From Gittins’ perspective, weather has been a major challenge for suppliers and crew, with the extreme heat in southern Europe adding another layer of very necessary prep on the stadium leg.

“We’re a lot more wary about making sure that the crew is sun-screened up, that they take advantage of any shade they can find, and that they are getting enough water,” says Gittins.

“Normally, you don’t want water being anywhere near the stage, but when we’re doing a build in 45-degree heat, we have to make sure there is a big supply of water and that people are drinking a bottle every half an hour or so.”

“People follow Depeche Mode from all over the world, so we’ve seen lots of tickets being bought by people from outside of Romania. In fact, for our 2017 show with the band, in the city of Cluj, we had fans travel from as far away as Uruguay”

Music for the Masses The feelgood factor of Depeche Mode rolling into town is palpable among the promoters involved on the Memento Mori production. To date, more than 2 million fans have witnessed the show, while management predict the forthcoming 40-date North American arena leg, and the indoor shows in Europe early next year will take that total to around 3.5m hard tickets by the end of the tour.

The Memento Mori tour is a Live Nation global operation, with local LN offices across America and Europe generally passing the baton from date to date, with one or two notable exceptions.

One such instance is Laura Coroianu at Emagic in Romania, who has a special place in her heart for Depeche Mode. “When we first welcomed them here in 2006, they were the first act to sell out a stadium show in Romania and that really helped open the country up for international touring,” she informs IQ.

With Live Nation Eastern Europe bringing in Emagic as their local partner, the current tour marks the fourth time Emagic has co-promoted the band in Romania. “It would have been five tours, but unfortunately we lost the show in 2008 when Dave [Gahan] fell ill,” says Coroianu who, although delighted to welcome the band back, admits that the Memento Mori tour is tinged with sadness. “We really miss Fletch,” she says, “We had him here as a solo act, DJing, in the past, and he was such a wonderful human being.”

With 45,000 fans packing Romania’s national stadium for the sold-out 26 July show, Coroianu details the delight of local businesses and hotels. “People follow Depeche Mode from all over the world, so we’ve seen lots of tickets being bought by people from outside of Romania. In fact, for our 2017 show with the band, in the city of Cluj, we had fans travel from as far away as Uruguay, so it’s a big deal for the local economy and tourism.”

“There’s no other band that has that extreme connection with the German fans. I think that the emotional content and depth of their music appeals to the German character”

As one of the few independent promoters on the Memento Mori tour, Emagic has developed a close tie with Live Nation in recent years – again, thanks to Gahan, Gore and co. “We’ve been working with Live Nation since that first Depeche More show in 2006, and it’s been a wonderful collaboration because it has given us access to lots of important artists and given Romanian fans the chance to see them live,” she adds.

That excitement of welcoming Depeche Mode back is also familiar to Live Nation GSA CEO Marek Lieberberg.

“I’ve had the honour of being the promoter for Depeche Mode for around 40 years now – since the mid-80s – and they seem to have come back even stronger than before on this tour,” says Lieberberg.

“There’s no other band that has that extreme connection with the German fans. I think that the emotional content and depth of their music appeals to the German character – it’s something quite Faustian. But their fans here are very loyal and passionate about Depeche Mode and many of them attend multiple shows.”

That army of German Devotees helped sell out 11 stadium shows across Germany this summer, while the band will return for another eight arena shows early next year.

“Their core fans are the same people who have accompanied them for a long time, but we are seeing more younger fans than in previous years”

“Their core fans are the same people who have accompanied them for a long time, but we are seeing more younger fans than in previous years, which speaks to the band and their music remaining so relevant,” adds Lieberberg.

Gahan-ering Interest As the European stadia leg of the tour reaches its climax, artist management observe that there has been a noticeable shift in demographics on Memento Mori’s outdoor concerts.

“We’re seeing a lot more young people, and I think that’s a combination of a couple of things,” says Kessler. “First, is that the band’s long-time fans are now bringing their kids to the gigs. But also, a couple of promoters have mentioned to us that the run of festivals we did on the last tour has helped bring in a lot of younger fans.”

Pollock comments, “Depeche Mode are sort of the godfathers of remixes and that’s laid paths to a new generation. There’s also been a bit of planning on our part, as well as a good old slice of luck, as we’ve had some high-profile syncs.”

One of those syncs was the use of the band’s 1987 track Never Let Me Down Again on the hit TV show Last Of Us. “The timing was just sort of perfect with the launch of the album campaign,” states Pollock. “It put a spotlight on the band two weeks before we had new music coming. And there were also things trending on TikTok, so there was just a lot of activity in that social space that was happening with a younger demographic leading into the start of the tour.”

“It’s not only kids going with their parents, it’s kids discovering what is ‘new music’ to them through streaming and other platforms”

Kessler also points to Depeche Mode’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame during the pandemic. “It’s quite a bizarre thing, the Hall of Fame, as it sort of elevates you to this whole other level because there are only five or six acts that go in every year.”

Promoter Memo Parra has a different explanation for the demographics of fans awaiting the band’s arrival in Mexico City. “It’s mainly 40-55 year olds, but there’s a lot in their 30s and 25-and-unders,” he says of the ticket buyers.

“It’s not only kids going with their parents, it’s kids discovering what is ‘new music’ to them through streaming and other platforms.” He adds, “It’s good because Depeche Mode deserve to have a new generation to embrace them – it’s such great music!”

Delighted by the number of younger fans who have been attending the stadia shows, whatever the reason, Kessler nonetheless believes Depeche Mode’s biggest appeal remains in the power of their performances and the abilities of frontman Dave Gahan.

“The band is just continuing to make great music, which is helping them to grow and become more and more iconic,” he says. “We’re blessed with exceptional performers – a mesmerising and magnetic frontman, as well as a songwriter who has become, in his own right, a sort of sidekick frontman to Dave. But when you have Dave Gahan on stage, you don’t need a lot of extra gags to capture the audience’s attention.”

“We work with a lot of other bands, and every act has their own specific fan base, but Depeche definitely have something unique”

He adds, “We work with a lot of other bands, and every act has their own specific fan base, but Depeche definitely have something unique. The fans are not only loyal, but they are an integral part of the show, and the connection between the band and the fans is a huge contributor to the feel of every performance.”

Cinematic Ambience Another element that helps elevate Depeche live shows is the enthralling films and visuals that accompany each song. Crafted by long-term collaborator Anton Corbijn, he’s also the creative mind that works with the artists on the set design – the centrepiece of which on the current tour is the eight-metre ‘M’ at centre stage.

Corbijn has been part of the Depeche Mode camp for 30 years. “The first time was in ‘93, when I was part of a bidding kind of thing with around six other six people in total. And much to the surprise of the management, they chose me.”

But even Corbijn was quickly made aware of the stripped-back approach that the band has for touring. “I was maybe too ambitious,” he laughs. “My first tour design involved two stages on top of each other, and in those days, you used projectors, which all had to start at the same time. It was complex, but I didn’t know any better. So halfway through the tour, they made it simpler by just reducing it to one stage.”

With the passing of Fletch, Corbijn says the removal of a principal from the stage has subtly changed the setup. “Instead of everything being 90 degrees to the audience, on the stage itself, we’ve angled the energies of Dave and Martin more towards each other, and I think consensus is that it’s a good development.”

“The ethos has always been to have a video-heavy show”

Talking about his set design, which spectacularly showcases his video content, Corbijn notes, “There’s basically one big LED screen, and then there’s another LED screen in the shape of an M in front of it. And sometimes, within the M, there’s different content to what’s going on behind it: sometimes it’s the same, sometimes it’s opposite movement – that sort of negative/positive thing.”

While from his creative point of view, Corbijn says it’s frustrating that cameras on phones mean that it’s impossible to surprise the audience after the first night of a tour, he nonetheless observes, “I think people enjoy themselves, too, when they recognise something that they’ve seen on social media.”

The band itself views Corbijn as a key member. “The ethos has always been to have a video-heavy show,” says Kessler. “We put a lot of effort into the design and the content creation, so we’re very fortunate to have Anton who’s done the video content for 30 years and who makes sure the show is impactful and artistic.”

When it comes to the video elements, Phil Mercer explains that Universal Pixels have been working with the band since the 2017 Global Spirit tour, but his relationship spans back to 2005 when he was working at XL Video. “We inherited the last tour because the previous vendor was fired at the end of the European leg. So, we know there is no margin for error, but looking back it was a good introduction for us to become involved,” says Mercer. “The band are fiercely loyal, as long as you don’t screw up.”

Noting that the challenges for the screen teams mostly revolve around the giant M, Mercer says Corbijn’s aesthetic is one of the biggest considerations. “The M is made of the same hi-res LED as the main screen, so from our point of view, we have to make sure that everything is pixel-perfect every day.”

“We’ve made a very conscious effort to try to have a bit more of a gender balance, and on this tour, we’ve managed to get our female ratio up to 20%”

He adds, “It’s never been about scale with Depeche Mode: basically, nothing goes on the road without good reason, so we’re not dealing with the same number of cameras or the size of LED walls that we do with other clients – we have to work within certain constraints, and it works really well.”

Diversity: People are People While the planning of PM Gittins has ensured that Depeche Mode have been ahead of the curve in terms of sustainability issues, the band’s management have been working hard with all concerned to improve the gender balance of staff involved on the tour.

Pollock tells IQ, “We’ve made a very conscious effort to try to have a bit more of a gender balance, and on this tour, we’ve managed to get our female ratio up to 20%.”

“It is challenging,” notes Kessler, “but to be fair, a lot of the vendors that we work with have made an effort as well, so when we’re putting together the lighting, audio, and video teams, it’s easier to find more diversity within those teams when everyone is onboard.”

Of course, when it comes to personnel, life on the road without Andy Fletcher has had a seismic impact.

“Not having Fletch has changed the group dynamic onstage”

“Not having Fletch has changed the group dynamic onstage,” says Kessler. “Just by having one less person it’s naturally formed a different dynamic musically, and I think the band has become a closer unit, in a way. It’s certainly been a challenge but witnessing the fan reaction in the big venues has been amazing. Ultimately, they’re not a mainstream act. But they have this hyper-loyal, crazy hard following, and I know that the band appreciates that support.”

Erring on the Side of Caution Somewhat dictated by the EU working regulations, the European stadium leg’s 36 shows could easily have been expanded. But manager Kessler confesses that his inherently cautious nature played a part in the number of dates.

“We’ve found that the sweet spot of what works on a tour is 130, 145 shows and that’s it. In all honesty, there’s 300 shows we could do, but we know we have to draw the line somewhere.”

However, Kessler admits, “Looking back, we probably could have done more multiple nights in stadiums. For example, we could easily have done another night at Twickenham. But we’ve always had a very conservative approach. My mantra has been to leave people wanting more, and that also allows us to play it safe.”

That’s certainly the case in Mexico, where the band has sold out three dates at Foro Sol and could easily have been tempted into booking more. “The first two shows went up together and those blew out in a day,” says Kessler. “We added the third date a week later and that also went right away, so we could have done a fourth.”

“Mexico has always really loved the relation with British music. Depeche Mode, The Cure, Placebo, Coldplay – British music in Mexico has been big since the 1990s”

The promoter for those 21-25 September shows is OCESA chief Memo Parra, who agrees that a fourth show was a feasibility. “Normal stadiums are around 55,000-capacity, but Foro Sol is 65,000 – 10,000 more – and when you have three shows, that’s another 30,000 tickets, which is a big amount,” says Parra, whose first experience with the band was back in 2006 with two sold-out Foro Sols. “Before that, they didn’t play Mexico for a long, long time – I think the previous visit was around ‘94 or ‘95,” he recalls.

While other promoters count on cross-border ticket sales, Parra says the audiences at the Foro Sol triple header will very much be local. “Mexico has always really loved the relation with British music,” he says. “Depeche Mode, The Cure, Placebo, Coldplay – British music in Mexico has been big since the 1990s.”

And Parra pays tribute to Depeche’s manager for imbuing a circle of trust around the band.

“Kessler really listens to the promoter: it’s not a business deal, it’s a friendship deal – a win-win situation for the band and for the promoter,” he states. “Kessler wants to take care of the promoter: he listens to my ideas and takes my advice on board. And I believe that’s why we’ve done so well with Depeche Mode throughout the years, because it’s always been thoughtfully taken care of on every level of decision, pricewise and everything.

“When Depeche Mode comes to town, you don’t feel like you’re the promoter; you feel like you’re part of the family. And I can tell you, I don’t feel that with many acts.”

“I’m very much a big believer of the fact that there’s enough money for everybody, so let’s be partners – if we do well, everyone does well”

In Germany, Marek Lieberberg agrees. “Jonathan Kessler is a unique manager and he always executes meticulaous planning two-three years in advance,” says Lieberberg. “I can think of no other manager who is so concerned with every aspect of the tour than Jonathan – his level of detail is exceptional and he has guided the band through all kids of currents.

“He asks for advice and challenges his opinions with those of the local promoters, which make him a fantastic person to deal with,” adds Lieberberg.

That respect is mutual, and Kessler tips his hat to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino who has been working with Depeche Mode on their global tours for close to a decade. “I became friends with Michael 15 years ago, and he’s been nothing but the best sort of partner to have,” he adds.

Kessler concludes, “I always had a very different approach on how I dealt with promoters. I’m very much a big believer of the fact that there’s enough money for everybody, so let’s be partners – if we do well, everyone does well. As a result, we’ve never had an adversarial role with a promoter, and the partnerships have only gotten better over the years.”

As Depeche Mode close out their European stadium tour and head west for those huge Foro Sol dates, followed by a run of arenas in America, the hard work behind those partnership relationships is paying off big time.

The European tour leg in early 2024 has only recently gone on sale, but is well on the way to selling out those 32 arena dates. And with just 45 dates of the Memento Mori tour so far completed, the band will be counting on their Live Nation promoters for a further 60-plus shows on the way to what critics and fans are describing as their best tour yet.

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WOUB Digital

Depeche Mode lights up Cleveland with unforgettable moves on ‘Momento Mori’ Tour

By: Nicholas Kobe Posted on: Tuesday, November 14, 2023

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOUB) – Depeche Mode’s 2023 resurgence – marked not only by the release of their first full-length studio album in six years, but also by a subsequent world tour – feels miraculous.

The untimely loss of Andrew Fletcher last year cast uncertainty over the future of these electronic legends. In the wake of the tragedy, remaining members Martin Gore and David Gahan returned to the studio to create Momento Mori . The album is a solid piece of work, especially for a band that’s been around for so long and freshly dealing with the loss of a key part of their sound.

Truth be told, I’m not as familiar with “new wave” – and therefore Depeche Mode – as I’d like to be. But when my Depeche Mode-mega fan girlfriend suggested I come with her to see the band, I knew I couldn’t pass the opportunity up. Whether I was familiar with them or not, the group is a legend in the genre – and when legends come around, I’m always more inclined to go and see them – because you never know what tour will be their last.

A black and white promotional image of Depeche Mode.

The Momento Mori Tour only featured one opening artist, NYC’s DIIV . I found the band a good stylistic choice, with their shoegaze-y sound fitting right in with what Depeche Mode brought later on.

Their utilization of the lights and screens accounted for a majority of their visual appeal, given that the band members weren’t doing a whole lot of interesting showmanship themselves. We could blame this on the fact that this flavor of post-punk traces crucial influence back to Kraftwerk (for better or worse). At least in the case of DIIV (but not in the case of Depeche Mode, as we will discuss later) this means little to no conventional “rock ‘n’ roll” showmanship.

The videos paired with their songs made very little sense – at least to me. Maybe if I knew the lyrics to the songs, they would have; but I couldn’t make those out, so it felt super random. Regardless, DIIV’s set felt pretty quick, and while I don’t remember most of their songs – nor do I feel a strong desire to seek out their music further – I found the band enjoyable enough while they were on stage.

Depeche Mode hit the stage brazenly with two songs off the new record: the ethereal, dramatic The Cosmos is Mine and Wagging Tongue . While it’s not surprising the Momento Mori Tour opens with songs from Momento Mori , it always feels like a risk for a legacy band to begin with their new material instead of warming the audience up with an old reliable. Luckily, the new tracks seemed to go over quite well with the audience.

The third track in the set was Walking in My Shoes,  the second single off Depeche Mode’s 1993 album Songs of Faith and Devotion. It was one of my favorite performances of the night, and its momentum carried through the rest of the set. This was impressive, especially given that Depeche Mode held pretty much all of their most iconic songs (other than World in My Eyes off their iconic album Violator) before the encore.

The setlist of quality tracks spanning the band’s whole career was not the only thing keeping me invested in the Momento Mori tour. Depeche Mode brought great visual stage presence. The gigantic letter “M” on stage allowed Depeche Mode to do more interesting things with their graphics than a traditional screen. Unlike their opener, I felt like the visuals resonated meaningfully with the songs. While not mind-blowing, these visuals did their job well .

The interest went beyond just the screens, however. As artists age, it’s normal for them to turn down the onstage dancing and lean less into sex appeal.

Apparently, David Gahan did not get the memento (pun intended).

He emerged on stage in a luxurious red and black vest, effortlessly dancing through each instrumental section, and displaying what you could call a “bold fearlessness with the microphone stand.” The latter, especially, was much to the delight of the middle-aged women in the audience, who reveled in the suggestive allure of his performance.

Gahan performing like a younger man was something I found extremely charming, and inspiring. I could still feel the passion even after all these years. Gahan quite literally, more than a few times, stuck his arms out like a “T” and just started spinning in circles. How he didn’t get dizzy and didn’t fall over was almost as impressive as how good he still sounds live.

Gahan, along with the rest of the band, sounded right off the record. Instrumentally, I don’t have many notes. Depeche Mode filled the arena with the type of volume you’d expect. They played super tight. Andrew Gore’s moments to sing (and, in particular, his solo performance of Strangelove ) proved fantastic.

With every show, some songs always hurt to not hear. For an inexperienced Depeche Mode fan, the most notable absentees were People Love People and Blue Dress , the latter of which stung a lot more than the first. With a setlist this solid, however, it wasn’t the biggest deal in the world.

It’s worth noting I felt a little awkward during World in My Eyes. It’s a great song, but it felt too sexual as being part of the setlist dedicated to the late Andrew Fletcher. The image of Fletcher on the screen contrasted with the performance on stage stunted the emotion I wanted to feel in that moment.

One of the best parts of seeing Depeche Mode in Cleveland was the energy of the crowd. Splurging for floor seats paid off in droves. Having room in the aisles to get up and dance added so much to the experience. I wasn’t the only one compelled to move during the set. Despite Depeche Mode’s fanbase being older, the whole crowd was really into the show. I watched a man a few rows in front of me dance his way around the entire section.

Dancing intensified – of course – during the big hits in the encore. Of course, these were all great to hear. I was so in my world enjoying the music that I barely noticed a man in the row in front of us propose to his girlfriend during Enjoy the Silence . There was no doubt that almost everyone in that arena was enjoying themselves.

While I’ve gone on and on about how great this show was, that energy alone speaks volumes more for the sheer quality of the Momento Mori Tour than I ever could.

A death-defying evening with Depeche Mode

The singer in a rock band performs onstage under red lighting.

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Forty-two years after the release of their debut album, the members of Depeche Mode — well, the surviving ones — are in on the joke of their somehow having become old guys.

As Dave Gahan, 60, and Martin Gore , 61, played their synth-rock classic “Enjoy the Silence” on Tuesday night at the Kia Forum, images of a bejeweled skull rotated on a wall of video screens behind them; later, Gahan noticed the thousands of glowing smartphones in the crowd and said, “Everybody used to have cigarette lighters, but I guess that’s not a thing anymore.”

That Depeche Mode would still be on the road in 2023 — Tuesday’s concert came just days into a lengthy world tour behind the band’s new studio LP, “Memento Mori” — is no great surprise. Rock nostalgia is a huge business, and right now business is good for Depeche Mode, which three years ago was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and which recently had its late-’80s “Never Let Me Down Again” prominently featured in HBO’s hit “ The Last of Us .” What’s more, echoes of the band’s signature style — sleek but hard-hitting, anxious yet darkly ecstatic — are detectable in music by younger acts like the Weeknd and Halsey, the latter of whom was in the audience at the Forum alongside the many OG types who looked like they’d been at Depeche Mode’s legendary Rose Bowl gig in 1988 .

Martin Gore, left, and Dave Gahan perform.

Yet none of that assured that the group would feel as vital as it did Tuesday in a gutsy two-hour performance that didn’t defy age so much as question what age has to mean. “Memento Mori” follows the unexpected death last year of Depeche Mode’s founding keyboardist, Andy Fletcher, and though the material was written before he died (of an aortic dissection), songs like “Ghosts Again” and “Before We Drown” ponder mortality with the same blend of vulnerability and determination that the group once applied to its thoughts on religion, alienation and sexual obsession. The result, paradoxically, is Depeche Mode’s most alive-sounding album in years.

Keyboarder Andrew Fletcher of the British Synthie Pop Band Depeche Mode

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Dressed in a suit jacket he slipped off after two songs to reveal a vest with no shirt beneath it, Gahan had a Michael Imperioli-in-“The White Lotus” vibe as he crooned through the moody philosophy of the new LP’s “My Cosmos Is Mine” and “Wagging Tongue.” Gore, who wore an ash-colored jacket printed with more skulls, switched between guitar and keyboards and took over lead vocals for “Soul With Me,” a very pretty ballad from “Memento Mori” about “heading for the ever after.”

Against the throbbing bass and blipping synths of “Ghosts Again,” one of several tracks on the album Gore co-wrote with Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs, Gahan twirled across the stage like a goth(-ier) Stevie Nicks — a heartening sign that he and Gore are finding some solace in performing these songs suffused with grief.

Dave Gahan

As strong as “Memento Mori” is, nobody came to the Forum just to hear new stuff. Rounded out by Christian Eigner on drums and Peter Gordeno on keyboards, Depeche Mode luxuriated in the sensual gloom of oldies including “Walking in My Shoes,” “Precious” and “World in My Eyes,” during which a vintage photo of a young Fletcher appeared on the video screen. “I Feel You” was grinding and lascivious, “John the Revelator” funky and clanging; “A Pain That I’m Used to” rode a morbid disco groove that wouldn’t quit.

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Gahan and Gore began their encore with a bluesy acoustic rendition of “Condemnation” before revving up the chipper synth-pop of the band’s first big hit, “Just Can’t Get Enough.” Then they closed with “Never Let Me Down Again” and the happily inevitable “Personal Jesus,” both pumping with fresh blood you hope for their sake is still in supply by the time this tour circles back to Southern California in December for another six (!) arena dates.

“L.A., let’s see those hands,” Gahan told the crowd as the show reached its emotional climax. He took a moment to admire the sea of waving arms, then added, “It never gets old.”

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Mikael Wood is pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times.

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Entertainment | Depeche Mode returns, strong, at Little Caesars…

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Entertainment | depeche mode returns, strong, at little caesars arena.

Depeche Mode's Martin Gore, left, and Dave Gahan perform Wednesday night, Nov. 8, at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena (Photo by Mike Ferdinande)

The nicest moment of Depeche Mode’s concert Wednesday night, Nov. 8, at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena occurred at the beginning of the encore.

Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, both singing with hand mics at the end of a T-shaped ramp jutting from the main stage, smiled at each other as they finished a stripped-down rendition of “Waiting For the Night” from the group’s 1990 album “Violator.” The two men then embraced, saying a great deal in a gesture that was quick but certainly made the heart of any Depeche Mode fan swell.

It’s been a bit of a tough go since the British synth-rock group last played the metro area, during the summer of 2017 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. Like everyone else it went through the pandemic, which turned Depeche Mode’s 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction into a virtual affair. Then in May of 2022 fellow co-founder Andy Fletcher passed away at the age of 60 from an aortic dissection. Gahan and Gore decided to soldier on, and Fletcher’s death had an audible impact on “Memento Mori,” the album the duo released this year.

None of that darkened the proceedings on Wednesday, however — well, at least not any more than the gray tinge that’s part and parcel of Depeche Mode’s music.

The duo and its two additional musicians — longtime aids Christian Eigner on drums and Peter Gordeno on keyboards and bass — did pay a low-key tribute to Fletcher during “World in My Eyes,” performing the song (Fletcher’s favorite) as an early 80s photo of him morphed on the massive video screen at rear stage. But the bulk of the show, weighing in at 23 songs and just over two hours, was standard issue Depeche Mode, a career troll drawing from nine of the band’s 15 studio albums, navigating those shades of dark and light with the group’s usual precision and power, from the angsty countenance of “Walking in My Shoes,” “Policy of Truth” and “A Pain That I’m Used To” or the buoyant bop of “Everything Counts” and “Just Can’t Get Enough.”

Gahan, with his slicked-back hair, black vests and white boots, was particularly energetic throughout, in strong voice and twirling around the clean, open stage like a youth who’s just figured out how to stand up on skates. Gore, sporting a bouffant kind of Mowhawk, was the frontman’s comparatively chill foil, switching between keyboards and guitar and taking lead vocals for quiet mid-show renditions of “A Question of Lust” and “Dressed in Black.”

Depeche Mode performs Wednesday night, Nov. 8, at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena (Photo by Mike Ferdinande)

The four songs from “Memento Mori” — two of which, “My Cosmos is Mine” and “Wagging Tongue,” started the show — fit seamlessly into the Depeche Mode repertoire, a show stocked with favorites that also included “Black Celebration,” “Enjoy the Silence” and “Never Let Me Down Again.” The group eschewed any kind of flow for more of a song-by-song exposition, but it was a strong one and bluesy moments such as “I Feel You” and its take on the standard “John the Revelator” had the arena shaking.

So did the closing “Personal Jesus,” which Gahan and Gore started stripped-down before Eigner and Gordeno came crashing in. It was the sound of a band determined to survive in spite of it all, playing to an arena full of fans deliriously happy that was the case.

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Depeche Mode Expand 2023 North American Tour

By Jazz Monroe

Depeche Modes Martin Gore and Dave Gahan

Depeche Mode have added a new haul of shows to the North American tour that begins next month. The extra dates kick off in Mexico in late summer and run through to mid-December, with stops in most major cities on the coasts and a few in between. See their full tour schedule below.

The tour, which includes a spot at Primavera 2023 , promotes new album Memento Mori , out March 24 via Columbia . It is the band’s first album in five years, and the first since the death last year of founding member Andy “Fletch” Fletcher. “Fletch would have loved this album,” Dave Gahan said in press materials. “We’re really looking forward to sharing it with you soon, and we can’t wait to present it to you live at the shows next year.” Memento Mori follows Depeche Mode’s 2017 LP, Spirit . A single from the record, “ Ghosts Again ,” is out now.

Revisit “ What Depeche Mode’s Seduction of Eastern Europe Can Teach Us About Late Capitalism ” on the Pitch.

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Depeche Mode: Memento Mori World Tour 2023

Depeche Mode:

03-23 Sacramento, CA - Golden 1 Center 03-25 San Jose, CA - SAP Center 03-28 Inglewood, CA - Kia Forum 03-30 Las Vegas, NV - T-Mobile Arena 04-02 San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center 04-05 Chicago, IL - United Center 04-07 Toronto, Ontario - Scotiabank Arena 04-09 Quebec City, Quebec - Videotron Centre 04-12 Montreal, Quebec - Centre Bell 04-14 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden 05-16 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ziggo Dome 05-18 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ziggo Dome 05-20 Antwerp, Belgium - Sportpaleis Antwerpen 05-23 Stockholm, Sweden - Friends Arena 05-26 Leipzig, Germany - Leipziger Festwiese 05-28 Bratislava, Slovakia - Národný Futbalový Štadión 05-31 Lyon, France - Groupama Stadium 06-02 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival 06-04 Dusseldorf, Germany - Merkur Spiel-Arena 06-06 Dusseldorf, Germany - Merkur Spiel-Arena 06-09 Madrid, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival 06-11 Bern, Switzerland - Stadion Wankdorf 06-14 Dublin, Ireland - Malahide Castle 06-17 London, England - Twickenham Stadium 06-20 Munich, Germany - Olympiastadion 06-22 Lille, France - Stade Pierre Mauroy 06-24 Paris, France - Stade de France 06-27 Copenhagen, Denmark - Parken 06-29 Frankfurt, Germany - Deutsche Bank Park 07-01 Frankfurt, Germany - Deutsche Bank Park 07-04 Bordeaux, France - Matmut Atlantique 07-07 Berlin, Germany - Olympiastadion 07-09 Berlin, Germany - Olympiastadion 07-12 Rome, Italy - Stadio Olympico 07-14 Milan, Italy - San Siro 07-16 Bologna, Italy - Stadio Renato Dall’Ara 07-21 Klagenfurt, Austria - Wörthersee Stadion 07-23 Zagreb, Croatia - Arena Zagreb 07-26 Bucharest, Romania - Arena Națională 07-28 Budapest, Hungary - Puskás Aréna 07-30 Prague, Czechia - Letňany Airport 08-02 Warsaw, Poland - PGE Narodowy 08-04 Krakow, Poland - Tauron Arena 08-06 Tallinn, Estonia - Tallinna Lauluväljak 08-08 Helsinki, Finland - Kaisaniemen Puisto 08-11 Oslo, Norway - Telenor Arena 09-21 Mexico City, Mexico - Foro Sol 09-29 Austin, TX - Moody Center 10-01 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center 10-04 Houston, TX - Toyota Center 10-07 New Orleans, LA - Smoothie King Center 10-10 Orlando, FL - Amway Center 10-12 Miami, FL - Miami-Dade Arena 10-19 Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena 10-21 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center 10-23 Washington, D.C. - Capital One Arena 10-25 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center 10-28 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden 10-31 Boston, MA - TD Garden 11-03 Montreal, Quebec - Centre Bell 11-05 Toronto, Ontario - Scotiabank Arena 11-08 Detroit, MI - Little Caesars Arena 11-10 Cleveland, OH - Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse 11-13 Chicago, IL - United Center 11-16 Denver, CO - Ball Arena 11-18 Salt Lake City, UT - Vivint Arena 11-21 Edmonton, Alberta - Rogers Place 11-24 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rogers Arena 11-26 Seattle, WA - Climate Pledge Arena 11-28 Portland, OR - Moda Center 12-01 Las Vegas, NV - T-Mobile Arena 12-03 San Francisco, CA - Chase Center 12-06 San Diego, CA - Pechanga Arena 12-10 Inglewood, CA - Kia Forum 12-15 Los Angeles, CA - Crypto.com Arena

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Depeche Mode Memento Mori World Tour 2023-2024: Remaining Dates and How to Get Tickets

by Branson Knowles November 8, 2023, 3:55 pm

  • Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode is continuing their highly anticipated Memento Mori World Tour with two more legs, the first in North America and the second in Europe . They’re touring the 15th studio album “Memento Mori”, the first to not feature keyboardist Andy Fletcher who passed away in 2022.

Videos by American Songwriter

The tour, which started in March 2023, will continue until April of 2024, giving fans across the world more than enough opportunity to see the English electronic music band in action. 

The New Wave legends are bringing a great list of openers and supporting acts for the rest of their Memento Mori tour, including DIIV and Young Fathers for their American leg of the tour and Nadine Shah, Humanist, Suzie Stapleton, and Deeper for their final European run. 

If you are looking to see Depeche Mode live in the US, tickets are available now through StubHub where orders are 100% guaranteed through StubHub’s FanProtect program. StubHub is a secondary market ticketing platform, and prices may be higher or lower than face value, depending on demand. If you want to see the Memento Mori tour in Europe, you can head to Viagogo where tickets are also guaranteed or click here . 

Tickets are already moving fast for Depeche Mode’s Memento Mori World Tour for both the North American and European legs of the tour. Get tickets before they sell out as most fans “Just Can’t Get Enough” of the uber-popular electronic band.

Depeche Mode Memento Mori Remaining Tour Dates

11/08 – Detroit, Michigan, USA – Little Caesars Arena

11/10 – Cleveland, Ohio, USA – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

11/13 – Chicago, Illinois, USA – United Center

11/16 – Denver, Colorado, USA – Ball Arena

11/18 – Salt Lake City, Utah, USA – Vivint Smart Homes Arena

11/21 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – Rogers Place

11/24 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Rogers Arena

11/26 – Seattle, Washington, USA – Climate Pledge Arena

11/28 – Portland, Oregon, USA – MODA Center

12/01 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – T-Mobile Arena

12/03 – San Francisco, California, USA – Chase Center

12/06 – San Diego, California, USA – Pechanga Arena

12/08 – San Diego, California, USA – Pechanga Arena

12/10 – Los Angeles, California, USA – KIA Forum

12/12 – Los Angeles, California, USA – KIA Forum

12/15 – Los Angeles, California, USA – Crypto.com Arena

12/17 – Los Angeles, California, USA – Crypto.com Arena

01/22 – London, United Kingdom – O2 Arena

01/24 – Birmingham, United Kingdom – Utilita Arena

01/29 – Manchester, United Kingdom – AO Arena

01/31 – Glasgow, United Kingdom – OVO Hydro

02/03 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena

02/06 – Antwerp, Belgium – Sportpaleis

02/08 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome

02/10 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena

02/13 – Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena

02/15 – Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena

02/17 – Hamburg, Germany – Barclays Arena

02/20 – Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena

02/22 – Prague, Czech Republic – O2 Arena

02/24 – Prague, Czech Republic – O2 Arena

02/27 – Lodz, Poland – Atlas Arena

02/29 – Lodz, Poland – Atlas Arena

03/03 – Paris, France – Accor Arena

03/05 – Paris, France – Accor Arena

03/07 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle

03/12 – Madrid, Spain – Wizink Center

03/14 – Madrid, Spain – Wizink Center

03/16 – Barcelona, Spain – Palau Sant Jordi

03/19 – Lisbon, Portugal – Altice Arena

03/21 – Bilbao, Spain – BEC (Bizkaia Arena)

03/23 – Torino, Italy – Pala Alpitour

03/26 – Budapest, Hungary – MVM Dome

03/28 – Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum 

03/30 – Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum 

04/03 – Cologne, Germany – Lanxess Arena

04/05 – Cologne, Germany – Lanxess Arena

04/08 – Cologne, Germany – Lanxess Arena

When do tickets for the Depeche Mode Memento Mori Tour go on sale?

Tickets for both the North American leg and the European leg of Depeche Mode’s Memento Mori Tour are on sale now.

Where can I purchase official tickets to the Depeche Mode Memento Mori World Tour?

For their North American dates, you can find official Depeche Mode tickets through StubHub or by clicking here . For their European dates, you can buy official tickets through Viagogo or by clicking here .

Are there any presale codes or early access opportunities for the Depeche Mode Memento Mori World Tour?

No, there aren’t any presale codes or early access opportunities to the Memento Mori tour as all of Depeche Mode’s tickets are currently on sale now.

How much do Depeche Mode 2023-2024 tour tickets cost? Are there different pricing tiers ?

Yes, there are different pricing tiers depending on how close you sit to the stage, what’s included with the price of your ticket, and the specific concert venue you choose to attend.

Is there a limit to how many tickets I can buy?

Yes, StubHub currently has a limit of 12 tickets per transaction for Depeche Mode while Viagogo has a much higher limit of 34 tickets per transaction for the Memento Mori European tour dates.

What’s the difference between VIP tickets and regular tickets?

VIP tickets usually come with added benefits regular tickets don’t have, including free merchandise, exclusive collectibles, free food and drinks, and possibly an opportunity to meet the band. Regular tickets usually just cover the cost of admission.

Are there any meet-and-greet or backstage pass opportunities for the Depeche Mode Memento Mori World Tour?

Yes, there are meet-and-greet opportunities and backstage passes for Depeche Mode’s 2023-2024 tour. Check with your local concert venue for specific information on how to meet the band.

Is there an age restriction for the Depeche Mode World Tour concert?

While the band doesn’t have an age restriction for their latest tour, check with your local venue to confirm there are no age requirements or rules.

Can I get a refund or exchange my ticket if I can’t attend?

Ticket refunds and exchanges are subject to the venue’s policy. Please contact the venue directly for more information.

Can I bring a camera or recording device to the Memento Mori 2023-2024 tour?

You may bring a personal recording device like a cell phone to the tour but you may not be able to bring professional camera equipment or a camera bag. 

Will merchandise be available for purchase at the concert?

Yes, Depeche Mode merchandise will be available for purchase at the concert venue. VIP ticket holders may have access to private merchandise tables away from general audience members and long lines. 

Are there opening acts or special guests for the Depeche Mode Memento Mori World Tour?

Yes, Depeche Mode will be featuring DIIV and Young Fathers for their remaining North American tour dates while Nadine Shah, Humanist, Suzie Stapleton, and Deeper will be joining them for the European run. 

What happens if the concert is postponed or canceled?

If the concert is postponed, your tickets will be valid for the new date. If the concert is canceled, you will be eligible for a refund. Please note that this information is subject to change.

How can I avoid scams or counterfeit tickets?

You can avoid scams and counterfeit tickets by purchasing official tickets through StubHub for Depeche Mode’s North American tour dates and through Viagogo for their European Tour dates.

Photo by Jeremychanphotography/Getty Images

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depeche mode tour 90s

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    The Memento Mori World Tour is an ongoing worldwide concert tour by English electronic music band Depeche Mode in support of the group's 15th studio album, Memento Mori.The tour began on 23 March 2023. This is the first concert tour to not feature keyboardist Andy Fletcher, who died in 2022.. The tour was first announced on 4 October 2022, along with the Memento Mori album announcement at an ...

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    According to the BBC, in 1984, Depeche Mode's "People are People" was used as the theme song for the TV coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Germany, which propelled the song to the top of the pop charts there — the band's first No. 1 single anywhere.

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    By the '90s, Depeche Mode became one of the most popular bands of the alternative music boom. Their triple-platinum album Violator ... The fall leg of the Memento Mori Tour will take Depeche Mode across North America in the following cities: 09/29 - Austin, TX @ The Moody Center ATX; 10/01 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center ...

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    The sudden death of co-founder Andy Fletcher last year had Depeche Mode contemplating the end of the band. But with new album Memento Mori invigorating both the act and their fans, the tour of the same name is arguably their best yet, with armies of 'Devotees' filling stadiums and arenas to celebrate the new music and the band's legendary catalogue.

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    Depeche Mode Announce Additional European Shows in Winter 2024 posted: July 10, 2023. With over two million tickets sold to date on the Memento Mori Tour, and following sold-out shows across North America and Europe, Depeche Mode announce additional European tour dates in 2024 Winter leg of the Memento Mori Tour kicks off January 22 at the O2 Arena in London, UK

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