FEBRUARY SAW Depeche Mode play Lisbon’s Pavilhão Atlântico on the first leg of their tour to promote their album, Playing the Angel. The second leg of the tour consists only of ‘Open Air’ shows, and Depeche Mode have decided to return to Portugal and perform at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon, which they played back in 1993.
Since their incarnation in 1980, Depeche Mode have sold over 72 million albums. They have been one of the most long-lived and successful bands to come out of the ‘new wave’ era of the eighties. Their innovative approach to recording techniques has meant that they have had a major influence on many modern recording artists, from many different genres of music. Their latest offering, Playing the Angel, has produced very positive reviews and signaled a return to form for the trio.
Throughout the mid-eighties and nineties, Depeche Mode’s popularity grew, as did their influence on the techno and house music scenes. In 1988, they concluded their world tour in front of a sell-out audience of 80,000, at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in Hollywood. Following this, they released two of their most successful songs, Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence, which catapulted them into the nineties as one of the most successful bands in the world. Even though recent album sales have not been as impressive as in the past, Depeche Mode still attract a large touring audience, putting themselves in the ranks of such greats as U2, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart.
Martin Gore and David Gahan, the group’s primary songwriters, manage to blend together an electronic mix of synth-pop through a combination of keyboards and drum loops, giving them their unique and distinctive sound. They are still very popular in Central and Eastern Europe due to the vibrant dance scene that continues in that part of the world.
The current tour, named ‘Touring the Angel’, takes Depeche Mode to 20 different countries with the shows featuring hits from their entire career. The band have promised, however, that this ‘open air’ part of the tour will be different from the first leg. Back in February, all members of the band performed next to ‘alien pods’ that flashed different words and images to the audience depending on the song being performed.
It is unknown what stage props they will bring to Lisbon this summer, but the set will be made up of a mix of new material as well as many of their chart hits. Interestingly enough, Depeche Mode hold the record for having the most chart hits without a single number one, the number currently standing at 40.
• Depeche Mode play Lisbon’s Estádio José Alvalade on July 28. Tickets are available from www.ticketline.pt or by calling 707 234 234. For more information, visit www.depechemode.com