Depeche Mode Prepares for Second Leg of U.S. Tour Following Success in Latin America

Depeche Mode
Anton Corbijn

Depeche Mode

More than 2.5 million fans saw the band play last year on massive Global Spirits Tour.

Depeche Mode is continuing their record-setting Global Spirit Tour across North America after wrapping a March 2018 tour through Latin America amidst continued excitement for the 35-year-old English electronic band now being embraced by a new generation of fans.

Last year, Depeche Mode ranked fifth on Billboard Boxscore’s Top Tours of 2017 chart, beating out Ed Sheehan, The Rolling Stones and Justin Bieber with a 60-date tour that posted a staggering $123 million gross. The band is about to embark on the second leg of their U.S. tour, with their two shows in Mexico City 100 percent sold out, playing to 130,000 fans at Foro Sol (March 11 and 13), marking the 100th show on the Global Spirit Tour.

"I remember the band coming off stage saying those shows might have been the most exceptional they’ve played in their careers,” says Jonathan Kessler, who manages the band with Alex Pollock.

“The Global Spirit tour has been seen by 2.5 million fans and we're averaging over $1.8 million per show, which is pretty incredible considering that it's a blend of stadiums, arenas, amphitheaters and shows in Latin America, which all came off fantastic,” Kessler tells Billboard. Last month, Depeche Mode played seven international shows over a two-week period, with stops in Bogota, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo.

“It’s just crazy that 35 years on we have this amazing following that sticks with us and becomes more fervent every year,” Kessler says. “There’s a whole generation that grew up the band, but there’s a new generation coming through, including lots of teens who discovered Depeche Mode either through streaming or through their parents. There’s tons of people bringing their kids to shows."

Depeche Mode returns to North America in May and June with nine arena shows following up on last fall's run across North America where they played to over 400,000 fans, including a record-setting four sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl. And after the encore tour of North America, the band will do a festival-headlining run across Europe in June and July, with the tour concluding with two sold-out shows at Berlin's Waldbuhne on July 23 and 25, as well as appearances at Isle of Wight, Mad Cool festival in Madrid and Lollapalooza Paris.

“They’re an iconic band,” Kessler said. "We've always been a bit on the fringe, but knowing they've cemented their status in touring with an incredible fan base is extremely satisfying.”

Depeche Mode performs a number of songs each night of the tour from their 2017 Spirit album, although the bulk of the tour pulls from their deep catalog. In honor of the of the band’s 55 charted singles, Depeche Mode is partnering with Hublot to create one unique watch to honor each song. Only 55 are being made and each watch features a dial disc that partially shows the image of the record cover it represents. Each watch is accompanied by a mini Roland JP-08 synthesizer, paying homage to the synth used by Depeche Mode, and packaged in a cabin-sized Topas Stealth suitcase in anodized black aluminum. Watches are priced at an eye-popping $40,000 a piece, but all money raised goes to charity: water, a New York City non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

"While the band isn't a household name, the cult following they have is massive,” explains Pollock, who helped set up a fan takeover of Depeche Mode’s Facebook page. “The fans are the best ambassadors and there are plenty of bands and celebrities who love the band, so we thought it would help spread the message to share their own stories.”

Working with social media firm BBH L.A., the band allowed fans to take over their Facebook page a the day and eventually 4,000 fans applied to participate in the year-long take-over, which started in March 2017 and included stories from Tony Hawk, Trent Reznor and British astronaut Tim Peak

“Peak ran the British Marathon in space on a treadmill and had Depeche Mode on his playlist,” Pollack says. “The stories were way more intriguing than anything else we could have put up on our own.”

Depeche Mode kicks off the second North American leg of the Global Spirit Tour May 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with stops in Sacramento, San Antonio, Chicago, Philadelphia and Brooklyn before wrapping June 11 at Air Canada Center in Toronto before heading to Europe. 

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