December 5, 2017

TONIGHT WE’RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1982: A Band Without a No. 1 Hit Is Outselling Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran.

Depeche Mode, the British synth-pop group formed in 1980, is having one of the most remarkable tours in modern music and its most-successful concert run ever. The band sold 1.27 million tickets through the first nine months of 2017, more than Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber or Bruno Mars — much younger pop acts at the peak of their fame.

In October, the band became the first act to sell out four consecutive shows at the Hollywood Bowl, an open-air theater in the hills of Los Angeles that’s hosted everyone from the Beatles to Luciano Pavarotti. Now Depeche Mode is back on the road for its second tour through Europe this year and will head to Latin America in 2018. Not bad for a group whose album sales peaked more than 20 years ago.

“Every time we go out and tour, we’re playing to more people,” said Martin Gore, 56, the band’s guitarist and lead songwriter. “It’s just incredible at this stage in our career.”

I wonder how much of their renewed success is due to Gen X nostalgia, and how much is is due to Millennials with nothing better to listen to.

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