The circus is coming to town.
Not the kind with flying trapeze artists and acrobats but the spectacle and glitz on a grand scale that only a Euro-pop band of the caliber of Depeche Mode could muster.
One of only a handful of rock bands that came of age in the 1980s that can still fill stadiums, Depeche Mode does everything larger than life.
A 55-person crew, eight tons of equipment, state-of-the art LCD screens featuring the video work of rock video photographer Anton Corbin and an eight-meter catwalk slithering out into the middle of the audience.
Giving a sneak preview of their world tour last week on The Jimmy Kimmel Show in the US, the band performed two songs from their new album Delta Machine – the synth shuffle “Soothe My Soul” and the foreboding ballad “Heaven.”
Vocalist Dave Gahan, guitarist Martin Gore and keyboardist Andy Fletcher appeared as hopelessly hip as ever, with the cool poses, cooler threads and their perfected cold and calculated British pop look and sound.
The Kimmel appearance was part of a strategy – including recent shows at South by Southwest and an intimate club show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles – to create a buzz about the band and the new album. And to remind people that despite the visual effects, the emphasis of the band is on the music.
”Playing shows is what we do best,” Gahan told The Los Angeles Times last month, and any of the 50,000 attendees of the band’s last show in Israel in 2009 at Ramat Gan Stadium can attest to the authenticity of that simple statement.
A similar-sized audience and equally riveting show is expected on Tuesday night at Hayarkon Park when Depeche Mode opens up their world tour in Israel, after a warm-up show in France three days before that.
“In 2009 we promised 50,000 fans in Israel that we’d return soon, and we’re excited to announce that our upcoming world tour will debut at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv,” the band said in a statement it released when the tour was announced a few months ago. According to the promoter of the Tel Aviv show, Shuki Weiss – who also produced the 2009 concert – the return of Depeche Mode to Israel represents another significant notch in the belt for the country’s status as a viable destination for top-tier artists.
“Israel continues to strengthen its position as an important player on the international touring map. The number of tour debuts in Israel is growing, and the once-hidden power of the music-loving Israeli audience is now a known entity in the world artistic community,” said Weiss.
“Depeche Mode is continuing that trend with its decision to open up their world tour in Israel.”
Gahan told the Times that audiences could expect some revamped old favorites from albums like 1990’s Violator and 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion , including “I Feel You,” “Walking in My Shoes” and “Personal Jesus.” “Those songs just work with this stuff – they’ve got those Robert Johnson riffs,” Gahan said. “They’re gonna crank.”
Opening the five-hour musical extravaganza on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. will be the BBB Soundsytem – the DJ-dance outfit manned by Tomer Yosef and Tami Muscat of Israel’s most popular musical export Balkan Beat Box.
Next up at 7:15 p.m. will be German electronic house duo Booka Shade, who will be followed at 8:45 p.m. by the featured and revered main attraction. Doors open at 5 p.m.Unreserved lawn tickets are still available for NIS 360 via www.eventim.co.il