After canceling in 2006, Depeche Mode to perform tonight for sellout crowd

Band in Israel to launch world tour promoting its 14th album, Sounds of the Universe.

DEPECHE MODE in Tel aviv 248 88 (photo credit: Ricky Ben-David)
DEPECHE MODE in Tel aviv 248 88
(photo credit: Ricky Ben-David)
The popular British band Depeche Mode landed in Israel on Thursday to launch a world tour promoting its 14th album, Sounds of the Universe, with its first-ever performance here on Sunday at Ramat Gan Stadium. Thousands of Israeli fans were disappointed in the summer of 2006 when Depeche Mode - one of the few survivors of the 1980s synthetic pop groups whose songs still play in nightclubs, weddings and many a private basement across Israel - canceled its appearance because of the Second Lebanon War. "We were nervous about this place because we had canceled and know that people were upset," said Andrew Fletcher, a co-founder of Depeche Mode and the band's bass player. "But we are excited by the response we've received here and are very pleased to have sold out." Indeed, Israelis have turned out to be forgiving. Rumors have it that 25% more tickets have been sold than had been originally available due to popular demand, and there have been reports that scalpers are selling NIS 300 tickets for over NIS 800. Depeche Mode mania included a "2-Days Warning Depeche Mode Warm-up Party" on Friday night. There will be a "Depeche Mode After-Show Party" at the swanky Galina Club at the Tel Aviv Port, for those fans who just can't get enough. Sunday night's performance is due to last just over two hours. The band will play seven songs from the new album and lots of oldies, according to lead singer David Gahan, who turned 47 on Saturday. With 14 albums and over 100 million records sold over their three-decade career, Depeche Mode has come a long way since their 1980 debut as an electronic pop band; Israel is its first destination in a whirlwind "Tour of the Universe" that will span four continents and 91 cities, ending in Moscow on February 6, 2010.