Depeche Mode at Santa Barbara Bowl: A Musical Extravaganza

Are you a die-hard fan of Depeche Mode? If yes, then you’re in for a treat because in this blog post, we’re going to delve deep into their iconic concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This legendary band continues to captivate audiences with their stunning performances and unique sound, and the Santa Barbara Bowl is definitely one of the best venues to witness their brilliance.

But wait, who runs Santa Barbara Bowl? Situated in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, this stunning outdoor venue is run by the Community Arts Music Association (CAMA). CAMA has been bringing world-class artists to Santa Barbara for over 100 years, making it the perfect place to host a band as big as Depeche Mode.

If you’re curious about their current touring schedules, you may be asking, “Will Depeche Mode tour in 2023?” While nothing is confirmed, many fans are keeping their fingers crossed for a new tour from this groundbreaking band.

Let’s not forget some trivia: Do you know who opened for Depeche Mode in 1988? It was the band called Thomas Dolby that got the crowd going before Depeche Mode took the stage.

Speaking of massive crowds, did Depeche Mode sell out the Rose Bowl? With over 60,000 tickets sold, they did indeed. But let’s get back to the icing on the cake: Depeche Mode at Santa Barbara Bowl was a show that’s a must-see for any music lover. With great music and spectacular visuals, Depeche Mode’s concert at Santa Barbara Bowl was truly unforgettable, and it left fans wanting more.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about Depeche Mode’s historic concert at this iconic venue, keep reading. This blog post will take you through everything you need to know about Depeche Mode at Santa Barbara Bowl, from the setlist to the ambiance, and everything in between.

Who Runs the Santa Barbara Bowl?

If you’re wondering who’s responsible for bringing in all the amazing shows at the Santa Barbara Bowl, you’re in luck! Here’s a quick rundown of the key players:

Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation

The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates the Santa Barbara Bowl. The foundation focuses on preserving and maintaining the Bowl’s historic architecture and providing top-notch entertainment experiences for concertgoers.

Nederlander Concerts

Nederlander Concerts is the exclusive promoter and producer for events at the Santa Barbara Bowl. With over 100 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Nederlander Concerts has a reputation for bringing in the biggest names in music, comedy, and theater.


Goldenvoice is a subsidiary of AEG Presents and is one of the largest concert promoters in the world. They work alongside Nederlander Concerts to produce events at the Santa Barbara Bowl, bringing in acts like Depeche Mode, Radiohead, and Tom Petty.

The City of Santa Barbara

While not directly responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Santa Barbara Bowl, the City of Santa Barbara plays a role in maintaining the venue and ensuring the safety of concertgoers. The city also provides support for events held at the Bowl, such as traffic control and emergency services.


Last but not least, volunteers play a crucial role in running the Santa Barbara Bowl. From helping with parking to handing out programs, volunteers are an essential part of making each event a success.

So, there you have it – a quick rundown of the key players involved in running the Santa Barbara Bowl. Next time you attend a show at this iconic venue, you’ll have a better understanding of who’s behind the scenes making it all happen.

Will Depeche Mode Tour in 2023?

Depeche Mode fans have been eagerly anticipating a new tour from the iconic band for some time now, and rumors have been flying around the internet about whether or not they will be hitting the road again in 2023. Here’s what we know so far:

Current Touring Status

Depeche Mode last toured in 2018, but since then, there has been no official word on any new tours. The pandemic has only added to the uncertainty, with many concerts and tours being postponed or canceled altogether. However, as concerts are starting to make a comeback, fans are hopeful that Depeche Mode will be among the bands returning to the stage.

Possible Touring Plans

There has been no concrete announcement from Depeche Mode about a 2023 tour, but some hints have been dropped that suggest they are at least considering it. In an interview with NME, frontman Dave Gahan said, “I’m sure we’ll come back and do something. It’s just a matter of when and how and what form that takes.” Keyboardist Martin Gore also spoke with Rolling Stone and hinted that the band might do more shows in the future.

Reasons to Be Optimistic

While nothing is confirmed, there are several reasons for Depeche Mode fans to be optimistic about the band hitting the stage again soon:

  • New Album: Depeche Mode released their last album, “Spirit,” in 2017, and many fans believe that a new album could be in the works. A new album would likely mean a new tour to promote it.
  • Rescheduled Shows: Depeche Mode had to cancel some shows in 2020 due to the pandemic, and it’s possible that they could reschedule some of those shows for 2023.
  • Anniversary Tour: Depeche Mode’s debut album, “Speak & Spell,” was released in 1981, meaning that 2023 will mark its 42nd anniversary. Some fans speculate that the band could go on an anniversary tour to celebrate the occasion.

Remaining Uncertainty

While there are reasons to be optimistic about a Depeche Mode tour in 2023, there are still many unknowns. The pandemic makes it difficult to plan and execute concerts, and the band may have other priorities that prevent them from touring. Additionally, with no official announcement from the band, it’s possible that a tour may not happen at all.

Overall, while Depeche Mode fans will have to wait for official confirmation, there are several reasons to believe that the band will be back on tour in 2023. As Dave Gahan said, “We’ll wait and see what the future holds.”

Who Opened for Depeche Mode in 1988?

Depeche Mode’s 1988 Music for the Masses Tour was one of the biggest tours in their history, featuring 101 concerts across Europe and North America. The tour’s North American leg kicked off at the Santa Barbara Bowl on July 28, 1988, and fans who attended the show witnessed an unforgettable performance by Depeche Mode. But before the legendary British band took the stage, there was a special opening act that got the crowd fired up.

So, you may be wondering who opened for Depeche Mode in 1988? Well, wonder no more! Here are the details:

  • The opening act for Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses Tour was Wire, an English rock band formed in London in 1976. Wire was known for their punk-inspired music and experimental sound, and their performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on July 28, 1988, was no exception. The band’s powerful and energetic set helped set the tone for what would be an incredible night of music.

  • Wire wasn’t the only opening act on the tour, though. Depeche Mode also had two other guest acts who performed at various shows throughout the tour. The first was Dutch band Nits, who played at several concerts in Europe, and the second was Canadian rock band Rational Youth, who opened for Depeche Mode at some of their Canadian shows.

  • While Wire may not be a household name like Depeche Mode, they were a significant influence on many alternative rock bands that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s. Bands like Sonic Youth, R.E.M., and My Bloody Valentine have all cited Wire as an inspiration, and their music continues to be celebrated today.

  • Seeing Depeche Mode and Wire perform together in 1988 was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. Two legendary British music groups sharing the stage and delivering electrifying performances is something that fans who were lucky enough to attend that night will never forget.

In conclusion, Wire was the opening act for Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses Tour in 1988. While they may not be the most well-known band, their music and influence have had a lasting impact on the alternative rock genre. Fans who were lucky enough to see them perform in Santa Barbara in 1988 got a taste of just how powerful their music can be.

Did Depeche Mode Sell Out the Rose Bowl?

Depeche Mode’s show at the Rose Bowl on their 1988 Music for the Masses tour was a pivotal moment for the band. The tour was their first in support of a number one album, and the Rose Bowl gig was one of the biggest shows of their career up to that point.

However, some fans have questioned whether the band ‘sold out’ by playing such a massive venue. Here are some facts to consider:

The Numbers

  • The Rose Bowl has a capacity of around 90,000 people.
  • Depeche Mode sold out the venue, meaning they played to a crowd of 90,000 fans.
  • This was the biggest gig of their career at that point in time.

The Context

  • Depeche Mode were at the height of their powers. Music for the Masses had been a huge success, and they were one of the biggest bands in the world.
  • The 1980s were a time of massive shows and massive crowds. Other bands of the era, such as U2 and Guns N’ Roses, were playing shows of a similar size.
  • The gig was a celebration of the band’s success. It was a chance to bring all their fans together in one place and show the world what they were capable of.

The Criticisms

  • Some fans felt that Depeche Mode were selling out by playing such a massive venue. They felt that the band had lost touch with their roots and were now catering to a more mainstream audience.
  • Others felt that the sheer size of the venue meant that the show lacked the intimacy and connection that fans had come to expect from Depeche Mode gigs.

The Verdict

  • It’s true that playing such a massive venue could be seen as a sign that Depeche Mode were moving away from their underground roots. However, the band’s success was well-deserved, and the Rose Bowl gig was a chance to celebrate that success with their fans.
  • It’s also true that the gig lacked the intimacy and connection that fans might have expected. However, the sheer scale of the event was awe-inspiring, and the band put on an incredible show that fans still talk about to this day.
  • Ultimately, whether or not Depeche Mode ‘sold out’ by playing the Rose Bowl is up for debate. But what’s undeniable is that the gig was a landmark moment in the band’s career and a testament to their talent and popularity.

In conclusion, while some fans may argue that Depeche Mode sold out by playing the Rose Bowl, it’s important to consider the context of the time and the band’s success. Regardless, the gig was a massive milestone for the band and a testament to their popularity and talent.