Tour Buzz: Depeche Mode, Conor Oberst and The 1975

Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode

GET ENOUGH: I’m only mentioning Depeche Mode’s sold-out October 6 concert at The Pearl ($160-$220) because it’s such a big deal, and because a few of those premium-priced tickets might shake loose on the day of the show. And indeed, there seems to be little left to say about the English synth-pop conglomerate that your older sister hasn’t already said, again and again, over the course of the past 25 years—but I’ll give it a shot. Firstly: Did you know that, according to Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum’s 2011 book I Want My MTV, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top “adores” Depeche Mode? Secondly: Did you know that the only words Dave Gahan lip-syncs in the video for “Enjoy The Silence” are “Words are very unnecessary?” And lastly: Judging from the recently posted set lists at, this current tour draws heavily on old favorites: “Personal Jesus,” “Shake the Disease,” “Never Let Me Down Again.” Beyond that, all I can say is that it’s Depeche Mode. If you don’t know by now whether or not you like Depeche Mode and are looking to me to convince you, allow me to direct you back to your older sister.

KINDRED: I never really got into Bright Eyes, the band led by singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, who plays at House of Blues on October 9 ($30). I love losing myself in a sad ballad from time to time, but Bright Eyes was too bleak even for me. Every song of theirs could clear the room at a funeral. But Oberst is a genuine talent—even I can’t deny that those miserable-sounding songs are exquisitely crafted—and we reportedly share an affinity for The Cure and The Smiths, the former Saddest Bands Ever. So I’m partly inclined to see a solo Oberst at the House of Blues, if only to see if I was wrong about him the first and second time. It’s happened before.

NOW ON SALE: Manchester, England-based rockers The 1975 play Vinyl on November 2 ($15). You should go check them out now, because it seems likely that this tight outfit—whose sound incorporates electronic elements into its searing, guitar-based barrage—will achieve liftoff into major stardom within the coming year. Their debut album was recorded by Arctic Monkeys producer Mike Crossey—a distinction that portends good things, indeed—and their modest-sized 2012 hit “Sex” is one fierce calling card, with a sound that strongly evokes Bloc Party and The Killers. And its catchy “She’s got a boyfriend, anyway” chorus has pretty much been my mantra for the past year. Be that as it may.

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