25 Years Ago Today, Depeche Mode Played the Rose Bowl and the Alt-Rock Sea Change Began

It was a landmark gig for what up until now had been something of a cult band–at least in North America. Sure, the alternative kids knew about Depeche Mode and the group got love from college radio stations as well as a handful of commercial radio outlets, but it wasn’t as if the band were mainstream heroes.

Or maybe they were.

On June 18, 1987, Depeche Mode rolled into the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, to play the final show on their “101” tour, which was in support of Music for the Masses.  Exactly 60,452 people turned up to see this cult band (hah!) perform.  A live album and a documentary (shot by the legendary D.A Pennebaker) were made the same night.

And one more thing came out of the event:  the thought that maybe, just maybe, this weird thing called “alternative music” wasn’t so negligible a thing after all.  A few years later, alternative would launch its asault on the mainstream and take over.  The stirrings of that coup were seen that night in Pasadena.

(Via Slicing Up Eyeballs)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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