When Depeche Mode announced their concert at the Pearl next month, new wave junkies like myself rejoiced... until we saw the price of admission. The prolific band might be worth a $175-$200 ticket, but most of us are too poor to find out.
Luckily, the monetarily challenged have a back-up plan: Blasphemous Rumors, a Los Angeles-based Depeche Mode tribute whose ticket prices are a fraction of the real band's. Saturday's Beauty Bar performance, for example, cost $12, $5 if you showed up three hours early to partake in two-for-one drink specials and Los Angeles-based rockers Red Cortez.
The fact that Rumors calls itself a tribute or homage to Depeche Mode rather than a cover band is telling. Two of the three members in the band are classically trained, and they mimic their idols respectfully well. (Actually, complete with light bondage gear and a ridiculously curly coif, Rumors keyboardist and vocalist Brent Ryan might channel Depeche Mode's Martin Gore a little too well.)
With a set list that covered all the requisite Depeche Mode hits and a few of their lesser known songs, Rumors quickly got the Beauty Bar audience outside, dancing and singing along despite the sticky heat and threat of rain overhead.
Inside the bar, flyers and stickers advertised Depeche Mode's April 2009 CD, Sounds of the Universe. The swag seemed well-placed, not because Rumors would obviously seek job security in Depeche Mode's continuing popularity, but because after a few cheap downtown drinks and an hour of listening to Rumors, you could almost trick yourself into thinking you'd seen the real deal.
Not bad for $12.
If you must see the real Depeche Mode, they're playing Aug. 22 at the Pearl inside the Palms. Tickets are $175 or $200. Meanwhile, Blasphemous Rumors will be back in Vegas Aug. 29 at the Greek Isles, playing alongside U2 coverband Joshua Tree. No word on how much that show will cost, but most likely it'll be worth it.