Although it took 42 years, seven albums, and a five-year break-up, Tears for Fears was finally able to play a sold-out show of their own at the Hollywood Bowl.
Since the beginning of their charmed music career, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith have revered the historic Los Angeles venue. The English duo spend much of the year in LA, live just 10 miles from each other, and have braved the notorious LA traffic and parking situation many times to attend shows here. According to Smith, the Hollywood Bowl has been held in high regard with the duo because of the history and notable English acts that have played there. It made sense that the final show of their 22-city North American tour in support of their most recent album, “The Tipping Point,” be held there.
Supporting Tears for Fears on this six-week tour were veteran Long Beach act Cold War Kids, who played a spirited 45-minute set of indie hits, including their newest single “Double Life.”
The legends walked on to the stage right at 9 pm and performed for an hour and a half. Smith stated he has been “dying to play here, but I hate the parking.” (I can attest to that as this was my first venture to the Bowl and it was a tough situation.) He also noted that it’s been 17 years since he and Orzabal collaborated on an album, but they finally made it here. The clearly adoring crowd roared their approval.
Tears for Fears have always been known for the fine musicianship and only the finest musicians to record and tour with. Once again, joining Orzabal and Smith onstage this night were long-time band collaborators Charlton Pettus on guitar, Jamie Wollam on drums, Doug Petty on keyboards, with the talented English vocalist Carina Round. Back-up vocalist Lauren Evans joined the duo onstage later for the lead on “Woman in Chains,” originally sung by Oleta Adams. As usual, Orzabal switched between acoustic and electric guitar as Smith handled the bass duties.
The band kicked off the show with “No Small Thing” and “The Tipping Point.” The 20-song set relied heavily on songs from the “The Tipping Point,” with six of the first nine songs being from the new release, and played in the order they appear on the album. Between them, three classic TFF songs were performed: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Secret World,” and “Sowing the Seeds of Love.”
The four songs that followed were from “The Tipping Point,” and a request from Orzabal that everyone light up their phones during of “Rivers of Mercy.” It was quite a sight to see the sold-out Hollywood Bowl rolling in dots of fluorescence.
The second half of the show continued with “Mad World,” sung beautifully by Curt Smith, “Suffer the Child” by Carina Round, “Bad Man’s Song” featuring Lauren Evans once again, and a personal favorite, “Pale Shelter” with an incredible lead guitar solo by Charlton Pettus, bringing the crowd to its feet once again. The band finished up the hit-thirsty crowd with a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” and the 1985 chart-topping smash “Shout.”
Tears for Fears begin a follow-up tour of the UK in September and then return to Southern California for the already sold-out Darker Waves Festival in Huntington Beach on November 18th.