Ok, this a bit of a departure from the country genre, I went to see 80’s bands Hall and Oates and Tears for Fears when they came to Bridgestone on May 24. They could have called this a throwback MTV tour, since the two were mainstays back when MTV was 24-hour MUSIC television!
This show, like I said in last blog, was using new Canon camera, as you can tell, it didn’t do well, and we have actually gone back to a Sony for this week’s CMA Fest. After this week we will post a camera review.
So, Tears for Fears, consisting of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith has been one of my favorite bands since I was a kid in the 80’s. However, they kinda broke up and haven’t really toured widespread in the US in years, so they were high on my bucket list; but much like Guns ‘n Roses I assumed would never get to see. So when they were announced on this Hall and Oates tour I was excited…but then came the prices.
“Nostalgia” tours are all the rage, the theory that Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers have all this disposable income and they want to relive the bands they loved as a kid. Well, yea, it is fun to think of your halcyon younger days, but come one, $150 for floor seats is fleecing. For “oldchella” at Coachella people paid like $6k+ to see McCartney and Dylan etc. U2 is in Tennessee this week doing a full version of the Joshua Tree, a 30-year old album at Bonaroo where most of the audience is well short of 30 years of age! I get it, people pay it, it is capitalism, but seems cravenly.
I would not have wanted to miss this show, but I wasn’t pay triple digits for floor, so I resolved to buy nose bleed, and then the nice people at Bridgestone realized this wasn’t selling out, so they sold a handful for $10, which doubles after you pay the kind folks at Ticketmaster, so that was fine (if doubles again if you count downtown parking, which is crazy these days). Now don’t get me wrong, I support my artists, I own about every TFF album available in the US, hell Stacy even bought me a UK import one time and got me the box set, but I knew these were Hall & Oates prices.
Anyways, I suppose I should talk about the show. Well…it was definitely worth the time and money!
Allen Stone, a folk/blues guitarist from the Pacific was put on at 6:50, 10 minutes before ticketed start time, which hacks me off. Anyways, he played a few songs, alone, just him and his guitar and an occasional drum machine. He could sing and did a cool rendition of an Aretha song “Forever and Ever,” and finished with a song he said he’d written in Nashville. He was off after only 15 minutes (for those math challenged that was 5 minutes after ticketed time, so there weren’t a lot there).
At 7:20 a creepy Lorde version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” came on with the house dark, when it finished Curt and Roland came on to sing the ACTUAL song (you damn Millenials!). Then then proceeded to play songs off all 4 studio albums that Curt and Roland recorded together (I wouldn’t have complained to have some Elemental or Raoul and the King of Spain, but they think of that as Roland solo).
They sounded great, Roland seemed to have aged less than Curt, maybe it all because Curt now lives in the US whereas Roland, who recently wrote a novel, stayed in the UK. Curt still retained most of his British accent. I was surprised the songs that I liked live best were the ones from the 2004 “reunion” album “Everybody Wants a Happy Ending,” with a very Beatles-esque sound.
By the end of the hour long set much of the crowd had shown up; and much to my surprise, they really got into “Head of Heels”. I know it was a US #1, but it was the least of them off “Songs from the Big Chair”. They ended with “Shout.” Was incredible, the lighting was a good complement, and was almost worth waiting 30+ years.
I walked around between sets, which coming from top of arena was a hike, and stopped and got a TFF shirt in a merch line which seemed pretty evenly divided between the two groups, again a surprise.
At 9, back in high rise seat, Darryl Hall and John Oates came out. Like I said I wasn’t there for them, even though I probably owned most of their 80’s albums and even an odd 70’s one (that I remember I did not care for). They quickly did the songs I most remembered, “Family Man”, “Maneater” and “One on One.” I left about an hour into set, after “Sara Smile.”
The crowd had fun and the band seemed to be enjoying themselves, but they had definitely aged and didn’t sound near as good as the albums. This another in my complaints about nostalgia acts, you can’t expect 30 years later to sound the same, but at least they out there doing their thing and everyone had a good time.
I’m so glad I got to go, I hope this isn’t the only time I see Tears for Fears, but hope next time they the headliner.