Speaking to the crowd on Friday, May 20, the first night of their amphitheater tour with Garbage at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center, Tears for Fears founding member Roland Orzabal called the band’s mood “shocked. as “deeply satisfied with a particularly British environment”. way.” The band had released three songs “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in their set, sounding just as pure and cathartic now as it did when they first recorded nearly 40 years ago.
Conventional wisdom might be to save such an iconic hit for the second half of the set or the encore. But Tears for Fears isn’t just a legacy act capitalizing on Gen X nostalgia. You can identify the most popular songs based on how many people start recording on their phones. But deeper cuts, like the epic multi-part “Bad Man’s Song,” had just as much of an impact. And the transitions from song to song were so smooth that the audience barely had time to applaud one before another was in progress.
The sense of excitement emanating from Orzabal, co-founder Curt Smith and the rest of the band was understandable on many levels. It was the first night of their first tour since 2019 and their first US tour since 2017. Then there was the fact that they released their first album of new material in nearly two decades earlier this year, l ‘excellent The tipping point. And finally, if there was ever a time to “scream” and “let it all go,” it’s now, for better or for worse.
Tears for Fears home listening is rewarding enough. Experienced live, these songs become all the richer, enhanced with human moments (Orzabal’s ad-libs during “Sowing the Seeds of Love”) and more fortuitous (a delicate wind as he sings how “the breeze blows gently” on “Bad Man’s Song”).
Talk with Result recently, the duo said this set would be their “best yet.” Maybe someone who saw them on tour songs from the big chair in 1985 would disagree. But it wasn’t a “well, at least you gotta see them live” performance; it was impressive without ranking on any type of curve.