Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a stunning setting for a concert. The courtyard was big enough yet somehow intimate too with no one to far from the action. Lorde’s cover of “Everbody Wants To Rule The World” was a haunting intro to the drama that followed. With the muggy atmosphere and dark looming clouds the scene was set for something epic and Tears For Fears did not disappoint.
Starting with the crowd pleasing “ Everybody Wants to Rule The World” I was thrilled by the sound quality along with Curt’s voice which had seemed to find some strength and power since the recent Radio 2 set.. Everyone was on their feet and then we had a run of songs that for the Tears For Fears fans showcased why they remain the gold standard for 80’s synth pop duo’s. These boys know how to put a song together and perhaps more surprisingly know how to transfer that onto the stage.
Roland’s turn next and we were treated to “Secret World” a lesser known song but perfect for the occasion reminding us that Roland was always more than the one doing the strange dance in the background. The hits kept coming, remarkably the triple threat from “Seeds Of Love” upped the sense of drama as the night drew in, the clouds got darker and the rain began to fall. “Sewing the Seeds of Love” stood up as a live performance for such a heavily produced studio track, “Badlands Song” was the one where Roland, keyboard player and guitarist showed off their riffs and tricks and sheer musicianship. Curt’s bass playing was none to shabby either. The highlight from this album though was “Woman In Chains” guest vocalist Carina Round stealing the show taking up Oleta Adam’s vocals and raising them to a whole new live dimension, it was stunning, exceptional, powerful and if I’m honest completely unexpected. A special mention must go to Ms Round as she gave every song another dimension and is surely due her day in the sun. She was given her head for “ Suffer The Children” which proved to be another shiver inducing highlight.
In between the game of front man tennis continued with Curt taking the lead on the hits form “The Hurting” again proving that these songs full of teenage angst 30 odd years ago still have relevance now. “Pale Shelter”, “Change” and “Mad World” are just great pop tunes performed brilliantly here.
Roland took the lead for a stunning version of “Creep” which you felt was very introspective and personal and gave us a look into Roland’s world that may have told us a very private story.
“Head over Heels” from the under represented in my opinion “Songs From The Big Chair” was a big, overblown, “look at how fucking good we still are” close as the rain began to hammer down but nobody left, we knew what was to come…. No cries of encore from this crowd just a relentless “Shout, shout, let it all out, these are the things can do with out, come on. I’m talking to you come on..” And of course Tears For Fears obliged. I’ve heard this song thousands of time but never like this. We left in the rain, soaking but completely blown away by what these two Bristol boys had become. No bed wetting synth wimps they are now proper pop powerhouses who don’t quite get the respect their talent, back catalogue and performance deserve. It was indeed an epic night that I won’t forget.
Middle aged popsters looking for a great night out……
It made me think..