Concert Review: Tears For Fears’ New Material Keeps Them Moving Forward
English pop-rock band Tears For Fears brought their The Tipping Point tour to a sold-out lively crowd at iThink Financial Amphitheater on a weather-perfect Thursday night, June 9, in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was one of the long-awaited final stops of the band’s current four-week U.S. tour that brought the band to nearly every corner of the U.S. since their last stateside tour in 2017.
Although the audience was a mainly over 40-ish crowd, it appears that the band has also attracted a new generation of fans, a younger and luminous crowd, far from the MTV days of the band’s early success.
In February, founding members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith released their seventh studio album The Tipping Point; it was the duo’s latest works since their last release, 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.
Coming as no surprise to many of the band’s longtime fans, Orzabal informed the audience that it has been seventeen years since they have released new music. The new tunes from their latest works became an early part of the show as they opened with “No Small Thing” and “The Tipping Point,” two cuts off their latest album.
After priming the crowd with some new music, the audience became frenzied and jumped out of their seats upon hearing the first few notes of the third tune and mega-hit “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” that got nearly everyone singing along word for word in harmony to a song that came from their most commercially successful album Songs from the Big Chair (1985).
After listening to several songs, one thing became undoubtedly clear: both Orzabal and Smith still have an incredible vocal prowess and chemistry. With Orzabal’s falsetto voice singing along to Smith’s harmony, they showed their fans that after nearly 40 years together they can still deliver a rocking show.
Guitarist Charlton Pettus, drummer Jamie Wollam, and keyboardist Doug Petty were a huge part of the show and deserve to be recognized for their contribution. Of course, Orzabal and Smith had the spotlight, and both of them spent the night alternating lead vocals on the extended setlist of 19 songs.
With the crowd now fully engaged, Tears for Fears quickly got back into new material from the latest album like the gloomy “Break The Man,” and they followed that with “My Demons” and “Rivers Of Mercy,” a catchy, beautiful ballad that was well received by those attending. They played “Mad World,” a tune off the band’s first release The Hurting (1983) that worked perfectly before being followed up with fan-favorite “Sowing The Seeds Of Love.”
Sure, Orzabal and Smith are 60, a bit more seasoned and a tad slower than their MTV days. However, Tears for Fears didn’t disappoint; they can still sell out an amphitheater of 20,000-plus fans. They smartly kept their core fans happy on that night by playing at least one cut from every album with the exception of 1995’s Raoul and The Kings of Spain, an album that was essentially a solo effort by Orzabal and without Smith who had left the band at that time.
They continued with “Suffer the Children,” “Woman in Chains,” “Badman’s Song,” “Pale Shelter,” and “Break It Down Again” and closed out their main set with familiar radio hit “Head Over Heels / Broken.”
After nearly 90 minutes of the band’s very best, the crowd wasn’t going to leave until they heard the song they came to hear. Everyone was hopeful and demanded more. With ear-piercing levels of whistles and clapping, the band quietly returned to the stage and took their places. Before going further, Smith introduced the band to the anxious crowd. Without hesitation, there was an explosion of lights as the band got into song one of the three song encore.
The dedicated fans who wanted more got exactly what they asked for.
The encore included “End Of Night,” “Change,” and the song everyone wanted to hear, closing with “Shout” that got everyone in a sing-along, leaving the audience smiling as they exited the amphitheater.
’90s alternative rockers Garbage opened the show with a charged one-hour set. They rocked out to familiar tunes like “Stupid Girl,” “Special,” and “Queer.” Shirley Manson, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig are out supporting their 2021 release No God No Masters.
Tears for Fears Setlist: No Small Thing, The Tipping Point, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Secret World (Snippet of Wings’ “Let ‘Em In”), Sowing the Seeds of Love, Long, Long, Long Time, Break the Man, My Demons, Rivers of Mercy, Mad World, Suffer the Children, Woman in Chains, Badman’s Song, Pale Shelter, Break It Down Again, Head Over Heels / Broken. Encore: End of Night, Change, Shout