I went, Saturday, to see one of my all-time favorite bands for the first time in concert. Tears for Fears is currently touring with Hall & Oates, and I finally did something about seeing them. I admit that they were emo before emo was a thing, but I love them. Starting with “Shout” and through the early 90s (their “Elemental” album, which I love), their blend of articulate, self-aware, social-justice-inclined music is very much at the heart of my taste in rock music, particularly. I love U2, I love Tears for Fears, throw in a little Pat Benetar, some Tracy Chapman from that era and I’m a happy girl. I like other kinds of music, but this plus some Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, Rush, Sting and REM is the where it started for me.
I went with a good friend, it was a lovely and blessedly cool evening, for mid-July, and Tears for Fears was awesome. Well, technically speaking, they were mostly awesome. There was one song (“Mothers Talk”) where the harmonies were pretty abysmal on the high notes, but otherwise, they were everything I wanted them to be. The only thing I could have wished was for them to sing even longer.
The coolest thing that happened was that I found out that a song I’ve liked for a long time (“Mad World”) is actually a cover of a song from their first album. I thought their first album was “Songs from the Big Chair,” so there’s a whole other part of their canon that I can experience. And I think I got lazy after Elemental, and haven’t heard more recent things they’ve done, so I’m excited to explore that a little more.
I didn’t care at all about seeing Hall & Oates, even though I don’t dislike Hall & Oates’s music, and remember it mostly fondly from my early childhood, I find Hall & Oates both pretty smarmy. They put on a decent show, but they started with back to back woman-as-predator songs (“Family Man” and “Maneater”) that as a combination struck me as pretty fantasy-based and misogynistic, and that never makes me like a live act more. But we stayed until their encore, and it did get better. Their energy and enthusiasm was good.