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Concert Reviews:
Tears For Fears Gives Fans Something To "Shout" About At SoundBoard
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

DETROIT -- Roland Orzabal told the crowd at the Motor City Casino's SoundBoard that on this night "there's potential for (mess) ups everywhere." But Tears For Fears nevertheless opened its latest North American tour in crowd-pleasing fashion on Thursday (Aug. 12), transporting the near-capacity crowd happily back to the 80s era of MTV, big hair and even bigger pop songs that have aged quite well.

In fact, there was only one discernible mistake during the 95-minute show, a glitch at the start of "Secret World" from the British-bred duo's most recent album, 2004's "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending." Otherwise everybody was happy enough -- from the get-go, really, as the band emerged with Curt Smith singing along to a taped chorale arrangement of "Mad World" before he, Orzabal and the rest of the band lit into the 1983 breakthrough hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

This Tears For Fears tour coincides with the 25th anniversary of its five-times platinum sophomore album, "Songs From the Big Chair," but the group did nothing special to commemorate it. Then again, smashes such as "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," "Head Over Heels" and the show-closing anthem "Shout" certainly insured the landmark didn't get short-shrift. But the 17-song set list served as a reminder that TFF was about more than one mega-hit, parading out singles such as "Pale Shelter (You Don't Give Me Love)," "Sowing the Seeds of Love," "Women In Chains," the rarely performed "Advice For the Young at Heart" and a reprise of "Pale Shelter," this time in the original 1983 version from the group's debut album, "The Hurting."

The group also dug in for some deep cuts, going back to the beginning for "Memories Fade" and touching on the 90s era when Smith was out of the band with "Break It Down Again." "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" was represented by "Secret World," "Call Me Mellow," "Quiet Ones" and the title track, while Smith offered up his 2007 solo single "Seven of Sundays" and Orzabal surprised fans with a languid take on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."

There was more than nostalgia at work, in other words. And there was a good chance that casual fans who came to hear the hits went home from SoundBoard determined to re-familiarize themselves with the underappreciated depth of TFF's catalog.



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