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Tears For Fears at Joe Louis Arena, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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It’s been awhile since Tears For Fears ruled the world -- back circa 1985, in fact, when “Songs From The Big Chair” album sold more than five million copies on these shores and launched the hits “Shout,” “”Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and “Head Over Heels.”

Time has been kind to Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal’s music and legacy. There have been just four albums since, the last being 2004’s “Everybody Loves A Happy Ending,” but the duo has maintained a regular touring schedule and has a new album planned for later this year. Before that, however, Smith and Orzabal are spending the spring with Hall & Oates, another duo it was sharing chart time with 30-odd years ago...

• Despite peaking around the same time during the 80s, Tears For Fears did not meet Hall & Oates until the tour this year, according to Smith. “I’ve never met Daryl or John, but I’ve always quite liked their music,” Smith, 55, says by phone from his home in Los Angeles. “I like the sort of Philly soul and how authentic sounding it is. Daryl’s an amazing singer. So when it was brought up as a tour I thought, ‘Well, yeah, I can listen to those songs.’ That’s always a good sign, so we’re looking forward to it. It should be a great night, with the two of us.”

• While Hall & Oates were on a second round of hits during that time, Smith says he and Orzabal were not at all prepared for the massive success they had around the world at the time. “I think nothing prepares you for it,” he notes. “I think the hardest thing to get used to back then was just the lack of time you have when you suddenly take off and it becomes that huge. The sort of requirements on your time and energy are quite ridiculous. Nowadays we do all the interviews before we leave, and then when we get on the road we can enjoy the touring bit and see places. Back in the 80s we were stuck in our hotel rooms, on the phone or in meetings.”

• Smith says the continued touring is what inspired he and Orzabal to start work on a new album after a dozen years. “I think we felt like it was time,” Smith explains. “We’ve been doing the same...Obviously we change (the setlist) up, but having the same list of songs to play with we felt we needed more. It’s getting a little boring for us, so it seemed the right time. And musically it seemed the right time as well.”

• So what does the new album sound like? “It’s always hard when someone asks you what it sounds like; To me it sounds like us,” Smith says. “When I listen to it I hear the fact we’ve been playing live, which we have been doing over the last few years without making a record,” Smith says. “We still go on tour; Not huge tours, but on tour. So I feel it’s definitely been influenced by us playing live and aspects of the live show. I definitely hear that in it.”

• Smith and Orzabal have also worked on some music with members of Bastille, one of a number of bands that can be said to be influenced by Tears For Fears. “I actually met The 1975 at Coachella last year because they were big fans of ours and I love them, and my eldest daughter is the hugest 1975 fan,” Smith says. “So I got major brownie points for that. I’m becoming hip to my children because bands of their generation name us as influences, so you can definitely hear it, the same way as we were influenced by other people.”

If You Go:

• Hall & Oates and Tears For Fears

• 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 17.

• Joe Louis Arena, 19 Yzerman Drive, Detroit.

• Tickets are $25-$129.50.

• Call 313-471-6606 or visit olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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