Travel Fan Experience featuring Carri, Kai, Yara, Pam, Katie and Veronica narrated & written by Andye
Back In the Air After a thrilling three days in Oklahoma we went our separate ways…but thankfully only for a few hours. I only went back to Atlanta to repack and catch my scheduled flight to Los Angeles where I’d meetup with Pam and Carri who would fly in the same day (Monday). L.A. is their home. Fast forward 16 hours and I’m back at the airport boarding an international aircraft with other Tears for Fears Fans who live in Atlanta but are originally from the UK. We had a blast on the plane, talking about life in London. These ladies have the hook up, they run football tours in England. You should have seen us, we were dishing out all sorts of fun ideas for the future. More news on that to come (with respect to future tours).
Living It Up at The Line The nearly 5 hour flight zipped by, we in fact arrived a bit early and boy was I glad. 8pm in Los Angeles I head over to the meetup spot to find sleepy people too tired to shake a tail feather at the Club & Pho bar. So off I went to what turned out to be the stay of all stays. Now, in the past during Curt’s solo show events, we’ve stayed closer to the venues in some pretty swank places. That’s important to us. We want all of these travel fan excursions to be truly fantastic for everyone. We DON’T recommend just any place or hotels we haven’t stayed in before or hotels that are just “cheap” for the sake of saving a dime. We don’t suggest everyone go for broke but we’re not going to put you in something less than 3-5 stars. As a hotel hobbit, I research various brands and was fortunate to find The Line Hotel which turned out to be a bit closer to the venue than previously thought. I’m sure I could have walked but I have a love affair with Uber. Without this turning into a tripadvisor listing, let’s just say, The Line is lovely! It has the option of overlooking the hills which also provides a glorious sunrise each morning. It also features floor to ceiling windows and a fully stocked (it’s actually stuffed) mini bar and more. The food is a cultural array that is perfect for those of us who are big on culture clubbing. I could go on and on, please see a future post from @lovemymacarons where this stay will be featured.
A Line of Another Kind Again, bright and early for our daily race…and this was a race as Carri comes over and we get ready to go over to The Wiltern after publishing the Oklahoma show in the blog. We got there first and saw no one, so we waited. Then after slopping down a bowl of soup so we wouldn’t pass out from hunger, we found several other travel fans (Pam, Katie and friends we see at Curt’s solo shows and past TFF Wiltern waitings). It was very comforting. There were some missing faces from the years before but thankfully they were already taken care of and didn’t need to be outside. Originally I had no intentions of going to this show because as a frequent conference attendee and one who does pop culture cons, I have had as much as I can stand of “standing in line.” In this modern age, I feel like there’s surely some other way to tackle this. Again, I have ideas. But Kai and Carri were going so…
There we were again and it was thankfully a beautiful breezy day, Katie brought cupcakes to share with fans and some for the band of which Jamie Wollam (while taking a photo of the sold out sign) was given. We love Jamie. He is so sweet and we appreciate his kind words more than we ourselves could ever express. He came over and gave out hellos, handshakes and hugs and again we all appreciated it! Hope they liked the cupcakes. They had Curt’s couture/Ben Sherman style logo on them and came from Sprinkles bakery.
Confession: I am not familiar with this particular gourmet sweets brand (we don’t have Sprinkles on the East Coast – I reside in Macaron Francaises country) and assumed when Katie said she was bringing Sprinkles that she was either bringing a can of sugary red and green holiday fluff thus perhaps adding to the Skittles party that Curt brings to the table …or her dog. I thought, “Roland is gonna love this…puppies barking in the show. Maybe we should ask Curt to bring Bella and Ivy? Did Katie check with the venue to make sure we can have pets?” But no, instead 2 boxes (one box for fans, one box for the band) of these awesome cupcakes that were too beautiful to eat.
Baffled by Bootlegs Around 4:45pm a guy comes around with bootleg Tears for Fears tshirts (last time they did it after the show). This fellow had shirts that included the showdates on the back. That was enticing, until I looked closely to find that the dates were wrong. I wanted to pull him over and say, “Look…if you’re gonna bootleg do it right, son. Do your research, find out exactly what tour this is. It’s not ‘The Hurting Tour.’ We’re far beyond that…like 30 years, kid. Also, you forgot two of the most important dates on the tour, Austin and Thackerville. You lose. Do not pass Go, no Tears for Fears fan money for you, you cannot collect $200.” The shirts were $10 a piece and he sold those muthers like a rogue restauranteur selling Krispy Kreme donuts on the side! They. Were. Gone. I was so mad.”Guys, look at the back of that shirt!” I yelled. Some dates are wrong and some are completely gone! Besides, this isn’t official merch! What about the band?! There’s merch inside!” But it was the front that got them. A picture from the SFTBC album cover series, one of the back b-side photos. I mean it was highly enticing. I got one simply for the proof but I did tell the guy the shirt was incorrect. “You didn’t do your research!” I yelled.
We all sort of sat there afterwards saying things like, Gah, they could’ve been selling paper cups for $100 dollars each with photoshopped autographs and we’d be all up on it as if it was legit. smh!
VIP and Fast Passes This year instead of being re-directed into a downstairs room, we got the option to buy ‘fast passes’ for $15 (that’s $5 less than the $20 + bar fees we paid in 2011). We got the passes and were moved to a different line and took photos of the signs (we’re all about signage) between trips to the coffee shop where we bought drinks and used the… yeah. So that line filled up quickly but orderly. There were lots of friendly Wiltern security around so things went extremely fast and smooth. A few, however, said the staff started letting in the non-fast pass line though. Thanks to Veronica, a lot of that got straightened out and thus we avoided a catastrophe of unfairness.
The Show We rushed in as soon as they let us, 7pm on the dot! My legs were sore from sitting on the hard ground but I shuffled in along with Carri of whom I’m certain was traumatised from sitting on the streets of L.A. for that length of time. We found a spot next to KROQ’s Richard Blade, a champion for the band. We exchanged a few words and then I moved because I knew that I’d be making zaghareets all night not to mention I’d be verklempt by what can only be assumed is the holy spirit during these shows. Whatever it is, I didn’t want to accidentally flop Mr. Blade in the head with a peace sign or church swayin’ so I went to his left. Turned out great, I was right in front of Roland with a direct view of Curt. I ain’t gonna lie, I also stood there because I wanted some Skittles. I always want some Skittles. He could come right over and dump the whole pack, makin’ it rain and I’d be set for life. I’m not even joking…that would be one for the books.
By this time I couldn’t find Carri, she’s off with Mr. Blade, her buddy. They talk all the time online. She was in good hands so I focused on Katie and her husband, Pam and our Curt Smith solo show pals of whom I nickname Roland’s neighbours because they live nearby.
Carina Round We leaned against the barrier which put us about an inch within the stage. I like this barrier because being slammed against the Wiltern stage is not fun. Whomever installed that thing, thank you! Carina came out right at 8pm. She wore that pretty black two piece dress and beautiful dotted scarf, her hair up in a bun. Her voice was like a songbird and she did a fantastic job, so many praised her. However, I have to be honest and say the crowd was terribly rude in the back. They talked “loudly” over her portion of the show. She asked them very directly to shut the f*ck up…her words not mine. For such a beautiful person, it was sad to see her have to “get ugly” with concert attendees. While she did a glorious job and included the lovely crowd interactive song (to which many sang along) this should have gone better than it did. Again, I have some ideas… I’m full of ideas…
Tears for Fears …fueling all the feels! Lorde’s version of EWTRTW came on right at 9pm. We had been waiting on it. Filled with pain meds, earplugs from standing so close to the speaker (I was directly in front of Roland, his microphone and that speaker) while others were filled with Merlot to really get into the TFF groove, the band was met with ALARMING praise and screams. They were jolly, giggly and all that inbetween when they walked out. Lots of playful looks among them and just an overall warm and exciting demeanor that was contagious. We were immediately transformed by their spirit and energy. The night blossomed into an amazing set.
Secret World, Seeds of Love, Pale Shelter, Call Me Mellow, ELAHE, Change, Mad World, Memories Fade, Closest Thing to Heaven, Arcade Fire’s Ready to Start, Floating Down a River, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Advice for the Young at Heart, Woman in Chains, Badman’s Song, Break It Down Again, Head over Heels… and The Working Hour + Shout as the encore.
Now…one of the best things about a LIVE Tears For Fears show are the comments, stories and shoutouts inbetween songs. You learn so much. There are jokes and all. We were surprised that Roland mentioned the ‘pause’ between he and Curt so to speak. Travel Fan Pennie K captured the moment.
Several near me mumbled with sincere sadness, “Dude, let’s not even talk about it. You’re back together, please don’t even mention it.” I laughed. I, too, felt the same. Let’s not even discuss it. Good things and growth occurred obviously during that time, the solo works and TFF albums left lasting impacts on us and we’re all different people for the better. I, too, feel a little sick when I even think about those “solo” years. My poor little heart was in a constant state of prayer. I won’t go into details, this is neither the time or place for it. But Roland did bring it up and made light of it…joking and such. Curt laughed. All was well.
Roland also mentioned how it had been a long time since they had been at the Wiltern. Now, I am not one to memory shame anyone, but the Good Sir said that it had been 4 years. I, standing in front of him shook my head with a smile saying “No, it’s 3! You’re forgetting 2011.” Then he got distracted by the iPhone6 (as shown in the video) in someone’s hand and addressed that. But damn 2011 was a freakin amazing show, how could I forget?! He handed me the microphone. Wild!
Every TFF show is insanely amazing so it’s no wonder people cry, fall out and carry on…but this one was very intense with some sort of powerful energy yet to have been explained. I gulped down the rest of my drink and jumped right into dancing on the song Change and Mad World. You know how we do, acting out the parts of the video (rain fingers, the Flying Wombat). I could barely get through Closest Thing to Heaven. I just lost it. Tears flowed like a river with images of the late Brittany who starred in the video, to memories of the countdown to this album’s release and of course the CNNfn interview. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was overwhelmed. My years of loving this band since I was kid and all the memory of all the wonderful things they have given to us in one way or another just took over me. Their energy is so warm and amazing that it’s hard to return to regular life after leaving their presence. They are truly “healing” and Katie agreed with me afterwards. There is something about being in their presence, you just relax, all worries are gone, nothing can harm you. Hands are raised in the air, you can’t tell the difference between this and a spiritual service or a gospel showdown, the whole room is transformed. You are forever changed…
Up to the encore, our souls were floating around us…literally. My body was there but my soul was in the air…just weightless. I could see Katie and Carri, Pam and Veronica…so many just in another state. Even cold, heartless, stone-faced folks that I had seen earlier were now all smiles and full of joy! Whatever calming energy that this band has needs to be bottled up and sold along with the CDs and vinyls, it is electric!!
Another plus was Charlton walking around the stage smiling. I don’t want to invade his personal space but if I could hug him for a good long hour I’d do it. I like him. He’s really cool. We were shouting his name as well. Jamie was peeking out behind his genius station as was Delightful Doug Petty. We were just in a whole other world. I can’t EVEN find the words to sum up the emotion. But NOTHING…N.O.T.H.I.N.G could have prepared us for the encore.
Enter David Moyer Now, the crowd was already hype, more hype than any other TFF crowd I have seen since I started travelling religiously to their shows. The cheers for EWTRTW, the loud outpouring of praise lasted for over 5 minutes. I’m not kidding. Curt took a few moments to just stop and listen. It was like…nothing I’ve ever seen at their shows. And they deserved it because they were spot on this magical night. I mean, every song, every story and gesture was just …you had to be there. History was being made! When the band left the stage after HOH, Katie and I refueled. Sips of water, thoroughly drying tears, straighten up our blouses and shirts. I, of course, was wearing my Wiltern usual, a DelaQ shirt and this time sporting plaid in honour of Roland’s past fashion…emphasis on the past. All the while, the crowd around us chanted, “Tears for Fears! Tears for Fears!” Moments later, they re-entered, most from the right hand side of the stage…but suddenly I saw a man come from the left. He had…a horn. A saxophone to be exact! I lost my ever lovin’ mind.
“OMGAAHHHHHH!! It’s a horn!! It’s a horn!!!!!” I began. Roland made a funny surprise gesture and thankfully didn’t laugh too hard at my reaction. I was literally jumping up and down like a child seeing their favourite person on the planet. My pontytails were flopping around and I’m throwing peace signs and waving at this guy (we learned his name is David Moyer) perhaps scaring the mess out of him. He looked a little shy and timid but kept his place and sort of stared back at me briefly perhaps wondering, ‘WTF is up with this one in the red?” But I knew…I knew they were either gonna play Working Hour or one of the handful of brilliant pieces featuring horns. It reminded me of the time I tweeted, “Will there be horns?” Needless to say, this happened.
Watch how fans go into a state of absolute euphoria when they realise what is about to take place. #ThisHappened
The Working Hour by Tears for Fears (featuring David Moyer, who was flawless) – listen to the people in the background, they are in complete awe…saying something like this was worth it just for that song. Some said they’d have stood in line for hours just to hear this. Can’t blame them…The Working Hour is JUST that special.
Shout, Shout, Let it All Out The show ended with Shout…Curt’s youngest daughter and her friend came out and joined on Carina’s mic. They wore their pastel terracotta and blue limited edition Tears for Fears tshirts from the 2012 Official Tour Merch (had I know they were junior size on purpose I wouldn’t feel like such a failure for not fitting into mine, now I know). They looked darling!!! It was so perfect. I won’t be posting that picture because we have some travel fan rules about posting photos of minors. They did a great job! The show was fantastic. The only thing bad was Katie didn’t get her SDO book signed. Other than that it was hands down the best Tears for Fears show I’ve ever been to date and trust me that’s saying a lot because they’ve all been excellent, mind blowing hours of everything one could ever hope for…
After the band left the stage and the house lights were up I looked around and saw a sea of familiar faces. Yara had made it by a miracle (there had been an accident leaving her stranded in traffic). Joyce’s birthday wish was fulfilled, Curt had read her tweet requesting it to be sung and apparently showed it to Roland (or something like that). It was already on the set list it seems but he made it special by saying her name and mentioning her wish just before it was performed. There were others with whom we’d been in touch with online, tear-stained faces and all emotional. We all hugged and took group pictures before going out to say hi to Carina and also getting some official merch!! I stocked up on that coveted water bottle. If they ran out, blame me.
UnOfficial Meet & Greet Afterwards we went back to the soup place which we had no idea was connected to the backstage area of the venue. As we left, Kai sweetly decided to get the car for us so we didn’t have to walk. So, we’re standing there and I look behind me and see a figure that looks familiar. As it draws near I realise it’s Carina Round in another cute outfit. She asked us if we were waiting on Roland and Curt. Not sure why…we didn’t even know they were there. Puzzled, we told her “no, we’re waiting on our friend to pick us up, she’s right there…” and thanked her for such a great show. Then suddenly Jamie comes out and he’s all smiles and happy to see us. We were thrilled to see him. We talked about the show. He asked what we thought…I was like, “Dude are you kidding? What we thought? It was out of this world amazing!! I am speechless right now!” And I was…I couldn’t even say anything more. I was so overwhelmed I just stood there dribbling “thank you Jamie, thank you so much!”
He thanked us for what we do…I guess he was referring to all the travelling to shows and just being present??- We had no clue, we were just happy to hug him! With hopes of not sounding like a psycho or one that’s unhealthy, I do find that a lot of my joy is in this band. They bring out the best in so many of us. We’re just a bunch of happy little larks/Kerfuffle of Kooks when it comes to Tears for Fears. They bring us a great deal of peace and extreme content.
Time to Perch Carri, Kai and I went back to The Line Hotel. Carri packed her things and I prepared my suitcase for the next day’s flight. We eventually hugged and said goodnight. That’s the life of travel fans, packing, preparing and perching…eager to get up and go to the next show.
That’s all I’ve got for this leg of the tour…I’ll be sure to post pictures from San Francisco/Oakland and Portland (which was attended by other travel fans).
Please enjoy the additional reviews about this fantastic night. Jason DeBord, an honourary member of the Travel Fan team blogs about TFF events too and does a fine job. See his post from Rocksubculture.com. It’ll also be on this blog.
I have nothing but praise for this band and the way they treat their fans…it’s certainly commendable. I love them for it. I pray they’ll always feel comfortable around us and that the care is mutual.
Thanks for reading!
More videos of The Working Hour from various angles – this was a historic night at The Wiltern
Hear the passion in the crowd
More from that show – Please be sure to like and comment on these YouTube videos. Many of these people flew in from a long way and they’d perhaps be happy to see their video recognised.
Floating Down A River
Arcade Fire – Ready to Start (Cover)
Closest Thing to Heaven (which is how we feel about being around this band)
Other Reviews: L.A. Record http://larecord.com/photos/2014/09/24/tears-for-fears-the-wiltern-theatre
Also coming this week, a compilation of professional reviews of the recent shows plus photos. Cheers!