As we get ready to move into another set of Tears for Fears shows in the coming cooler months, we’re reflecting on the excitement that took place a little more than a month ago. Big thanks to our dear pal Pennie for sharing her experience!
Living in a destination city, I have been fortunate to have seen Tears for Fears locally. In the last year I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a couple of shows out of state. I decided on Albuquerque/Sandia Resort because the show was at an amphitheater which had wonderful reviews, and this would be my first show experience at an amphitheater.
I arrived mid-morning. The grounds of this resort are quite remarkable, with a beautiful golf course that seemed to be more enhanced by the stunning Sandia Mountains in the distance. In the lobby of the hotel I was greeted by a large TV screen displaying the announcement of the TFF show! I was obviously in the right place!
We arrived at our seats just as Tears for Fears was taking the stage. We found that people were sitting in our seats. An honest mistake, I’m sure. Luckily, an usher helped get them to their correct seat. It was near dusk with a slight breeze, and slowly the stage lighting became more colorful. The set list was very similar to previous shows on the tour. Some of my high points:
-The wonderful guitar rift on EWTRW makes me feel like I’m floating.
-I LOVE the new techno intro for Pale Shelter.
-Break it Down Again (video below)- Roland was doing his best to keep the crowd involved, encouraging everyone to get their arm up and swing it side to side. We had a pretty responsive audience.
-Memories Fade- This song is quite emotional for me. I never get tired hearing TFF play this song.
-Creep… we all know how we feel about Creep!!
I took an audio recording of Head Over Heels. I always do when my daughter isn’t with me. It’s one of her favorite TFF songs and I love to share the moment with her.
Later in the show, the wind picked up quite a bit and was blowing from all different directions. The band had a heck of a time keeping their hair from blowing across their faces… some more so than others. Roland stated joking with Curt about his hair which made the crowd laugh.
Technical difficulties always seem to turn into an amazing, impromptu masterpiece of winging it. At the beginning of Woman in Chains, I think the wind knocked one of Jamie’s drum sticks from his hand because everything stopped while someone brought him another drum stick. The wind continued to blow and I was becoming a bit nervous about the overhead speakers and lighting which were swinging back and forth over the stage. I had to tell myself to “Focus on the music Pennie.”
During the show I noticed a guy running up and down the steps several times who would turn his ear to the stage and listen as he reached a seat below us. I ran into him after the show and asked if he was working the boards because I kept seeing him running up and back? He said “Yes, how did it sound?” You could tell he was genuinely interested in my opinion. I told him it was absolutely wonderful.
I come away from this show knowing that Tears for Fears genuinely cares about their fans. We are truly fortunate to have Tears for Fears touring again!
Looking forward to the next adventure!
TFF Travel Fan Pennie K.
Fan Videos from Albuquerque:
Very energetic version of BIDA from Karla Kristina on YouTube
Johan Malone shared a great video of Shout on YouTube
I connected up with SnapHappy Pam, who takes great pictures and videos of bands, for the TFF show in Chandler, Arizona. She was gracious enough to pick me up at Sky Harbor International Airport. I was highly concerned about the heat that day, as it was expected to get up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit!!
Pam and I also had our work cut out for us, as we needed to find a birthday card for Curt Smith, and gifts for both Curt and Roland Orzabal. We found some nice gifts at the Arizona Mills Shopping Center, but we were still on the search for an appropriate card for Curt. Pam decided to stay in the car as I went to find a card, stating that she “trusted my judgment”. No pressure, right?!! Well, I finally found a card, and after a little issue with gift bags, we were on the way to the hotel.
After checking in at the hotel and getting ready for the concert, we made it to the venue about 5:30 p.m. It took us a little time to actually wind our way back to the Ovations Showroom. The actual theater is adorned with beautiful ornate glass door panes. We looked into the doors of the venue, and guess who we saw on stage? Roland Orzabal was working on his pedal settings while tour and venue management looked on from the back of the venue. We peered closer, and Pam pointed out Curt Smith to me; he was also monitoring the sound check at the back of venue. After a couple of minutes of viewing the sound check, and talking to other fans that were now congregating outside the venue, we went on our way to find something to eat before the show, and to try to find the band’s tour bus.
Pam held our place at the lounge, while I ventured out to locate the tour bus in heat that made me feel like I must be searing my eyeballs. I found the bus after a several minute walk, and it didn’t appear there was anyone on it at the time, or maybe the crew were all sleeping? Being as discrete and respectful as possible, I quietly made my way back to the lounge.
As I still was on the search for some decent food, I was starting to feel faint at this point. I discovered that the lounge located in front of the theater didn’t serve any food, so I needed to find the take-out line for the restaurant. At this point, I was in a maze of a daze; it was very easy to get lost in this casino, because there are many interweaving lounges and restaurants, even though it’s actually a rather small complex. After finding where the casino had take-out food, and then after a decent time in line, I was finally able to place my order for a spinach salad, but was told it would take twenty minutes for my order to be ready.
Now I realized we needed to get the gifts back to the boys, as time was running short!! I was finally able to get in touch with the venue’s entertainment manager, Jason, on a tip from Andye, and he was gracious enough to run our gifts back to Curt and Roland. Meanwhile, Pam was having fun taking pictures of the beautiful artwork and ornate lighting fixtures all around the interior of the casino.
The doors opened promptly at 7:00 pm, and we were told by the ushers that we could go back and forth to get food and drinks, which I thought was so GREAT, as I still hadn’t picked up my food order.
It was now only half an hour before show time, and I was HUNGRY. Pam was smart and had grabbed something more substantial to eat while at Arizona Mills, while I was sustaining myself on the banana I’d had for a snack hours ago. I finally retrieved my salad and then preceded upstairs, as my seat was in the balcony, while Pam’s seat was downstairs. This turned out to be a pretty ideal situation, as I loved the view up top, while Pam liked the feeling of solid ground underneath her, and it gave her a great vantage point to take her wonderful pictures and videos.
When I got upstairs, I was pleasantly surprised that there was a lounge up there with a beautiful view of the surrounding desert. I delved into my salad and discovered it had an eye-popping freshness with its delicate greens, sweet strawberries, and juicy pieces of chicken. While I savored the fresh cracked pepper that lingered on my tongue, I marveled at this amazing venue, the circumstances of how I got here, and the show I was about to see. I got to my seat in the very last row of the balcony and took in the view—it reminded me of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the L.A. Music Center—and I felt as if I were floating over the stage.
Carina Round took the stage to a house that was still only over half full. Her beautiful, soulful, and rustic-tinged voice filled up the hall while people were still talking over her—argh, grumble, grumble! I was singing along with her when I realized most of the people around me didn’t know the lyrics to her songs, which made me kind of feel out of place. I went to the restroom and her voice and guitar filled up the ladies room as well. Carina’s set included a newly added song called “Backseat”. Curt Smith’s ethereal voice could be heard offstage, and then he came on stage to sing the last stanza of the song with her.
During the fifteen minute break, I went downstairs via the elevator to see if I could chat with Pam for a moment. (I think it’s marvelous that security let us go up and downstairs, allowed me to bring my almost empty gift bag with me into the theater, and surprisingly didn’t check our bags either.) I wasn’t able to locate Pam, so the security guard started to give me a hard time about being down there; he gently reminded me how much time I had left before I headed back upstairs.
Tears For Fears opened the show with Lorde’s version of EWTRTW before coming on stage, which created a heightened space for the show. It’s beyond comprehension that while this was the fifth time I’ve seen TFF perform, I felt as if I were hearing them for the first time. They sounded so tight, the separation between the parts was incredible, and it never ceases to amaze me how they stay true to the original recordings of their songs, while imparting a new energy each time they tour.
Since I was ‘hovering’ over the stage, I had a great vantage point where I could see all of the fingerings and chords for both Curt and Roland. I also saw exactly what Jamie Wollam was doing, except for his pedals, which I could hear quite well. I was standing up, singing, and dancing to all their songs. I couldn’t help thinking: unless one is not physically able, how can one NOT dance to Tears For Fear’s music? It is dance music, correct? I was trying very hard not to annoy my fellow concert goers, while cheering, screaming operatically, and waving to both Curt and Roland. It was pretty hilarious, if you ask me!
There were only a few downsides of this show from my seat in the house: the mix was heavy on the bass and drums, people talked during the entire show, and the bar ought to have cut people off earlier, as there were some pretty drunk fans by the end of the concert.
Reflections on the Show
It seemed to me that Jamie Wollam was putting on a drum clinic, and Roland was giving a master class on opera singing at times. With Curt’s beautiful vocals and precise bass playing, Charlton Petuss’s sweet lead guitar, and Doug Petty’s wizardry on the keys, anyone that sees Tears For Fears perform live is in for a real treat.
Highlights of the show included, “Sowing the Seeds of Love” which sounded very fresh and tight to me, “Change”, showcasing their consummate technique, and when Roland’s voice opened up on that last line of “Creep”. I found myself thinking, ‘Why is this dude NOT singing opera—seriously—as he definitely has the vocal chops for it?!” The definitive highlight of the show was Roland recognizing me, making eye contact, and then flashing me the greatest smile. As Roland sang the line, “I hope we live to tell the tale” in the encore, “Shout”, I realized why I was meant to be there…I also had finally “lived to tell the tale”.
Thank you, Lael! Very sweet of you and Pam to share great photos and highlights from the Arizona show. See you next time! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
-Lael & AA
*videos and pictures by SnapHappy Pam
Follow: @tearsforfears @curtsmith @rolandtff @carinaround @jwdrum @dougpettyla @CharltonPettus (you can follow travel fan fun via @papasfans) Also, be sure to visit our #2015Love focus and consider a donation: http://www.standwithmaceo.com/ #StandWithMaceo
(From the Band) We’re making the stems of Pale Shelter available for you to remix. Submit to our Beatport Remix Contest for a chance to win an official Universal Music Group release & a KORG Kaossilator Pro http://btprt.dj/JofyK9
From Moderator: There is other news to come and when we can share it we will…just waiting on final words, permission(s), etc. Keep Calm and Remix On! This’ll be fun.
It was decided in 2012 to give to two or more projects -one stateside and one abroad. Outside the U.S. we’ll give to the establishment Curt recommended earlier this year Friends of Longacre Hall. Stateside, it has also been suggested we give to the Tory Burch foundation who has helped raise money in the past for projects. Learn more about these organizations by clicking on the links below:
Members are encouraged to give $25 each. You can always give the amount you choose individually in lieu of putting it with that of the TeamCS members. If you wish to be a part of the 2012 fan generated group donation please contact papasfans at gmail dot com or send us a tweet (@papasfans) on or before 1 November 2012.
How does this work? Group donation is collected and recorded. Donation is sent electronically through the charity’s site in early December. In the case of Longacre Hall, we’ll contact those in charge and ask them their preferred method of accepting donations. A screen shot of the transaction is made available as proof the cash was sent. Charity gets the money to help assist those in need.
Again , 2012’s team gifts are a fan generated charity project originating from 2010…this is our way to keep the continuous giving alive and honour Curt (and Roland as well) for the kindness they’ve shown to us over the years. Curt befriending us on Twitter, interacting all year long, keeping us in the know of his music, TFF tours and reviving the spirit of the band with our beloved Roland right with him is always a blessing. Many thanks to both Roland and Curt, plus all involved …and especially those who travel excruciating distances to be a part of the team activities.
2010 participants w/TwitChange w/CurtSmith -Haiti
2011 members donated gifts and gift card to Angel Tree Program