Photos by G.
When you go to as many shows as I do (search the archives for proof), and when you have so many great experiences as I am lucky enough to have, the bad ones stand out like sore thumbs. Tears For Fears is one of my favorite bands of all time, so naturally, I’ll see them every chance I get. My latest chance was August 19, 2010, where the duo played a sold out show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. I arrived at the venue to be greeted by “the head of security” from Tears for Fears who was a total dick! He advised me and one other person who cared about meeting the band that “autographed merchandise is ‘reasonably priced’ for sale inside the venue and they are not interested to meet fans on the streets of New York.” I’ve met the band before and they were both nice. In line talking to other fans, I heard some horrible stories about what a prick their head of security is, and it sounds like he might have the best interests of himself ahead of those of the band he is supposed to be protecting.
Then the disorganization of the venue reared its ugly head. Once inside the Hammerstein Ballroom, we were advised that our general admission floor tickets were halfway back on the floor, which is unheard of at a concert! Standing room at concerts is always in front of the seats and not the other way around – except at this backwards venue! This basically means that the people who have stood for hours to be close to the stage could have just turned up 5 minutes before the show started because the crappy vantage point would be just the same! To make matters worse, the venue had not prepared all the seats to be ready before they opened the doors, so there were a few near riot like situations with absolutely rude (and moronic) security guards trying to push people back to allow for the delivery of more seats. I will definitely be sending a copy of this blog to the people in charge of the venue and I am seriously considering boycotting future events at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The way we were treated due to their lack of competence is unforgivable and I am asking that at the very least, we are offered refunds. I’ll definitely keep you posted as to their answer, and in the meanwhile, please spread the message to all your friends on all of your various social networks. We are in a great depression and if we are going to spend our hard earned money for a service, we should not have to put up with this lack of professionalism! The people have the power, but only if we use it.
With all of that drama aside, Tears For Fears hit the stage around 9 o’clock and played hit after hit. In fact, the set list was not much different than when I saw them last in 2004, which is a bit disappointing since they are not even touring to support a record. As much as I love them, and I do love nearly every song off every album, I have to call this the “We Just Want Your Cash” Tour. Only for about 30 seconds of the entire show did Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith stand anywhere near each other (a’la Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham), but they clearly know they can sell more tickets together than they can as solo acts, so they grin and bear it. Tears for Fears couldn’t even manage to play at least one song from each of their 5 albums (the album “Raoul and the Kings of Spain” was not represented at all), and key hits such as “Mother’s Talk” and “Change” were omitted, but the parts of the show that were good were great.
From “The Hurting” they played “Memories Fade,” “Mad World” (both the orchestral and album version), and “Pale Shelter.” From “Songs From the Big Chair” they played “Shout,” “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” and “Head Over Heels.” From “The Seeds of Love” they played “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” “Woman In Chains” and “Advice for the Young At Heart.” “Elemental” was represented with “Break it Down Again.” Off their most recent album, 2004’s “Everybody Loves a Happy Ending,” they performed the title track, “Secret World,” “Call Me Mellow,” “Quiet Ones” and the B-side “Floating Down The River.” Roland Orzabal did a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Curt Smith played his solo song “Seven of Sundays.” I definitely had a great time, but there were a few black marks on an otherwise beautiful night. I’m pretty sure this will be the last time I will ever pay to see Tears For Fears in concert, but I’ll always support their music if they decide to make more.
If you don’t know the albums I have referenced above, get them! They are masterpieces from a highly underrated band! Roland Orzabal’s solo album “Tomcats Screaming Outside” is really great as well.
See a few more pictures of Tears for Fears as well as the set list and the merch, after the jump.