Written by Dave Clements

I have lived in the Houston area for several decades now and not sure I have seen it this hot for this long with a forecast that says way more of the same coming, day after day.
Going into the show I said to myself ‘there is no way a big crowd was going to come out on a school night in these temps regardless of how good this band is.’
What the hell do I know about ‘Tears for Fears’ Fans…. they must be a special breed because they came out in big numbers Sunday night in spite of the hot and humid conditions that honestly didn’t seem to bother the many thousands in attendance at the beautiful Woodlands Pavilion.

Opening for the guys was a band out of California called Cold War Kids. These guys started their set with the pounding Texas sun coming directly on them for the first several songs yet it was obvious to this reviewer that they were going to take this opportunity to make their best effort to impress the Tears for Fears fans and get them ‘prepped ‘for the headliner regardless of the temperatures.
Guys, you did your job well and I’m guessing you sweated off a few pounds in the process!

When Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith hit the stage, better known as Tears for Fears, the sun was well down, the breeze had come up a bit, and those in attendance were ready to have a couple of quality hours of Tears for Fears.
Right from the first song No Small Thing there were clear signs that these two guys had something special to offer these very committed patrons of the arts.
And there was no letup that I saw right through to the end when they finished the Houston gig with their iconic song Shout.

In between there were sixteen songs that included their hits over their 40 plus year musical career to cuts off their new album titled The Tipping Point.
For me a real highlight was their song Everybody Wants to Rule the World. It sounded live just like I had hoped it would with Curt taking the lead on the vocals.
As an aside, I wish the song was Everyone Wants to LEAD The World and that someone would lead us to a better and more peaceful planet…right now it sure seems there are a bunch of trainwrecks happening around the globe including in our own country.

Sorry, back to the music.

About half way through the set Orzabal, he is the one that looks and sounds like he belongs in the Moody Blues, shared that while they played cuts from Tipping Point, I think the songs were Break the Man, My Demons, No Small Thing, Long Long Long Time as well as the title song, they showed the videos that accompanying the songs. He stated in essence, that he had no clue how the video/s related to the songs. Of course, that caused me to pay close attention to the videos and you got it, I was clueless what they were trying to tell me. They just seemed generally dark and disjointed and, to what end, I have no idea. Maybe someone in the audience understood one or more of them but let the record show that wouldn’t be me. And I liked the new music, just thought the videos were suspect.

About half way through their set, they played their very first hit that again Roland inferred that he was surprised it took so long to get a hit, some seven years. My impression was that he had expected they would have a hit well in advance of that seven years. I was taken back a little by his comment.
I thought to myself, maybe you think that is a long time but for some that never get that ‘hit’. And we are talking about many really good bands that just never break through with a hit song. Now NEVER is a long tIme…seven years, not so much.

Two other points (actually three) I would like to make.
One is that there is no question that there is more than one generation of Tears for Fears fans at the show and it sure appeared that the younger generation of fans are as engaged in the music as their parents…they know the songs, they sing along lyric for lyric. They are on their feet and stay there for long periods of time.

Before closing I must give a shout out to singer Carina Round who was a key part of the show in my estimation singing backup on several songs and when she sung lead on Suffer the Children. This Brit has her own career yet blended beautifully with the guys and sang her ass off…. a beautiful soulful voice and the right Tears for Fears vibe.

Thanks for reading, until next time please, every chance you have, support live music, it is the life blood of the business. And oh yeah, the third thing is, if you know, please tell me what the letters TBLS, mean on the photo pass they gave me? . It makes no sense to me, does it to you?