For many fans of Tears For Fears, it had been too long since they had seen the band live but for even more, they had never seen the group – but add in the fact that everyone had been cooped up and deprived of big concerts, the night seemed even more special. For The Tipping Point World Tour, the group seemed to know it, too, as they had been sidelined as well and not able to celebrate their 40-plus years together until their album of the same name had seen the light of day this year, which was also worth the wait – and that’s saying a lot since it was 18 years. But would they still have it live? Some of the best bands just don’t sound the same because the voice that you remember just isn’t there anymore.
Thankfully for Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, they both sound amazing and have a backing band that includes the great Carina Round, which was a pleasant surprise to music lovers that were paying attention. So, of course the hits were there that everyone knew like “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (which was the third song that got the energy really going for the night after playing the first two songs from the new album, “No Small Thing” and the title track), “Sowing The Seeds of Love,” “Mad World,” “Head Over Heels,” and the final song of the encore, “Shout,” but the six newer tracks (seven if you count the intro) were not only received well, but fit in well despite the slight change in style, which naturally occurs when artists and their art mature. Given that the songs were written by the duo armed only with two acoustic guitars, it makes the feat even more impressive. The lights and stage setup was impressive as well, adding to the great feel of the show, which caught the crowd on a night right before the inevitable unbearable heat hit Texas, which would have been bad for the band and the fans.
Opening the show was Garbage, which was a treat for 90s music fans, as they ran through their hits like “Stupid Girl,” “Special,” “The World Is Not Enough” (their entry into the James Bond franchise, which was a pleasant surprise), “Only Happy When It Rains,” and “Push It,” with a few songs from their standout album from last year No Gods, No Masters, which hit must harder than expected. It was nice to see all four original members still on stage, including super producer Butch Vig, who produced Nirvana’s Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream. Singer Shirley Manson still commanded the stage as she always does and looks and sounds fantastic.
Overall the theme of the night seemed to be the viability of those you haven’t seen in years, which is life-affirming for those old enough to remember these two acts as new artists. Both are absolutely worth going to see together or separate, but the package was special and it felt great to celebrate live music with thousands of fans again for one of the first time without masks and without a care for that little block of time that celebrated both nostalgia and what we have now.