After more than 20 years of wishing and waiting, the Pinoy fans of the Roland Orzabal-Curt Smith duo—better known as Tears for Fears—finally got to see their idols perform live.
Araneta Coliseum was jampacked last Sunday, May 2, with mostly people who lived through the '80s. With much anticipation and excitement, they did not dare miss the one-night-only concert of the pop-rock British duo who popularized the "New Wave" sound.
The moment Curt stepped on stage to sing "Mad World" in a re-fashioned version, the crowd roared in frenzy. It was followed by "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," where Roland joined Curt on stage.
"Overwhelmed" was the apt word for the reaction of Tears For Fears when the huge audience sang in unison the lyrics of their famous song.
"Thank you and good evening," greeted Roland after the piece. "It is a thrill and an honor to be here in Manila with you. Thank you ever so much for coming tonight. We've been all around the world quite a few times—across America, the plains of Siberia, the deserts of Scandinavia, and I ...don't know why it has taken so long for us to go to Manila. It is a crime. I mean, our reception at the airport was great but this is amazing." The venue vibrated with cheers.
The duo proceeded to sing two tracks from their Everybody Loves a Happy Ending album: "Secret World" and "Closest Thing to Heaven," which weren't popular tracks but people managed to hum with Curt and Roland.
Ten minutes later, the opening bar for "Sowing The Seeds of Love" filled the Big Dome, and everyone was up on their feet again.
Curt only had to address the audience with "Mabuhay!" to raise total pandemonium. Backstage, he was told that Pinoys were not that pleased with the re-fashioned version of "Mad World," so he sang it again the "old-fashioned" way. Again all hell broke loose! Everyone had hoped to see Roland's killer dance moves but given his age, the Pinoys understood.
Next piece was "Memories Fade," a track from their The Hurting album. They missed out the song "Change," their first big hit in our country. The pace slowed down a bit when Roland sang tracks from the album Raoul and the Kings of Spain. And a TFF-esque version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" to the delight of the spectators.
"Pale Shelter" also intensified the energy level, along with "Break It Down Again."
Crowd singing happened once more with "Head Over Heels." Roland could hardly hear his voice.
After crooning the last line of the song, "'Funny how time flies..." Roland had to cover his ears and make a signal to tone down the volume of the screams. But people did not listen and just went on singing and screaming. It was only the perfect time to do the fake exit. But, of course, it was not over yet. They hadn't sung their famous hits.
After several minutes, the band went onstage again. Roland introduced the members, including the male back-up singer, who amazed the crowd by singing Oleta Adams's part in "Woman In Chains."
And how did they cap such a great show?
Tears For Fears sang the piece that put them on the map of the music world: "Shout."
Sweaty, smiling from ear to ear, with throats throbbing—20 years is more than worth the wait for those of us who witnessed a generation of musical geniuses and an era when music really matters.