“Is that the new iPhone 6?” Roland Orzabal, early on in the show, as he and Curt Smith looked out over the sea of cell phones in the air, held by an exuberant sold out crowd at the historic Wiltern in Los Angeles last night. Tears for Fears, best known for their collection of timeless and classic New Wave hits from the 80s, do not tour very often, and when they do, the tours are usually not too many dates and cities. So there was a bit of an “event” feeling in the air, and based on some of their comments later in the show, they both seem to have quite an affinity for the City of Angels. As such, it seemed to be one of those special sort of shows, that unfold in a different sort of way. About halfway through the show, Curt even gave a shout out to Richard Blade, who was at the front of the GA crowd in the pit… if you didn’t know him by his own lifetime in music, you would think he was the band’s biggest fan (and maybe he is). Perhaps the development that represented the biggest point of fan service, prefaced by Roland with “nothing like changing it up for L.A.; obviously this is a special place for us…” was the surprise encore opener, a song that “we haven’t done for many, many years”. He said that this version will be included in their deluxe reissue of Songs From the Big Chair in November. He said it has been impossible for them to do live “until now”, and then proceeded to play “The Working Hour”. Definitely a special show by a fantastic band, and the place was certainly buzzing when it all came to a close after upwards of a two hour show.
Roxette played the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco last night, and more than delivered with their unique brand of rock infused pop to an eager audience, the majority of which appeared to be made up of truly hardcore fans of the Swedish band front by the duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle. High energy, enthusiasm, and joy emanated from the stage as the band played through a set framed by their many international hits, having sold over 60 million records worldwide. The fact that they were able to break out so big back in 1989 is a testament to their incredible songwriting skills, and having had four number one hits in the U.S. and nineteen Top 40 hits in the UK illustrates their ability to craft really catchy and hooky tunes that appeal to fans of music the world over. More impressive is that they were able to break out globally back when artists were completely reliant on record labels and radio stations to be heard, long predating the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and all the opportunity it has brought to the masses since those days. All that aside, they are a band that really need to be experienced live to fully appreciate their music, as their performance was stellar.
Tears for Fears at Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium | San Francisco, California | 8/2/2012 (Concert Review)
The Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium hosted last night’s concert performance by Tears for Fears. It doesn’t get much better than a set that opens with “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, closes with “Head Over Heels”, and finishes an encore with “Shout”. Some of the most classic songs of the 80s, and the band looks and sounds as great as ever. It was a fantastic evening with an awesome set that spanned their catalog and reflected the real diversity of their work. Truly one of best songwriting teams that helped define the 80s. A fantastic evening and true thrill to see them perform live, and in top form. The songs never sounded better.
Last night Modern English played Harlow’s in Sacramento as part of their U.S. West Coast tour, which begins and ends in the month of July. For me, their biggest hit, “I Melt With You”, was definitely among the best and most decade defining songs of the 80s – it is really ubiquitous with the vibe and culture and new direction in music that took hold in the early 80s. As the band has a history and habit of disbanding (in ’87 and ’91), this was my first time seeing them live, so it was an extra thrill to see the band featuring all of its original members. Of course, it was a matter of time until that seminal classic song would be played on stage, but the set list leading up to it was a fantastic voyage through their incredible catalog, and they sounded absolutely fantastic (and kudos to Harlow’s for the really nicely tuned sound system). It was both incredible and surreal to see this important band play live, just a few feet in front of me, but definitely worth the wait.
This article features the second in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Robbie Grey, founding member of Modern English. Tomorrow night Modern English will be playing Harlow’s in Sacramento as part of their special West Coast U.S. tour. Mr. Grey, lead vocalist for Modern English, took time away from his schedule today to talk to me about the reformation of the original line-up of the band, their current U.S. tour, the UK tour this September, their upcoming new album, the history of the band and their work, and a bit of a discussion about one of the songs that defined the music scene in the early 80s, “I Melt With You”.
Late last night and into this morning at King King in Hollywood, Information Society played a special one off gig in the U.S.; the only scheduled show here for 2012 and their first live performance since 2009. The band leaves for Brazil this morning to play a number of concerts there this month, and those who make those shows will likely be as thrilled to see the band as the fans here in the Los Angeles area. It was a fantastic show and the group sounded as great as they ever have, and it was a thrill to see them perform. It was a great crowd of dedicated music fans and the band obviously had a ton of fun playing in this intimate venue. Epic night. [Read more…]
This article features the first in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Paul Robb, founding member of Information Society. Tomorrow night Information Society will be playing a special concert at King King in Hollywood – their only U.S. date scheduled for this year – and Mr. Robb was kind enough to take some time today to talk with me about their upcoming tour of Brazil this month, his experiences with the band, and some thoughts on the music industry and popular culture as it stands today. [Read more…]