Review: Tears for Fears, Spandau Ballet in Melbourne, Australia
Tears for Fears and Spandau Ballet sounds like a killer double-bill, so I've been waiting eagerly for a report from their Australia tour. Stuck in the '80s seems to have caught on big down under -- someone foot the dough, and we'll move our '80s empire there! -- so I knew it only a matter of time 'til word reached us in the United States, where Tears for Fears (sadly minus Ballet) will tour later this summer. Today's concert review is from the great Sandro Mazzotta, who caught the show on April 21 a the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Take it away, Sandro!
For those tennis fans reading this, you will know that Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne has been the scene of many a great occasion and success. Wednesday, April 21, 2010, was the scene of a different kind of success, a revival and triumph of some great 80’s music.
When I first heard Tears for Fears and Spandau Ballet were coming to Australia as a double bill I couldn’t believe it, two of my favourite 80’s artists on the same bill. The excitement, anticipation and cost of premium tickets proved well worth the wait.
TEARS FOR FEARS: Roland and Curt hit the stage with slow tempo version of Mad World, and from there launched into hit after hit in what was an exhilarating, pulsating 10 song set. Listening to the songs on CD or iPod, it is to take for granted what an amazing voice Roland Orzabal has. But live the songs come to life in a rich, majestic way.
CROWD FAVORITES: Naturally, the favorites included Shout, Everybody wants to Rule the World, Pale Shelter and Head over Heels (my personal favourite). Roland had the crowd memorized with fantastic versions of Woman in Chains and Break It Down. The only down side being the set was all too brief and Curt only performed three songs, the most notable omission being Change.
BALLET: With such a fantastic set put in by TFF expectations were high, and thankfully the Spandaus’ did not disappoint. It was a high energy, pulsating two hour set with Tony Hadley, Gary and Martin Kemp, Steve Norman and John Keeble all in fine form. Like TFF before them they thanked the crowd for receiving such an awesome response, which left them wondering why it took them 25 years to return to Melbourne since their last visit.
GETTING STARTED: They led of the set with my personal favourite and early hit To Cut a Long Story Short, which left those of us wondering if Tony still had the voice to reach the high notes wondering no more, the man can sing and the band were in fine form!
MORE FAVES: For all of two hours they played hit after hit after hit. Highlights included Sean Daly’s personal favourite, True, Only When You Leave, Highly Strung, Lifeline, and Communication. The crowd (and me personally) were exulted to new highs with a medley of Chant No 1 and Paint Me Down. The band appeared to have great time and fed off the vibe from the excited Melbourne crowd, with such an enthusiastic response Tony and co promised not to wait another 25 years before returning.
VERDICT: No matter what the cost if Tears for Fears or Spandau Ballet announce tour dates in your area, snaffle them up as soon as possible. Both are fantastic bands with rich musical catalogues who still have the ability reproduce the music live, without doubt one of the musical highlights of my life!