GIG REVIEW: Tears For Fears & Alison Moyet at The O2


WHERE?: The O2

WHEN?: 6/2/19, European tour continues until 21/7/19

SETLIST:  Everybody Wants to Rule the World; Secret World; Sowing the Seeds of Love; Falling Down; Pale Shelter; Break It Down Again; Everybody Loves a Happy Ending; Change; Mad World; Memories Fade; Suffer The Children; Woman In Chains;Advice For The Young At Heart; Badman’s Song; Head Over Heels/Broken;  Shout

Alison Moyet setlist: I Germinate; Nobody’s Diary; Do You Ever Wonder?; Beautiful Gun; All Cried Out; The Rarest Birds; The Sharpest Corner (Hollow); Situation; Only You; Love Resurrection; Don’t Go

Good things come to those who wait and, almost 36 years to the day after we bought Tears For Fears’ debut album The Hurting on cassette, we see them live for the 1st time.

  • Read on for reasons including how this was the debut bow of both acts at this prestigious venue

This Rule The World tour gig was originally supposed to take place in May last year but was postponed and so when Lorde’s version of Everybody Wants To Rule The World airs shortly before the band take the stage to perform the original, the anticipation is palpable and the song’s opening line: ‘Welcome to your life’ is the perfect introduction.

At this point we should probably declare that we’re not die-hard Tears For Fears’ fans and found The Hurting (bar the hits) too gloomy, loved the imperial phase that was Songs From The Big Chair and thought they lost their way in a fog of over-musicianship that would make Jools Holland blush at the self-indulgence immediately after Sowing The Seeds Of Love mastered the Beatles pastiche years before Oasis were a twinkle in the Gallagher brothers’ eyes.

There are plenty of opportunities for loo breaks during the curiously paced set which seems to alternate a classic with back catalogue fodder best lost down the back of a sofa.

‘The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had’ runs the catchiest line in the song that started it all, Mad World, and its unusual rhythms plus bleak subject matter give a sense of why the band would not be content to plough 1 furrow for too long.

Head Over Heels/Broken is our highlight because it recognises that the brilliance of the original can’t be bettered and so we’re presented with a beautiful and powerfully performed re-creation.

The boisterous audience is baying for set closer Shout throughout the gap before the encore and we even hear communal bursts of it from the throng as we queue for our taxi on the way home.

An illuminating recent interview explains Portsmouth-born frontman Roland Orzabal explains touring is helping him get over the death of his wife and that the band is working on a new album.

We’d definitely recommend seeing Tears For Fears and, if it’s on this tour, do get there early to see the magnificent Alison Moyet. Her set is similar to the 1 we saw at the Palladium  in 2017 and it’s electric.

She has mastered the art of peppering her latest set with recent highlights of her recorded work and it is a trick Tears For Fears would do well to imitate.

We suspect we won’t be leaving it another 36 years before seeing Tears For Fears live again.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Tears For Fears. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook



  1. Raul · February 8, 2019

    Thank you very much for the review. For me it’ll be also 36 years since I heard them for the first time (MTV, Change) so I just can’t believe I’m finally going to see them live in Paris next Feb-21st. The setlist looks great, only missing among my favorites “Year of the Knife” and “Me & my Big Ideas”.


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