GIG REVIEW: Tears For Fears at 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

By Aline Mahrud


WHEN?: Monday 4 July, touring until 18 September 2022

SETLIST: No Small Thing; The Tipping Point; Everybody Wants To Rule The World; Secret World; Sowing The Seeds Of Love; Long, Long, Long Time; Break The Man; My Demons; Rivers Of Mercy; Mad World; Suffer The Children; Woman In Chains; Badman’s Song; Pale Shelter; Break It Down Again; Head Over Heels/Broken; Change; Shout

‘Funny how – time flies.’ The last time Tears For Fears played in Shepherd’s Bush in south-west London it was to mime to the edit of single Sowing The Seeds Of Love in 1989 for BBC1’s Wogan.

  • Read on for reasons including how the band should release a new album more quickly than in 18 years’ time

We know this because lead singer Portsmouth-born Roland Orzabal tells us so during a rousing 110-minute set in which we are left thinking how different their big 1st 3 albums The Hurting, Songs From The Big Chair and The Seeds Of Love sound when compared with each other.

We’re pondering this because at the conclusion to its set the band flit between some of the contents of all 3 and it’s amazing to think how much progression they contain.

Final song Shout could be from a rally with the predominantly white, male and 50-plus-something crowd with occasional female partner in tow bellowing at the top of the lungs and seemingly finding some solace in the expression: ‘Shout, Shout, let it all out, These are the things I can do without.’

Yet there’s also something almost timeless and beautiful about the seemingly simple synth hooks of tracks like Change, Pale Shelter and Mad World.

Our own personal favourite is Big Chair‘s melodic Head Over Heels/Broken (watch above) which has the crowd in this sold out and jampacked venue singing along to the ‘la, la, la, la, las’ dotted throughout the song.

Orzabal seems happy in his own skin not least when referencing how ‘naked’ he feels without the bells and whistles which have previously accompanied this tour of US amphitheatres.

Both he and fellow frontman Curt Smith delight in explaining the 18 years spent creating new album The Tipping Point and eventually deciding it to do it their own way against the advice of management which had suggested they collaborate with younger songwriters.

We’re particularly enjoying how different new song My Demons sounds when played in a set of so many other of the band’s favourites and The Tipping Point was a recent album of the month for us.

We 1st saw Tears for Fears at The 02 in 2019 and said then: ‘We suspect we won’t be leaving it another 36 years before seeing Tears For Fears live again.’ And so it proved – despite Covid.

In fact, their latest album sits so well with these old favourites it makes us think that the band really should take less time on the next 1 than the 18 years it took for them to share The Tipping Point with us.

  • Main pictures by Facebook courtesy Tears For Fears Tickets
  • Have you heard any of these songs or seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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