80’s new wave/pop rock sensations Tears for Fears played the Kia Forum in Inglewood on Saturday night. TFF is touring in support of their latest album The Tipping Point. This was TFF’s first L.A. show since playing at the Staples Center in 2017 with Hall & Oates and the year before that played a short set at the Forum as part of the iHeart 80’s concert. It was their first headline show at the Forum in 32 years. The tour kicked off May 20th in Cincinnati, OH. Joining TFF on this tour is legendary Alternative/ Electronic Rock group Garbage who released their latest album No Gods No Masters last year.
Garbage consists of one of the greatest front-women in rock Shirley Manson (Lead Vocals), guitarists Duke Erikson and Steve Marker, Nevermind producer Butch Vig (Drums) and touring bassist Eric Avery who was the original bassist for Jane’s Addiction. Next year will mark the band’s 30th anniversary. Garbage’s most recent L.A. show was with Alanis Morissette at the Hollywood Bowl last year. Since releasing their groundbreaking 2x platinum self-titled debut album, Garbage has released seven albums total, all charting within the top 50 with the highest ranking at four. Garbage has also released over 30 singles. In total Garbage has received 15 major awards including an MTV Europe Music Award, MTV VMA, three Music Television awards, and two BMI awards. In 2005 Garbage took a hiatus and two years later performed one off show, before reuniting again in 2010. In 2012 Garbage released Not Your Kind of People, which was their first album since 2005’s Bleed Like Me.
Garbage played a 12-song set opening with “Automatic Systematic Habit,” which is 10 years old this year. Garbage performed two songs from the new album, the title track and “Wolves.” “Wicked Ways” was dedicated to Depeche Mode co-founder Andy Fletcher who passed away last week and they included a part of “Personal Jesus.” The set also included hits “Stupid Girl,” “Only Happens When It Rains,” “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!), and the James Bond theme “The World is Not Enough.” The band dedicated “Push It” to their Garbage Babies (band members’ kids) before closing with “You Look So Fine” combined with “Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams.”
The 80’s seems to be as big now as it was then with pop culture, movies, music and fashion. TFF was one of the most important groups of the 80’s coming from the U.K. TFF formed in 1981 as the 80’s were beginning. The 80’s is a decade of many one hit wonders and also groups like TFF who had two number one and two number two albums in the U.K. and have three platinum and one silver album. TFF also had over 25 charting singles. The Tipping Point released this year hit the top 10 in seven countries. Tears for Fears was originally a 4-piece band with founders Roland Orzabal (Guitar/Vocals) and Curt Smith (Bass/ Vocals). TFF became a trio in 1986 then duo after 1987 with touring members. Smith had left the group 10 years after forming and returned in 2000. The Tipping Point was the first TFF album since 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.
TFF played a 20-song set lasting nearly 2 hours. The first song was “No Small Thing,” following the title track from their new album, and song three was one of their biggest hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” For this tour TFF is using a giant round screen similar to Pink Floyd and David Gilmour’s tours. The show included all the hits like “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” “Woman in Chains,” “Pale Shelter,” and the last song before the encore was “Head Over Heels” combined with “Broken.” Half-way through the show “Happy Birthday” was sung to Emily, Orzabal’s wife. TFF’s touring band is keyboardist Doug Petty, backing vocalists Carina Round, guitarist Charlton Pettus, and drummer Jamie Wollam.
The three song encore consisted of “End of Night,” “Change,” and “Shout.” The U.S. part of the tour concludes June 25th in Wantagh, New York. Tears for Fears will then play 24 shows in the U.K. throughout July.
Words and photos by Alex Kluft