Tears and Nosebleed Part II (A Review)

(The husband and I went to the Tears for Fears concert at the Araneta last Sunday. I flew back here from an assignment in the province. TFF had never been to Manila and we were not about to miss this.

This is a cross-post from my other blog.)

Speaking of nosebleed seats…

We were so high up that oxygen tanks should have been passed around. But it didn’t matter because as soon as Tears for Fears went onstage, the entire crowd, including us of course, became part of the show. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I already knew the concert was going to be huge when Manila tweeps were all ”Leaving for the @tearsforfears concert now” as early as 3:00 pm.

I was so excited (and so old) that my blood pressure rose and I had to pop a Captopril before I got in the car.

Rico Blanco called it ”Tears for Fears Day”’ and at least in Cubao it was. We had a hard time looking for a place to park near the Araneta Coliseum and had to settle for pay parking two blocks away.

Popular local bands Sandwich and Pupil were the front acts. They are both good (you don’t become a popular band around here if you’re not) but having them perform for almost an hour for this particular show was so wrong. I can safely say that at least 90% of the crowd were people who, like me, came of age in the 80s. Sandwich and Pupil on the other hand are from the Naughties.

So as Raymond Marasigan of Sandwich did his usual high-energy thing, the crowd was mostly just … amused. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought he was like a precocious little brother whose antics we had to tolerate. It was also around this time that I felt my BP go down. I texted my much younger friend Ceso that I’m sure she could have related better to this. She texted back, ”Ay,oo naman”.

Then Pinoy rock icon Ely Buendia took to the stage. He sang one of the Eraserheads’ hit songs (I think) and got a roar of approval from the crowd. I for my part was distracted by his striking resemblance to my cousin Manay Yayay. Then Ely left and came back with Pupil and the crowd got a bit impatient. After all, we had been waiting more than two decades to see Tears for Fears and we could not wait another hour. Ely knew it too and said near the end of their set, ”O, last song na”. To Pupil’s credit (or shame, depending on how you look at it), their songs do have a hook in them that even 40-year-old me liked.

And then we heard faint strains of Mad World. And Curt Smith came into the spotlight. Curt Smith. Second Sister was  mad about him in college. Mad. About. Him. Curt Smith has aged very well. I leaned over to my husband and said, If you look that good at 50, I won’t leave you. He said, Don’t forget that I paid for these tickets. Haha.

Roland Orzabal appeared. What can I say? His vocals are still as powerful as his hair is wavy. The husband kept remarking on how good his voice is and that he does not seem to have aged at all too.

The band segued to Everybody Wants To Rule The World and suddenly, some sort of 80s retro-version of Glee came alive in Araneta.

The audience just went for it. Break It Down Again, Pale Shelter, Memories Fade, Mad World (lest everyone forget, its a TFF original). It was full-on crowd participation that not even Mike Velarde can draw from his faithful. The band seemed surprised that we Pinoys know the lyrics to all their major and minor hit songs but there it was, a huge community sing-along.

Talking of faithful (renditions), you know that part in Sowing The Seeds of Love that goes ”sowing the seeeeeds of lo-oove”? Well, have you ever heard thousands of people singing in sychronized falsetto?

The band also played some of their newer songs, They are no longer as familiar as their major hits but we are still talking TFF here, they can do no wrong musically it seems. Curt Smith sang Seven of Sundays from his solo album Halfway, Pleased. (Second Sister, you should have been there.) Orzabal then did his version of Billie Jean.  Uhm … David Cook who?

Something happened. Head Over Heels. The Dome became la-la-la-la-la Land. It was F-U-N. I screamed, ”Oragon si Orzabal!!!” The tall guy in front of me gave his girl a kiss. Maybe it was their theme song, hehe. Then the band left the stage, prompting screams of ”More!” The Araneta cameras panned to a lady in blue at the front row. It was Korina Sanchez and she made the ”L” sign. Bad idea. Some people in the crowd were in no mood for politics. They booed.

Korina was spared from further embarrassment by TFF who came back with Woman in Chains. Their lone back-up singer Michael Wainwright sang the female vocals and got the crowd roaring. Singing ”so free her” over and over with the crowd, I could not help wonder if everyone heard the song’s message. I hope Rina Jimenez-David was there because she would have loved the Gabriela moment (I’m not talking High School Musical here.)

Last song was, what else, Shout, much to the disappointment of the guy seated next to us who kept asking for Advice (For the Young at Heart, that is). And we Shout-ed.

Orzabal made fist pumps and following suit, everyone’s fists were soon up in the air. Everyone, from the front row to general admission. It was a sight that could have brought tears to Ka Satur’s eyes. The only thing missing was a collective tearing up of cedulas.

Then it was over. Aaargh, we could not let them go! We stayed and begged for more. How about Advice, and Change, and The Hurting? But the show was really over. Someone from the back said, ”Sige kayo, baka bumalik na naman si Ely Buendia.”  We laughed. (Sorry, Ely, it’s not you, it’s us.)

We left. The 40-something crowd seemed to have a new spring to their steps. Or maybe we were all just imagining we still had on our L.A. Gear.

The next day, this is what Curt Smith had to say on Twitter:

Talk to me: :)

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