By Brad Haynes
When you think of a co-headlining team, Tears for Fears and Daryl Hall & John Oates wouldn’t be the first combination you might think of, but in concert at Orlando’s Amway Center, they proved to complement each other quite nicely.
Tears for Fears opened their shorter set of the evening with one of their biggest hits, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” But it wasn’t their version the audience heard to start, but that of Lorde, who performed the song on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. It was a great reminder how relevant the song remains and it wasn’t long before Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal launched into their familiar version of the tune.
While Smith, who sang lead on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” seems to have lost a little in his vocal delivery (all of his vocals during the night seemed somewhat short and staccato), Orzabal proved to have lost nothing over the years when he launched into his first solo work on “Secret World” and even more so to the psychedelic strains of “Seeds of Love.”
Sharing most of the staging elements with Hall & Oates, the Tears for Fears performance had little to do with production, and everything to do with their wonderful music culled over the decades.
“Advice for the Young At Heart” ended up gaining a wonderful sense of irony coming from the silver-haired Smith.
“Did you come early just for us? Well thank you,” they joked with the crowd in a rare moment of slowing things down to talk with the audience about their experiences with the humid Florida weather.
One notable song of the evening was a cover, but it was flawless. Orzabal soared emotionally high with his version of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
“Break It Down Again” may not have been one of Tears for Fears’ biggest hits, but it was certainly an audience favorite, bringing the audience to their feet where they would remain throughout “Head Over Heels” and an encore of their breakout hit in the U.S., “Shout.”
Hall & Oates opened their portion of the show with “Family Man” and quickly made it known that it was going to be a night visiting their immense catalog of hits. “We’re gonna play lots of songs for you tonight through various eras and we’ve got lots of eras to run through,” Hall said before launching into “Maneater.”
But they did throw in a few more obscure tunes during the night like “Did It In A Minute” from Private Eyes and “Is It a Star,” a song from their third studio album War Babies.
Hall’s amazing command of the stage and crowd, as well as his ability to make the duo’s classic hits feel fresh, is beyond compare.
While most of the songs performed during the evening were ones they had popularized, their cover of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” from their Voices album, was a highlight of the show.
“This is the song that took us out of Philadelphia and into places like this,” Hall announced before launching into the classic “She’s Gone.” Hall also showed off his piano skills on the grand piano with the glorious “Sara Smile.”
After a brief offstage break, the guys were back with an encore of even more smashes including “Rich Girl,” “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” and “You Make My Dreams.”
If you are a fan of either band, the evening was pure musical nirvana and one not to have been missed.