I should have left the house earlier.
This is the thought that kept circling in my head as I inched my way into Araneta Center from P. Tuazon St. It was a bad sign that traffic was this bad this far from the Coliseum. The guards at the entrance of the newly-built SM parking building were already flashing signs that read “Full Parking.” As I drove around Araneta Center looking for a spot to park Ernie—and almost running out of gas in the process—guards everywhere were flashing “Full Parking” signs. All roads seem to lead to the Araneta Coliseum, and all people from my generation seem to have cars! After finally parking at the second level of Ali Mall, I sprinted across the new skyway into SM and crossed the street with the sea of humanity (One guy behind me said it was like being in New York City!) into the Coliseum. After looking for my officemate Marianne, I finally settled in the cheapest seats between Nixon and Marianne. But I had a good feeling all that trouble will be nothing compared to what lay ahead.
Boy, was I right!
The opening act was Sandwich who played one of their songs (that I’m not familiar with) and then their intro for their second song was so familiar, the whole coliseum thundered with cheers: “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure. I’m in a hall with about twenty thousand 80s babies! A similar thing happened when Ely Buendia came out and played “” from their Eraserheads days. Then the rest of Pupil did their front act, to less than spectacular applause.
Then the main event.
The mournful instrumental intro came in as the stage remained in shadow, but the crowd erupted to such tumultuous cheering that I barely heard Curt Smith begin to sing “Mad World” in that melancholic arrangement popularized by Adam Lambert. The whole coliseum was singing along! I was singing along! Heck, it was my all-time favorite song from the 80s! They then followed through with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” This will be a night to remember!
The whole concert was just plain awesome! There were, of course, some down times as they sang some of their later, and lesser known, songs. Someone should have briefed Smith and Orzabal that their most popular albums here are the first two: “The Hurting” and “Songs from the Big Chair.” So, yeah, about forty percent of the songs they sang that night received less-than-spectacular applause. But the other sixty percent of songs received such applause that I wouldn’t think the down times affected the whole of the concert.
One thing that stuck in my mind was when Roland Orzabal, reacting to the tremendous reception they received, said, “We’ve been to many countries; we’ve gone around the world a couple of times, even going as far as Scandinavia. Why did it take so long for us to come here?!” Well, Mr. Orzabal, we waited 20+ years for you to hold a concert here, and it was worth the wait. Better late than never!
They sang “Woman in Chains” and they pulled a big surprise: The high-pitched voice part was sung by a white bald guy! And he sounded like a big black woman! Tight underwear maybe?
They sang “Head over Heels” and again it was like a videoke session with twenty thousand plus people singing along. The singing was so loud and so overpowering that Orzabal wasn’t able to sing the last words of the song and he just covered his ears. I can’t describe it. It’s like a whole generation, my generation, was keeping all this suppressed and now it’s time to let it all out! And speaking of letting it out, Tears for Fears capped the concert with—what else?—“Shout!” They weren’t singing the opening lines of “Shout” . . . we were! It was just awesome to watch everybody on their feet, waving their hands and singing! Words fail me in describing this.
I hope they come back. And if they do, I hope they sing more of their old stuff. I echo what the girl sitting behind us was shouting: "Change!" "Mother's Talk" is also something I'd like to hear live!