We are presently living through some unprecedented times. With very much a divided society and the uncertainty presented by Brexit it seems that now more than ever that a song such as Mad World by Tears For Fears would resonate with the UK population.

Several years ago the aforementioned classic was brought back to the forefront via Gary Jules and the movie Donnie Darko, where it once again achieved chart-topping status.

Over thirty years since the release of their debut record Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are still touring the globe relentlessly. This evening the duo make a rare appearance on Wearside as part of a six-week European festival run.

And whilst Mother Nature wasn’t entirely being co-operative with light rain throughout the proceedings it didn’t stop several thousand Tears For Fears fans from descending on the Durham County Cricket ground for a nostalgic evening of music. Of course, it’s par for the course to endure a bit of rain during UK festival season and the resilient Chester Le Street crowd simply grabbed themselves their beverage of choice and danced the night away.

Without a new album to promote tonight’s show featured very much a greatest hits set. From the moment the group took to the stage with chart-topping classics such as Everybody Wants To Rule The World and the beautiful Sowing The Seeds Of Love its as if the band opened a time capsule to this beloved era of music, with each track sounding just as fresh as it did back in the mid to late 80s.

Renditions of the funky Break It Down Again, the psychedelic-tinged Pale Shelter and the infectious Advice For The Young At Heart were enough to get the crowd moving. One of the many highlights of the show was a spellbinding airing of the emotive number Woman In Chains.

In the latter stages of the set, the group revisited their seminal debut album The Hurting with four back to back songs from the album featuring. This includes an up-tempo performance of Change, the unmistakable Mad World, Memories Fade and a showstopping performance of Suffer The Children.

It goes without saying that the band’s influence is unquestionable, and as a result, many artists have been inspired by their compositions as well as having gone on to cover their work. In recent times the likes of Lorde, Weezer and Gary Jules have put their own stamp on several of their hit singles. However tonight the roles are reversed as Tears For Fears perform their unexpected take on Radiohead’s Creep. And for some reason, it seems to fit perfectly in tonight’s set. Of course, the show would not be complete without the anthemic Shout. 

Tonight Tears For Fears proves that their music is as relevant today as it was when the band formed back in 1981. Their work continues to influence and inspire some of the biggest contemporary names on the scene and on the strength of this show, it’s easy to understand why.

Martin Fry and ABC were the pre-cursor for tonight’s main event. A 60-minute set that included smash hits such as When Smokey Sings, Shoot That Poison Arrow and The Look Of Love was enough to lift the rain clouds over Chester Le Street. Martin Fry was in fine voice throughout and perfectly set the tone for this nostalgic evening in County Durham.

Event Date: 28-July-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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