Thursday, June 24, 2004

Tears for Fears

I try to be professional at these things and usually I am. I never become a "fan", following the artists around and asking stupid questions like some little kid backstage at an N-Sync concert.
But there are times, like yesterday, when I'm so captivated by the musicians' abilities and my experiences with their music, that I have a hard time containing my excitement. Tears for Fears inspired that sentiment in me. The experience was an about-face from the one with A.M. The band didn't seem to need any "space".
I pretty much stayed in the corner, having nothing to say that I thought they would want to hear. But the other guys on the crew were chatty as always. My friend, Dick, couldn't get over the pianist's t-shirt, which had a picture of John Lennon spinning DJ-style at a double turntable, and Mike talked a lot with the drummer about the drummer's other band, of which Mike is a fan.
Everybody was quite friendly with us, and they were very accepting of the cameras, which were in their faces most of the time. Even when they cleared the room for the sound check and we all started to leave, they called to us camera guys and said, "Not you. You guys can stay and film it."

The sound check turned out to be a pretty painful experience at first. There were some problems setting up the board with all the mics and headsets needed to record the drums, bass, piano, and guitars.
It took about 45 minutes to resolve it while the 65-plus radio station listeners who were invited to the intimate performance waited in the atrium downstairs. I could see frustration on the faces of all the band members, particularly the drummer, Nick D'Virgilio (who also plays with the band, Spock's Beard), and Roland Orzabal, but it was definately tense for all of us.
The sound setup was entirely the responsibility of the radio station, not us, so all we could do was sit there and watch. But the wait was worth it when the soundcheck began.
They did parts of "Call me Mellow" and "Who Killed Tangerine" from their soon-to-be released Everybody Loves a Happy Ending. We were all digging it. Most of us are huge Beatles fans and the obvious influences of that band on this one were not lost on us.
After running through the songs and tweaking the levels a little, Nick asked about the order of the songs and, Roland said, "The same as yesterday: Mellow, Tangerine, Heaven, Everybody, and Seeds." Then he looked at us and said, "Let's do it." We brought the listeners in and seated them all around the band.

The interview was sparse, but that didn't bother me. I was there for the music. After discussing the breakup of Roland and Curt, which they were fairly open about, they kicked into the first two songs. Roland's vocals were amazing. The high notes were crisp right up into the falsetto. And Nick's backup vocals on "Tangerine" during the line, "It's not over" made me tingle.
After the show the listeners were lined up down the stairs, through the atrium and around the corner into the hall, where they waited turns for pictures and autographs. Roland and Curt were both very engaging and funny with everyone.
After 20 minutes or so when that was done and I asked them if they would be in a picture with the tv crew, Roland said, "You'd think we were famous!"
The thing that struck me the most about this experience after the last one was how accomodating they were to us.
They seemed very willing to be on camera and have access to the obvious promotional opportunity there is in having a local show about them broadcast. This is by far the best of these I've been involved with.
The pictures were taken by my friends, Scott Frederick and Bret Barton. I'm the one in the Utah Football T-Shirt.
Be sure to go out and buy the new album, "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" when it comes out September 14th. Take it from me, it's going to be great if the three songs I heard are any indication!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my friend's mother was the pianoist for tears for fears