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Tears for Fears: Live at the Wiltern 2014


Every journey begins with a step. For me, it seems like the road to the Wiltern, started long before I heard that Tears for Fears would be playing to a sold out auditorium in Los Angeles. It began with a simple phrase I read on Facebook written by a friend that simply read, “Live More Musically.” This phrase has resonated differently than it does for most.  A couple of years ago, music almost bankrupted me. Live more musically?  Could I afford to let music back into my life?  Music and I haven’t been friends for quite a while and for whatever reason, I never intended to make my journey begin with a band like Tears for Fears. No offense to them, but they simply were never my band and their songs were not the songs that belonged to me in my youth. Now before you start throwing rocks at me, allow me to continue. They wrote good music.  They wrote catchy songs that seemed to speak to the youth all around me. Their music permeated almost everything at some point. You simply could not grow up in the 80’s and 90’s and not be touched by them in one way or another. Their tapes were found in the cars of my friends and their friends. I don’t know if you remember, but they were once one of the biggest bands in the world. And shamefully, I simply thought they were just a duo that sang their songs to black and white music videos. That’s how ignorant I was of this band. Even by 2014, long after I stopped pretending to listen to one type of music, even after all of that, I am reminded of how little I followed Tears for Fears. Then came my invitation to see the band. Why not see them? They had a couple of hit songs, right? So I went to the Wiltern – without a ticket or even the promise of a ticket. Yes, this is a true story. I was there to take some pictures, but had no ticket to see the show. Sometimes that’s just the way things go. That’s how this story should have ended.  It should have began and ended as a photo opportunity and nothing more. However, sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you are given the opportunity to watch the band perform and not just listen as the songs they are singing fade into the hallway as you are escorted out of the photo pit and into the streets of Los Angeles.  That was how I imagined the band would impact me.  I imagined that they would disappear into the distance while the door of the Wiltern theater hit my butt on the way out. However, the Wiltern's doors remained open as did my  opportunity to see the rest of the show from inside the venue and, eventually, as a new fan. Yes, last Tuesday was the night I became a fan of a band that has been around for a long time. I will admit that I was never fair to them. I never listened or followed them the way that they deserved. They played the music that was also partially the soundtrack to my own childhood.  While they belonged to my friends first, I too embrace them during the week that I decided to live musically. As I finished the show, I was surprised at how many songs I was familiar with that were beyond the big hits like Mad World, Head Over Heals and Shout.   What surprised me was that they were solid. Both Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith had not just won me over but earned my admiration. As I left the venue still in the afterglow of Shout, I thought about the phrase “Live More Musically” and wondered if I could continue to try to, in fact, allow music to have a prominent place in my life once again? I wonder.  For now, this will be my reintroduction into something familiar, like an old friend.  Who better than Tears for Fears? By Paul Stamat Photos from the Wiltern