In their mid-’80s heyday, Tears for Fears had legions of teens singing along to “Sowing the Seeds of Love”; now, nearly 20 years after their breakthrough, those fans are adults, some with teenage kids of their own — but they’re still singing along, these days to tracks from the band’s comeback album, “Everybody Loves a Happy Ending” (New Door/Ume), a record far better than it has any right to be.
On the title song and the single “Call Me Mellow,” Tears for Fears shout back to the Beatles, as they always have, but also remind us that bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol didn’t break through out of nowhere.
But while the songs stand up, the performance is, unfortunately, a bit lackluster. Older tunes, like the band’s first single, “Pale Shelter,” are slowed down to the point where they lose their energy. Even “Shout,” with its rousing, anthemic chorus, was missing the energy that makes it a radio staple to this day.
Singer-songwriter Roland Orzabal seemed a bit dazed — maybe surprised at the fact so many people turned up to see what’s essentially a nostalgia act — and his songwriting partner, Curt Smith, brought the energy down with an unnecessary ballad about his hometown.
Still, it’s unusual for a band that has been away for so long to come back so strong. This tour is the first from Orzabal and Smith, the band’s founding duo, in 14 years, and they’re apparently finding their legs a bit shaky. With a bit more time, though, they may find the groove that used to carry them — and maybe even hit the same old heights.