Hall & Oates and Tears for Fears influenced by 1970s British prog rock? Yeah, you can go for that. | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Hall & Oates and Tears for Fears influenced by 1970s British prog rock? Yeah, you can go for that.



Whoever dreamed up the double bill of Hall & Oates and Tears for Fears deserves a DeLorean as a reward. Though they play different styles of pop music—Hall & Oates are experts at soft rock and blue-eyed soul, Tears for Fears deliver ambitious synth-heavy sophisti-goth—the two acts share a few similarities. Both are duos with one dominant member (Daryl Hall and Roland Orzabal); both found their greatest success during the 80s. But the more unlikely quality that Hall & Oates and Tears for Fears have in common is a connection to the fecund tradition of 1970s British progressive rock. For Hall & Oates the association is sneaky—though they were initially a soft-rock act, the group incorporated more experimental flourishes and arrangements thanks to Hall’s affiliation with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp (who produced Hall’s 1980 solo debut Sacred Songs). In the case of Tears for Fears the relationship is more direct—they were deeply influenced by Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and especially Robert Wyatt, whom the band covered in a commanding version of “Sea Song.” So if you happen to be seeing this show, keep in mind that you’re not taking in a nostalgic revival of 1980s new-wave chart pop but a nerdy, insular night of gnarly prog rock!   v

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