Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)
The Pop Kids
In The Night
Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
New York City Boy
Se A Vida É (That’s The Way Life Is)
Love Comes Quickly
The Dictator Decides
Inside a Dream
West End Girls
Home and Dry
The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
It’s a Sin
Left to My Own Devices
Always on My Mind
Let’s get the numbers for this one…
Fifty Million records sold worldwide, forty two top 30 singles, twenty two top ten hits and four number ones including one in the States and a Brit award for Outstanding Contribution to Music set over an incredible thirty five year career; few bands really define the eighties music scene and British Electro quite as much as Electro-Pop duo, Pet Shop Boys!
Following the release of 2016’s ‘Super’ album, we got to check out vocalist Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe at Leeds ‘ First Direct Arena for a night of lights, flamboyance and hits. Lots of hits.
Surprisingly, this is actually the Pet Shop Boys’ first ever show in this fine city, and I can think no better venue. Following on from the dazzling light display on the outside of the arena we continue in the same fashion on the inside. As the stage pulses and the crowd are painted in a colour as two familiar figures appear. Dressed for the occasion in dapper suits and Daft Punk-esque metal alien helmets, the mood is set, as the ynth-duo open up with ‘Inner Sanctum’ and ‘Opportunities (Lets Make Lots of Money)’.
What hits me straight away about this show is that it doesn’t feel nostalgic or gimmicky in the slightest; not that it would. But, I often find that when a group has being going as long as this, when a tour comes around, you will often see that a lot of the audience has come out for a night of laughs, neon lycra, leg warmers and to just relive their youth! It feels different here, though. The crowd is full of people from all ages and walks of life, all here with one thing in common; the love for an incredible band. The music, old and new, still feels as fresh as it ever has done and the show feels huge!
Firing through their latest single, ‘The Pop Kids’ and into ‘Burn’ the crowd finally get to see the faces of the duo as the metal helmets are removed to reveal a smiling Tennant. Still in fine voice, the crowd sing along to every word with enthusiasm.
The Pet Shop boys never shy away from showcasing themselves through different sounds and personas and the spectacular light show reflects that. At times we see a darker side to the show. As Tennants face is projected on to the screens and pulsates different hues behind the band, the mood turns somber but only momentarily as the band breaks in to the song that started it all; their debut number one single, ‘West End Girls’, and with it, the energy in the crowd rises to another level.
The light show is breathtakingly awesome tonight. A full on extravagance of lasers lights and smoke and is everything you would expect. At times, it can sometimes feel like the show is carried a little by the lights, but the music itself has managed to stand its own through generations. The lights and imagery transports me to a beach at sunrise at what was my favourite point of the whole show. As the opening harmonies of 'Home & Dry' begin, the mood is set beautifully. It really is mesmerizing. As the songs builds up to a huge crescendo, the beat kicks in and the bass throbs through the chest. This is trance at its best.
Drawing towards the end of the show, the familiar chords of ‘It’s a Sin’ begin and the crowds roar, followed by the classic ‘Go West’. Both sound incredible, but ‘Sin’ feels just as fresh as it did upon its release 30 years ago! The final song of the encore could only be one thing, the 1988 cover of the Elvis classic ‘Always On My Mind’. The lasers shine across the crowd and giant colourful balloons hover above the band. This truly has been one hell of a spectacle and a night everyone will remember.
Pet Shop Boys - https://www.facebook.com/petshopboys/
Photos & Review - Benjamin E. Gladstone Photography