Concert Review: Pet Shop Boys, September 25, Sony Centre


Lasers! Dancers! Costume changes! Disco ball heads! Massive singalongs! More lasers! These are among the things that make a Pet Shop Boys show such an entertaining spectacle.  The duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been perfecting their craft over the past 3 decades and aside from the catchy hits like “West End Girls,” “Domino Dancing,” and “Opportunity (Let’s Make Lots Of Money),” they know that the key to a good show is making it as grand a show as possible. And lasers.

For acts of a certain vintage that have been around for awhile, there are generally two approaches that they can take: become a full-fledged nostalgia act focusing on the hits of yesteryear or plow forward and continue to release new material in the hopes that the audience will take that leap along with them. Pet Shop Boys have managed to find a good balance between the two.  While those in attendance were obviously most excited to hear the big hits, the new songs off of their latest, Electric, were also well received and fit in nicely with the classics.  Obviously though, the songs that sounded the best were the ones accompanied by a badass laser show.

pet shop boys

So yeah, we’ve got the lasers covered, but let me tell you about the dancers and the costumes.  And the dancers’ costumes.  While Tennant and Lowe are the Pet Shop Boys, there are only two of them and with Lowe anchored to his keyboards, there’s only so much they can do.  While Neil Tennant puts forth his best efforts, that’s still a lot of stage to fill and so the two dancers do add a lot to the show.  Often wearing buffalo skull masks, (as well as suits, stilts, and other things)  the dancers added an extra visual element to go along with the projections and lasers and also gave Lowe and Tennant a chance to go backstage for a costume change from time to time during the set.

The costumes were an important element of the show. Aside from Lowe’s aforementioned disco ball head, there were various other costumes, the most visually striking of which were the weird pogo stick meets pom pom outfits which the band’s dancers wore onstage before the encore.

Of course the band had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. A quick glance around the venue yielded a lot of smiling faces, lots of singing along, and more than a little dancing.  The highlight of the show came near the end of the set when during “Domino Dancing,” Tennant stopped singing and let the voices of the crowd be heard en masse.  There’s really nothing like hearing a large group of people united in song. And also, lasers.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts