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Show Review: Pet Shop Boys

The Pet Shop Boys proved at their show at The Shrine Auditorium that they are one of the most adaptable, yet consistent electronic groups to date. Don’t be fooled for a minute into thinking that these 80’s synth-pop pioneers have ever left the scene. They are still capable of bringing in a packed venue, and they did just that this past Saturday. They had everyone in attendance dancing. Yes, all of us. Young and old, and gay and straight alike were getting down to the group’s older and newer hits.  

(Photo courtesy of Genaro Molina; Los Angeles Times)

(Photo courtesy of Genaro Molina; Los Angeles Times)

The show was more along the lines of a rave than a concert. Between the blinding light-show and the flamboyant production, the band set the crowd into hysteria and trance-like dancing. The band ripped into their stellar set with the opening track “Axis” off of their new album “Electric”. As my friend and I were rushing to the balcony to quickly find our seats, the music coming from the PA system filling the venue could have just as easily have been a new single from Justice. That’s how current and up-to-date this band is in the electronic scene.  When we found our seats, we were presented with a large screen hanging overhead on stage with a with a video feed of both members Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. The group played behind the screen for a few songs teasing the group who was anxiously waiting to see the electronic heroes. When the screen vanished and the two members appeared, the crowd went nuts with a level of energy that lasted throughout the set.

(Photo courtesy of Raquel Sharaf)

(Photo courtesy of Raquel Sharaf)

Although newer songs were greatly received with shouts of praise from the audience, stand-out hits like “Opportunities”, “Always On My Mind”, and most notably, “It’s A Sin” left the crowd in an uproar.  Two back up dancers who donned tribal masks and circus stilts added a nice pastiche of flamboyancy characteristic of the band. If any other musical act had attempted this level of production, it would have probably come off as over-the-top, but for the Pet Shop Boys, it was absolutely fitting and completely perfect. Neil acknowledged to the audience at one point that this performance was the last of the tour, and it was obvious that the “boys” gave it their all in a proper farewell fashion. I left the concert sweating from dancing so hard with a huge smile on my face.

-Matt DeMonaco, Second Skin