The day after the nation elected Donald Trump to be our 45th President of the United States, there were the most mixed and intense feelings of furiousness and motivation, wild excitement and helplessness, passion yet disgust all throughout the country like we’ve never experienced before. And so amidst this first day of the next four years to come, no one truly knew of what is to come. But if there’s one thing that Pet Shop Boys could prove, is that music can always be a remedy to bring people of varied beliefs together.
The British duo were quick to kick things off at the quaint Orpheum Theater in Boston on a misty Wednesday to a middle aged and even older crowd, who fancied a return to the 80s to relive some of those pop disco hyped-up nights. This time however the crowd would primarily be in work attire instead of those long gone leather jackets and tall colored socks, while Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe—constantly innovating and keeping their act relevant—would be in groovy metal helmets for the first three songs before Tennant allowed his beautifully bald head to shine in the spotlight and Lowe stuck to shades and a determined face behind the keyboard and computer screen.
Wasting no time at all, Pet Shop Boys, dug into “West End Girls” on just their second track, which instantaneously had the crowd in a tizzy, followed by the equally loveable “The Pop Kids,” a song that Tennant describes as one for all those back in the day who simply loved to listen to pop music. It’s no question that “West End Girls” would be the track that has come to define the most successful musical duo in the UK (according to Guinness Book of World Records). The first time you hear it, it sounds as if it could be from some far away place—there’s something that almost seems off balance about it on this planet yet could be perfectly normal, or even mundane somewhere across the universe. It’s sharp and cuts quickly as Tennant rattles off the lines of an anxious night through the mind of a mad man kicking down tables as he deals with the impossibility of endless decisions and the choices we make to take us where we’re going.
One thing of certain expertise besides the Pet Shop Boys highly profession and crafted sound was the lightshow they brought along into the old Boston theater. It was one of the most incredible light shows I’ve seen to take hold in a relatively small venue, a value holding true to Pet Shop Boys’ ability to bring their scale and popularity around the world no matter where they go. Accompanying the duo were two electronic drummers as well as a vocalist/electric violin player. Although in the middle of the set Tennant seemed to lose some steam, throughout the majority he was a highly engaging front man, the kind who acts out his lyrics, makes direct eye contact with as many as he can, and altogether comes off as an inspiring character who genuinely means what it is that he says and pours his heart out into.
Pet Shop Boys will always be one of the top notch acts to put on an authentically eccentric, heart thumping and all around good natured, new experience. You can tell that the music stems from guys who genuinely believe in the music they’ve been making for over 30 years and this is evident in their ability to play certain older songs note for note, as crowd favorites, yet put their own current spin on other first and second album tracks, exhibiting their strive for keeping their act as fresh as possible.
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