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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Pet Shop Boys Inner Sanctum show @RoyalOperaHouse "splattered its spunky love-light across the smiling faces ... like some multi-coloured glowing rainbow-luminous bukaki" @PetShopBoys

Last night Stuart and I (and the world and his husband) went to the Royal Opera House in London's glitzy Covent Garden to see The Pet Shop Boys tear the old place a new one.

Wow! What a show! People were on their feet from the opening note and stayed dancing for the next hour and three quarters.

We had seen pretty much the same show almost exactly two years ago to the day at the House - although since then the set list has been improived - tweaking it slightly - losing a couple of the more recent singles and inserting an extra classic or two.

Expectations were pretty high as we took our seats, but boy did the Boys deliver again. It was if a giant herd of rainbow flag-draped disco dancing musical unicorns pranced onto the stage of the Royal Opera House and rubbing their silver sparkling horns together spunked out torrents of shiny disco balls of pure pop loveliness that then exploded into the ears of the delighted crowd.

The background visuals were so stunning and the laser light show so joyously bright that when it splattered its spunky love-light across the smiling faces of each and everyone in the auditorium it was like some multi-coloured glowing rainbow luminous bukaki.

As you might gather - I liked the show.

The Boys were simply in magnificent form - interacting with the crowd between the songs (well, Neil anyway) - in fine voice (well, Neil anyway) - dancing around the stage (well, Neil anyway) - and wearing stupid hats (OK, they BOTH did that!) It was everything you expected from a Pet Shop Boys show and more.

It was like their Imperial phase was back all over again. They owned the place!

And after all this time they know how to put a show together - they work with the best. The set design, the background visuals, the sound design were all amazeballs and hung together magnificently. The show had a real feel of being integrated. Something you don't always see in a gig. But here it all had a single vision and it all came together perfectly. And this vision was DISCO.

The Boys managed to pull off that difficult trick of getting the set list right too. With such a large back catalogue to choose from and with new work to promote you're never going to please everyone. But they seemed to give the occasional fan plenty of hits, promote their two most recent two albums quite well and keep the hard-core Pethead on-board too.

And you don't always know what is going to work live. Even on paper you think something might work better than it did on the night. For example one of my personal favourite songs from thir latest album Super is The Dictator Decides. But this didn't really work live - the vocal got rather lost - whereas The Sodom and Gomorrah Show (an album track from ten years ago) went down as an epic sing-a-long storm.

For the last few songs of the night the boys were joined on stage by dancers wearing brightly-coloured inflatable fat suits. Very funny and the dancing looked great.

Let's hope that when the third of the triplet of Stuart Price produced albums appears in the next couple of years the Boys promote it in a similar way with a really big arena show. Because this was a super Super show and we deserve an encore on an even bigger stage.

We love the Pet Shop Boys.

High point: Vocal
Higher point: Burn
Higher point still: The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
Highest point: New version of Left to My Own Devices

Set List:-
Inner Sanctum
Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
The Pop Kids
In the Night
Burn
Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
New York City Boy
Se A Vida É (That's The Way Life Is)
Love Etc.
The Dictator Decides
Inside a Dream
West End Girls
Home and Dry
The Enigma
Vocal
The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
It's a Sin
Left to My Own Devices (New version)
Go West (New version) (Village People cover)

Encore:
Domino Dancing
Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee cover)
The Pop Kids (Reprise)



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