LIVE REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: Royal Opera House

WHEN: 22/7 runs to 23/7

SETLIST: Inner Sanctum; West End Girls; The Pop Kids; In The Night; Burn; Love Is A Bourgeois Construct; New York City Boy; Se A Vida E; Twentysomething; Love Comes Quickly; Love Etc; The Dictator Decides; Inside A Dream; Winner; Home and Dry; Vocal; The Sodom and Gomorrah Show; It’s A Sin; Left To My Own Devices; Go West; Domino Dancing; Always On My Mind; The Pop Kids (reprise)

We’ve seen Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe at London venues as diverse as The 02, the old Wembley Arena, Clapham Common, Trafalgar Square and the Savoy Theatre.

  • Read on for details of the Pet Shop Boys new Super tour

Tonight is their third performance at the 2,256-capacity Royal Opera House, a venue where we saw Rufus Wainwright perform twice during his Haus of Rufus residency five years ago.

More recently the Pet Shop Boys have become used to playing arena shows and it’s very much in evidence  here as this Inner Sanctum performance feels simply too big for its home. Whether it’s the striking circular visuals (memorably the Boys have used boxes in the past) or super-sized setlist.

We think we’ve seen the Boys over a dozen times throughout their 30-year career and there are now songs they always play (It’s A Sin, Go West and Always On My Mind usually at the end) although West End Girls is, curiously, almost thrown away too early tonight.

Their back catalogue is such a treasure trove that the rest of the set often features choice selections from recent albums (Super provides five and Electric three of tonight’s songs) and elsewhere there are some classics we haven’t heard live for a while including a joyous In The Night, moving Home And Dry and ecstatic Left To My Own Devices.

The Boys have been putting on this sort of exemplary, inventive and euphoric arena-sized hits show for years now adding new twists with each outing. Tonight’s dancers in fatsuits are as showstopping as the lasers. Tickets have just gone on sale for the Super tour in Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bournemouth in February. They might not be a night at the opera but they’ll be just as memorable.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Pet Shop Boys. Returns here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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