After seeing two lady legends in the week, on Friday it was the turn of the boys... namely the Pet Shop Boys.
Finally... after what seemed an eternity of waiting for the day to come round, there we were at the O2 sitting in quite good seats at the side looking across onto the stage, bag of merch safely stowed under the seat - yes expect me in your area in a new PSB shirt!
It's a trifle odd that with 25 years in the business PSB still feel the need for a support act, this time it was yet another electro 80s act Frankmusik. He was ok I guess... won't change anybody's life. I agree with Owen who thought he probably sounds better on cd rather than in the echoey cavern of the O2.After a break the lights went down on the set of two small walls of white boxes with a smaller white booth for Chris' keyboards. The walls came to life with flashing colours on each box and out strode the lads themselves - with boxes on their heads! It's always nice to know what the theme will be from the get-go.No Sylvia Mason-James this time but two backing girls - later revealed to be two blonde twins - sang at the side of the stage also in boxed heads... you watch, this time next year...
The show was divided into four sections - they started with a storming HEART which led into the new single DID YOU SEE ME COMING? "Nooooo" I said "Not so early in the setlist"... and it got worse... They followed this up with PANDEMONIUM and LOVE ETC!! These great songs were wasted right at the top of the show while the audience - and me - were just getting warmed up. As they started BUILDING A WALL their faces appeared on the walls, slowly being covered up by blocks of colour. When the colours reached the top, the walls collapsed backwards revealing a huge empty stage strewn with white boxes of all sizes and another big wall of boxes at the back as the stage lit up with colour and light to the strains of GO WEST - wow!This propelled us into a re-visit to the electro/hip-hop 1980s era with New York skylines projected on the boxes, the backing singers and two dancers dressed as NY skyscrapers and fantastic versions of TWO DIVIDED BY ZERO, WHY DON'T WE LIVE TOGETHER - much eekage - and a delirious double-whammy of ALWAYS ON MY MIND and LEFT TO MY OWN DEVICES.
We then got into a moody section with Neil looking very spiffy in evening dress which included KINGS CROSS, THE WAY IT USED TO BE and JEALOUSY which gave the two dancers a chance to throw themselves around the stage with wild abandon.After that it was time for anthems with SUBURBIA, ALL OVER THE WORLD, SE A VIDA E and IT'S A SIN - there was even a bizarre segue of Neil sweeping around the stage in a crown and cloak singing what turned out to be a cover of Coldplay's VIVA LA VIDA - I am proud to say I didn't know what it was. The show ended with the back wall of white boxes blowing up and leaving boxes floating in mid-air - a great visual effect!After that we had an encore of BEING BORING - and yes I was moisty-eyed - and a fantastic WEST END GIRLS sounding as fresh as the day it was released.
Apart from the slightly disorganised start I loved the show. Es Devlin's design was always a joy to watch, the dancers were energetic and fun and of course... he was Chris Lowe, he was Neil Tennant and they were the Pet Shop Boys.
I cannot wait to see them again in December.
Thank you to the good brothers of Flickr for the concert photos.