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Review Sat Oct 28 2006

Review: Pet Shop Boys @ Chicago Theatre

With so many bands recently reuniting after years apart, it's sometimes surprising to know who's never taken a break. The Pet Shop Boys have released new albums every few years since their debut, Please, in 1986. And while dance music is primarily a singles genre, their albums have stayed consistently good over the years. In support of their latest album, the politically-charged Fundamental, the Pet Shop Boys brought their show to the Chicago Theatre on Friday.

Entering the stage blended in among a series of lookalikes, Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant began their set with a new song ("Psychological") and an old hit ("Left to My Own Devices") for the overjoyed audience. Two dancers and three backing vocalists, two men and a woman, filled out the stage along with three large cubes/screens in the background for videos. While Neil Tennant sang and walked between the dancers, Chris Lowe barely moved from his synthesizer and laptop on the corner of the stage. In the second half after a 20-minute intermission, the set drew more from the singles that made the Pet Shop Boys. "Always on My Mind" and the "Where the Streets Have No Name"/"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" medley began a part of the show that resembled a club atmosphere. One new song, "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show", fit in well as they closed the performance with hits like "West End Girls", "It's a Sin", and their cover of "Go West."

The Pet Shop Boys may not have the stage presence of a Mick Jagger, Bono, or even Craig Finn, but they know their audience and how to play what they want to hear. Offsetting their mechanicality with dancers, club-like lighting, costumes, and videos, they at least know they're not much to look at. Luckily, they play well enough that it doesn't come off as a complete diversion from what's important.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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