The Pet Shop Boys more than proved their stamina with a sublime pop pedigree line-up in Newcastle on Friday night.
While some musical acts come and go as fast as the latest fashion trend or must have gimmick, Pet Shop Boys have stood the test of time and remain as sleek and stylish as ever. And it’s when you witness a stellar setlist of all their killer hits that you understand exactly why.
Other big music stars can’t even take out the trash without you knowing, while Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been letting their music do the talking for four decades now. While their outfits and sets are undeniably eye-catching, it’s the music that demands attention with every note.
Friday’s show at the Utilita Arena was a triumphant return for Neil, from Tyneside, with the Geordie crowd out of their seats before he and Chris even hit the stage to the sound of Suburbia, the perfect opener of the show which triggered a masterclass of almost two hours. in effortless excellence.
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Can You Forgive Her was a call to arms for the captive crowd’s aerial punches, before the sheer joy of Where The Streets Have No Name / Can’t Take My Eyes Off You was in grave danger of things reaching their apogee too soon.
Luckily for the legions of fans who flocked to see PSBs, there were plenty more classic cuts available to Neil and Chris. I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore sounds as fresh as when it was released. Before the turn of the millennium, mid-90s summer scorcher Se A Vide E was a sunny standout, quickly followed by the epic and anthemic Domino Dancing.
The Pet Shop Boys’ pop peers would kill to have a catalog as hearty and compelling as their own. And when you experience it in the flesh, the mix of Chris’ electro beats and Neil’s powerful yet understated voice is truly hypnotic.
The opening bars of their chart topping Elvis reworking Always On My Mind, to me, still stand the test of time as one of the best intros to a pop song of all time and no words can quite render. justice to the impact of It’s A Sin.
The phenomenal success of the Channel 4 drama of the same name has seen the track’s message and appeal reach new heights and the anguished and painful lyrics are both thought-provoking and compelling.
I could throw a lot of superlatives at the feet of the Pet Shop Boys to try to give even a hint of the quality of Friday night’s concert.
Luckily for me the title of the tour says it all – Dreamland – with Neil and Chris were the perfect tour guides for a trip with an itinerary full of musical magnificence.
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