Venue: The Star Theatre @ The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore
Date: 26th March 2019
Promoter: Lushington Entertainments Singapore
Review by: Nate Eileen Tjoeng
Special Thanks: The Lushington Entertainments Singapore team
The Pop Kids – Immortalised
Nobody calls 60-year-old men kids but Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant deserve that right. They started making music four decades ago (when they were ‘kids’), and the synth-pop duo’s brand of sound have reverberated through the years, immutably retaining a solid fan base that filled the first floor of the massive Star Theatre on 26 March in Singapore.
Majority of the crowd came hoping to reminisce their younger years when Pet Shop Boys were hitting the highs over and over again on Billboard charts. Dressed to the nines and hoping to get a bit of high, the elegantly poised crowd sashayed into The Star with their bubbly and vino in hand.
Hardcore fans who followed them from Pet Shop’s previous Inner Sanctum shows might have arrived prepared for an immersive experience. The Boys have mastered the art of delivering pop-exuberance to their crowd with the help of designer Es Devlin’s colourful, mesmerising set. At moments, Devlin’s work subtly pushes the band back to the backdrop and allows a pulsating circle to devour the stage – hypnotising the audience.
The Boys, flanked by musicians, orchestrated the start by laying the beat with “Inner Sanctum”. “Opportunities” came next, with spanking reminders of their materialistic lyrical styles: I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks; Let’s make lots of money. The Star filled up with hypnotic therapy and the captivated crowd dances when PSB performed “Burn”. The starting tracks were seamlessly mixed, ushering the tripping middle-aged into a nearly two-hour long set.
PSB delighted fans with random picks from across their repertoire, including the less anticipated tracks and much-yearned-for ones like “Se A Vida É” and “West End Girls”. The acoustics of The Star did the electronic outfit justice, evident during the melodic pumps of “It’s A Sin”.
Kudos to them for making it fresh for their seasoned concert goers, as they delivered the old track “Left to My Own Devices” in a ‘newer version’. Devlin’s manipulation of the circular motif and laser spheres embellished PSB’s image, enabling the audience to visualise their identity with pop art.
It was slightly amusing when Neil mentioned, “We’re going to play you an old song. But there’s just so many to choose from.” Everyone knew they couldn’t leave the theatre without performing “Go West”, a cover hit that folks know them by.
The ending visuals were a sanguine cluster of colourful, giant balloons. PSB’s encore of three songs that included “Always On My Mind” left a sweet taste in the audience. Rounding it up was a reprise of “The Pop Kids” after exiting the stage leaving them immortalised in the youthful pop image. Unlike their other shows, this one in Singapore didn’t bring a crew of 30 dancers that would have rousted more energy and cheer. Regrettably, PSB also didn’t perform “Rent” and “Surburbia”, well-loved hits that could have replaced many of the less popular tracks. Nevertheless, the duo succeeded in leaving the pop legacy that will emblazon the hearts of the audience forever.