Music Review: Pet Shop Boys Live

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Having previously done a review of a concert that featured Altered Images, Tom Bailey, and The Human League, I’m doing one about the Pet Shop Boys concert that I went to last night. This was the second time that I have seen the Pet Shop Boys (one of my favourite acts), and again, like both the previous time I saw them and the Altered Images/Tom Bailey/Human League one, it was at the Motorpoint in Cardiff. Unlike when I saw the Pet Shop Boys last time, however, there was seating in the main arena and unlike the Human League concert, security staff were ensuring that nobody was walking around to get closer to the stage for dancing or taking photos (in fact, watching one of the staff was part of my entertainment for the evening).

Although my seat was very close to where I was for the Human League concert, partly as I could not walk around (it was also a shame how few people stood up and danced during the concert), I didn’t get as good photos as I did at that concert, but will include some of the better ones in this post. I also took a few videos, but, again, they won’t be up to much, so there’s probably no point in sharing them here – I’m sure others have got better ones up on YouTube already. I also hope that there will be an official DVD of the tour (not heard any news on this yet) as I would definitely get a copy.

The concert was due to have been held in 2020, but was postponed twice thanks to COVID. Had it been in 2020, it would have come closer on the back of the “Dreamland” single, which I assume the name of the tour (Dreamworld) is a partly a nod to. Had it been in 2021, it would have also been closer to when the TV programme “It’s A Sin” was out – there’s not a massive link between the Pet Shop Boys and this series, other than the title presumably coming from one of the Pet Shop Boy’s biggest hits, and that the main actor in the TV Programme, Olly Alexander, being the lead singer of Years and Years, featured on the single “Dreamland”. I actually spotted a couple of people in the audience with “It’s A Sin” T-shirts on in the style of the TV programme’s logo (think of those words being done in the style of “Frankie Say Relax“).

There was no support – but none was needed. This was billed as a greatest hits tour. With so many hits to choose from, it must have been hard to eliminate (rather than choose) certain tracks in putting the playlist together. But what a playlist – a total of 26 tracks one way or another and a playing time of over an hour and three quarters. You can find the full set list here: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/pet-shop-boys/2022/motorpoint-arena-cardiff-cardiff-wales-63b74ad3.html

Of course all fans have their own favourite songs, and if I was choosing 26, there are three others that I would liked to have swapped in… I’ve always loved “King’s Cross” (particularly the live versions when there are additional female vocals), “Integral”, and I just find “Hell” hilarious. I have added YouTube links to all three in case you’re not familiar with them.

As much as I just enjoyed hearing the music live and seeing the incredible show that was put on (honestly, why is there no show that uses Pet Shop Boys as has been done by so many other acts now?), I could not help but by be drawn in by the lyrics (which is why I love the book “One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem” also). This is still such a strong feature of Pet Shop Boys music. I didn’t have a particular highlight in the evening – they sang my favourite hits (so good that they’ve relented and now include “Heart” in a live performance) – so I went home very happy. Was definitely worth waiting two years for, and, as I said above, I would definitely buy an official DVD of the tour.

Here are a few of the photos that I took…

A touch of Hitchcock?
What Have I Done To Deserve This?
Being Boring

Here are links to a few other Pet Shop Boys related posts that I have done:

3 Comments Add yours

  1. dandanchan904 says:

    Thank you for this review, Chris. I listened endlessly to PSB between about 1987 and 1997 (even belonged to their fan club for a while), and as you suggest the joy of their music is as much in the lyrics as the memorable tunes. It’s great they are still performing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    Thank you for a great review. I was there and also noticed how few people got up to dance, it really surprised me as it was pretty much full disco from start to finish! I stood and danced the whole time, sang badly and had a great time! Loved every minute!

    Liked by 1 person

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