Pet Shop Boys | On Tour in October

Their music, which has always had a tendency toward introspection, has taken an even more serious turn toward the overtly political on their latest CD, Fundamental.

 

prev_petshopboysYou'd be forgiven if you thought the Pet Shop Boys had broken up years ago. The British duo that created one of 1985's most memorable songs, "West End Girls," has consistently charted in the U.K. top ten, as well as on the U.S. dance chart, but it's been 18 years since the Boys had a song in the U.S. Top 40 (that was "Domino Dancing" in 1988). That was also around the time of their first tour, which was a remarkable visual extravaganza that bore more resemblance to live theater than a concert. (Think Madonna minus the crosses and bullet bras.)

The Boys kick off a North American tour in Montreal on October 10 and conclude November 16 in Mexico, with stops in between, including New York, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. The duo's last tour, in support of Release, marked a change of form for their live shows, which previously had featured costume changes, backup dancers, and artful sets. The Release tour was a stripped-down affair and the closest to a straightforward rock performance as the Pet Shop Boys have gotten, which was appropriate to the less dance-driven and more serious mood of that CD.

This show is likely to be more on a par with that than their earlier visual spectacles, and that's just fine. Their music, which has always had a tendency toward introspection, has taken an even more serious turn toward the overtly political on their latest CD, Fundamental, skewering Britain's proposed national ID system and immigration laws as well as Prime Minister Tony Blair's close relationship with George W. Bush on the aptly named "I'm With Stupid."

The U.S. leg of the tour coincides with the release of their new live album, Concert, along with a DVD documentary, A Life in Pop, and a book, The Pet Shop Boys Catalogue, documenting the visual design of the Pet Shop Boys from 1984 to 2004.

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