Friday night saw the ‘Popkids’ themselves, the Pet Shop boys hit Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, the dulcet drone of the electro beat thumping through the speakers liberated this more mature audience for a night of euphoric decadence that seen them emulating the phrase, ‘dance like no one’s watching’.
Despite this being one of the more lavish gig’s I’ve been to, the crowd was dressed up to the nines, ladies in cocktail dresses and men dressed in smart suits were, despite seated, dancing along to the old-skool techno and piano house tunes as they relived their days of debauchery.
The lead up to the gig saw members of the crowd spontaneously starting a Mexican wave that quickly made it’s way around the whole circumference of the arena in anticipation. One of my highlights of the night was watching two people waving their iPhone torchlights on opposite sides of the arena but having a sit down dance battle at the same time, definitely a first for me!
The London lads came on stage behind two big wheel-sized platforms that spun around to reveal Tennant and Lowe who as usual were sporting some form of quirky headgear. Opening the evening with Inner Sanctum off the new album, the progressive beats teamed with the viscerally buoyant laser light show, sparked an atmosphere so euphoric that the stadium rose to their feet in awe.
The duo were joined on stage with a trio of instrumentalists and backing vocals that brought another dynamic to the performance, the tone of the evening remained sprightly as the crowd were treated to classic such as; New York City Boy, Love is a Bourgeois Construct and West End Girls.
The tone of the performance became more serene as ambient versions of Home and Dry and others were paired with moving and inspiring visuals. The lasers lit up the stadium as if we were all dancing under a sea of stars.
The crowd were also treated to reworked versions of old tunes that included an 80’s acetate/techno sounding version of Left to My Own Devices that brought a different level of nostalgia to a pop classic.
Tennant and Lowe finished the evening in a bouncy performance of cheesy pop-tastic tune, Go West, that seen complete emotional crowd engagement. If that wasn’t enough, the Pet Shop Boys came back on stage at the Barclaycard, for an encore of Domino dancing and of course, Always on My Mind which had the crowd swooning to the euro disco anthem. As Tennant and Lowe disappeared offstage into the darkness the crowd were left in a state of elated ecstasy.