Pet Shop Boys @ Resorts World Sentosa, 3 August 2013
I’ve been feeling really foggy-headed recently. Too much free time is messing with my mind; my body and sleeping schedule is topsy turvy and worse, my self-discipline is being eroded and replaced by an overwhelming slothfulness. I need some structure or I’m afraid I’ll descend into a pit of laziness. Every interview I’ve had so far has turned out unsuccessful and it sucks. At this point I’m just about ready to take whatever comes along. Gotta keep the money flowing in after all.
Moaning aside, I finally met up with S yesterday albeit for a short while – the last time we saw each other was after I came back from New York. I’d won tickets to the Pet Shop Boys concert that evening and she was my plus one. I’m not a huge fan but I haven’t seen them before and I figured it wouldn’t be a bad way to spend a Saturday night. This is where I air my gripes about the venue – it’s a ballroom in a casino all the way in Sentosa. We took a bus from Vivocity and S commented that it felt like we were going to Malaysia. I’d never been to Resorts World Sentosa before and I doubt I’ll be back anytime soon; the place is suitably gaudy and screams “tourist trap”. Walking into the ballroom didn’t help either – we were greeted by rows and rows of chairs – the kind you find in hotels and Chinese restaurants, and the whole thing looked like a conference or church service. Yeah, it was tacky. I’m not sure what the organisers were thinking. Weird venue aside, the show was predictably entertaining – it was basically a greatest hits set with a few songs from their new album thrown in. The visuals were great, especially at the start and the band had several costume changes and brought out a couple of props. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are like two sides of a coin – identical looking but having different personalities with Neil prancing around singing and Chris working the keyboard console silently. It looked like it was going to be a boring seated affair but when they launched into “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money),” the crowd got off their bums and danced along. S and I ran to the front and joined the growing throng of people on the right side of the stage.
The venue was surprisingly packed, with lots of middle aged people, gay guys and strangely enough, families. I bumped into another friend L, and her boyfriend also named L, before the show and she whispered that the organisers probably gave away tickets to fill up the place – it’s a rather large ballroom after all. The energy level during the two hour set dipped and rose according to the songs; the crowd was relatively quiet and static during lesser-known ones and went crazy whenever they broke out the hits – everyone sang along with gusto to “Go West,” “Suburbia,” “It’s a Sin” and of course “West End Girls” which the band saved for the encore. It was a nostalgia fest. I loved the costumes – they had on everything from what looked like car wash bristles which gave them the appearance of ostriches, to neon suits to orange jumpsuits. The disco ball hats were a nice touch too. There were two dancers on stage who had on minotaur headgear during one of the songs which was both awesome and vaguely creepy. Towards the end they were clad in furry suits and looked like giant bouncing balls with legs. Neil was deliciously flamboyant – crisp British accents and campy antics go together very well. After thanking the crowd and wishing everyone a happy national day, the duo disappeared and it was our cue to leave too.