Concert Review and Photo Attack - Pet Shop Boys 2009 Pandemonium Tour - Pabst Theater, Milwaukee (Pet Shop Boys Appreciation Week)

Pet Shop Boys Appreciation Week continues with a review and a massive photo array from the Pet Shop Boys concert on 9/15/2009 at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee.

One thing you can always count on from a Pet Shop Boys concert is a rich visual spectacle to match the incredible music. It's never just two dudes standing there, expecting you to love them simply because they bothered to show up. Hell no! A Pet Shop Boys concert is always a big production. I don't mean the kind of joyless, self-serving, ego-burdened Big Production that is meaningful only to the band itself; quite the contrary.

With fabulous costumes, top-notch dancers, towering sets (movable and configurable, no less), a complex but seamlessly integrated light show, and the uniquely charismatic stage presence of Neil and Chris, every Pet Shop Boys show is a lush, high-energy celebration -- a treat for your eyes, ears, and booty (on account of all the shakin' it will be compelled to do). Comfortable shoes are a must, because you won't be sitting down at a Pet Shop Boys show.

The Pet Shop Boys' appearance on Tuesday, September 15 at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee was all of those things and more. As a stop on their Fall 2009 Pandemonium tour, this was their first-ever concert appearance in Wisconsin, and as such, it was a special treat for local fans -- and for Chicago fans who wanted a chance to see them on back-to-back nights without having to drive 5 hours. The Boys' Milwaukee show got some nice local press coverage in advance, including a brief article in the September issue of Milwaukee Magazine (article available in print only - sorry!), and concert previews in Shepherd Express and The Onion.

While I heard a few people on Twitter complaining about the show being so early in the week, I actually enjoyed the novelty of dancing my ass off, screaming 'til I went hoarse, and sustaining mild hearing damage on a school night. Besides, not every stop on the tour can fall on a weekend -- the Boys would be touring nonstop for a year. Think about it, people. Think of how long that would delay their next album. Is that what you want? Just so you can avoid being tired at work on Wednesday morning? I didn't think so.

The Pet Shop Boys put on a phenomenally good show in Milwaukee -- one that spanned their 25-year catalogue with effortless mashups of songs new and old. I especially enjoyed their layering of "Two Divided by Zero" and "New York City Boy." And how can you not love a cape-and-crown-wearing Neil Tennant singing Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" in the encore? Longtime fans and the uninitiated alike were treated to what one Pabst Theater staffer described as "by far, the best concert I have ever seen at the Pabst."

Bottom line: This show affirms the Pet Shop Boys' status as brilliant musicians and performers of the highest caliber. They clearly love making music and putting on a show, and that pure-hearted energy permeated the theater from their first song to well after their last.

Without further ado, here are some of the photos I snapped at the concert. Enjoy! And let the music play forever...






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