With a new album out, the Pet Shop Boys’s residency at the Royal Opera House in London is likely a preface to a large tour of arena shows. Fans will be happy to hear that the residency performance has not disappointed. A review at the Guardian praises both the high and low of the show’s union of operatic art and pop jammers:
The maths suggest that [Pet Shop Boys] x [Royal Opera House] x [set designer Es Devlin] would equal a run of shows vertiginously high in concept, tending towards the more pretentious end of the Pet Shop Boys’ oeuvre—the subsidiary that soundtracks ballets, for instance, or silent films with the Dresdner Sinfoniker, or publishes weighty tomes of their visual output, and not the core business that pumps out catchy disco. This particular tour production goes by the name Inner Sanctum, after the first track on their most recent album, one of those PSB titles, such as Elysium or Pandemonium, that chucks Latinate polysyllables around with nonchalance.
Anyway, that math—a gross miscalculation, it turns out. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s first night at the opera is awesomely unpretentious, while providing plenty of spectacle to chew over. They roll out the hits while strafing the place with rave lasers, bringing on a bodypopper in an opalescent suit (for New York City Boy) and dancers in inflatable fat suits for the grand finale.