DANCE THEATER: I’m going to see the Pet Shop Boys at The Joint on October 11 ($41-$81). This time next week, you’ll probably be reading my review of that concert in this publication. I’m guessing it will read like this: The Pet Shop Boys are a splendidly visual live act, one that uses its high-energy dance tracks as raw material for what amounts to a theatrical spectacular. Their past shows have featured dancers, enormous moving stage elements, and more costume changes in two hours than Cher has executed in a career. And y’know something? The music doesn’t need all that stuff. Since the 1980s, Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant have routinely produced some of the smartest dance music I’ve heard, from 1985’s “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” to this year’s terrific “Love is a Bourgeois Construct.” In other words, the Pet Shop Boys’ live show is a perfect match of form and function. I sincerely hope that’s what I’ll have to say about the band’s Vegas show, because if they live up to those expectations, the first part of the review is already written.
FORM OF FLATTERY: The year was 2001, and I was in attendance at the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, Washington—a weekend music and culture festival with multiple stages spread across the sprawling grounds of Seattle Center. Happening upon one such stage while on my way to another, I spotted them for the first time: a band in gypsy dress, pounding out aggressive folk songs while their shirtless lead singer danced madly and flossed the most impressive Eastern Bloc mustache this side of Lech Walesa. And I said to myself, as one will do in such circumstances, “Who are these hairy fucking lunatics?” Well, savage reader, I can tell you now that the mustache belongs to Ukranian-born Eugene Hütz, and that he belongs to his band, Gogol Bordello. My love for these magical gypsy punks has steadily increased year over year, through “When The Trickster Starts A-Poking” and “Star Wearing Purple,” to the present day … where I am seriously considering growing my own droopy mustache in time for the band’s poolside show at the Cosmopolitan on October 12 ($25). Maybe I’ll inspire someone to do the same.
NOW ON SALE: Just now I was, like, staring at the wall thinking ’bout everything. And then my Mom came in. And I said, “All I want is to see Suicidal Tendencies at House of Blues on November 30, for $25.” And Mom said, “Okay, we can do that.” And I said, “Huh. That didn’t go the way I thought it was gonna go.”