The cancelled sold out "Unity Tour" featuring The Pet Shop Boys and New Order from 2021 finally arrived at the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on September 30th, 2022.
One word to describe the concert....Amazing!
6:45pm- Legendary DJ, Trance Producer, three-time Grammy Award and two-time World Music Awards nominee: Paul Oakenfold warms up the crowd with his first of two 30-minute pulse pounding sets.
The 59 yr. old spun behind a custom LED video screen DJ booth. 2 large LED screen to each side of the stage were dancing his name and color blends along to the beats.
7:15pm- Without and delay, The Pet Shop Boys: Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe hit the stage. The duo opened the show with "Suburbia", both dressed in slick white coats and futuristic headdresses. By the third song, "Opportunities", Neil removed his headdress to greet the venue. A couple more songs in, there was a costume change, the LED screen rose, and the full band was revealed. All dressed in matching custom shawls.
The show was not only filled with a slew of their hits, but a visual wonderland of LED screens and bouncing lights through each song.
For a band like The Pet Shop Boys being very electronic in nature, from my vantage point (very close), I can say everyone on the stage was playing their instruments and singing. If there were any backing tracks, they were for fill and few and far between.
Neil Tennant, at 68 yrs. old, did not lose any aspect of his voice as he sounded as good as the original studio recordings. Chris Lowe played his all parts on keys with exactness and seamless patch switching on every song. The rest of the band consisted of 2 electronic percussionist and second keyboardist that all sang backgrounds for their designated parts.
The band was tight, and the mix was perfect, with the ability to hear each instrument with amazing precision.
"It's a Sin" was last song before the encore which then took the stage back to the opening format of two streetlights, LED screen down, and only Neil and Chris upfront. "West End Girls" and "Being Boring" closed the show.
8:45- Paul Oakenfold back on stage to spin his second set while crews perform the stage change over. There was no down time for the crowd as they had a sustained flow of music from start to finish.
9:15 - New Order begins with a 3-4 minute video tribute to Chicago and founding member, singer, and guitarist: Bernard Sumner greets the crowd before heading into "Regret" and "Age of Consent".
New Order is more of a traditional instrument band with two guitars, bass, and drums. They do switch formats over to a more electronic band on hits "Bizarre Love Triangle", "True Faith", and "Blue Monday".
With that being said, the guitars were set to proper frequencies to cut through to be heard and not lost in the mix.
New Order performed a musical onslaught of sound as well as visual. Lights, haze, lasers....They used it all with an incredible full mix of sound. The band sounded great! They closed the night with "Temptation" and finally "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
The crowd was fun, exciting to watch, and into the show from start to finish. Dancing, grooving, and singing to both bands and Paul's jams.
This was my first time seeing either band. If they had a second show, I would have brought family and friends to experience this concert. It was that good!
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