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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning,simple as that
I remember back in the early 90's reading newspaper and magazine reviews of this concert and how it made people finally realise just how fantastic the pet shop boys really where.The first thing that hits you when you play the dvd is that it hasn't dated at all,remember this concert is over 13 years old and still seems modern,even by todays standards.Great lighting,sets...
Published on 1 Oct 2004

versus
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pity about the video
If I could rate the sound content separately I would give it five stars. I like the music and the sound quality is very good. The video content I would give one star. It contains simulated sex, people wandering around wih pumpkins on their heads, blowup dolls, singer being attacked and kicked on the floor and wierd costumes. The arranger must have something wrong in the...
Published on 15 Sep 2010 by Mike K.


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning,simple as that, 1 Oct 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I remember back in the early 90's reading newspaper and magazine reviews of this concert and how it made people finally realise just how fantastic the pet shop boys really where.The first thing that hits you when you play the dvd is that it hasn't dated at all,remember this concert is over 13 years old and still seems modern,even by todays standards.Great lighting,sets and some great on stage performances by the boys and dancers alike and remember this is more of a theatrical show than a concert as such and works really well.
Extras include dolby 5.1 aswell as a very good stereo mix if you don't have 5.1,audio commentary,rehearsal coverage and more and are well worth watching.
Recomended to fans new and old this is a simply stunning dvd,Pet Shop Boys in there relatively early days and highly recomended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first-rate Performance, 19 Dec 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I was fortunate enough to see the Pet Shop Boys in concert during this concert tour in Chicago, in 1990. This is the same concert that they took on the road around the world, and was very true to the performance that I saw, which was very thrilling. This was no simple concert - the fans of the Pet Shop Boys, having come to expect much from them in terms of quality and innovation, were treated to a concert performance that was part music video, part Broadway/West End music, part modern opera, and part simple, old-fashioned concert singing. Something for everyone, indeed.
The music quality on this is superb - despite being a `live' performance video, the music has been enhanced and corrected to allow for the best possible quality. This is very much a live performance, but with the kind of technical skill and back-up that the music of the Pet Shop Boys requires (Neil Tennant once made the comment that the Pet Shop Boys were probably never going to be able to `make it live' because of the technological requirements for their songs.
The songs include the following:
This must be the place I waited years to leave
It's a sin
Losing my mind
What have I done to deserve this?
My October symphony
I'm not scared
We all feel better in the dark
So sorry, I said
Suburbia
So hard
Opportunities (let's make lots of money)
How can you expect to be taken seriously?
Rent
Where the streets have no name (I can't take my eyes off you)
West End girls
Jealousy
Always on my mind
Your funny uncle
The DVD has a complete performance of the whole concert; those watching the video will notice a modified `Where the streets have no name' because of some sort of licensing dispute with the song copyright owners.
The choreography is stunning, as are the sets, costumes and production values. Eric Watson, who has worked with the PSB more often than any other director for their videos, is also the director here. Other performers include vocals by Sylvia Mason-James, Pam Sheyne, and Derek Green; Scott Davidson and J.J. Belle provide additional instrumental back-up (both have worked with the PSB frequently).
This is a very postmodern performance in many ways, and one that has details that come out only upon repeated viewings.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, 5 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This is perhaps the best of all concert performances available at the moment. Gorgeous tunes, IMPECCABLE production, loads of melancholy and fun in perfect measures. A combination of dance music and opera that's so brilliant . . . words fail me, actually.
Glorious stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys At their Best, 21 Mar 2011
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
If you only see one performance make it this performance ... brilliantly remastered it is a classic show which will send shivers down your spine. Awesome !!!
Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a spectacular perfromance, 7 Nov 2010
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I was 8 years old when i first saw this and ever since then ive been a die hard fan of the psbs. This is by far there best live show, the costumes are amazing and the dancers are incredible, the show is somewhat like a bizzarely brilliant story in which we view weird and wonderful experiences of the boys. An awesome setlist with a vast collection of well known hits such as 'west end girls' and 'its a sin' plus b side tracks like 'we all feel better in the dark' and 'losing my mind'. From the moment it begins i can promise you that you will be hypnotised by it, a must see for all psb fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful..., 7 Mar 2008
By 
Mr. Robert Kelly (Northern Ireland (UK)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This really is fantastic. Also: the live version of - This must be the place, is the best I've ever heard (as are several songs). Strange to think of electronic music sounding better live but somehow they pulled it off!!
The visuals and meanings in this performance really cut new ground but like all things that are truly ground breaking this concert transcended even critical acclaim or media understanding at that time. Now: we can look at it and see what a masterpiece these concerts were in conception and meaning.
Chris and Neil have forged their way into pop music and elevated it to a standard that very few bands could hope to come close to. These concerts now exist in their own right - as even transcending the pet shop boys' newer work in some areas. Performance, like: Behaviour, will grow in time as a landmark in the evolution of meaning through musical production. For anyone who slipped through the radar of being understood or accepted in anyway in their lives - the pet shop boys' have a secret world of fabulous understanding and empathy in the sweetest chords and most soaring emotive expressions that you will constantly find new pleasure in listening to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GLORIOUS GLAMOUR AND GOLD, 3 Mar 2008
By 
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The year is 1991 and I travel to London to see what I expect to be a
"good" concert performance from one of my favourite groups...no big deal...should be good fun....What unfolded before the audience that night
was in fact so detailed,professional,inspiring and incredible that I
stood there(dancing quite a bit)for the duration of the concert in awe
of the sheer energy and spectacle of what will be regarded as one of their
finest moments in a career filled with great moments.The costumes,the dancing,the staging,every single song a "Performance".With their still
serenity and deadpan delivery the Pets show as never before in a concert filled with wit and strangely moving moments that just demonstrate their ability to deliver excellent dance/electronic music
but with feeling and heart.the audio commentary is hilarious from Neil and Chris themselves.Chris does not like being the centre of attention which is so endearing.Watch it....love it....and seeth that you weren't there....Madonna had blonde ambition...Pet Shop Boys are PERFORMANCE.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking Music Concert finally released on DVD., 27 Sep 2004
By 
Mr. J. Sutton (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Pet Shop Boys have never been a group who are content to work within the constraints and restrictions that are often imposed by the music industry. The highly theatrical 1991 Performance tour showcases the ambition that the Pet Shop Boys have and this is an example of why their fans were not surprised by their recent decision to compose the score for the 1925 silent movie classic Battleship Potemkin. This tour was innovative in many ways and showed how far the traditionally rigid rock concert could go. No active musicians were visible onstage and each song was visualised and choreographed within the context of a narrative which stretched from childhood to death to afterlife. Also included on this DVD is a new entertaining commentary from Neil and Chris, rehearsal footage, Overture to Performance and stills from the show.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Gesamtkunstwerk" or Euro-trash?, 24 Mar 2013
By 
Autonome (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
When he composed his operas, the German composer Richard Wagner wanted them to become "total works of art" (or "Gesamtkunstwerk"). The stage would be the centre of a performance where music, lyrics, ballet, singing and poetry would blend into an undivided whole, and where orchestral musicians would - as much as possible - be hidden from view.
This is EXACTLY what the Pet Shop Boys aimed at doing with the "Performance" tour. With this tour, the traditional rock concert would turn into a meticulously rehearsed performance, with nothing (or very little) left to chance and with the artists addressing the audience and performing to it rather than communicating with it. Versus other bands, the PSBs lend themselves quite well to such a treatment considering that their songs are carefully produced and orchestrated, and that their lyrics generally go beyond the boy-loves-girl thingy. The series of songs performed here are also organised so as to present a lifetime (and death) story in songs. So far so good.

The problem though is that to execute on this brilliant concept, PSBs decided to give the keys of the tour' s artistic kingdom to opera directors David Alden and David Fielding. Now these two are notorious defenders of what is called in opera slang "Regietheater", i.e. directors who put the social and political importance of the work they present above and beyond any other artistic consideration - including the music. The Americans, who are more annoyed by these types of production, generally call them Eurotrash. They typically (and for example) show Wagner's Tannhaüser in a spaceship, La Traviata in a factory or The Barber of Seville in a brothel.
And in a way, looking at this PSB performance itself, we are not far from getting this impression. The first three songs are reasonably tasteless recollections of life in a catholic school and Neil Tennant's various fantasies attached to it. After that, our two heroes turn up all suited up with moustache, bowler hat and a surf board. Listen carefully to the commentary there:
Chris Heath: "Why do you surf?"
Chris Lowe: 'cause we can
Neil Tennant: Exactly...
This "oh-I-don't-get-it-it-must-be-brilliant-art-then" feeling therefore invades the performance and the show can be very pretentious and gratuitous at times . However, let's be honest, there are moment of stunning beauty, particularly towards the second half of the show: the umbrellas of "So Hard", the rabid capitalist pigs of "Opportunities", the great trilogy of pop stardom shown in "How can you be expected to be taken seriously", "Rent" and "Where the streets have no name" as well as the utter sense of party (with Neil playing the acoustic guitar!) in "Always on my mind": all these are absolutely great. Not to mention another legendary dance routine by Chris Lowe in "We all look better in the dark". Some of the classical dancers are also fantastic and one will mention the eye-catching Katie Puckrick, who would become a famous TV presenter in her own right. The only problem is that Alden and Fielding do not deliver a consistent staging and sometimes what they want to do is either over the top or pretentious because completely obscure. Therefore, on a pure staging basis, I preferred what Derek Jarman did, since it was more spontaneous.

HOWEVER...and this is why this show gets 4 stars while the "Highlights" video only got 3 stars - the music is just stupendous. Versus the previous tour PSBs got rid of the musicians on stage, they got rid of the solo saxophone and they got rid of the soul chorus...instead, the boys are accompanied by three great singers, who are more "front line vocals" than just backing vocals and EVERYONE of them gets their moment in the limelight. When the Boys say in the commentary for this show that they are team players, we are keen to believe them on the back of this performance. Sylvia Mason-James delivers a beautiful solo performance in "Losing my mind" and "Rent" (where she has to sing two Liza Minnelli songs - no pressure!). Pamela Sheyne, a Hanna Schygulla-lookalike, replicates Dusty Springfield's dark tone beautifully in "what have I done to deserve this" and Liza Minnelli even more impressively in "So sorry, I said". The epitome of exchangeable Pet Shop Boys (an idea with which Neil and Chris were toying at the time) turns up in "My October Symphony" where Derek Green sings the song in its entirety, accompanied by Sheyne and Mason-James - while the Boys watch in the background.

The mix on some of the songs is just fantastic and I must say that with this show it was the first time I "got" a song like "This must be the place I waited years to leave". "Opportunities" also gets a great version and "How can you expect to be taken seriously" is taken with a much better bass line than on the album, which makes it more interesting. "West End Girls" benefit from a very energetic guitar track by JJ Belle, playing offstage.
Overall, this is a very good effort, slightly let down by an execution which is a little bit "in your face". The Boys could have issued an "audio-only" CD of this show, it would have been gloriously successful.
As it is, this DVD is a testimony of the Boys' attempt at looking for the perfect show, and only partially succeeding. But this effort would be a blueprint for many pop concerts in the future. As such, and by taking a lot of cues from opera performance, "Pet Shop Boys Performance" is miles ahead of its time.

The commentary feels a bit tired, thirteen years after the fact, and the rehearsal documentary is short but sweet.
The two stereo sound mixes are awful, use the 5.1 DD or 5.1 DTS at all costs...
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the classics, 28 May 2012
By 
M. Cody - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Performance [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
A great DVD for any PSB fan. Well made version of the concert in Birmingham. Only drawback is no original videos - concert footage only
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