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In concert: Scissor Sisters at Consitution Hall

scissor sistersScissor Sisters relied on energy and fashion as much as music Monday at Constitution Hall. (All photos by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Mark Jenkins

Simultaneously outrageous and old-fashioned, a Scissor Sisters concert relies as much on energy and innuendo as music. Monday night at a half-full Constitution Hall, the New York group vigorously sold material that sounded like the lesser '70s work of Elton John, the Bee Gees and the Cars. If the fans didn't hear a lot of memorable songs, they could leave humming Ana Matronic's black vinyl dress and Jake Shears' seat-less shorts.

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The spotlight was on the buff and gradually disrobed Shears, who shook his hips like Gypsy Rose Lee and dashed across the stage like Joe Strummer. (He also handled most of the lead vocals.) Matronic sang a little and talked a lot, acting as the show's MC. Her sometime smirky, sometimes earnest commentary drew cheers, even when she made the odd claim that the Sisters might be the first openly gay group to perform at Constitution Hall. (The Pet Shop Boys would have something to say about that.)

Many in the crowd sported such rave accessories as glo-stick bracelets, but the Sisters's style barely acknowledged the last 30 years of electronic dance music. Although the sound was mixed to emphasize drums and bass, burying any non-vocal melody, such crowd-pleasers as "Take Your Mama'' and "I Don't Feel Like Dancin' '' drew mostly on classic soul and rock, with a hint of Broadway. The most abstract moment came during "Invisible Light,'' when the eight performers were silhouetted as a prerecorded Ian McKellan intoned about "Babylon.'' It didn't make many people feel like dancin'.

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By Click Track  |  August 24, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Scissor Sisters  
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I was at the Scissor Sisters concert at the DAR Constitution Hall, but I'm not sure where the writer of this review was on Monday night. As soon as the band came on stage, nearly everyone was on their feet at the first note and didn't sit down until the very last beat of the night. The crowd was wildly enthusiastic throughout the performance and there was lots of dancing, moving, shaking and singing along with every song. The Scissor Sisters are always entertaining with their own brand of cheeky humor injected throughout the performance. One thing that stood out to me was that they sounded just as great live as on the studio recorded CD. Jake delivered the energetic sexy performance his fans come to see and Ana looked and sounded amazing! Babydaddy and Del were superb on guitar as usual, the newly added backup singers brought their own energy to the night, and great drumming and keyboards made a very complete entertainment package.

As far as the comment by Ana cited in the review, she emphasized that they "might" be the first openly gay band in the Hall indicating she didn't really know for sure. The main point she was making was how much we have grown as a society by them being in that venue for a performance. I'm sure the Pet Shop Boys would not take offense nor feel slighted at her observation.

Just a look around the hall is a definitive measure of the Scissor Sisters' appeal. Gay, straight, male, female, ages 18 to 80--they were all there having a really great time!

Posted by: InnerChild | August 25, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for critical reviews and there were plenty of things to note (the sound was poor, like most DAR shows, the venue was probably only 60% full, the lighting/mirrors thing behind the stage didn't really do much from a visual standpoint) but on the whole I think this show was as good as any of the previous times I've seen them, and they mainly stuck with the stronger stuff from all three albums. But yes, it's kinda hard to get down at a DAR show and that's not really news.

Posted by: M__N | August 26, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

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