Pet Shop Boys and New Order finally start their Unity Tour in Toronto
After a two year postponement, ‘80s synth-pop hitmakers Pet Shop Boys and New Order kicked off their Unity tour at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto on Saturday, September 17th. The first show of a tour is always fun and sometimes unexpected so it was interesting to see what kind of setlists these two prolific bands would come up with. Everyone has their favorites and could only keep their fingers crossed.
Opening for the Pet Shop Boys and New Order was internationally acclaimed DJ Paul Oakenfold. Unfortunately, media was not allowed into the venue at all for Oakenfold’s set and half of the Pet Shop Boys’ set since photographers were set to shoot songs 13-15 of the 19 song setlist. However, listening from the outside, Neil Tennant sounded fabulous! In this day and age, it’s nice to hear that some old school acts can still bring the vocals (assuming we’re not hearing a backing track). As usual, keyboardist Chris Lowe stayed well in the background. Several tours ago, they did some cool set design with a bed. Not sure if there were any interesting set work done on this tour, but hey, did create a fun party atmosphere, though. The Pet Shop Boys closed their encore with “West End Girls” from “Please” and “Being Boring” from “Behaviour”.
When many fans started leaving after Pet Shop Boys finished their set, it makes you wonder if perhaps they should have been the headliner. All fears were assuaged as soon as the first notes of “Regret” played through the dark. With most of their original lineup playing together, it was definitely like we were back in the ‘80s. Again, New Order’s set was one big dance party but some of the fans seemed to only know their biggest hits… a bit disappointing considering their storied career. The party did get into full swing as they closed out the set with “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “True Faith”, “Blue Monday” and “Temptation”. World changing dance hit “Blue Monday” would have made for an amazing encore, but the band obviously had it right when fans started rushing forward so they could record the actual encore, “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, on their cell phones. Interestingly, New Order’s set was only fourteen songs while the Pet Shop Boys played nineteen! Either way, it was a very satisfying trip down memory lane, even if media was only able to get in halfway through the show.