Review and photos by Phil BonyataWho the hell, or better yet what the hell are the Scissor Sisters? Without blushing, they're putting the disco ball back into the heart of rock n' roll. Polish your platform shoes, open your shirt and pile on the necklaces because dancing is mandatory. Named after a lesbian sexual position the band claims that "they're not lesbians" - huh, four of them are men? Hailing from New York City the band has created a sinfully fun melange of edgy, tongue-in-cheek humor, funkified sex and inventive pop music even though they robbed the long closed casket of 70s dance music. There is no room for nostalgia here - just wide-eyed artists reinterpreting a once proud sound. Their influences run the gamut of Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Beck. They've been called the "Gay Darkness." Unlike the Darkness - the Scissor Sisters style is more complex, even though it takes a few listenings to appreciate the flavorful undertones.
Former go-go dancer Jake Shears seduces the stage rather than commanding it. Sporting an open vest and tight-fitting satin pants, that had many men (and a few women) swooning in the two-thirds filled Rave, he swayed seductively while keeping a firm grip on his ear to ear smile. The glam soaked piano and circus riffs kicked in for opener "Laura" off of their debut album Scissor Sisters. As the song quickly revealed it's pomp - the infectious chorus burrowed a hole straight to the brain.
Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" was a technicolor masterpiece performed live. Listening to the song on record you first laugh at how absurd the discofied rendition rapes the original. The kitsch is so bad you have to come back to it time and time again until you find yourself sucked into it's bawdy burlesque. Guitarist Del Marquis let his fret skills shine live (which seem a bit lost on record) as Shears gave the Bee Gees a nod with his falsetto quickly reaching for the rafters. Like a male peacock (looking for another male peacock) with his aqua-colored feather vest he rythmically swayed as he danced with the authority and ease of knowing that he's been there before in an earlier lifetime. The shiny disco from the album had it's sheen ripped off to reveal quite a stunning moment. The Scissors Sisters brashly entertained and wowed the crowd with a brilliant performance.
The Euro-glam strutted it's stuff on "Lovers in the Backseat" and a raucous version of "Filthy/Gorgeous." "Tits On The Radio" (a song about former Mayor Giuliani's rigid clampdown on the New York party circuit) had Babydaddy's bloated and fattened basslines swirl as performance artist Ana Matronic traded chorus duties with Shears. There was no guilt in their obvious pleasure.
The house came down on "Take Your Mama Out" (a song about coming out of the closet by way of getting your mom drunk) a rousing and infectious song that is bound to take the charts by storm.
Will the Scissor Sisters last? Who the hell cares if you believe in living for the moment.
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