Scissor Sisters at the Sydney Entertainment Centre: February 5, 2007

Monday night was the Scissor Sisters concert! Now, I’ve not been to a lot of concerts in my time: Tenacious D twice, Joanna Newsom and Smog in a double bill (I found out too late about their performance at the end of last month, though) and, of course, Kylie Minogue.

Scissor Sisters, while being friends of Kylie (is that a new euphemism?) are entirely different on the stage. Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Paddy Boom, Del Marquis and Babydaddy totally love their audience. Nowhere have I felt more loved and accepted by people who knew absolutely nothing about me.
When you go and see Kylie, she certainly loves you, but the concert is more about focusing your adulation on her. The name of the Scissor Sisters’ concert album is We are Scissor Sisters … and so are you!
I finally understand: Scissor Sisters concerts are giant love-ins.

Warning: This entry contains profanity. There will be a further warning inside.

It took a long time for the Scissor Sisters to take the stage. With “special guests” Sneaky Sound System scheduled to play at 7:30, the Sisters themselves began at 9:15. I would have expected 8:30 or 8:45. Sneaky Sound System was fairly good, and much better than they sound on the one speaker phone radios at work, but that’s not what I came for.
At 9:15, “Intermission” began to play as the concert’s overture. The front of the stage was covered by curtains, and on each side of the curtains was one of the Ta-Dah elevator doors.
The doors opened to reveal the Sisters Scissor on the stage in various states of repose. This was quickly broken as they cracked out “She’s My Man”. It will go without saying after this that Jake and Ana know how to move.
“She’s My Man” is one of many songs where Jake gets to use his voice to soaring effect. He’s got my favourite falsetto ever, and he cracked it out at almost all of the right opportunities. It was followed immediately by one of my favourite songs, “I Can’t Decide”, which I sang along with my comrade Niki B (although, to be honest, the entire concert had my face frozen into a huge singing smile), and which has forever been bolstered in my mind by the fact that Jake and Del Marquis chose to cap off the song with a dance that went from a linked arms circle thing to a two man kick line.
It was at that moment that I knew I was in some kind of Heaven, where everything goes right.

One of the things that Scissor Sisters have going for them, and they’ve got many, is that they are excellent at working an audience. After a few seconds spent trying to find out what people from Sydney call themselves (and ascertaining that we do not, in fact, call ourselves “Queens”), they eventually figured out that we are “Sydneysiders” (wow, that’s so legitimate a term it wasn’t even picked up in my spell check). Ana then proceeded to promise us that they would rock us from all sides, and that by the end of the evening the Entertainment Centre will have turned into a rocket and gone into fucking outer space. (I believe that was her description of outer space, not mine).

Later on, she informed us of their trip to Japan.
Be warned, this segment contains materially of a sexually frank nature that you would not normally find on this site.

We just finished our tour of Japan. We came back with suitcases full of fabulous and useless plastic junk … and that was just the people! No, they were great folks. Our lovely wardrobe coordinator, Adam, was looking in a store and saw a box that said “I Love Corn” on it.
Now, being a down-home boy from Texas, Adam thought “yeah, I love corn.” He opened this box to see what was inside, and there was a plastic corn husk. He opened the corn husk to find … a big dildo.
So it had something for a top and something for a bottom: it was an equal opportunity sex toy. Just like Scissor Sisters!

Sexual frankness concludes here.

As vulgar as it may sound to some, I think that was a perfect description of the band.

Jake and Ana dedicated the song “Laura” to Laura Bush, who they described as a snappy dresser with great taste in men. They said something else about her that I won’t repeat on this site because, while I have political leanings, I want to keep Batrock as bipartisan as possible.

They dedicated “Take Your Mamma” to all of the gay men in the audience, and the entire Centre rose to dance along to it. It’s not even my favourite of their songs, but it got me going. After that song, Jake said “I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to sit down for a moment”. When the audience began to seat themselves, he said “I didn’t say y’all could sit down!”
But we did anyway.

They played one of their torch songs in the form of “Mary”, which of course has taken on extra meaning over the past year or so. There was much waving of hands, and the audience sang the “Whoa-oh-ohh” part of the song. It was the only vaguely balladic part of a night dedicated to dancing and hedonism and the celebration of music and discarding people and turning lights out and thinking of me.

Ana launched into “Kiss You Off”, dedicated to the women in the audience. This wasn’t when I realised that the band is the awesomest band in the world ever when they play live, but it was still a good part.

To cap off the dedications of the night, “Everybody Wants the Same Thing” was for some reason dedicated to Oprah. I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t now.

The big surprises of the night were “Transistor” and “Comfortably Numb”. At last I was hearing these songs at a bass level high enough to understand how they could ever be considered dancy. “Comfortably Numb”, however you feel about the treatment of the Pink Floyd original, is amazing live.
“Transistor” was hypnotic, but “Comfortably Numb” was dancetastic.

In the days where an encore is expected rather than an added bonus, it’s a strange idea that the bands will just leave the stage and pretend to say goodnight. Particularly as “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” hadn’t been played yet.
It was no surprise when they ran out back onto the stage and performed “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” and “Filthy/Gorgeous”.
It was a nice touch that the audience was lit up every time they hit the key words: “Cause you’re NASTY, ooh, and you’re DISGUSTING!”
Sure, it sounds like they’re dissing the hell out of us, but hey … we can touch them, because we’re nasty.

It was a show that you can walk out of and feel the high for a good day afterwards. It was a defining experience of a young life defined almost entirely by popular culture. I give it seventeen out of a possible eight.

Certainly, this just reads as highlights of a great concert and you can’t have any of that music translated across to you. That didn’t stop the night from rocking.

Set list, from memory and not entirely in order

Intermission (as an overture)
She’s My Man
I Can’t Decide
Lights
Paul McCartney
Transistor
Tits on the Radio
Comfortably Numb
Laura
Take Your Mamma
Mary
Music is the Victim
Everybody Wants the Same Thing
Kiss You Off

Encore
I Don’t Feel Like Dancing
Filthy/Gorgeous

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