(I meant to title this post "My report back from the Scissor Sisters show" but there's something odd and poetic about the typo that I'm leaving it.) (It's like The Hulk talking about gender roles in pop music, or something.)
The Scissor Sisters show last night was great, but not as great as the show I saw at the Wiltern a couple of years ago. I think a large part of that has to do with the space. The Shrine Expo Center feels kinda like a high school gymnasium and it has an odd shape and it’s dirty and (I know that the Scissor Sisters are dirty and “dirty” should fit them, but still) the vibe was just better at the Wiltern show.
(Though Jessica and I got in some pretty great people watching. There were these two guys who were dressed completely straight-laced, like khaki pants and buttoned-up shirts, and then they were wearing these odd, matching, really loud black-and-white boas. Like, the boas were kind of impossible to miss, and so we kept joking that the only reason they were wearing the boas was in case they got separated so that they would be able to find each other, and lo and behold every time we’d check in on the boa dudes and noticed that one was missing, we’d be like, “what happened to the other boa dude!?!?” and then within three seconds we’d have spotted him [walking to the bathroom or getting a drink or whatever]. They were just THAT EASY to spot.)
I don’t remember the opening act’s name, but I was unimpressed with them. It’s sad that the Scissor Sisters can play at giant stadiums in Europe and have people like Kylie Minogue introduce them and then they come to America and they’re so unknown that they have to play a not-even-sold-out show at the Shrine with a totally generic opening act. Freaking Gwen Stefani should be opening for them. Or if they want a more unknown band, then freaking Stefi should open up for them. (I didn’t even realize I was going to do the Stefani/Stefi thing until after I typed those two sentences, I swear.)
The Sisters opened the night with an awesome rendition of Take Me Out. Jake (I’m still not used to calling him Jake—I actually went to school with him for a year, and he was Jason back then, so that’s what I still know him as) was wearing this awesome shiny gold suit and a see-through purplish shirt. He has so much freaking energy onstage, it’s infectious. They played most of their first album (two notable exceptions: they did not play Return to Oz or It Can’t Come Quickly Enough, which was a shame, but I guess they can’t play EVERYTHING—though they really should be required to perform It Can’t Come Quickly Enough at every concert because that whole “they shouted them like anthems” moment is great when you’re standing in a room with a thousand people singing along and they’re all shouting the song like it’s an anthem—it’s just a nice, rousing, communal experience moment, that I remember fondly from the Wiltern show and I wanted to relive) (whatever, I guess you gotta live in the moment) and they played a healthy heap of their new album as well, which I don’t know yet (I haven’t actually gotten it yet, I need to do so pronto) so I was going through some of the ol’ “hearing it for the first time” thing, which was hard to do at the Shrine because the acoustics aren’t the best there. But enough complaining, my favorite new song of theirs, based on the show last night, is She’s My Man. It’s a great song.
Some other concert highlights:
--I love how, when Ana Matronic takes over lead vocals during Tits on the Radio, Jason—or, Jake—basically turns into a go-go boy and grooves out to the music. It’s totally hedonistic and fun.
--Del Marquis is really sexy.
--We rocked out the most to Filthy/Gorgeous, which they played in their Encore. My muscles are sore from all of the Filthy/Gorgeous dancing.
--I miss people bringing lighters to concerts. There was one person in the entire expo center who had had the brilliant foresight to bring a lighter, which he held over his head as they performed Mary, and it made me think about the time I saw Kiss in concert about twelve years ago and I cannot for the life of me remember what the song was that inspired everyone to thrust their lighters into the air, but it happened, and a 1000 people holding lighters above their heads at a concert is really quite something. Cell phones are not an equal alternative. If we’d all held lighters above our heads during Mary, oh man, that woulda been a killer moment. Maybe I’m just a sucker for theatricality, but why don’t we all start becoming responsible concert-goers and bring lighters to the next concert we go to, okay? (And when I say lighters-plural, I mean lighters-plural: bring a few so you can share them with your neighbors, in case they haven’t gotten the we’re-bringing-lighters-to-concerts-again memo.)
--They kicked ass on Comfortably Numb.
--I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ is really growing on me; they actually performed I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ on Dancing With The Stars the other night, and they had some funny in between song banter about their experience at DWTS. Apparently Mario Lopez wears a lot of make-up.
They played for about an hour-and-a-half, but the concert flew by very quickly. If you ever get a chance to see them, you should. They perform the hell out of their songs, and they’re nothing if not theatrical. (When I was bemoaning the lack of theatricality at concerts these days, I was talking about the audience’s theatricality, not the Scissor Sisters’.)
And of course, Jake/Jason ended the show in his skivvies. It wouldn’t be a Scissor Sisters show if he hadn’t.
I remember the first time I ever saw Jason, really distinctly. All of the freshmen arrived on campus a week before the rest of the school for something called “O-Week,” i.e. Orientation Week, which consisted of lots of “getting to know your fellow freshmen” activities. On our first night of O-Week, we were all forced to (for some ungodly reason) dance the Macarena in the quad. (This was 1996, after all.) Imagine four hundred freshman college students doing the Macarena for an interminable amount of time (that song is REALLY long). Anyway, I remember just as we started doing the Macarena, Jason jumped up onto a cement wall that bordered the quad and he started doing the Macarena on top of the wall, facing us, and suddenly it was as if he was King of The Freshmen and we were all doing the Macarena FOR HIM. Within seconds, Jason had made an impression on everyone in our entire class. He had instantaneously turned us into his audience and we all wanted to know who the hell he was and why we couldn’t take our eyes off of him.
I totally had a crush on him all year and I didn’t do a damn thing about it. C’est la vie.
Anyway, years later, when I heard he was an international singing sensation—a pop star taking over Europe—I was totally like, “well, of course he is.” I mean, he’s always known how to attract attention and it seemed inevitable that the world would take note at some point (he just always had that larger than life thing).
The awesome thing is, he totally deserves it. He doesn’t just put on a damn fine show: he also makes damn fine music. America, take notice!