The Scissor Sisters
Flamboyant pop troupe Scissor Sisters stopped by the Electric Factory in Philadelphia this past Thursday for the second to last stop on the US leg of their Magic Hour tour, and it was precisely the glitter-filled kiki that fans were expecting. This is a band that for years has tapped into their gay flavor and large gay fan base to help them navigate the different approaches to pop music.
Vocally and emotionally navigated by lead singer Jake Shears, the Scissor Sisters have found themselves equally at home in many pop sub-genres. On any of their albums you can hear glam rock anthems, gritty and filthy dance come-ons and jubilant disco stompers. It is this deft eclecticism that lends itself to an interesting and intensely enjoyable rave of a concert.
First things first: the Scissor Sisters’ main focus is clearly not just to promote their latest brilliant album, "Magic Hour." Old material seems to hold just as important a role on their set lists as the new tracks do. In fact, it is clear early on that the main goal of a Scissor Sisters’ concert is for the members of the band to have as big of a dance party with the audience as possible.
Launching through old favorites like "Take Your Mama Out" and "Any Which Way" and new signature tracks like the wildly popular "Let’s Have A Kiki," the band’s energy somehow goes even farther than their huge songs. Indeed it would take a cold pulse to not get into their groove.
Between Shears serving some Robyn-realness with his dance moves, co-lead singer Ana Matronic’s sexy moves and sexier monologues, and the surprisingly active backing band consisting of Babydaddy, Del Marquis and Randy Real, there is nothing for the audience to do but try to keep up.
Also of note are the adorable and talented Matronicons, the band’s back-up singers who are styled to be mini-Ana Matronics. All of their involvement was priceless, especially the almost throwback presentation of Ana’s "Skin This Cat" from their previous record, "Night Work."
While it was slightly disappointing to not hear some of the stand-out mid-tempos from "Magic Hour" (such as the stunning "Somewhere"), it was understood that they were going to focus on keeping us dancing through their raving performance and leave us seeing disco balls. And on that count, they succeeded.
What is most refreshing about the Sisters’ concerts each tour is that despite all of their flamboyance and sometimes even campy presentation of their songs, they are refreshingly gimmick-free. They happily rely on the things that have always made them great: Eclectic dance sounds, astounding levels of energy, Ana Matronic’s captivating persona, and Jake Shears’ equally captivating distaste for clothing.
These things will continue to help Scissor Sisters’ on their path to being one of the greatest pop bands on the planet. I hope to dance along with them for years to come.
For more info or tickets to the Scissor Sisters North American tour dates, visit www.scissorsisters.com/home