I bet the cocktail hour crowd was sparse in the Gayborhood between 9 and 11 on Friday night.
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Nearly every gay and their [fairy god] mother was in Northern Liberties to see the Scissor Sisters, who were in town to promote their new album, Night Work
you know, the one with the huge ass wedgie on the front cover.
When I arrived at nine o'clock, Casey Spooner (from Fischerspooner) was on stage spinning a pop-y mix of club tunes. The crowd was what you'd expect at a Scissor Sisters show ranging in age from early 20s to late 30s and totally rocking their best glam gear. I saw guys and girls clad in sequined cowboy hats, hot pink feather boas and even a few Indian headbands. Try to imagine what it would look like if Liberace and the Village People hooked up and had like 300 gaybies. It was awe-inspiring.
Before I knew it, Spooner wrapped up his set and the lights went down. The band and backup singers slinked onto the stage, followed moments later by lead singers Jake Shears and Ana Matronic. The first song, "Night Work," was fantastic. There were laser lights zooming through the air and Shears was singing and darting around that stage like a wild, sexy maniac.
He was wearing the gayest pair of overalls I've ever seen acid-washed denim with a swooping neck and tight enough to show every protrusion imaginable and believe me, there were more than a few. Ms. Matronic recalled Joan Holloway from Mad Men
in a slinky metallic dress and red hair twisted in a neat swoop-de-loop in the back. Sex-y.
The first songs created an upbeat momentum that I was sure would mark the pace for the rest of the evening, but before long the energy level started to wane. It was hard to tell if the lack of vigor was due to it being an off night for the Sisters, or if the audience wasn't feeling it. One problem was that the venue restricted drinkers from leaving the bar area, which created a lackluster show of rump shaking on the dance floor. It wasn't just that, though. The chemistry on stage did seem a little off. Shears and Matronic were putting all they had into their performance, but unfortunately all the jumping and dancing around came across as if they were merely going through the motions.
The spectators definitely seemed to prefer music from the group's debut album, such as "Laura," "Take Your Mama" and "I Don't Feel Like Dancing." But the enthusiasm dissipated when they performed lesser-known songs from Night Work
. One of the best moments from the new album was Matronic's performance of "Skin This Cat." She joined forces with the two backup singers to put on a vampy, Supremes-esque performance, complete with synchronized dancing. Jake also tackled a few downbeat solo numbers, but to a much less effective degree. His Barry Gibb-like falsetto is impressive but the crowd came to dance, not to hear him croon. He does know how to work his gay audience, though. He was constantly in motion, provocatively writhing and hopping around the stage, taking off his clothes and shaking his tush. It was kind of like watching a porno in fast forward.
If he connected with the crowd through energy, Ana utilized her gift of gab. She became chatty in between songs, telling us how much she "fucking loves" Philadelphia even name-dropping Benny Franklin and Elfreth's Alley. They finished off the show with three encores - their cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," "Invisible Light" and "Filthy/Gorgeous." The latter, Matronic said, was especially dedicated to "Filth-adelphia." They took their final bow under a massive spewing of two glitter guns, which gave the audience a nice coat of sparkle before they made a beeline for Center City to cap off the rest of their evening in the Gayb.