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Best bits [of performance at Creamfields Festival on 28th August, 1999]: Left to my own devices really got the crowd moving, Neil fluffing the intro to Being boring—“This is a new song we wrote with David Morales. It’s called New York City Boy. It’s disco!” and then Chris having to tell him that it was actually Being boring that was about to be played. Also, he fluffed the end of Being boring as well—he and Sylvia didn’t know what to sing as the song was finishing, but, as Neil said with his arm around Sylvia “At least it brought the house down.”

GM, alt.music.pet-shop-boys newsgroup, 1999.



“Which song, already performed by Pet Shop Boys, would you like to see live again most?”

I’d love to see the Creamfields and Nightlife tour versions of Being boring. They just kicked ass with those versions.

Introspective mailing list.



And I do love that version of Being boring [from Montage]. I think it’s simply astonishing. Only, I almost gulped when Neil fell down.

Heidina, Pet Shop Boys Discussion forum at Sky Forums.



“Which version of Being boring do you prefer, the Creamfields or the one performed on the Nightlife tour?”

I love each version equally. Creamfields is so dancey and Nightlife is so industrial—they took the same song and made versions that are completely opposite of each other!

By the way, I put the Creamfields, Nightlife, and album versions of Being boring on a CD and played them for people. Everyone thought they were three completely different songs. I like that!!!

Anita, Petheads mailing list.



[in response to the same question]

Definitely the one performed at the Nightlife tour—it’s much more atmospheric and I think it was probably realised better on stage than at Creamfields.

Chris Fitzsimmons, Petheads mailing list.



Being boring is the name of a song from the Pet Shop Boys’ 1990 album Behavior. Now it’s just a way of life for them.

The Brit synth-pop band hit the Hammerstein Ballroom Thursday for a two-night engagement—their first in New York in seven years—and the lads were deadly dull.

Singer Neil Tennant and his silent sidekick, keyboardist Chris Lowe, did a show so pre-programmed that there was hardly a reason for them to be on stage, which made it hard to explain why anyone in the audience wanted to stay.

(...)

Dan Aquilante, New York Post, 1999.



I can’t even remember who introduced the Pet Shop Boys [on Equality Rocks concert on 29th April, 2000], but before I knew it, they were up there on stage. The 30,000+ crowd rose to its feet to give them a very warm welcome. Of course, their opening song was a dance track. Unfortunately, the sound quality throughout the stadium was very uneven. Where I was, you couldn’t understand what Neil was saying (it wasn’t til later that I learned the song was called Homosexuality).

After that, the Boys moved on to Being boring. Neil briefly said a few words (of all the entertainers, he was the least to talk between songs—no speech whatsoever). As the song started, about half the crowd sat down (the lesbian part). By now, the sound had cleared up a little so I could understand most of the words (like I didn’t know them already). In this setting, this song really took on its original meaning. I almost cried.

Louis King, alt.music.pet-shop-boys newsgroup, 2000.



The music [on the London Astoria concert at February 14th, 2002]? Chunky renditions of older numbers such as Disco potential, an unrecognisable Love comes quickly, and Being boring, see previously literate, subtle works flattened out and shrunk-to-fit a blueprint of generic, bland pop-rock, and near enough ignoring a back catalogue that would put the Beatles to shame.

Mark Reed, Introspective mailing list.



The crowd reaction at the Astoria [the same concert] for Being boring was simply breathtaking and out of this world. I think the majority of the crowd were singing along, and if they weren’t singing along they were dancing. The people surrounding me went ecstatic when Being boring kicked in. The reception Pet Shop Boys got once the song had finished really did make me go numb. Being boring is one of my favourite songs by any artist, and the crowd reaction and the revamped version of the song made it extra special.

DavePSB.



[During the above concert] the songs absolutely flew past. On Being boring he seems to be emphasising the I: “I never dreamt that I would get to be.” It was great to hear a big favourite, but I’ve decided I prefer the original, less guitars, poppier/bouncier A red letter day. I’m a little jealous that he didn’t inform Norwich it was his “new favourite old song,” he’d probably changed his mind by the next day?!

neilsblueeyes, Pet Shop Boys Community forum at Aimoo, 2002.



Some fun facts and trivia concerning PSB’s Atlanta concert [on 16th May, 2002] and associated events:

(...)

9. Helpful Hint: More Red Bull
There was a lot to like about the music itself...but there was also a lot to be desired. Primarily, the concert needed more energy! But as Neil said at one point, this is “the new Pet Shop Boys” and as Release makes perfectly clear, energy is not on the agenda of “the new Pet Shop Boys.” Oh well. Still, even knowing that and knowing that bands have play stuff of the album they are touring to support in order to push said album, I think it is smart also to put on a good show and for a band like PSB, energy is a fundamental component of that. And it just wasn’t there. Even aside from all of the mellow Release tracks, many of the older songs they performed were presented in their mellow form. Nightlifers and those who bought UK CD3 of You only tell me you love me when you’re drunk will recall the rocking version of Being boring performed on the Nightlife tour. This time around the version performed is more in line with the album version. Don’t get me wrong—the album version is great. But what it isn’t is energetic. And that’s fine. But that concert had plenty of mellow—what it needed was boost!

(...)

Josh Adams, Introspective mailing list, 2002.



Being boring was next [at the concert in Washington on 18th May, 2002], as successful in its own way as It’s a sin. The song was back to normal, this wasn’t the “industrial” version. The crowd loved it and it would have been a fine end to the night. But Neil introduced the last number as a slow song, “Since that’s what we do now.” That was You choose, a complete dud. Total bewilderment and lack of enthusiasm from the audience. Tight performance form the Boys and the band, though, sounded just like the album version only with the energy of being live. It showed a lot of integrity for them to end with this, I’m just not so sure it showed good judgement. I wonder if anyone wanted to buy the new album after hearing the songs live. The audience wanted fast dance numbers and they wanted hits. Inside the venue this was the coldest audience I’ve seen for a PSB show (I’m compaing it with the Somewhere and Nightlife shows).

Daniel McCarthy, Introspective mailing list, 2002.



The music [during the same concert] wasn’t the only significant shift from the group’s previous performances. Gone were the props, dancers and backup singers, replaced by an array of white and pastel lights and an acoustic guitar. Tennant was moderately defiant, thanking the audience but announcing that the Boys would close with the quiet You choose, because “that’s what we do now.” Still, such what-they-did-then songs as Being boring outshone most of the new material.

Mark Jenkins, NY Daily News, 2002.



Yesterday’s show (New York City, 21st May, 2002) was great. The theatricless, stripped down concept only accentuated the wonderful music. Neil sounded great. Crowd was really nice too, friendly, dancing and smiling. I liked it even better than Nightlife tour (which was amazing in its own right).

Being boring, which is my favourite PSB song, almost made me cry. Anyone who ever lost someone or left them behind, must love that song.

Anna.



Dallas [1st June, 2002] was a great show. (...) I thought Neil sounded great, excepting one bit where he started Being boring off-key, or so I’m told by my friends, as I’m tone deaf or something and didn’t notice. They seemed quite comfortable being musicians without costumes or props or dancers (though that might be yet another persona, I suppose) and it was nice to see Chris playing the keyboard, smiling and a bit animated. Neil is a bit awkward with his dancing about and all but it seems earnest and the songs sound great—different, but great—with a band. Love comes quickly was stunning... I’d love to have it as a B-side with the new instrumentation/mix.

perfectday, Pet Shop Boys Community forum at Aimoo, 2002.



[Regarding San Francisco concert on 8th June, 2002] (...) Their re-interpretations of their classics were also a revelation. The new arrangements were ingenious, and Neil’s vocals had so much emotion and nuance it was if he was singing them for the first time. Being boring and Love comes quickly in particular benefited from the expert musical support Chris and Neil have on this tour. The amazing guitarist and drummer really fleshed out the new arrangements, giving the songs an urgency that surpassed the percussion-heavy arrangements of the last tour. (...)

Michael, 2002.



[During performance in Roskilde on 28th June, 2002] before the first encore Neil said: “We were supposed to play here at Roskilde two years ago, but cancelled because of the terrible tragedy where nine people lost their lives. The next song we’ll dedicate to the people who came to party but couldn’t go home. The song is called Being boring.”

If you think about it Being boring fits very well. Neil pointed at the people in front of the stage while he was singing “if you’re not careful, you’ll have nothing left and nothing to care for.” The line “some are here, but some are missing” fits as well in a scary kind of way.

It was a fantastic show and the overall crowd seemed to like it as well.

Mads Nielsen, Pet Shop Boys Community forum at Aimoo, 2002.



Pet Shop Boys love pop music, love cities, love nightlife, and, by association, love Manchester. They like it so much maybe they’re due honorary citizenship; a decade ago they jokingly claimed that Chris’s Blackpool roots meant they were responsible for the Madchester scene, whilst their Electronic collaborations with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr lend their musical link greater credence. They played live at the Haçienda’s fifteenth birthday party, reworking Violence as Madchester turned sour, and last performed in the city during 1999’s Nightlife wig-out.

(...)

[On this performance in Manchester on 12th July, 2002] Being boring follows, reminding us that beauty is not a new direction; they’ve been doing it for over a decade. The final verse, “some are here and some are missing,” is sung to Neil’s empty chair.

Chris.



Newcastle last night [14th July, 2002] was amazing! Got there with a friend about 8:10, and the concert kicked off just after 8:30. Home and dry sounded great, and after Being boring (set against a backdrop of the City Hall’s old and huge pipe organ), Neil said “Hello, Newcastle,” and told us that the last time he was on this stage (Newcastle City Hall) he’d played the cello (!).

ea19, Pet Shop Boys Community forum at Aimoo, 2002.



I loved Neil’s various actions [during concert in Cambridge on 19th July, 2002], especially the Roundhead General Salute, plus the emphasis on the empty chair in Being boring really made me feel that someone was missing.

CJ.



Yes, many people were disappointed with the style when [Montage DVD] came out. With the ability of DVD to have multi-angle (which is in fact used on this disc) you would think they would have included the traditional “concert video” angle. The worst point is that you don’t really see Neil fall when Being boring goes into overdrive! The noive!

Derek Donnell, Introspective mailing list.



[During Nightlife concerts Neil] did fall to the stage, at the end of Being boring (and I remember a certain ex-fan at Dotmusic scaring us by helpfully reporting, “Neil’s collapsed on stage!”).

neilsblueeyes, Pet Shop Boys Community forum at Aimoo, 2002.



Being boring was one of the highlights of the Manchester show [of Nightlife tour], very understated and almost to the point of holding something back for the finale. I heard a sample on Elusive [defunct Pet Shop Boys site] and it brought it back how good it was and it’s on sale tomorrow, whoopee!!!

Dave G, alt.music.pet-shop-boys newsgroup, 2000.



[regarding Being boring version released on You only tell me you love me when you’re drunk CD single] No no no no no no no. Being boring rates as possibly my favourite PSB track, and this is not how it should sound. This might sound alright in its own right, but it ruins the nonchalant-meets-melancholic atmosphere of the original. It sounds like an attempt to turn it into “dark techno” and they’ve accidentally pressed the wrong button and created “naff pop.” No no no no no no no.

Stuart Bruce, alt.music.pet-shop-boys newsgroup, 2000.



When the curtain went down after For your own good [on the show in San Diego on 29th October, 1999] it was so great to finally see the boys in the flesh. After that I was so into the show nothing else mattered. The highlights of the first half were most definitely Being boring, and Sylvia’s white eyes effect was just about the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen at a concert, and Neil dropping dead during the song was pure perfection. The end music of Being boring was really good while this was going on.

Spanky, alt.music.pet-shop-boys newsgroup, 1999.




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