Earlier this Spring I was fortunate to catch the ultra sexy glam rock Scissor Sisters perform an intimate gig at Bowery Ballroom to preview a number of new songs off their third studio album Night Work. Tonight they played Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen to support the record (released back in late June to rave reviews) and to allow their fans to reclaim their inner Scissor Sister following a four year gap since the release of their last album, Ta-Dah. Comprised of vocalists Jake Shears and Ana Matronic (above), both whom appear in top vocal and physical shape, guitarist Del Marquis, bassist Babydaddy and drummer Randy Real (who replaced original drummer Paddy Boom in 2008), our Scissor Sisters are at the top of their game.
Terminal 5 was jam-packed. Old school New Yorkers still tell stories about their wild nights here when it was hot night club, Exit. Stories about the third level bathroom stalls, the same giant disco ball that still exists today and other debauchery I’ll keep to myself make it the perfect venue for the Sisters’ homecoming. They proudly revel in their infamous rise from the New York gay club scene. At one point in the evening, Ana Matronic peers across the cavernous space and reflects on how she and the others felt they had made it when they regularly played The Cock almost 10 years ago. “Yes, it’s still there, but it’s not the same. Now it’s a cafe, isn’t it?” she teased. I love the first single and video for “Fire With Fire.” It beautifully showcases Jake’s voice and his lower register (as opposed to his trademark falsetto). I want to believe the flatbed truck they’re performing on (so U2) slowed down around 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street to pay homage to their roots. Check it out!
The show got started following a DJ set by Sammy Jo and the third live performance (and coincidentally his third rehearsal) of original solo work by Casey Spooner, one half of the electro pop band, Fischerspooner, including a fun song called “Faye Dunaway.” He is one of Jake’s best friends. The Scissor Sisters took the stage by storm with their latest title track, “Night Work,” followed by “Laura” from their debut album and “Any Which Way,” which by the way will be their second single off Night Work. This song featured Jake and his Bee Gees-esque falsetto and Ana Matronic’s brilliant spoken word: “You know baby, when I was taking my pantyhose out of their egg this evening I thought I’m going to find that man with the right shade of bottle tan, a man that smells like cocoa butter and cash.”
Other tracks off Night Work they performed included “Running Out,” “Whole New Way” and “Harder You Get.” From their debut record, “Take Your Mama” was dedicated to the band members’ families, many of whom were in the audience, and “Tits On the Radio.” From Ta-Dah they picked their best tracks including the “Kiss You Off” and “She’s My Man.” “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” was clearly a crowd favorite, as expected. But my favorite moments were Jake singing “Skin Tight,” dedicated to his boyfriend who he got to sleep with in the same bed for the first time in three months last night, and the sexy and suggestive “Skin This Cat” featuring Ana Matronic on lead vocals with two back up pussy cats singing and dancing to perfection. Hot. “Fire With Fire” was the big anthem of the night and impossible to resist. Wonderful. And they closed their main set with “Night Life.”
But our Scissor Sisters saved the best for last. “Invisible Light” was simply brilliant. Inspired by the dark debauchery of Berlin’s underground sex clubs and discotheques, it’s said that Jake got his groove back here and penned lines like:
Babylon, where bricks of mortared diamonds tower,
Sailor’s lust and swagger lazing in moon’s beams,
Whose laser gaze penetrates this sparkling theater of excess and strobed lights,
Painted whores, sexual gladiators, fiercely old party children,
All wake from their slumber to debut the Bacchanal.
Come to the light! Into the light! The invisible light.”
Toward the end of the song, each band member and back-up singer appeared to bow down and worship the driving beat and the spoken word of Sir Ian McKellan. Existentially intense, provocative, delicious. Scissor Sisters at their best. How do they top that? Dedicate “Filthy/Gorgeous” to the friends and fans who’ve been with them all along — and of course the place where it all started — The Cock. “When your nose catches the wind just right in that place, you can still smell poppers and poo,” joked Ms. Matronic. OMG I love that girl. Enough said.