Scissor Sisters @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC 4/23/06

A friend texted “where r u?” as I made my way to the stage during Tiga’s opening DJ set. “At a gay club, apparently,” I wrote back. For two nights this weekend, Scissor Sisters brought Chelsea to Bowery, and the results were predictably glamtastic. Cowboy hats in the crowd, glittery blazers and shirtlessness on stage, sweaty bodies all over the place. Tonight’s show — the first I’d seen of the Sisters since they performed as Portion Control with Clap Your Hands — gave a glimpse at tunes slated for the band’s upcoming sophomore record. It was also a serious dance party.

Jake Shears and Ana Matronic made the stage their bitch for 14 songs and an encore. They’re a camera ready crew, high stepping and big hamming, and the band behind ‘em are rock solid. The Sisters wasted no time, opening with the George Michael jangle of “Take Your Mama Out,” receiving roars and squeals of lusty approval. The rest of the night was a steady mix of old and new. Past faves “Comfortably Numb” and “Music is the Victim” raised the room temp a few degrees. The band was smoking, showing few signs of the rust you’d expect from a nine-month stage break.

Of the new stuff — which seems to stick to the Sisters schtick of writing catchy updates of 70’s hits — the sped-up party disco of “Paul McCartney” and the Brothers Gibb workout of “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” were the big winners. Though Elton John collaborated on the latter, Captain Fantastic’s influence is most apparent on “She’s My Man,” with a hook straight outta his ’83 cut “I’m Still Standing.” A little too obvious in homage, my sisters. Still, there were enough big hooks and general fabulousness to look forward to the new record…

As the set wound down, Ana Matronic took on New York’s cabaret laws and the dearth of dance clubs below 14th Street. “We can’t dance!” she protested. “What kind of fucked up Footloose bullshit is that? Where’s Kevin Bacon when you need him?!” The man of Six Degrees wasn’t in the house, but the weekend had its share of big names. Laura says Cher was there on Saturday. Last night, Kylie Minogue and Karl Lagerfeld graced the VIP. The moral of the story? Divas and designers dig on the Sisters. Do you?

The setlist:

And for your listening pleasure:

DJ Earworm – “No One Takes Your Freedom” (MP3 Link Expired)

Sisters + Beatles + George Michael + Aretha = one surprisingly good mashup.