I've had a difficult time trying to do a proper Morrissey review. The man always delivers, always sets the audience on fire, and always play's tracks that so lovingly and affectionately pull at my heart strings. I knew I was going to have a great time and I did. So I guess the thing here is to be objective and tell you what actually happened Friday night.
We arrived to a packed audience somewhere around 7pm. Struggling to find a good place to stand, we finally planted ourselves firmly against the bar and used a proper "lean" technique to gain as much visibility as possible.
First up was Kristeen Young, a vibrant musician who I think we'll be hearing more about in the near future. I continue to describe her sound as operatic, dissonant pop music, as that's really the only descriptor I can think of that captures what she does. Unfortunately, it is still weak. Simply put, she is an artist, and an original one at that. Her live performance was compelling for a number of reasons. She played a completely solo set, devoid of the trappings of band mates which in most cases would be a detriment. In her case, it worked in spades. She was the focus and her primal energy seemed to surge throughout the building. Judging by the crowd reaction, I'd say the reviews were mixed, but aren't they always when your faced with something bold and new?
Morrissey. There is nothing elaborate about his stage show. However, his mere presence is enough to captivate audiences for hours. Is it the rush of the sweeping chorus in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris?" Perhaps the chainsaw gutting through the bridge in "Speedway" (a song I did not expect to be played and which I was overjoyed to hear)? The fascination with his ultra-pro-animals view (During "Meat is Murder" graphic films depicted the slaughtering of animals)? It's all of those things and more. I think Morrissey has become more than his music, his image, and even his own icon. He exists in a world where he is THE sole artist. The person you're not afraid to stand behind or even worship. He is the man. Plus I will dare anyone to argue that "Everyday is like Sunday" is NOT one of the greatest pop songs ever written.
Of course he encored with "How Soon is Now". It was the Smiths biggest song (and I still say one of their best despite what you B-siders think). There's a million more things I could say about a Morrissey show but I won't. It's one of those things you just have to experience. All in all a splendid night.
(Photo credit goes to allyouneedismorrissey.com. My stupid camera died)