Sunday, April 05, 2009

I am the son and the heir

Before I talk about last night's Morrissey concert, I must reveal a little history. You see, Morrissey and I have a bit of a checkered past, and buying a ticket to this show represented a giant leap of faith on my part. To explain:

When I was in high school, Morrissey and The Smiths played a vital role in my life. As I wrote in my band post about The Smiths, "I had found music that spoke to my teenage angst and "I don't want to be from here" mentality. My small group of alterna-teen friends and I embraced the gloriously depressing moodiness of The Smiths and their iconic leader, Morrissey."

As I briefly mentioned once before, I have gone to see Morrissey twice before. The first time was in 1991, just after my friends and I had graduated from high school high school. We got in a van and drove 3.5 hours to Cincinnati to see our maudlin hero. We were so excited to be out of Marion and in an arena full of fans. Well, we were in for one of the biggest disappointments of our lives. After about 22 minutes, Morrissey decided that he did not like the security and stopped the show. We were heartbroken, especially after having driven so far.

Fast forward a few years to 1997. I was living in Chicago and Morrissey was playing about 5 blocks from my apartment. I had forgiven him for his previous sin and was very excited to see him play full concert. He was playing two nights at the Riviera, and one of my friends had gone to the Friday night show. He said that Morrissey was amazing and had played for almost two hours, played all of his best songs and even some Smiths songs, which was unheard of. So brimming over with glee, I headed to the Saturday night show. And . . . after 23 minutes Morrissey left the stage, the lights came up, and an annohncer told us that Morrissey was sick and could not continue.

Son of a bitch.

I had now been to two Morrissey concerts and seen him for a told of 45 minutes. I was quite certain I would not forgive him this time. When heroes go down, they go down hard.

But I have continued to enjoy Morrissey's music. It is too good not to. His new album, Years of Refusal, is quite good, and so when I found out he would be playing at the Aragon Ballroom, I decided to give him another chance. After all, he doesn't know how much he has hurt me, right?

So last night's show was quite good. Morrissey's voice sounds amazing after all these years, and the sold out crowd had good energy. I do wish that he had played a few more of his classics, but the show focused mostly on his last few albums. Nevertheless, he sounded great, and threw in some Smiths songs as well.

Not taken by me
This Charming Man
Something Is Squeezing My Skull
Billy Budd
Black Cloud
How Soon Is Now?
Irish Blood, English Heart
How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Death Of A Disco Dancer (Change to black shit)
The Loop
I Keep Mine Hidden
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
Seasick, Yet Still Docked
Best Friend On The Payroll
Let Me Kiss You (Shirt off at usual line, change to blue)
Sorry Doesn't Help
When Last I Spoke to Carol
I'm OK By Myself
First of the Gang to Die

"This Charming Man" was a brilliant opener, and the band transformed it from a jaunty little ditty to a fairly rocking electric guitar song. Some of my favorite performances were "First of the Gang to Die," "Billy Budd," and"I'm Trying to Throw My Arms Around Paris." But the other Smiths songs really made my night. A major highlight was of course "How Soon Is Now?" which was again revved up quite a few notches. This is the classic Smiths song, and the instrumental outro was astounding, topped off by a powerful timpani- and gong-banging session of epic status. "Ask" made me smile a lot, and "The Death of a Disco Dancer" showcased that Morrissey still has a great voice and stage presence.

So 18 years later, I have finally seen a whole Morrissey concert.


At 10:18 AM, Blogger sixfootfiveohioguy posited...

Saturday's show was awesome, my first. I missed him in my hometown Akron OH (was living in Chicago at the time) so the Chicago Aragon show was long-anticipated. Got some great pics and video. Good to hear you finally got to see a full evening of Moz!

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Kath posited...

full disclosure, I didn't read this article, but the plug for it is "How Morrissey Seduced You"

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous posited...

Oh John...

I think your Cincy memories are a bit off. 22 minutes? Here was the setlist:

Interesting Drug
The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
Piccadilly Palare
Sing Your Life
King Leer
Asian Rut
Mute Witness
November Spawned A Monster
Will Never Marry
Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together
There Is A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends
That's Entertainment
Our Frank

We missed the encore. He only does 1 song encores, so that's all we missed. :)

I was at the Riv show in 97, too. I thought that he did technically play the contractual 45 minutes (which is why we didn't get a refund.) Here was that setlist:

The Boy Racer
Alma Matters
Dagenham Dave
Billy Budd
Reader Meet Author
Satan Rejected My Soul (incomplete)
Now My Heart Is Full

Fun Facts: Rumor has it when he left the stage during NMHISF, he threw up as soon as he got backstage.

You should've gone to Merriville in 2007. He gave a shout out to Marion. No lie!



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