by Al Falafel
Only a couple of times a year do my partner and I get to do it up and drag our lame butts out to a concert experience that we would both really want to kick ourselves for missing. A couple of months ago while scanning the announcements of upcoming concerts there was no question about it when we saw the first notice that Morrissey would be performing in one of the most fabulous halls in the country right here in our home town: the 152 year old Academy of Music (Prince Charles and Camilla were here 2 years ago to celebrate the sesquicentennial).
The former lead singer of The Smiths coming up on 30 years later does way more than deliver on this tour. He kicks it OUT!
You can find YouTube videos of other performances from his Tour of Refusal with better sound quality than the one embedded here. But this one takes me back the best visually. That's the set they had on stage and those were the rock and roll lights. It was hard to keep my eyes on them though from my partially-obstructed-view seat behind a column in the second balcony, what with the awesome (perfect word) 19th century interior details to look at (always makes me feel like I'm in the Theatre of the Vampires there).
But what is truly awesome about the place where the orchestra played are the damn near perfect acoustics. Morrissey's 50 year old voice is as smooth and rich as ever - every syllable popped - and as loud and angry as the music of his band got (with those precocious identical twins on drums and guitars), I never felt like covering my ears or ducking out for relief in the halls. In fact, I was totally into it. "Hurt me Morrissey, make me feel like you inside!"
The man does a great show. Even in the stodgy old-money environment of the Academy, Morrissey's angst-wrenched charisma still drives the boys so wild they are compelled to literally climb up and over each other in a mad frenzy to get onto the stage in an effort to... what? Rip his clothes off? I don't know. Those who actually made it past the footlights and onto the stage ended up just getting manhandled by the big burly guards/roadies who tossed the interlopers right back into the parquet circle like they thow amps onto a truck. Ouch!
I was just as happy to keep my middle-aged butt up there in the balcony, above it all. God knows, if I were down in the orchestra/mosh pit with them, I probably would have gotten swept up in the frenzy myself!
I don't even usually use the word, "awesome." But this is an awesome show. Awesome.
I have to say though, the man from Lancashire has really gone Hollywood. At one point, after the third song or so, the Moz even did a costume change, ripping off the white shirt he wore for the first act and disappearing back stage only to reappear wearing a totally different black shirt!
Who does he think he is?