Not much has changed with Morrissey, the pasty prince of postpunk, over the last three decades. His mini-pompadour, now greying, is still in place. His vocal delivery still manages to languish midair. And for the devoted followers attending his revival/sold-out concert at the Music Center at Strathmore on Wednesday night, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Opening with The Smiths’ “Shoplifters of the World Unite,” Morrissey ably combined his solo work with his former band’s catalogue, carefully toeing the line between both and dipping into the reserves when necessary. Sporting a white button-down shirt, jeans, belt and large crucifix and backed by a five-piece band dressed in the same manner, Morrissey’s baritone was in fine form as he slowly patrolled the stage, swinging his mic cord when a moment or lyric needed additional emphasis.
The emphasis was hardly needed since most Morrisey devotees drank the punch ages ago. There were plenty of followers who spent the majority of the evening with two hands raised in the air singing along to every word like they were part of a Sunday worship, or, at the very least, rock and roll glory.
But even Morrissey felt the need to occassionally poke fun at his iconic status. When a female fan in the front row screamed for his attention, he did a mock slow-mo run towards her and held out his mic at which point she screamed, "I love you! I just want to hug you!" Morrissey responded, "I thought you might," turned and toddled off while chuckling to himself.
At one point, Morrissey stripped off his shirt, throwing it into the front row of the audience, almost knowing that it would result in a violent tug of war with various audience members (which it did). There were moments where Morrissey took the time to grab fans' hands while working the front of the stage, accepting gifts and hugs from fans who were brave enough to jump the stage (which typically resulted in them being tackled by one of Morrissey's roadies).
For any fans who are wishing, hoping and praying for a Smiths' reunion and acknowledging an obnoxious elderly gentleman's (seated in the center Orchestra section row H) consistent yells of "Where's Johnny Marr?! Bring back The Smiths!" Morrissey simply replied, "If you're meant to find someone you will. If not, you won't" and then promptly launched into The Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want."
Ending the evening with "How Soon Is Now?" Morrissey once again dealt with idol worship as a fan jumped on stage at the start of the song and yanked Morrissey's arm so violently it pulled the singer away from his mic and unable to finish the first verse. But even as that lucky fan was put in a headlock by a roadie and dragged off stage, Morrissey laughed off the incident, still able to keep his fans at arms' length even when they're dragging him by the arm.
Shoplifters Of The World Unite
Everyday Is Like Sunday
Action Is My Middle Name
You Have Killed Me
You're The One For Me, Fatty
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Ouija Board, Ouija Board
I Know It's Over
Let Me Kiss You
November Spawned A Monster
People Are The Same Everywhere
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
Meat Is Murder
How Soon Is Now?
For more information about Morrissey, click here.
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