Je Suis Morrissey?! Only Moz himself would wear and/or sell a shirt like that. Such is the madness of a Morrissey concert! (No stage rushers could get past the security at the first show and only one or two made it to the stage the 2nd night. By the weekend, Morrissey must have told the guards to let the ones he touched get through. So if he took their hand and helped them up, the guards backed off. Quite a few made it onstage to hug Morrissey to the cheers of the crowd. --Photo on the right by Juan Miranda Pix. posted on Morrissey-solo.com Photo on the left by Eric M. Townsend: LoudPIX.com.
Still sporting the Pompadour. . .
Morrissey Week in the NYC has sadly ended. I went to 4 of the 5 shows. They were AWESOME. He played the best sets I have ever heard from him. He wasn't there to promote his newest album, Ringleader of the Tormenters.* He was there just to enjoy performing and to satiate the crowd. And that he did.
Each night he played slightly different sets. The highlights were new arrangements of "The Loop" and "Death of a Disco Dancer", some people were in tears. I got goosebumps. And of course, the crowd favorites, "Please, please, please, let me get what I want", and "How Soon is Now". He ended each night with How Soon. The other exciting thing was that he played some rarely performed songs, like "Interesting Drug", "National Front Disco", and (See the setlist for details below). Altogether, the sets oozed with somber emotion and unrequited love --that which Moz does best. Made even better by his new, exceptionally tight band, which backs him with 3 guitars, a gong(!), Keys/synth which simulate Marr's guitar on How Soon, and, of course, Boz Boorer.
I know, I know, his solo work isn't monumental and life-changing and/or influential,like The Smiths. But his performances are the best shows I have ever attended. EVER. And I have seen an awful lot of bands play live. Even the concerts of my favorite bands were not this fun. He is so engaging and enthralling that all the obsessions and ruminations in my mind go silent. What would I pay for 90 minutes of mental peace and the pleasure of being soaked in my favorite songs? I did pay $75 for one night, $55, and $35 twice. But I would pay a lot more.
Three of my best friends came up to go to the concerts and stayed with me. I had so much fun. We had dinner a very yummy dinner at Yaffa's in the East Village, went boutique shopping in Hoboken, watched movies at home, AND I got to drive to the Hammerstein for the last show with the 4 of us. We paid $34 to park in the garage right next to the venue. It took 30 minutes from door to door, only because of the tunnel traffic. It felt so incredibly decadent!
My friend Paul crossed to the other side, he was veclempt at the performance immediately. He even said "I'm having a sexual experience watching him." Steff replied: "I know. Why do you think we go to all of his shows?" Because, when Moz is in a good mood, his sexual charisma permeates the venue. It's a non-vulgar thrill for us celibates. He doesn't strip or get nasty (except for losing his shirt) he is just SEXY.
*Critics are calling Ringleaders Morrissey's best solo work. (Read the album review)
Morrissey has never sung better, not so much soulfully as with an emotional elegance that consistently snaps the icy, burning words to attention.
Visconti[the producer] treats him as a handsome Latino melodramatist suffering from a kitsch surfeit of imagination as much as a damp, exiled Mancunian miserabilist with a cold tendency to nostalgic self-obsession. Ultimately, Visconti helps transform Morrissey's dogged oddness and phenomenal fussiness into pure magic. Love him or hate him, there's no one better at loving and hating. --by Paul Morley
Here are his set lists from the shows I attended. Taken from Morrissey-solo.com
Oct 28th, Morrissey at Hammerstein Ballroom
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Billy Budd / Interesting Drug / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / Irish Blood, English Heart / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / Girlfriend In A Coma / The Last Of The Famous International Playboys / Human Being / I Like You / Jack The Ripper / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Stretch Out And Wait / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Good Looking Man About Town / Sister, I'm A Poet / Death Of A Disco Dancer / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / You Have Killed Me / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die
setlist provided by Amsden
NOTE: The Sunday show was cut short due to a wardrobe malfunction following a shirt change after Death of a Disco Dancer. Moz was so upset by it when he noticed, that he talked to his band and they skipped to the last song. Poor thing. He was horrified. I don't want to discuss it because the man brings so much pleasure into my life, that I don't want to further his humiliation.
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / The Last Of The Famous International Playboys / You Have Killed Me / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side / Irish Blood, English Heart / I Like You / Jack The Ripper / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / The National Front Disco / Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / All You Need Is Me / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Sister, I'm A Poet / The Loop / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Stretch Out And Wait / Dear God, Please Help Me / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To DieNote: David Johanssen was in attendance and acknowledged by Moz on either Sunday or Saturday. The band played a rousing cover of the New York Dolls "Human Being".
setlist provided by Amsden
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Billy Budd / All You Need Is Me / Irish Blood, English Heart / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side / Human Being / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Tomorrow / That's How People Grow Up / Jack The Ripper / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / The Loop / Sister, I'm A Poet / Stretch Out And Wait / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Disappointed / Dear God, Please Help Me / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To DieTuesday's set was my favorite. But I think Saturday's performance was the best.
setlist provided by NYCWolf
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Tomorrow / Sister, I'm A Poet / London / The Loop / That's How People Grow Up / Jack The Ripper / I Like You / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Stretch Out And Wait / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me / Billy Budd / All You Need Is Me / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Irish Blood, English Heart / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / You Have Killed Me / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die
setlist provided by NYCWolf
As a final note, the Hammerstein Ballroom is a fabulous venue. There are no bad seats, and it was so well air-conditioned, that we had to put on sweaters.
Goodbye until next time!