Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Morrissey at the Enmore, 21 December 2013


I have waited for this concert for 25 years. When I listened to the Smiths for the first time, I knew that someone finally got it - the loneliness, the longing, the joy and pain and sometimes the shear boredem of being young. Be it "Mother, I can feel/ the soil falling over my head" or "When you walk without ease/on these streets where you were raised", Morrissey captured all these feelings poetically pitch-perfect.

So as I am standing in the Enmore Theatre, I feel like pinching myself: I can hardly believe that it is the man himself on stage, opening the concert with Shoplifters of the World Unite. It feels utterly surreal seeing him perform live the soundtrack of my teenage years. Although I haven't listened to some songs for a long time, I find myself singing along word for word.

Morrissey is all theatrical gestures and snappy one-liners. He throws in the odd dispariging comment about the royal family or dictatorships around the globe. His vegetarian anthem Meat is Murder is really too long and a bit tedious, but still chilling accompanied by footage of cattle being led to be slaughtered in the background. For Let Me Kiss You he throws his shirt into the audience and reveals a pretty trim body for his 53 years. People hand him books and flowers, something I haven't seen in a long time at a concert. He even invites a few fans on stage. Their reactions go from enthusiastic hugging to reverently kneeling before Moz.

Satisfyingly the playlist leans heavily on early Smiths material and ignores the worst of his self-indulgent smooth solo numbers. And when he sings the first tunes of Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want, I feel like crying: This is flawless and beautiful and just perfect.

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