music

The Last of the Famous International Playboys: An Evening with Morrissey

As I leaned forward peering over the edge of a third tier box down at the stage in Benaroya Hall, I reflected on what was about to happen and why I was here to see Morrissey. 10 years ago I had tickets to see him in Spokane, where I lived at the time, when the show was changed to 21+, I was 17.  My ticket was refunded. Then after a few days of outcry, the show was changed back to all ages. Except my then boyfriend seemed upset that I was going to go and I didn’t buy a ticket again.

This is one of the few decisions that has bugged me well into my post-college years. I was head over heels into the 80s at the time, deep into Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, and I didn’t go see one of my idols because of a boy. I don’t sit and brood on this often but when I do see that someone is coming into town that I really absolutely must see, that decision and the disappointment that followed pops up in the back of my head.

So when I saw Morrissey tickets, fuck yes I said, and I called my brother. I was going to go to this, and I knew full well that my current significant other of 8 years, would not be into this at all. Morrissey is not is scene at all. So I didn’t even ask him, I went straight to my brother and then bought tickets for the two of us.

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Morrissey & his bandmates are a beautiful thing to see live. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a show that wasn’t electronic. The live band is bloody amazing. They are all so talented & I very much love the fact that Morrissey introduces all of the members, and each of them have their moment to shine.

And let me just take a moment to say:

Morrissey’s voice is the absolute definition of perfection during a live performance. 

It’s always a treat to hear some of your favorite songs played: “Everyday is Like Sunday”, “Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed”, and “Suedehead”. And then he plays a few songs from the Smiths, and the crowd goes nuts.

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Morrissey’s fans are some of the most passionate people, so much that often people have rushed the stage and need to be carried off. I could see security on each side, ready to swoop in, but Seattle isn’t like that, at least not this crowd. Morrissey was within arms reach for many people and he gladly reached out to grasp people’s hands, those people’s faces glowing, ecstatic, some of them looked as though they had just touched god, and I’m sure for some it felt like that.

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I’ve heard & read the things about him being miserable, grumpy, and generally just an ass. None of that showed during this performance. He made a few funny quips in between songs, the atmosphere was upbeat, and it was exactly what I expected from a Morrissey show. Right down to the political statements.

And in the end, he stripped off his shirt & threw it into the crowd. And I couldn’t help but imagine what a sight he was to see 25 years ago. A heartthrob of a British musician: looks and a voice to knock you off your feet.

As we rolled out of the garage after the concert, I was happy, obviously, but I felt free of that decision 10 years ago, and contentedly checked this off my bucket list. I have seen Depeche Mode twice. I have danced with Slow Magic.

Now I have seen Morrissey, and I have a wonderful memory to share with my younger brother. Perhaps there was a reason I didn’t see Morrissey all those years ago because this is so much more meaningful to me now than it would have been then.

xoxo,

Steph

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