You ever have one of those days where you are sitting at your desk at work updating some data to Filemaker Pro and then you get a text from a friend saying, "Want to go and see Morrissey tonight for free?" Yeah, I know, this sort of thing happens all the time. Right?
At the time I felt slightly guilty about recieving the ticket, as I've not listened extensively to Morrissey's solo material. In fact, it's been awhile since since I've spent any considerable ammount of time with the Smiths recordings that are in my collection (though "the Queen is Dead" will remain one of my all- time favorite albums regardless of how long I go without listening to it.)
None of this matters, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, go! Morrissey is just as much of a showman as you would expect him to be. His voice sounds great, his stage banter is clever, and his backing band is tight. They played several Smiths songs throughout the night the most exciting of which for me was "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side." They "closed" the show with "How Soon is Now" which was such an impressive display that it caused me to turn to my friend and say, "How will they top that?" Well, they encored with the ode to Los Angeles "First of the Gang to Die" from his 2004 solo album "You Are the Quarry." This song is a huge fan favorite so the remarkable restraint that had been shown throughout the show went straight out the window. It seemed like the majortity of the folks in the first two rows of the pit began trying to somehow propel themselves on stage (at least one of them actually made it!) This caused my friend to say to me, "Now it feels like a Morrissey show."
And it really did. You've got to have tremendous admiration for someone who can inspire that level of fandom. I have further admiration for how cool he is about handling it. Charming man indeed.
Speaking of "This Charming Man" see the following video of Johnny Marr and "Paul Morressey"(?) If you are having as much trouble getting started today as I am, this should help.