A Morrissey concert is a particularly emotional experience for everyone. From the most rabid Smiths-loathing, beef-loving haters to the people who still buy Morrissey's new albums and weep openly at the shows all over Moz tour T's, the crowd is a hotbed for feelings.
Last Saturday night at the Arsht Center, Moz immediately drew a sold-out crowd to its feet and had them singing along by song one: the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" But it was before the familiar tune blared that so many things were being felt by black-clad friends buzzing around the lobby of the building. And even prior to that, when many had trouble sleeping the night before, planning out the next evening, the one when they would be in the presence of true brilliance.
Emotions are why you go to see Morrissey live. Here are ten you've probably felt at one of his concerts.
As we just mentioned, a lot of going to see Morrissey live involves the building-up of expectations.
There's some remembering of the first time you saw Moz live and pondering with pals on whether this time would match up. My first Morrissey show was at Jackie Gleason (now the Fillmore on Miami Beach) in 2004, and, to be honest, there was no way this would be as good as that show. He closed that one out with "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out." There were so many tears that there were even tear-covered roses strewn about his feet. It was quite magical.
This time, sitting in the beautiful Arsht Center, though, it was hard to know what to expect. Would he even show up? In about 2007, he failed to appear on Miami Beach again, but we were all dressed and ready to go before the news was announced.
Calmness prevailed, though, on Saturday, when a Moz-curated montage of old music videos and comedy clips, projected cool, almost literally, onto the curtain of the theater. It was clear, he was in the building.
When Morrissey hit the stage with his band and they started with "How Soon Is Now?" it felt a little cheap. Sure, it's a near-perfect song, but it's also the song everyone knows. "This Charming Man" would have been a better choice, just sayin'. Most people know it, and it doesn't remind them of The Craft. But either way, I had already decided that unless he performed all of Bona Drag, I would feel disappointed, at least a little.
The best thing about Morrissey is probably how very Morrissey he actually still is. His face -- though older -- is still as chiseled and emotional it was in your mind as a young person crying, lonely in your bed. His gestures are still as packed with angst and grace. It's like, how could anyone be that very much of himself? Also, the man's voice has held up, and his star still shines so brightly, he's captivating.
The crowd was about 90 percent the best people in the tricounty area and 10 percent the worst. Examples of both include maybe even me. I really wanted to get close to the stage, just like everyone else, and there were other people closing in a bit. Everything should have been civil; it's a concert, for Christ's sake. But there were a few grouches ready to rip a jugular at any sign of losing their ground. I went to say hello to friends nearer the stage and apparently stepped too close to one couple's seats only to be met with foaming maws wagging with hateful words. I mean, chill; I don't want your seat. I just want to touch Morrissey.
And I did! Only his foot, but still, it's Morrissey's foot! A few folks successfully rushed the stage and one by one were picked off Moz and flung aside into the crowd like fleas off flesh. He was nice about it, though, stopping to shake hands before those brave people were cast back with the plebes, smiles on their faces.
4. Lust and longing
This is what drove the superfans to the stage. The desire to be close to him is very strong when you're in his presence.
3. Blissful happiness and sadness at the same time
Though the set list didn't include much of the familiar older Moz or Smiths tunes, two standout classics included personal high school favorites "Yes, I Am Blind" and "Hand in Glove." And the thing is, though those two sad songs also fill you with all the intense pains of growing into an adult and the sadness of dead lambs, they also truly make you feel connected. You are not alone in the world with all your weird emotions. Nope, the Pope of Mope's lyrics let you know that there is a whole universe of sadness out there, and there's so much beauty in that. This little emotional combo is, of course, his bread and butter.
It must be mentioned that Morrissey could use a stylist.
Ultimately, anytime spent with Moz is time well spent. There wasn't a person in the lobby afterward who didn't look thrilled to be there. I bought a Morrissey mug to drink tea from. That is what satisfaction is, to me at least.
Much later that night, we actually met Morrissey's band at the Corner, and they were genuinely nice guys. Fun too. Who would have thought Morrissey would tour with a fun band? Either way, there's no better way to round out an exciting concert experience than by hanging out with the people that made it that good. Well, except maybe perched somewhere in Morrissey's suite staring at him as he sleeps... We kid. Kind of.
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