Sunday, September 23, 2018

Oh Morrissey...

by Sole (writer), Miami, July 16, 2007

Morrissey's concert on Saturday at Mizner Park Amphitheater was rather, well, disappointing. The little to no interaction between the fans and the musicians made for poor concert dynamic, and the effect was more reminiscent of watching a live DVD on a large screen than actually being at the show.

From the get go it was obvious that the crowd had made its pilgrimage to the open air theater with a few key songs in mind. Surprisingly even when the silken voiced singer opened with a Smiths tune, it was not enough. When the insistent drumming of The Queen is Dead ended the appropriately depressing intro, cuing the lights off and the fans on, the lights were alone in their response.

The band moved right into The Last of the Famous International Playboys, which garnered something of a reaction. But the crowd quickly controlled its unseemly outburst and continued to listen to the tune in a courteous manner. You would never guess you were at a rock concert in modern day South Florida, miles and decades away from the crippling self-restraint Steven Patrick rebelled against his whole life. By the time he got to the more recent You Have Killed Me, it was no longer clear whether he was singing the stinging refrain to his audience or for them.

For a singer whose shows have been notoriously raucous, it wasn’t surprising that the lackluster crowd along with the 92 degree weather translated to an indifferent performance. But he carried on.

As someone born in the stinky town of Manchester, he said he found this climate quite hot. "So if I drop down dead, continue without me," he said. "I know you will."

A number of singles from Ringleader of the Tormentors including I Will See You in Far Off Places, I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now, and I Just Wanted to See the Boy Happy with Jesse Tobias’ aggressive guitar hooks and Matt Walker’s unrelenting drums should have riled fans into a frenzy. Most notably the band’s first set finisher, the dramatic and heartfelt ballad Life is a Pigsty should have registered more than a blip in the radar. Sadly, the audience was more moved (albeit temporarily) by the Moz’s going shirtless than by the music.

Upon coming back to anemic applause for the encore, he acquiesced graciously telling the crowd that he knew deep in their hearts they meant it. Yeah, but how deep? Another brief display of public approval did erupt upon the opening riff of How Soon is Now?, and some were even moved to look for a lighter when he sang Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.

It truly was a shame to see guitarist Boz Boorer try to elicit some kind of excitement by signaling with his arms for the crowd to make more noise. He even moved his hands back and forth in a deliberate clapping motion just in case some in the crowd were new to the action. This is highly doubtful though. The mostly aging hipsters were clearly concert veterans, and knowing the protocol understood that the encore would be played whether they made a fuss or not. Unlike their idol, who changed shirts at least five times throughout the show, they didn’t wish to break a sweat.

It appears that it really is difficult to entertain an audience which by the very act of being Morrissey fans is affirming that life has been mostly dull and unsatisfactory. For his part, the Moz put everything he allowed himself to muster into his half-hearted effort nonetheless. When he left the stage proclaiming “I am already dead,” he could have easily changed the “I” to a “You.” It would have made more sense. Sadly, the adoring fans were already making their exit. They wouldn’t have listened anyway.

About the Writer

Sole is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Oh Morrissey...

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By Steven Lane on July 16, 2007 at 09:31 pm
What a shame.
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By Jen on July 17, 2007 at 02:47 pm
Hands down worst concert I ever went to was Morrissey. It is no surprise to me that fans would not clap for an encore as he is notorious for refusing to honor their cheers. The final straw for me was when he refused to play ANY Smiths songs, finally leaving the stage when the fans continued to request them. That concert lasted all of 3 songs. The music is great, but the guy is a tool. I doubt I'd stop to listen if he were giving a free concert in the food court at the mall...and I were starving.
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