I breathed a firm sigh a relief this morning when I read Jackson Hathorn's excellent review of last night's Morrissey show. I had a feeling that a post-show visit to Pony might sacrifice any semblance of punctual journalistic reports. Alas, the Pony was filled with people who had also been to the show, so staying too late was partially redeemed. I was also able to, you know, be in the bar with my head on the bar.
Due to a ticketing mix-up, we spent a few minutes outside trying to contact a lady on the east coast about getting an extra admission. Oh also, I was totally stoned due to my recent proclivity for rolling and smoking giant joints that I've dubbed bombers. I never really smoked pot in public before it was legal(ish), so lately the world is an almost new place to me. Suddenly the main doors swung open and the faint sounds of "Everyday is Like Sunday" oozed out. Was that a recording? Had he started? He had started!
I stormed the entrance briskly and was directed down a main floor aisle, where the whole room seemed really small. I think a person could describe the Moore as rather intimate, and though it was filled with people of all ages, shapes, and styles, it almost felt like a conference room. Oh right, I was totally stoned. After the song ended, the two gentlemen reluctant to move from our seats informed me that I was indeed late. "How late?" I asked. "You missed half the show!" they replied. My heart sank. I was just getting stoned in a Subaru and missed half of my only chance to see my childhood idol in Seattle? "JUST KIDDING!" they announced. I asked them what songs I missed but the couldn't say. They were sure that it wasn't "Ouija Board, Ouija Board." They said that's the one they were waiting for. Who waits for "Ouija Board, Ouija Board?" That song is just okay!
The next batch of songs came from the latter half of Mozzer's career, and the band was perfect for the guitar heavy (& sometimes generic) tracks. But when it came time to turn back the clock with "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore," I noticed that the band didn't seem perfectly suited for the necessary subtle restraint. I can tell you this for sure, during the long awaited "Ouija Board, Ouija Board," the drummer was noticeably lost, and Morrissey made it known with annoyed glances behind him. Oh wait, was I just totally stoned? Nope, parts of some songs were absolutely confused. Something has to get lost when music goes through so many people, the current band members were probably tots when it was written. It was like a game of telephone and we were near the end of the line.
I really can't complain about the set selection, there are so many Morrissey/Smiths songs, and they're nearly all unique and great. Near the end they played a brilliant version of "Still Ill," with a drawn out intro and ending like they would have done in 1986. "Meat is Murder" included a backdrop of Meet Your Meat, which maybe went on a tad too long. Morrissey vanished from the stage for a good portion of the song, re-emerging in a different shirt when it ended. I'd seen Morrissey enough times to know that shirt was coming off. Morrissey doesn't throw expensive shirts into the crowd, he throws cheap shirts from Topman!
The rest of the set was perfectly satisfying. There was no triumphant reprisal, no mind blowing finish. "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" sounded sparse and weird, but was still so great to see. I'm not a fan of "How Soon is Now," but I had chills through my body when it started. When I asked somebody later if they liked the show, they replied, "If you're a Morrissey fan, you're probably always going to like a Morrissey show." Which is true. The one song encore was "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side." Nothing else after that, house lights and the standard show ending opera track.
In the line for (some garish, some not) merch afterward, I met a woman named Laura with a "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" tattoo. Her husband had a pompadour and came away with a decent sized chunk of Morrissey's shirt. While talking to her I spotted the only person to climb on stage to hug Morrissey. He was wearing a red hat, he's from Ireland and lives in San Francisco. It was the second time he'd hugged the Mozzer. When I asked him to describe it, he said that he didn't have the words.
When I woke up this morning with my head mildly throbbing, I saw a pile of clothes and happily remembered: last night I bought a $30 t-shirt.