Thanks to some generous babysitting we went to see Morrissey tonight at the Palace Theatre in Albany. It was great!
He did songs ranging from Still Ill (from the first album by The Smiths released in 1984) to two songs (Action Is My Middle Name and People Are The Same Everywhere) which were first performed in 2011 (since his last album was released). He moved effortlessly from era to era - with neither the older nor the newer material seeming out of place.
He also moved effortlessly through a series of shirts (one was ripped off dramatically on stage as he issued the punchline to Let Me Kiss You and then thrown into the crowd). There were at least four shirts in total in the 19 song set. Here he is in one of them:
Highlights for me were the aforementioned Let Me Kiss You along with You Have Killed Me and Ouija Board. Exile #2 was delighted to hear Spring-Heeled Jim and Every Day Is Like Sunday. He also did a wonderful version of I Know It's Over, well, let's face it I could single out almost every song (full setlist here). We could also name at least as many songs that we would have loved to hear but didn't make it into the set tonight. The only time the band seemed to have a tiny misstep was in One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell in which they seemed to get a bit out of time at one point but even that song was wonderful. His voice, stage presence and delivery are all as strong as ever.
He didn't say too much - at one point he seemed to be both complaining about and admiring the building. Let's face it he seems conflicted about most things - with the exception of his vegetarianism. He made a reference to Obama eating lambs and lambs being babies therefore...Obama Eats Babies! and did an unrelenting version of Meat Is Murder with a film of hideous lifestock farming practices going on above his head.
The set started with Shoplifters Of The World - which has the wonderfully (in)appropriate line for a first song: I was bored before I even began and he finished the set with Speedway, the closing track from Vauxhall And I in which he admits - All of the rumours keeping me grounded - I never said they were completely unfounded.
And then, wonderfully, as an encore...
...in which he sings I am human and I need to be loved - just like everybody else does and then he accepted hugs from those down the front whether they reached out to him or invaded the stage while the band played on.