Thursday, January 10, 2013

Morrissey Saves The Night on Long Island

What do you mean you’re going to the concert by yourself?  I thought Chris was going?  Mike?  Frank?  Dave?  Shar?  Eric? No, they all couldn’t make it and it was very short notice.  The day of the concert I asked if they’d like to go.  The night before Amanda gave me the look when I mentioned we were going to the concert. What?  You don’t want to go?  Not really, it’s one of those things you get excited about when you first hear of it and then…not really.  I understood.  There is something about getting back into the routine of life, it’s still early in the year and I’ve been back to work for a little over a week.  Amanda is on her college break.  When I saw Morrissey was playing on CW Post, I felt it was a good opportunity to see a local show and an artist I have never seen before.  The Smiths were one of my favorite bands  and I still listen to them from time to time.  See radioHead’s cover of The Smiths on YouTube… going back to my ancient days - I remember Marjorie Eisenberg bringing home their first record and playing on the player in their living room, the wooden floors, the sparse furniture, boxes of matzos in the closet.  The album was on Rough Trade Records, the label was silver and the cover was maroon.  It was sparse as well, but the music captivated me.  We sat in the room and listened to the whole thing after school.  It’s one album and a memory which I will cherish.  I tried to speak to Marjorie yesterday, these days she owns Permanent Records in Brooklyn and I wanted to tell her I was seeing Morrissey.  She wasn’t at work, but the clerk asked if he could help me.  No, I’m a high school friend and I wanted to say hi.  She’ll be back tomorrow.  So I left work later than usual and picked up a vegetarian burrito on account Morrissey is a vegan and a downright activist for the animal rights movement.  I read reviews of other shows.  I should be prepared for a violent anti-meat film which plays on the screen behind the band, while they perform Meat in Murder…Meet your Meat. What was one of the first comments a member of the audience made after the film?  "So does this mean you don't eat eggs?"  Are you serious?  Morrissey shook his head and must have assumed we were all ignorant.  "Why do you care?" He asked her and took the mic back before she could offend him any more.  The scenes in the film were gruesome, but he has me contemplating my next decision for lunch.   I went to the show by myself, parked in the parking lot outside the Tilles Center at CW Post and walked in and down the stairs.  I was surprised by the ancient ages of the audience. I fall with full force into this category.   From speaking to Mike Fallon when the suggestion to  scalp,  “You’d see some despondent fifteen year-old in the parking lot who’s holding up a sign, no one in the world understands me except Morrissey…give him the extra ticket. “  I didn’t see the lad.  There is one song I wanted to hear, Shoplifters of the World…and this was the opening song.  My only weakness is a desperate crime; my only weakness is well…never mind…never mind.  I love that line.  You listen to it and analyze what desperate crimes did he commit?  Shoplifting?  Maybe the song inspired, Wynona Ryder?  Morrissey’s voice was weak at times and in perfect pitch as the set and show progressed.  In fact for most of the set he was on.  He made a comment regarding the break from his last tour, which he called off and now was back.  For the haggard Smith’s fan, there was an eclectic mix of songs.  For the Morrissey worshippers, I confess I did not know each song the band performed, there was the Ouija board song and many others, but I am not an adoring fan, but I can see how one can fall for this performer who adores his fans.  He easily walked from side to side, shaking hands, wiping his sweaty palm on his pants after slipping his hand into a sweaty palm, and taking flowers, receiving hugs and yes, giving hugs from both men and women.  Oh, Mother…I can feel the soil falling gently over my head…his whipped his microphone cord like a whip many times, appearing like a stoic Spanish bull fighter…how often does the performer ask the audience if they have any comments?  He handed the Mic down, and the first comment, can we hear your best New York accent?  He took the mic back and said, Next and handed the Mic to someone else after asking the fan, “Do you know the name of the drummer? Previously, he introduced the band…”No,” was the answer.  At this time there were calls from the audience, I love you Morrissey…” The typical adoration for the demigod on the pulpit.  I was warned to be prepared for a quasi religious experience.  And it happened.  They broke after the set and came back on and Morriseey mentioned not having a tooth brush and sharing it and then the religious episode…the opening of How Soon in Now…and I related to the song so well in my old age.  I am the son and the heir….more fans rushed the stage, a corpulent man who wore bright underwear was hauled off the stage, a boy of 14 with a smile on his face as he ran to the man and handed him a note and a hug…after all of these years I felt strangely the same in the darkness as the lights poured out into the crowd.  So close to the emotions of isolation, the same way when I was younger.   I walked into the Tilles Center on my own and left on my own and went home…but this time I didn’t cry.  I curled up next to my wife who was snoring.  I wanted to tell her everything about the show…
The show was 90 minutes…
Opening act was Kristeen who thanked the twenty of us for being raised properly since we clapped for her.  Her music reminded me of the bands I glazed over, Missing Persons and such.  But she is a solo artist, no need for a band for her.  Kind of makes the argument stand that all those synth bands were not musicians, they were artist who stood on stage and looked pretty under the lights.  Kristeen had an impeccable voice that radiated the room like an opera star.  I hope she plays with a band the next time she swings through and has a dress she doesn’t need to adjust ever second….
There is a set-list on the web for the show:
Irish Blood
Alma Matters
Still Ill
You’re the one for me fatty
You have Killed me
I’m throwing my arms around Paris
Action is my Middle Name
I know it’s over
Ouija Board
One day Goodbye
The Youngest was the most loved
Meat is Murder
To Give
November spawned a Monster
Sweet Tender Hooligans
Let me Kiss you
How Soon is Now

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