Morrissey at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Morrissey at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, November 26th, 2011

Dec 01, 2011 Morrissey Photography by David Studarus Bookmark and Share

Oh Morrissey. Has there been an artist since Elvis started swinging his hips that’s been the cause for so much cross-cultural appreciation? While Elvis has been charged with bringing black music to a white audience, the lines connecting Morrissey’s cross-cultural appeal are a bit more difficult to untangle. A Brit, who appropriates elements of French pop. A singer in his fifties who still toys teenage melodrama. (Don’t blame him—action is his middle name…) An asexual icon possessing a notably sexual swagger. A white man with a Latino fan base so devoted he addresses Los Angeles crowds with a “gracias.” In short—a walking thesis on the power of cultural anthropology.

Saturday night at The Shrine there was a pre-show buzz in the air. Surely it wasn’t just the sports-related high from the UCLA/USC football match happening next door. Fans came early, dressed to the nines. A large number of girls sported flowers in their hair, while many guys opted for a greaser-style pompadour. Lessoned learned: Moz is worth getting dolled up for.

Just making sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes—as he’s also worth standing up for. The audience collectively leapt to their feet the second the Brit hit the stage, butts never again to meet seats. For his part, Morrissey met the audience’s energy with a self-satisfied smile, strutting across the stage in tight jeans and a sparkly shirt, teasing with the occasional fling of the mic chord that never really escalated to a full-out swing. (Oh Moz, you flirt!)

While the shirt stayed on, other classic Morrissey tropes—including a plea for veganism—were included in the performance. During Smiths’ tune “Meat is Murder,” the band performed the passionate plea, accompanied by PETA documentary Meat Your Meat. (Full disclosure: I was too busy being disturbed to offer further commentary on this portion of the show.)

Perhaps one of the evening’s most unexpected pleasures was a cover of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love”—which Morrissey owned completely, growls and all. It was topped only by Smiths’ song, “I Know it’s Over”—performed to an accompaniment of happy gasps by the audience.

The encore was only one song long—The Smiths’ “Still Ill.” It was just as well, had Morrissey opted to play another song there was a high likelihood of rioting. As it was, the guards were reduced to playing an oversized game of wack-a-mole, as over a dozen fans attempted to jump on stage to get closer to their idol. While many came up short, one industrious man managed to sneak in a kiss before being physically removed. When fans were stopped from reaching their goal, Morrissey would reach back, never once breaking stride. It appears the love is mutual.

Set list:

1. I Want The One I Can’t Have

2. You’re The One For Me, Fatty

3. You Have Killed Me

4. When Last I Spoke To Carol

5. Black Cloud

6. Maladjusted

7. Alma Matters

8. Ouija Board, Ouija Board

9. Meat Is Murder

10. Satellite Of Love (Lou Reed)

11. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris

12. Action Is My Middle Name

13. All The Lazy Dykes

14. People Are The Same Everywhere

15. I Know It’s Over

16. Speedway


17. Still Ill

Check out a gallery of performance shots here.

Check out a gallery of fan portraits here.



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March 8th 2012

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