Opening Bands: Girl In A Coma
Venue: Hammerstein Ballroom (Night 5)
City/State/Country: New York, NY
Last night I had a pleasure of seeing Morrissey for the very first time. I’ve been a fan of the Smiths and Morrissey for awhile now. I didn’t get into their music in the 80s because I was too busy listening to Alice Cooper and Ozzy to know who the hell the Smiths were. But I thankfully got into them a few years ago and been a big fan ever since. I always wanted to check out a Morrissey concert because he seems like he puts on an excellent show. And after seeing him perform, I have to say he does in fact, put on a great live show! I wasn’t planning on going to see Morrissey because tickets were a lot of money. Then I found out through another website, that he was having discount sales on tickets. So I ended up seeing him for only 22 bucks a ticket! Not too bad!
Besides seeing a great show, the rest of the evening was a nightmare. My girlfriend and I were supposed to go grab something to eat before the show but that didn’t happen. We got stuck in the typical GW Bridge bullshit. There are 6 lanes that go into 2 by the toll. What genius thought of this? Then we got stuck in slow moving traffic on the west side highway, and I made the mistake of trying to cut over and go down. I ended up right near Times Square of all places and it was a real horror show. It took like 15 minutes just to cut over 3 avenues and then I ended up on Broadway. I made a right to get out of Broadway and just park my car. I ended up parking my car and then being told that I entered the exit part for the garage. So I had to back out into traffic, and go around the block. At this point, we both had to pee really badly and our stomachs were growling. So we finally parked the car at the garage and went to a Starbucks. Then took the subway down to Penn Station, to where Hammerstein Ballroom was. My girlfriend knows her way around the city and I really don’t; so it’s a good thing she was with me or else I’d probably still be down there completely lost. I think I might start to take the train/subway more because driving in the city will make me snap. I should probably just move to the city so I stop complaining about the traffic in every review…
We arrived at Hammerstein Ballroom and went to find seats at the first level mezzanine. Last year at this time, I saw the Decemberists and had a terrible time seeing the stage from the floor. So I decided to get seats this time, and just enjoyed watching the former singer of the Smiths perform. I guess it was a good thing I didn’t get to the venue early because the opening band didn’t go on until 8pm. The doors opened at 6:30pm, so that’s quite a long time to start the show from when the doors opened.
Kristeen Young was originally suppose to play this show, but she was no longer the opening act for the tour, for some reason..I think she said something she shouldn’t and was asked to leave the tour. Either way, I don’t know who Kristeen Young is. The band Girl in a Coma opened the show and I thought they were all right. I thought the singer was energetic but I didn’t like her vocals all that much. The crowd didn’t really move around too much and just bopped their heads around. I actually think they went a little long to be honest. Before Morrissey came on, the audience was treated to some bizarre film clips and songs from the NY Dolls (one of Morrissey’s favorite bands). The one clip that got stuck in my head was this French song. I went to look it up and found out it’s Sacha Distel and the song is ‘Ou Ca Ou Ca.’ I don’t know where that is from but it’s just bizarre to me and keeps making me sing the song. I wish videos and film were always played in-between sets, at every show, because it gets to be so boring waiting for the next band to come on.
After the videos were done being played, the screen dropped to the ground. That meant that Morrissey was ready to perform his 5th night at the Hammerstein Ballroom. He came out on stage, and the crowd was going crazy. He started the night off with “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” and it certainly was a great song to start the set off with. Since I never saw Morrissey perform before, I was just impressed with his stage presence and style. I loved how he would yank the mic chord over his head and swirl it around. It takes skill to do that, because I’m sure if I did that it would have wrapped around me. I’ve read all the songs Morrissey played in the previous nights, but I felt Sunday’s night setlist was the best. In the first half of the set, he played “Interesting Drug,” “Last of Famous International Playboys,” “Shoplifters of the World Unite” and “Girlfriend in a Coma.” Throughout the night, I was hoping to hear my favorites “There is a Light that Never Goes Out,” “Everyday is like Sunday” and “Suedehead” but he never did those songs. You would have thought by having a show on a Sunday night, he would have played “Everyday is Like Sunday.”
Throughout the show, Morrissey would go down and shake hands with the crowd. Some people threw him their demo CDs, some threw him some vintage records and some people threw flowers. Of course when Morrissey got the flowers, he danced around with them and chucked them back. Money well spent right? Morrissey played a few songs I didn’t know (might be new?) but I don’t know every single song he played. Towards the end of the set, he played “Death of a Disco Dancer,” “You Have Killed Me” and the great Smiths song “How Soon Is Now?” Morrissey exited the stage early and the backing band finished the song with style. The drummer went on a drum solo with the giant gong behind him, and the large bass drum beside him. Add some strobe lights and it was a fun sight to see!
He came back for an encore and played “First of the Gang to Die” and the crowd went crazy again. They were all crowd surfing, and trying to get on stage. It was amusing to watch because the kids were getting pretty much manhandled on stage from bouncers and road crew members. Some people actually got on stage with the help of Morrissey, they then would give him a hug and then get thrown back down into the security pit. It was a great way to end the concert.
If you ever called yourself a Smiths or Morrissey fan; be sure to check out his live performance if you haven’t done so already. He played a lot of great songs, but I also think he could have done some other greats like I mentioned above. Maybe next time, whenever that is….
Bottom Line: Morrissey has still got it!
Favorite Songs: Stop Me, Interesting Drug, Shoplifters, You Have Killed Me, How Soon Is Now, Girlfriend in a Coma, First of the Gang to Die