Sunday, June 14, 2015
Morrissey @ Symphony Hall 2015
If you are only a Smiths fan, this might not be the tour for you. If you only like Moz' greatest hits this might not be the tour for you. After thirty minutes of video ranging from Tina Turner, Jefferson Airplane, the Ramones and the New York Dolls , He took the stage apologizing for being two years late. Referring to the fact he has cancelled more than he has played here. While review of the first couple of shows in the tour said he pushed his politics to heavily, he didn't say a word other than express his thanks and let the videos playing above him do the talking.The touring line up consisted of the line up from the world peace is none of your business session , old timer Boz Boorer and Jesse Tobias handling the guitars . Matt Walker on drums along with multi-instrumentalist Gustavo Manzur, who was Moz's new ace in the hole. He handled, trumpet parts, spanish guitar, additional drumming and back vocals. It was the few minutes he took the mic himself that inspired me to take a bathroom break.
His stage set-up was a step up from previous tours with more emphasis put on the LED lighting on video screen above the band. At times the videos which pushed Moz's agenda, repulsed fans by showing cops beating people and killing dogs. Then there was the video which accompanied "Meat is Murder" that showed what goes on inside of a slaughterhouse. This was one of the most intense things I have ever seen shown at a concert, beating out all metal bands and leaving only Skinny Puppy as a close second. I was surprised this song didn't get a bigger response since it is a Smiths song, and one of my favorite's since it's so dark and the closest the Smiths come to playing metal. The crowd was evidently also only interested in the Smiths greatest hits as well as they sat this one out. Of course the energy leaped up for "Stop Me If You Have Heard This One Before" and "What She Said", both of which are on the Smiths greatest hits compilations.
The set was heavy on "World Peace Is None of Your Business" . While I would have liked to have heard a slightly broader range, maybe one song from every album, it was my first time hearing any of these songs live. For the most part they held up well "Istanbul" and the title track perhaps at the top of the pile. The more recent hits included "Throwing My Arms Around Paris" and "First of the Gang to Die". He touched on some of his more classic solo work like "Everyday is Like Sunday" and "Now My Heart if Full". Morrissey's voice sounded great. The high and low croons alike came across with power and he even floated into his head register. The only qualm I had was it didn't seem loud enough. Now I know my hearing has had a toll taken on it from going to see Swans alone, much less all the other shows, but the energy exchange between the musicians and the fans was not as intense as other times i have heard them play at higher volumes. This could have been a volume restriction place on them by the venue since it was at Symphony Hall. The mix was good, with Moz's voice way out front, since it is his show. From a performance standpoint if you haven't see him yet, this tour seems to be a fine opportunity, but a word of warning this is not a greatest hits tour so it would be wise to make sure you check out his latest album if you haven't done so yet or you will be out of the loop most of the show.