Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Learn to Love Me, Assemble the Ways

    Sooo.  Saw Morrissey tonight in Burlington.  A few post concert observations before bed: a lot of it was assaultive, but in a good way (mostly).  There was some sonic activity that I can't quite explain or make sense of; a lot of film clips of bad TV variety acts of the 60s and early 70s with horrible audio - a group called "The Sparks" sang (in their 1974 pants) about not turning your back on your mother while Dutch subtitles explained something about the Sparks' career ups and downs (I could puzzle out just that much, though it may not have been Dutch...).  A long-bangs-60s-girl-singer rode through  Leicester Square? Picadilly Circus? apparently on the top of a bus or van and mouthed the words to a banal 60s song.  An extremely low tone was blasted through the house at one point and made me fear for the building's structural integrity.  Pity the poor non-Morrissey fan who may have stumbled in... esp. for the slaughterhouse sequence that played on the screen during a protracted red-lit version of Meat is Murder.  But I was ready for him, and I mostly just loved it.

One big thing is that Morrissey can sing.  His voice is right there where it was when I was shouting over it in bars on Saturday nights in the 1980s.  Also, there is something terribly authentic about him.  I sense that other (bigger) stars, like Dave Matthews or Jack Johnson, would probably be a little afraid of him or feel intimidated.  Still, I am guessing he must really need money to be doing such a tour and he's not above putting his face on $30 T shirts (yes, I bought one).  How does he do it?  Be the artist apart and shill like this?

Also, he actually looked great - that vegetarian diet begins to really work its magic when one hits one's mid 50s.  And the crowd was full of (young) fans (bolstered, one suspects, by recreational pharmaceuticals) who kept leaping on stage to try and hug this charming man.  

The show was very disciplined and professional.  Plenty of money had been spent on excellent musicians.  Morrissey was working (and sweating) out there.  As much as I liked the music I also liked pondering the man himself.  I kept thinking, as the show progressed, of (bear with me) Stewie Griffin from Family Guy.  I could imagine Morrissey coming to consciousness as a child (a la Stewie) realizing that life means death and lots of suffering before death and being extremely pissed and unresolved to any such system.  "You mean I'm going to die and everyone and everything I ever loved will die too?  Whose crappy idea was that? I'm not having that. It sucks and I'll never stop saying so."