Better than: Staying home and watching the Morrissey: Live in Dallas DVD
Morrissey crooned the lyrics of The Smith's "I Know It's Over" to a packed SMU McFarland Auditorium last night "...tonight is just like any other night" he sang, as three security guards escorted a shirtless man up the center left aisle. The crowd swayed back and forth, attention fixated on the icon as he sang about the inevitability of death, crossing himself before the crowd erupted into applause. Truth is, last night wasn't just like any other night.
The night was filled with personal messages from Morrissey, "I was up incredibly late last night, watching the Occupy Dallas stuff on the news ... and it just reminded me that people are the same everywhere" he said before diving into "People Are The Same Everywhere." The crowd, ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s, responded with cheers, some even sang out as Morrissey nonchalantly swung his mic around stage belting out "It's a shame, it's a shame..."
As to be expected, the icon touched on the subject of politics too, "So, I was watching Cocoon on TV last night, you know that movie about all the senior citizens, except it wasn't actually Cocoon, it was the Republican presidential line-up. Have we really come to this?" His rhetorical question was followed by another: "Are you really going to vote for Barack Obama's teeth again?" He then launched into "Action is My Middle Name."
The most intense delivery of any message last night, though, was during the performance of "Meat Is Murder."
"And while we're on the subject of Thanksgiving, I have this to say, surprisingly ..." The spotlights fell, and red washed over Morrissey and his backing band. A video of chickens, and cows being slaughtered for food flashed behind the performer as he sang about his disapproval of killing animals for food. The performance was heavy and left the crowd nearly silent. He picked the mood up and took everybody to church with a soulful performance of "Everyday is Like Sunday."
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The singer performed an eclectic array of material from his extensive catalog and ended the night with an encore in which he changed out of his black V-neck sweater and sported a light blue polyester button down that was unbuttoned down to his sternum. Morrissey took a bow, buttoned one more button up and launched into The Smith's "Still Ill." He then ripped off his shirt -- baring a very toned body -- tossed it into the crowd, crossed himself and exited the stage.
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Concert goers were handed PETA pamphlets as they swarmed the merch table.
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Personal bias: I'm a total Mozhead.
Random note: Opening act, singer-songwriter Kristeen Young sounded like a bad mash-up of Kate Bush, Bjork and Amanda Palmer.