Concert Roundup: Morrissey at Hammerstein Ballroom, October 23

Morrissey played a 5 night run at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom beginning Monday, October 22. For this 5-show run Live Nation could offered fans a special package of tickets for all 5 shows. In order to keep things interesting Morrissey performed a different set of songs from his huge Smiths and Morrissey catalog. If you only had tickets for one night there was a chance you might not get to see him perform your favorite songs. Luckily for me, the October 23rd show that I went to was full of my favorite Smiths and Morrissey songs.

To get everyone ready for the show they played some video clips of some really strange, campy 50s and 60s songs from France and England-even a Bridget Bardeau song. These were followed up by a very strange video of James Dean’s East of Eden wardrobe test. Odd. Then was a very amusing montage of clips from an episode of the Untouchables which featured a villain named… Morrissey. They episode was edited down to all the parts where they mentioned Morrissey. Very clever. “It’s Morrissey’s gang they’re down at the docks!” “Where’s Morrissey? We gotta get Morrissey!”

The show opened up with “Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before” which was very cool. A lot of friends didn’t want to go because they heard that Morrissey is depressing and goth. Well, Morrissey live was fun and exciting. He and the band were so full of energy even “Death Of A Disco Dancer” wasn’t a downer. And, Morrissey was jumping around having a great time, and was telling jokes and poking fun at himself all through the show. He played for about 2 hours, and during the encore was attacked by almost a dozen gay men rushing the stage. One guy was reaching for the stage and Morrissey pulled him up and lead him off to the side. This encouraged dozens of gay men to try the same. When Morrissey didn’t oblige they tried climbing the barrier and jumping on stage. Several made it, and many more were taken out by the security team. After that assault Morrissey cut things short and ended the show.

It’s too bad that Morrissey decided to quit performing live, because he is a great singer and very dynamic. At least he hasn’t quit his recording career.