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MORRISSEY – Live in San Francisco

morrissey29.12.15 SAN FRANCISCO MASONIC

With little marketing and almost no pick up in the local press, Morrissey quietly sold out the 3,100 capacity Masonic concert hall in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. It’s quite an astounding accomplishment given that the recent Pixies/Royal Blood gig did not come close to the crowds queuing outside the venue.

Once inside and packed like sardines, we were treated to the ‘support band’ that, in true Mozza style were actually a bunch of videos displayed on a huge screen. From early Ramones footage to the rousing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” short film celebrating the end of Thatcher (not sure what the Americans made of it to be honest) it all worked and help whip the crowd up ready for the man himself.

The band strolled on wearing matching “Morrissey for President T-Shirts” whilst Mozza was clad in his normal blouse, jacket and jeans. The band bowed to each other before launching into a 22 song set (including 5 The Smith’s numbers) with Suedehead. Within minutes, it was clear that the gig was going to be special. The huge screen displayed various images and movies related to the songs and Morrissey seemed to be really enjoying himself. The band was truly superb with multi-instrumentalists and even a guest vocal stint in Spanish from the keyboard player delighting the audience.


However, this was not just a musical performance with a few old hits thrown in…it was an immersive experience and one that was heavy on the politics. From Ganglord to World Peace is None of Your Business to The World is Full of Crashing Bores (the latter accompanied by a picture of William and Kate throughout), the crowd dealt with the political images and was fully into it.

The First of the Gang to Die was sublime as was an updated rendition of This Charming Man. Later songs such as Kiss me a Lot were superbly delivered and it all led to the raucously received Everyday is like Sunday.

Then came the one-two punch of The Bullfighter Dies followed by Meat is Murder. As a lifelong vegetarian, I have seen images of slaughterhouses before but the video depicting horrendous suffering and cruelty simply stunned 3,000+ people into silence. Frankly, I have returned to a vegan diet after witnessing the horror.

The set ended with Morrissey ripping off his shirt whilst singing Let me Kiss You and throwing it into the crowd and he repeated this feat with a new shirt for the one-song encore The Queen is Dead.

It was a fantastic live event and Morrissey was simply majestic. In control, in great form and as political as ever…made the holiday season all that much better…

Stumpy – Punk Online