Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before, but it takes someone pretty special to convince ten thousand people to fight each other to grab hold of a sweaty shirt and reach for the hand of the man they all adore unconditionally. Pretty special doesn’t start to describe the adoration Morrissey’s fanbase hold for him, with phenomenally energetic and loving reactions no stranger to those familiar with his consistantly brilliant performances.
The guy standing in front of me at this gig is a perfect example, swinging his arms and banging his fists and looking one hundred percent like there is nowhere else in the world he would rather be than in this packed space singing his lungs out to some of the greatest tracks ever written.
Morrissey sings each song with maximum meaning and intent, and does not pander to the setlists that people may want, opting instead to sing what he feels to be appropriate – in tonight’s case the capacity crowd are treated to a selection of Smiths classics and later-era solo tracks. Personally, I think it would have been nice to hear some more early and mid-era solo gems – not that these were absent, but some more would have been nice!
Morrissey was on great form, seeming relaxed, happy, and enjoying the enthusiastic attention from his massive multitude of fans. It certainly was a massive arena to fill for an artist currently without a label, a surprising fact considering his legendary status and collection of new songs that are desperately needing a proper release.
It was a shame not to hear another outing of the excellent Art Hounds, which worked fantastically at its first outing at Brixton Academy last year and would have made a perfect sing-along crowd pleaser tonight. Evidently, Morrissey had other ideas.
Visually stunning, in an immense setting, and with the band pulling off classics such as How Soon Is Now and epic and perennially popular closer Still Ill with aplomb, this was a night to remember and one which we feel lucky to have been at. With statements such as ‘best night of my life’ ringing across the Twitter-sphere, and ‘religious experience’ being oft quoted in reviews of Morrissey gigs, who could disagree? Actually, don’t answer that…