Saturday, November 3, 2007

"Sister, I'm a Poet" -- Morrissey, Live in DC, 11/02/07

I finally saw Morrisey live. After missing the Smiths when they played this area in 1986, and then not bothering to see Morrissey on his earlier solo tours, I ventured out with two good friends to see Morrissey at DAR Constitution Hall, last night, November 02, 2007.

There were films playing on a huge screen in front of the stage before the concert (we missed the opening act). And it was a pleasure to see some great New York Dolls footage on a big screen, along with an Alan Bates film clip which I am ashamed I could not identify, and an old music video from Brigitte Bardot which I think was a Serge Gainsbourg song: "Bubble Gum."

Under a triptych backdrop of an impossibly young Richard Burton, Morrissey was absolutely perfect -- voice in fine form -- HOWEVER, the sound in the hall was atrocious. I don't mind loud concerts and Morrissey and his band were not as loud as Cheap Trick in 1997 in Baltimore, or my first Dio concert in 2000, but it was almost impossible for me to make out the songs until Morrissey started to sing -- and these were mainly songs I know by heart -- I don't know if it was due to being too close -- we were less than 14 rows back from the front of the stage, to Morrissey's left -- but I don't think so; I think the sound is just bad in this hall.

But then again, I've not been to this venue since I saw (and met) The Bangles in 1989 and then before that in 1984 when I saw Lou Reed and The Swimming Pool Q's.

But I am still quite happy at the fact that I finally got to see Morrissey do "Sister, I'm A Poet" and "Billy Budd" and "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" and "Stretch Out and Wait" and "How Soon is Now?" live in person.

And this 40-year-old aging indie/alt-rocker did find tears welling up as Morrissey delivered the recent "Dear God Please Help Me."

If only I had been able to rush the stage -- bravo to those who did -- but the security people were really cracking down on people moving up to the front rows -- I could see people being ushered up the aisle by the bouncers after trying to creep up into the first few rows.

Still, an amazing show in many ways. I just hope that if Morrissey tours in 2008, hopefully he will play a better venue -- Lisner at George Washington University or the 930 Club, perhaps.

(link to some good photos by a professional photographer on Flickr: here. And the photo above is thanks to Leafblower, and he's also on Flickr.)