Tickets for this gig went on sale at 10am on my 21st birthday, so like the die-hard Morrissey fan I am, I was up and ready with plenty of time to spare. However, at precisely 10am the website crashed and tickets sold out in 30 seconds. I could picture Morrissey in my head singing ‘Happy Unbirthday’ and laughing at me, but despite his best efforts I still made it thanks to The Gryphon. I win this round.
Instead of having support bands at his gigs, Morrissey plays a reel of music videos from the 50s and 60s of bands that he draws inspiration from, such as New York Dolls, and only heightens anticipation for his performance. When the videos finished, the hush that fell was as if what was about to take place was a holy and sacred moment. His performance was dramatic and heartfelt, with a powerful light show and carefully chosen backdrop of different images that related to the songs behind him.
Set highlights unsurprisingly included The Smiths’ ‘How Soon is Now?’ and ‘Every Day is Like Sunday’, but what impressed me the most was how he managed to incorporate the songs from his most recent album into the set. Interestingly, a lot of people apparently left the gig early due to him not playing songs they knew and his ‘pretentiousness’, but I’m not sure what they were expecting. Sure he has changed around his setlist to play some less well known songs, but this allowed him to show off the range of his immense talent at songwriting and capacity to perform. To this day, Morrissey commands an adoration and devotion from his fans that is hard to put into words.
30 years after The Smiths disbanded, he is still able to captivate the hearts and minds of an audience with ease. I will struggle to forget for a long time to come.