The gig was given 5 stars ( Top marks !)
Morrissey @ Bridgewater Hall
I KNOW the worship of Morrissey borders on the religious at times, the devotion of his fans fanatical, but was there a genuine miracle at The Bridgewater last night?
For it seemed that in the now traditional ritual of reaching out to grasp Morrissey’s hand, one believer actually rose from his wheelchair for a chance to touch the hem of the Great One’s sleeve.
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But don’t call the Vatican just yet. Despite Rome being the new home of the Mozfather, it looks like the chances of canonization are slim.
The Bridgewater Hall was an appropriately church-like setting for this, not the second, nor even third, but the fourth coming of Morrissey to Manchester on the Ringleader of the Tormentors tour.
From the magnificent Bridgewater organ to the expectant congregation huddled in their pews, the atmosphere was reverent rather than rowdy.
Faith was rewarded with the jaunty opening ‘First of the Gang to Die’ which had even the older members of the audience grooving in their seats. The momentum carried through with a rapture-inducing version of Still Ill.
While that and the other songs from the Smiths back catalogue were undoubtedly highlights of the set, the songs from the new album, which have been adored by critics but somewhat more guardedly praised by fans, revealed themselves in their truly lush and subtle colours.
Life is a Pigsty was transformed into a bombastic weatherstorm of trademark world-weariness, all thundercrashes and longing whispers.
You Have Killed Me and I Will See You in Far Off Places also benefited from being played live, pulling out the depths of sound that are masked on record.
Moz himself looked as dapper as ever, alternatively basking and ignoring the adulation of the crowd.
Judging by his energy and good humour Roman life must agree with him.
Still Morrissey can’t escape his legacy, especially not in this town. How Soon is Now, which saw him bathed in bloody reds like a human sacrifice, drew the most rapturous response of the evening.
And during Girlfriend in a Coma my companion sighed ecstatically ‘Did you ever think you would see this performed live?’ No, indeed but judging by the age of the crowd quite a few of them already had.
However, innocent or experienced it was treat for Morrissey fans of all creeds. A call to prayer indeed.