In response to Mozmar, it certainly felt like Morrissey was raising the stakes. I was at the MEN in 2004 where he embraced the crowd and the seated were on their feet (that was my first ever arena sized gig—I generally prefer smaller venues).
Saturday was a divisive invitation from Morrissey to take sides, with a set list that left those around me looking confused and alienated.
The brilliance of the night, perhaps, is the way it allowed Morrissey to control a narrative: us versus them. I might even say that it felt like he wanted an esoteric collusion: he seemed intimate with those near the front, but he rarely looked beyond them. I, however, have a family these days, and I have limited energy to enjoy a test of loyalty—which is what it felt like he was doing.
I genuinely felt frustrated for those sat around me. For me, audience responses beyond the few hundred at the front help gauge how I judge a gig.
In a nutshell: That venue wasn’t right for that set list. Way too big (and ‘cold’) save for its enormous capacity to allow Morrissey to make a rather large point. That felt like the priority.
I think, that will be the last time I attend an arena size Morrissey gig.
I’m looking forward to the album, and I’m absolutely loving the song Knockabout World.