Portland, OR 2009


There doesn't seem to be a thread devoted to Portland, OR solely. So here it is...

In less than a week will be my third time seeing Morrissey at this rowdy intimate venue -- Portland's Roseland. In '97 Morrissey played what seemed like an even smaller venue in Portland. I'm really excited about this Portland show, especially with so many fond memories of past Moz-Portland, OR shows.

Old review of Portland - Roseland Theater Feb 2, 2000

As mentioned, the opening band, called Sigh, was comically and unbelievably bad. After the first song, I couldn't bear to look at the disaster in front of me. I was up at the front with Jo and the Comtesse and right in front of Alain's microphone. Although it was funny to hear them get some well-deserved heckling, I was disturbed to hear boorish yells for them to show their tits. I paid little attention to the opening band, preferring to write silly little notes in a notepad I'd palm off to Morrissey later that night.

Before the show, I got to finally hand Alain the chocolates. Alain was chuffed and said, "This must be my lucky day! I get an Elvis badge and chocolates!" He showed us the cool button with Elvis's piccy. He joked that the chocolates were from God by covering up the 2nd half of the Godiva label. He was very pleased and gave me another kiss on the cheek. He is so sweet! And now I know he's more than just a pretty face. He signed the back of my ticket when I requested it. We talked a bit about Paul Peek. Most of the time, some guy was talking to Alain about rockabilly and Alain's other projects like Johnny Panic. Alain chatted with us for a long time. I finally excused myself. It's funny how Portland was so accessible and relaxed that one is almost embarrassed at the ease of the contact one has with th'Lads and Morrissey.

Moz wore a velvet jacket though this one looks different from last night's (Spokane). It was something purple, but the lapels appeared to be black satin instead of shiny, sparkly glitter. He wore the English Martyrs t-shirt underneath.

Moz came out and said, "Stand up and be counted!"

1. Boyracer

"Thank you. Welcome to a night of depressing folk songs!"

2. Tomorrow

"Thank you."
Spoken to the blond guy up front who got Morrissey's English Martyrs t-shirt the previous night in Spokane: "I'm very impressed with your t-shirt. Where the hell did you get your t-shirt from? Oh, from me! I should've known! (I imagine he was slapping his forehead like when he joked that his name was "Madonna---errr--Morrissey" at a Dec. show)"

Then Moz says something like "Is this for me?" or "How interesting." I think it was when I handed him the first package I had for him that night.

3. Reader Meet Author -- during the song he makes several noticeable lyrical changes
"You see, no one ever really knows how HARD I try."
"Books aren't DRUGS AND KNIVES."
"You'd be the first away because you're VERY MIDDLECLASS."
"Have you ever escaped from a POINTLESS LIFE?"

Near the end of the song Moz flexes his (left?) incredible bicep and says, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh! Oh! My God!" as if he can't believe he's got such hunky muscles. Hell, I couldn't believe how big his muscles were! He's got bigger muscles in his arms than Madonna does! And that is really saying a lot. I bet Morrissey works out with weights even though he claims not to do anything like a cybergenics course. Yeah, nature just being reasonably generous, huh? He has to be working out to have arms like that. I remember getting to squeeze his left bicep in Albuquerque: solid, let me tell you. And Shirley can tell you that judging from his hug, the Man has got incredible upper body tone. I believe they "crushed" pecs against each other...ooh-er! Comtesse and I both know of some interview or tidbit in print where someone recalls helping Morrissey move to a new flat. Where the person struggled to move a barbell, Morrissey just blithely picked it up as if it weighed no more than a lone daffodil. This was back in the early days of the Smiths, if I recall correctly. What happened to our gentle bedsit mope with a sickly body? Must've been a figment of the imagination.

lovely sarcasm active as usual: "As you know, tonight is sponsored by mtv, who take a particular interest in everything I do...That was a joke."

4. Hairdresser on Fire
"Thank you."

5. November Spawned a Monster

6. Lost -- (shirt change at the end, I believe)

"I completely understand why you're screaming, because if I saw me in a club, I'd scream, too...and RUN!"

"This song -- you're too young to remember, and I'm too old to forget."

7. Half a Person -- I think it's during this song that when he reaches out for our hands, I palm off the silly little heartshaped notebook into his hand. He notices and looks very surprised and amused at what's left in his palm. I think this is the third time that night I've touched him, so after this I leave my hands hanging down in front or at my side. But instead of affording other people around me the opportunity to grasp hands with duh Man, it seems like when I restrain myself Morrissey looks over and decides not to bend down and reach out even though people behind me and to my side frantically thrust their arms out whenever he's remotely nearby. This is rather annoying to have arms and hands propped up on my shoulders and neck, but I understand and bear it with grace. Now if only Moz would come back and touch their hands so we could all be satisfied.

"My trousers keep falling down. I must be somebody important. I don't know. It's a good sign." I noticed that he kept pulling up his trousers a lot and right before he said the above, he walked over to us gripping the sagging waistband of his trousers. We got to see LOT of Morrissey that night, in more ways than one!


Review cont'd

8. Speedway

"Thank you!"
"Are you alright? Do you need a sandwich or anything? Tea? It won't take long...

9. Swallow on My Neck

10. Break Up the Family -- sound problems again, and it seemed like they were going to stop it again. Funny because the guy next to me had only been to the Fresno show in addition to this one, and he's never heard Break Up the Family without technical problems. I joked that his presence was jinxing the song! ; p But they played it all the way through! : ) During the verse "Let's begin to live our lives" he quips something. He sings, "I want to be with my friends tonight...Oh, I see you are."

"Now I know statistics are really boring, but ummm every year 10 billion non-humans are murdered in the United States. And yet it never makes the news. It never makes the Maury (Povich) Show. But SOMEBODY cares..."

11. Meat Is Murder -- I know this is a serious song, but it was hard to be solemn about it when Morrissey writhed around and showed off his tighty whiteys. I've seen the waistband of his underwear poking out before, but this was the first time it was white. There was something printed across the band. I figured it was probably Calvin Klein. While he writhed on the floor those of us up front got to know Moz a lot better than we may have actually cared to! For someone with what Xtine lovingly calls a "cute little no-butt" Moz showed a surprising amount of juicy cheek! Fergit window-cleanin' -- Moz is a plumber now! The Man showed more crack than Homer Simpson has, more crack than Marion Barry can smoke. I pretty much saw his bare arse-cheeks. I may need therapy now! ; p No, a nation did not turn its back and gag. I was just kind of agog, that's all.

Morrissey jokes: "It's okay. I know I'll never be as culturally significant as Beck, but I'm trying!" Someone then yells, "FUCK BECK!" Morrissey laughs and without missing a beat suavely replies, "No thank you." Heh heh...that was good.

12. Alma Matters

"You know, it's not a bad body...for a 62 year old man. I'm serious."

13. Is It Really So Strange?

Between the songs at the end Morrissey jokes how we're missing a good episode of "Law and Order" with Beck in it because we're here at the concert instead of watching tv at home. Har har har!!!

14. The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils -- makes the pun again with "to be FINNISH would be a relief...to be SWEDISH would NOT be a relief." The only other time I can recall him making that pun was during the Thousand Oaks show in 1997.

15. I Can Have Both -- Oh, joy! It is played again! "Lost" and this song, too? My cup runneth over. I love the Portland rendition where Moz repeats at the end, half singing, half chanting, "It's true, it's true, it's true...I don't believe it, but it's true, it's true..."

16. Now My Heart Is Full -- wonderful quiet acoustic beginning with just Boz strumming along in accompaniment. As da Comtesse reported, during soundcheck, we were treated to a preview of the special acoustic intro of "Now My Heart Is Full." It sounded lovely. We had hoped it was supposed to be that way and not just because Gary and Alain were in the toilet or something.

I forget when he said it, but near the end Morrissey sardonicly announced that in ten minutes he'd be out in the lobby "selling t-shirts and homemade jam." One of us actually heard a clueless girl ask at the merchandise booth why wasn't Morrissey there. Uh, dear, it's called a joke. At the mention of "in ten minutes..." I thought he was going to repeat what he said on the 2nd S.F. night: "My arse is leaving town in 10 minutes -- be on it!" Do we ride bareback in that case?

---------- encore

I think this is where Morrissey announces that the next song is for all the sailors in Portland, but he was not wearing the sailor suit that night.

17. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

Okay, stage invasions began in earnest for this song. If anyone got onstage, it was still under control. Morrissey was really nice and went over to touch the hands of most people being dragged away by security. This gracious behavior has been the norm for the Oye Esteban tour. I remember in '97 he used to tease people to come touch him and then exaggeratedly shrug his shoulders like "What can I do?" as people were being hauled off for trying. I didn't think Morrissey was being all that mean since I felt that those people were big louts who only wanted the audience to notice that they were onstage, not so much that they wanted to touch their hero.

I can't decide if this show or the Spokane show was the best of the ones I have seen in 2000. I definitely had the best spot by the stage in Portland. But Spokane was so special because it was the first, and I was stunned to hear "Heir Apparent" and especially "I Can Have Both" (given the signs I made and Morrissey's responses at the Hollywood Palladium and Salt Lake City). At any rate, Portland has been a fantastic, intimate place to see Morrissey on two different tours.


A trip down mammary lane

I dug up an old email with the subject line A trip down mammary lane:

Speaking of stripclubs and Morrissey...I was cleaning out my mailbox and came across an old message I sent to a friend. Here's an excerpt about going to a strip club in Portland, OR during the tour last summer [2002]...(names deleted to protect the guilty)
So, here's the story...after the fantastic show in Portland (the best on the tour so far) I ended up with hanging out at the bar (with my head on the bar) of MOrrissey's hotel. I don't stalk Morrissey at his hotels, but I'm in the rental car with others who do.

xxx's cousin who lives in Portland is drinking with us, and since he's Irish, he wants to take us to more nightclubs in Portland to drink. bbbb and I beg off, preferring to sleep in the car. But somehow we are persuaded to go to a club nearby that is playing loud, horrible techno. Fortunately, for some reason we don't go in. I don't know why, but we go to a place called Mary's Club, which is across the street.

The strains of the Verve's Bittersweet Symphony usher us inside. Hmmm, surprisingly good music for a strip club. But they are progressive in Portland. For example, they allow full nudity in clubs that serve alcohol. This club is no exception. After I commented about the music, the owner of the club (presumably Mary) proudly informed me that the dancers get to choose their own music. They do so by picking selections from the wall-mounted jukebox to the left of the small rectangular stage.

I half-expected to see Gary Day in the joint because he's been spotted at titty bars before. Instead, we encounter bbb and --- at a table in the second row away from the stage. The first row is a bar right up in front of the stage. It is reserved for the serious tippers who gaze up dumbly at the undulating dancers.

This is actually the first time I've ever been in a strip club, I mean one that caters to straight men. It's not as sad and sleazy as I thought it would be. There's the smoke, but it's not too bad. The drinks are watered down, but the dancers are pretty and not scary like the pornlets I'm used to.

Except there's one dancer whom I did not like. She wouldn't dance to Morrissey/Smiffs even though I'd tip $20 for it. She knew who they were (one of the dancers claimed ignorance), but she said the only SMiths song they had was a cover of How Soon Is Now by Snake River Conspiracy. It is a foul cover by a vile band. Anyway, she already played a SRC song, so she refused to play another. That's okay because I thought she looked like a skank. She looked like a biker chick with her tattoos. She also had blonde hair but a shaved pussy, which makes me think she's another repulsive blonde-in-a-bottle type. Big turn off.

But ----- was attracted to her. The dancer had large, firm boobs. She was a chunky girl, so the big boobs looked believable on her frame. But when she hung upside-down on the pole, I noticed that her firm breasts were too firm -- they didn't move naturally. That's a damn good boob job! But ----- didn't like hearing that. She protested that maybe this girl was 18 so she could have naturally firm and high breasts and all. I said, no, if they're that big (and natural) there's no way they'd stay up like that. I've seen more tits than a dairy farmer, so I ought to know!

------ further argued that her own sizable breasts don't move. I disagreed and told her that I've seen her breasts move (and due to gravity hers are also a lot lower than the trollop's on stage). She seemed shocked that I'd scoped out her breasts and said she felt cheap and used. Well, I retorted, would you feel better about it if I had paid you for the privilege? She said that was a low blow. Well, of course I look! Don't try to tell me you don't look, either!

I tipped one dancer for playing Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart and also for "keepin' it real" because she didn't alter her lovely breasts with horrible plastic surgery. But she didn't dance to the Smiths cover.

Since we were heckling every dancer to dance to Morrissey or the Smiffs, one of the patrons at the bar in front of the stage asked me if I had been to the Morrissey show that night. Of course! He pointed out a pretty, slim woman wearing the black tour "wifebeater" shirt with "Morrissey" in olde English script standing in the back. SHe had a cascade of gorgeous, brown corkscrew curls. She was his co-worker at a posh restaurant called ###### where Morrissey had dinner that night. The unfortunate girl asked for the night off to go see Morrissey. But if she had worked that night, she could've served him his meal! I asked the guy what Morrissey ate. He said Morrissey had angel hair pasta with basil and tomatoes. Sounds right.

When a seat in front of the stage became available, this lovely fan grabbed it and spent the rest of the evening gazing up at all the dancers. I thought it was odd that she should stare at the women on stage when she seemed to be way better-looking than them.

The guy who told me about his co-worker was kind of odd in that he seemed too good-looking to be here, too. I thought he looked so pretty that he was gay. But he was one of the most ardent admirers of the dancers and tipped copiously. Later on, I saw him hugging on the pretty lesbian Mozfan co-worker of his. They were kind of swaying in a slow dance. I could tell that he was in love with her. But she had eyes only for the strippers. Seeing her gaze longingly at the peelers on the stage while she was being hugged by this man was too poignant a scene for the end of the night. It was such the illustration of "I Want the One I Can't Have." I thought of the lyrics "Sad-veiled bride, please be happy. Handsome groom, give her room. Loud, loutish lover, treat her kindly, though she needs you more than she loves you..."

We stayed until closing... Then I drove to the airport because I had an early morning flight to Salt Lake City.

Oh yeah, I met Maf, the subject of Momus's patron-pop Stars Forever song, in Portland that night. He seemed charmingly flustered when I told him that reading MOmus's online tourdiary entry about illegal sexual practices in Salt Lake City tempted me to engage in the outlawed practices while in SLC. When I saw him again in Santa Barbara, he asked if I had found oral sex in SLC. That is another story for later...
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