"Moz in Glen Burnie"
by Mort Shuman

We got there around 6:45, and the doors opened at 7. I knew from just looking at the place ("Michael's Eighth Avenue") that this was not your normal venue for a "rock" concert. When I walked through the front doors, two thoughts instantly came to my mind: this place looks more like a place you would throw a wedding reception than a place to have a concert, and what the heck were they thinking when they booked it?? No offense to Michael's, but this was very strange! Even Moz commented on this (see below!)...

It wasn't too crowded at first, but quickly filled up. There was an area to buy t-shirts, an area to buy food (I saw Pizza being sold...) and two separate bars, where you could buy not only beer but mixed drinks as well.

I saw all kinds of people in the crowd. I met a couple from Florida (he was from FL, she from DC), and spoke with a woman who was taking her son (who graduated college in 95) to the show. She said that initially, when she first heard him playing the Smiths when he was younger, she couldn't stand it... thought the lyrics were so depressing... yadda yadda yadda... but then, as she listened to it more and more, she found out that she liked it quite a bit, and eventually even made tapes to listen to in the car... Now if only MY mom would have been the excited about the Smiths and Morrissey!! Then I coulda had her help me fork out all the $$$ over the years for those imports!!!

The Smoking Popes went on sometime around 8:00, and generally, the crowd was overall enthusiastic. Contrary to what I had heard about some fans reactions, they actually garnered a decent reception. The only song I recognized was that tune from "Clueless" (yes, I am lame), but even if I didn't know the songs, I still enjoyed the band.

After the Popes, the intermission came, and we awaited Moz and co. to take the stage. It suddenly became more and more crowded. Hmmm...I wonder why? ;^) Anyway, at exactly 9:19 pm, the drums from the studio version of "The Operation" came on (strangely, the lights were on during this initially...), the smoke appeared, and the band, took the stage. With the lights out and the crowd excited, Morrissey uttered the following:


I see he agreed with the assessment of the venue!! Memorable lines spoken to the crowd? Well, he was very talkative tonight (much more than the other 6 times I've see him in the past). I'm paraphrasing in some instances:

"Welcome to my living room... please watch the decorations"
"This place is very nice... reminds me of the Royal Albert Hall"
"This song was inspired by Janet Jackson... no, you don't want me to play it? No? No, we won't play it..." (I have no idea what he was talking about!)
and, when reappearing for the encore, "One more song, and then I have to go back to the clinic..."

The concert ended at 10:19 pm, exactly one hour. Overall, I'd say it was a very good concert, much better than the one I saw in Philly earlier this year. Maybe it was the song selection - very heavy on the Vauxhall/Southpaw material... in fact, he only played the two songs from Maladjusted, which surprised me. And it was the first time that I had heard THREE Smiths songs at one concert.

My only complaint was that he should have done a different encore ("Queen Is Dead", perhaps?)... something that he hadn't been doing much of during the tour. Maybe a little "Bengali in Platforms" or "Tony the Pony" thrown in during the actual concert wouldn't have hurt either. I'm just saying mix it up more than normal...

But other than that, it was a very good crowd and Moz and co. sounded extremely well tonight. On the concert scale, it ranks right below the Merriweather 92 show... and as I said, better IMHO than the earlier show I attended in Philly.

Oh, and for those wondering if anyone made it up to the stage, a few did, but nothing major to report. I think one person or two actually got totally up on stage and put their arms around Morrissey.

Signing off from Maryland....

- Mort Shuman