"Moz a Glen Burnie Cut-Up!"
by Jackosuede

Morrissey was a real cut-up when he took the stage in Glen Burnie, MD Tuesday night. "Welcome to the Bar Mitzvah!", he roared, surveying the tacky yet charming venue: Michael's Eighth Avenue. Complete with dropped ceiling and K-Mart type floor tile, neither he nor we could believe our eyes. But of the four shows I have seen (Boston, Providence, NYC, and this), this was the most intimate setting and the crowd was really energetic.

And of all the performances I have seen Morrissey give over the years (I first saw The Smiths in '85) -- Morrissey was the most humorous and talkative he has been. The show opened the usual way ... "The Operation" drum solo, crowd pandemonium, him on stage! After his Bar Mitzvah comment, he launched into "Do Your Best and Don't Worry" -- the words on the back of the T-shirt I was wearing that I picked up in Dublin two years ago when Moz opened for Bowie (now that was a great show!). And second up was "London". I was in heaven. Absolute heaven. In between the first few songs, Moz's commentary on Michael's Eighth Avenue continued: "This is my living room. Please don't damage the decorations'' and "This reminds me of the Royal Opera House."

The size of the venue made for a very intimate setting. There was no problem forcing your way to the front if you wanted. A few people made it on stage. There were a lot of cute boys crowd surfing but just landing in the gap between the barrier and the stage. No one was ejected -- they were simply fed back into the audience.

A lot less Maladjusted in this night's set. No "Maladjusted" (one of my faves) or "Roy's Keen" (another fave). And there was an aborted attempt at "Ambitious Outsiders" after funnyman Moz "thanked" Janet Jackson for the lyrics ... "So much for spontaneity." He asked us if we wanted to hear another attempt or another song and went into another song.

One of the biggest and most dramatic surprises of the evening (for me-- hadn't read recent weeks' setlists) was "The Teachers are Afraid of the Pupils.'' Bathed in green, his droning "To be finished would be a relief " seemed to have all sorts of double meanings. I know I didn't want him to finish. But then again, I would pay to see him read "Green Eggs and Ham'' or my junk mail for that matter.

Also intensely personal was his performance of "Paint a Vulgar Picture." This being the fourth time I have seen it in two months, the addition of the now-famous "MTV, MTV, MTV -- Kiss My Ass!" only confirmed why I suspect he included this: it's more meaningful for him than ever. "You could have walked away, couldn't you ..."

Some other observations for the evening: Boz kept coming to one of the mini-balconies overlooking the floor to check out the scene. Wonder what he was thinking. The Smoking Popes were cool. Never saw or heard of them before. But I was really pulled in when their frontman did a tune from Willy Wonka -- and when he pulled out his tiny camera and took a snapshot of the crowd.

The crowd of like 300(?)-500(?) was kinda a cool. A mix of college kiddies and us vets. I was the big/tall dude in like blue button down and moz shirt standing near the first set of doors closest to the stage. One regret I have is not saying hi to the shorter stocky dude next to me -- you know who you are. Far too many people drove to and left this concert by themselves... (when will he play "How Soon Is Now?")

Oh yeah, an interesting story: These two dudes I met from Philadelphia were interesting to say the least. One of the two was like 6'5'' and he and his friend were drinking up a storm. They struck up conversation with me at one point and later on the tall one caught up with me towards the front and went out of his to say how he was gonna get up on stage and hug and kiss moz -- but he (this tall guy) ain't gay, even though some people think so, he said. I'm like, "me thinks he doth protest too much.'' Also fun reaction to the blue tour shirt with the pool boys (backstage pass) pic on it. They seemed to be popular -- and oh so risqué for some.

So now the big decision is whether to go the Hartford Show (I have off Mondays and Tuesdays). I got my tix for the Hammerstein Ballroom Show on Thanksgiving Eve in NYC. A great setting. Far different from Michael's Eighth Avenue. Hopefully, since it is the last States' appearance, there'll be some surprises. Will keep you posted.

Good night and Thank You!