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Dublin, Ireland (Dec. 2, 1999)

Morrissey Indeed !!!

Posted By: Jim Roche <[email protected]>
Date: Monday, Dec. 6 1999, at 1:26 p.m.

Olympia Theatre, Dublin, 2nd December, 1999

There is no one more contrary than Steven Patrick Morrissey. He seems to be determined not to lie down. Like his own idol Oscar Wilde, he is a man who likes to confound his audiences. This whole tour has been an exercise in confusion. There’s Morrissey condoms on sale in the foyer for God’s sake !!!! Above all, Mozzer, supposedly a spent force, an annoying old fart that won’t go away, is bursting with energy and ability. I hate to quote a cliché but he is the consummate performer. After a triumphant performance for support band Sack, who are obviously thrilled to be home after what must so far have been a gruelling schedule for them, the whole audience wait with a gleeful smile. They know that in a short time, the Master will be on that stage. They hope to God he’ll be in a good mood. The last time he played Dublin, on the disastrous Bowie tour, he barely grunted at the audience. But after the oddest backing tape I have ever heard, the drum solo that introduces ‘The operation’ (So he’s finally found a use for that mistake) blasts over the PA. Lights flash all over the stage and we know that he’s close. Almost like in Smiffs days of yore, he bounds onto the stage wearing his by now famous paint splattered jeans and ‘West Ham boys club’ T-Shirt to rapturous applause that only he and perhaps Jesus could receive. He bellows ‘How are Ya ?’ in a broad Dublin accent. This immediately sets the tone for the gig. Moz is as delighted as his disciples that he’s here. Despite rumours of half hearted performances on this tour, there can be no doubting that tonight Morrissey does what he does best. He shines like a star. The opener, a romping ‘You’re gonna need someone on your side’ sets the tone of the hard edge that remains for the rest of the gig. His rockabilly cohorts jostle around behind him as he lashes the Microphone lead and poses like a man on an extremely important mission. Particular highlights musically include ‘November spawns a monster’, ‘Trouble loves me’, ‘Now my heart is full’ and, in particular, ‘Meat is Murder’ which sounds disturbingly fresh, if you’ll forgive the pun. Throughout, Mozzer is like a kind uncle, having constant banter with the audience. He practically has a one on one conversation with several members of the front row, accepting flowers and letters with gratitude. The crowd, who are all shapes and sizes, love every minute of it. Though they are a very converted crowd. If there is one criticism, it is the elitist nature of the whole affair. Even the smiths numbers that he plays, including ‘Is it really so strange ?’ and the encore of ‘Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me’ are relatively obscure. There’s not much there for the casual observer or the fairweather fan. Then again, his Mozness never did have a lot of time for those and maybe that’s half his trouble. The love he bears his audience is a qualified one. The beautiful venue (An old theatre) works really well. Because this is a truly theatrical experience. When he does play the encore, wearing a daft looking sailor suit, he is drained by it all and the encore song ‘Last night I dreamt….’ is distinctly powerful. He tells us he loves us and then leaves. Is he ever coming back ? What was it all about ? I’m confused. Then again, somehow, I think that was exactly what he was trying to achieve.

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