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Coachella Festival - Indio, CA (Oct. 9, 1999)


Posted By: Nitin <[email protected]>
Date: Sunday, Oct. 10 1999, at 10:26 p.m.

I had mixed feelings about Coachella before the show actually began. I had seen Moz three times during the last US tour in 1997, and I was worried that he would waste too much time playing songs from his more recent, less impressive catalog. I deliberately did not check on this site so that I would have no idea regarding what the set list would be. And this time around, I was investing a fair amount of cash for plane tickets, etc., to make this show. Needless to say, I was not at all disappointed. And I realized this once the guitars started blaring to the engaging opening of "You're gonna need someone on your side."

Yes, I was half hoping that Johnny Marr would magically appear. No big loss. Perhaps it was a publicity stint. And the band didn't sound as crisp as it must have sounded during those days in Paris and London when "Beethoven was deaf" was recorded, although the cast of characters are mostly there, save a few. And those t-shirts aren't very impressive, coming from a man whose album cover art I have always admired (he chose the ugliest of album covers!). And the crowd... well, we know about the crowd. I too tried to start a chant, that went absolutely nowhere. People throwing crap on stage, especially water bottles. And the people rushing the stage, that almost seemed contrived.

But the show was still great. Morrissey was so much more animated than the last time I saw him - he really tried to work the crowd. He had done that to some effect the last time I saw him, but that was in the east coast, where perhaps fans are not as dedicated. I'm sure everyone remembers "Introducing Morrissey", he's practically depressed in that video. Our Morrissey displayed that agressive fierceness I have come to enjoy... down but not out, aware of his fading prominence but determined to have a great time, and show us a great time. He knows we have heard his music time and time (and time) again, but he succeeds in making old tunes sound refreshing and new (despite his band) by changing lyrics. My favorite, "And when he said, 'I'm gonna screw you!', I really felt happy for you!" Or, "You are depressed, but you're remarkably dressed, and that's all you need!" He finally opens the vaults of his musical past and plays some great tracks like "Tomorrow" "November..." and a few Smiths tunes. My only criticism for the set list was that he really didn't need to play "The teachers..." because that song doesn't really translate well live.

So as I grow older and as Moz grows older, the bond between myself and his music fades just a little. I mean, nothing's changed, I still love Moz, but only slightly less than I used to. For example, I don't own "World of Morrissey" or "My Early Burglary Years" because I didn't feel the need to complete my collection. And I didn't relate to much from "Maladjusted" so I wonder how long the next Morrissey album will sit on the shelf before I actually buy it (will it be an hour? a day? a week?) Before the show began, I wondered if this would be the last time I saw Morrissey, and whether it would be because he stopped touring or I stopped going to see him. After the show, I realized that I would make the effort to see him the next time around. I had a great time, and it was well worth the trip. I drove back to LA with a friend of mine and we threw "The Queen is Dead" on the car stereo. I guess as long as songs like "Bigmouth...", "The Boy with the thorn...", "There is a light...", and "Some girls..." keep mezmerizing me with their beauty, I will keep buying the albums, going to the shows, and appreciating the great music Moz has given us over the years. Now it's 18 years on!

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