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Santa Barbara, CA (Oct. 6, 1999)

Re: here's my review

Posted By: Honorary Mexi-Chica <[email protected]>
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 12 1999, at 5:31 a.m.

In Response To: here's my review (shelley)

Excuse me, but were we at the same show, Shelley? I was at all of the US shows. I was on the barricades for Tempe (I was the one who wore the homemade !Oye Esteban! shirt) and S.B.

I agree that Tempe seemed more passionate, but keep in mind that the show dynamics are very different at a seated versus general admission show. Gen. adm. rewards the fans dedicated enough to wait in line or the fans mean and pushy enough to force their way to the front. Tempe was much smaller and intimate, and the proportion of rabid Moz fans who'd travel anywhere to see their Man was greater in Tempe than in S.B. because of the small size and distance from L.A. There were still tickets available for Tempe while S.B. tickets were very difficult to get.

In fact, I thought S.B. was much wilder than I expected. Claremont was positively serene as a reserved seating show (I had 4th row seats there), and so I didn't expect to be bruised as I was in S.B. My back hurt so much because the barrier was waist high. That meant I had to strain all of my lower back in an effort to stand up straight and avoid being flipped over the barricade. I had something like 3 rows of people on top of my back and shoulders. You don't know how it really was up front so safely in the back rows all miles from the front line. I held onto the railing, and that show took off skin from my palm. I actually had exposed wounds on my left palm from gripping the rail that night. It stung like hell for days until skin grew in. I've been at the barricades for many Moz shows, and S.B. was unexpectedly brutal for a reserved seating show.

> Even though the crowd pushed their way to the front, there was
> still a considerable space between the stage and the people.
> Morrissey was trying to get the people to somehow move closer by
> motioning them with his hands, in a "come-here"
> gesture. The crowd didn't budge. I couldn't really see the
> security up front, but it didn't seem that formidable.

Again, your perception of the situation is...radically different from mine! Crossing the gap at the widest part (in the middle about 9 feet maybe?) wasn't even the hardest thing. The hardest part is getting out of the crowd squeeze. We didn't move much because we couldn't! If I could've moved to avoid the painful bruising of my right hip, don't you think I would've? I was certainly conscious of the disfiguring pressure there!

> words to this song. Morrissey then played "The edges are no
> longer parallel" and before he sang it he said "you
> are all going to pretend that you know this song". So I
> know that Morrissey felt that if people didn't know
> "lost" they certainly weren't going to know
> "edges". these beautiful songs were wasted on such a
> lame audience.

Did you forget how amazed he looked as the whole theatre sang back the opening lyrics to him? He looked playfully indignant as he stood there holding his mic out like he was saying, "Do you mind? Can I sing the song here? Or do you want to sing it?" Anyhow, that's how I perceived it. I heard people all around me singing the correct lyrics to "THe Edges" very loudly, louder than Moz was himself.

He acts genuinely surprised a lot of the time when he finds out that fans know his b-sides or will go great lengths to see him. I held up a sign that said simply "LOST" because I loved the song -- it's the story of my life. That was during the Mal tour, and he was astounded that I knew it. I was astounded that he bothered to address me right there, asking how I knew about the song, where I bought it, etc. I suppose it was because the show took place in a po-dunk town that wouldn't likely get a regular supply of UK imports.

> Calendar or something. Then he sang "teachers" in
> which he changes the lyrics to "to be Mexican would be a
> relief" but repeated the line again because the audience
> didn't seem to have a reaction to that. He even sang "to be
> mexican, mexican, mexican, mexican" but still nothing. As I
> am not Mexican, I didn't have much of a reaction to it myself. I
> don't know what sort of reaction he was hoping for, but whatever
> it was, it didn't happen.

I heard lots of people around me screaming approval at his Mexican lyric change in "Teachers." I heard no cheering or even laughter when he sang in Thousand Oaks, "To be Finnish would be a relief, to be Finnish would be a relief, to be Swedish would not be a relief..." I know I wasn't hallucinating this because I booted it as a memento. Maybe it's because there aren't a lot of Swedes in the L.A. area!

> The cheering for the encore was absolutely pathetic. Santa
> Barbara owes Morrissey a huge apology. We were trying to get a
> chant going, but no one seemed to know the chant song, so some
> people were trying to just chant "morrissey"
> regular-style, but it was only about 5 guys (and me). It was

Again, I think Tempe had a higher proportion of rabid fans who would know how to do the "here we go"-style football chant. I heard it being attempted in S.B., but not enough voices could maintain it. I tried, but my voice was already gone.

> p.s. El Vez Sucks!!! I thought he might be good, funny,
> etc...But he is vulgar and uninteresting. And worst of all...I
> actually had to listen to him sing "LA VIDA LOCA"!!!

I wish I could give you a sense of humour, but apparently mine's non-transferable. Try a laxative. Maybe you should take an irony supplement in an easy chewable form so you could notice that El Vez was taking the piss on Menudo and Ricky Martin by doing the "goth-rockabilly" version of La Vida Loca.

I've been fascinated with El Vez for years. I think he's a superlative entertainer and funny as hell. I also find him intelligent and passionately committed to some right-on politics. I first saw him at a conference on popular music at UCLA. El Vez was there on the same panel with Phranc (another brilliant but underappreciated performer who opened for Morrissey in '91). I was there presenting a paper on Morrissey's performance of camp.

I am quite embarrassed at how rude and thoughtless so many of so-called Morrissey fans are towards the opening acts he's chosen. Even if you don't like their performance, there's no need to put them down by booing or yelling rude things. It's not going to make Morrissey appear onstage any faster, wise sages! Anyway, being rude to his chosen opening acts is a diss to the Mozzer himself because he chose them. Can you imagine how hard it is for Moz to convince some band to open for him when opening for Mr. Box Office Poison is the kiss of death and his US audiences are notoriously hostile to any opening act no matter how talented they might be? If I were in a band, he'd have to pay for all my expenses and then a hefty bonus for me to agree to endure what his previous opening acts faced earlier. Actually, I was relieved that the crowd in Tempe was fairly kind to the local opening act even when he sounded all hippydippy with his John Denveresque songs.


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