Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theatre
review / info
|So I just got back from
the show. Somewhat of a disappointment, compared to Club Rio. Before
Morrissey even came out the audience rushed the stage. There was a
fairly large gap between the front row and the stage and people just
filled that gap and the surrounding aisle space. We were forced to stand
on our chairs to even see the top half of Morrissey. I was about 13 rows
from the front. The crowd was sort of boring, or bored or shiftless or
something. It's hard to describe. I mean, all these people rushed to be
close to the stage and they never even cheered or chanted very loudly.
Before the show, the place was quiet, Club Rio seemed much more intense.
Morrissey came out in the exact same outfit as the night before. He must've bought the "West Ham Boys Club" t-shirts in bulk, because he threw his other one out to the crowd the night before. He said "Gracias" and then sang pretty much the same set as Club Rio. He didn't sing "Roy's Keen", though, the only omission I can think of right now. He also did the banana thing again and changed the lyrics similarly in some of the songs.
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. After several songs Morrissey said "you know you can do what you want. As long as it's in reason", which I took for an invitation for people to start getting on stage, or getting into the security area or something. It was hard to get close, though because the aisle was blocked and there were seats surrounding. I don't know what the people up front were doing, but it wasn't much.
One particularly embarrassing moment for us as an audience is "Lost". Morrissey said "this song is called 'Found'" and it was pretty quiet. No one seemed to care. In Club Rio, everyone went nuts when he started singing this song. I looked around me at SB and barely anyone seemed to know the 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.
Morrissey is such a comedian. Between songs Morrissey said:
"I wish I could sleep with all of you. But there's no time. No time." This comment is particularly endearing not only because of the irony of his supposed lifestyle, but because of the way in which it conveys a desire of intimacy with his audience. I felt like crying when he said this, and I don't know why.
Morrissey took his shirt off near the end of the show and replaced it with a shirt that said "Mexico" on the back in large red letters. When he put it on, he kept his back to the audience long enough so they could read what it said (I know he did this on purpose). The front was like the Aztec 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.
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 quiet for any concert. The encore cheering is the point at which the audience acknowledges the efforts of the performance and shows their appreciation. With the level of excitement in the Arlington, Moz shouldn't even have come back onstage.
When he did come on stage he said "whatever happens, I love you" and then I knew that he was warning us that all hell was going to break loose. He sang "Last Night I Dreamt" -- everyone rushed up there of course, and they had to pull Morrissey off before the song was even half over. Four security guards rushed him of stage and right out the back door into his car.
I am the LAST person to wish for an audience that is out of control or crazy. But it just seemed that the audience at the SB show tonight possessed incivility without passion. I understand the need to jump on stage, to touch Morrissey, to be near the front, to see him clearly. But I do not understand the need to rush the stage, stand 5 feet back and sing along to only the most popular songs, while Morrissey is motioning for you to come closer. Moz could barely reach out and touch the audience. He could only touch those on the very sides.
We're sorry, Morrissey. We'll be better in Vegas. Let's riot at Coachella!!! (after Morrissey plays, of course). Passionless admiration is despicable. let's Unite and take over!!!
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"!!! (Listen to the beginning of this version of La Vida Loca...the drum intro sounds exactly like "Panic"--exactly!! I thought it was a joke at first.)