Report: Morrissey Live in Portland


75 minutes and home in bed before the
11:00 news: Mozzer keeps it short and sweet before and adoring audience
November 30 at the Roseland, Portland,


By Tim Hinely


On the video
screen before Mozzer’s start time the venue played some vintage – and
appropriate – video clips: New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Alain Delon. Then the
singer and his crew burst onstage at exactly 9 PM.


Morrissey made
quite a splash for his first Portland
concert in 7 years. He and the band arrived in matching outfits and immediately
ripped into the Smiths’ first album classic “This Charming Man.” It definitely
lacked the nuance of the original, a bit more rawk, but still a pleasant surprise nonetheless. (As for other
Smiths songs they played “Cemetery Gates,”  “Ask” and “How Soon is Now,”
the latter of which found the singer ripping his shirt off at the end and
running offstage.) The solo material sounded just as good as Morrissey launched
into razor-sharp versions of “Ganglord,” “If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look at
Me,” “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” and the classic “The World is Full of
Crashing Bores.”  The band was especially tight (although the bass player
really didn’t need to grimace after every note), with guitarists Jesse Tobias, who
has played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Boz Boorer, Morrissey’s longtime
sideman, engaging the crowd with tasty licks. Mozzer himself interacted with
the sold-out crowd quite a bit, responding to one girl’s plea of I love you! with “Oh…it’ll pass – trust
me,” and taking a small gift bag from another female, smiling and appearing to
listen to it before looking inside. (Is there a bomb in there?)


The adulation
for Morrissey hasn’t waned a bit over the years, and in fact has gotten much
stronger. This was proven over and over again tonight with the fans’ over-the-top
reactions to nearly every move he made. The band ended the set with a ripping
version of “First of the Gang to Die” (from 2004’s You Are the Quarry) and then left the stage a mere 75 minutes after
they came on. The entire crowd was hoping, stomping for an encore, but there
would be none. Morrissey & Co. came, saw and conquered, leaving us all
wanting more.



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