Monday, June 29, 2015

Blondie Roars, Morrissey Bores at MSG

Had a fun time at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, while still high from Friday's Supreme Court decision. Blondie kicked off the night as Morrissey's special guest and Debbie Harry was in a festive mood -- repeatedly mentioning the history-making ruling and telling the crowd that if you didn't know how to find the Gay Pride Parade to "Call Me." 

The tight 10-song set included a raucous cover of "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" and a better-than-usual "Rapture." But the highlight was definitely when a (high school?) marching band came out -- a la "Tusk"! -- to accompany the band on "The Tide Is High," culminating in Deb's donning a Gay Pride flag as a shawl that Stevie Nicks would have been proud of. I've seen Blondie more than a dozen times but even at 70 (next week), Debbie always manages to make it fun.

Mr. Fun himself, on the other hand, caught me off-guard when he too came out in a very upbeat mood, declaring it a "privilege to return to the center of the world," then sent the crowd into a tizzy with a "Queen Is Dead"/"Suedehead" one-two opener. This, sadly, would not be a precursor of things to come. After seven songs I didn't know, he then did "Everyday Is Like Sunday" (a favorite), followed by eight more obscure songs then -- as our "treat" -- a Smiths song: "Meat Is Murder," complete with EXTREMELY DISTURBING video of animals being tortured. (That he got the Garden to go vegetarian for the night seemed to enough on the topic, but no.) He then did "What She Said" -- kind of a odd choice for a Smiths oldie, but OK -- and then just when you were sure he was going to do at least one more fan favorite, he did "Now My Heart Is Full," ripped his shirt off and left. While I admit I don't know Morrissey's solo material well, I definitely got the impression the crowd was filled with super-fans -- and going by their reactions to the selections, they definitely didn't seem to be feeling it any more than I was. A quick look online shows he tends to do a lot more well-known songs live -- and some readers had assured me he would -- but even allowing for the fact that he was promoting a new(ish) album, it did seem especially cruel to not throw the crowd a few more bones, especially since he looked and sounded great otherwise. 

Set list HERE.

"It's an historic night in New York City, just as it's an historic week in the U.S.A. and ... good times for a change."

1 comment:

This Charming Commenter said...

As a huge fan of the Smiths and early Morrissey, the dude needs to grow the hell up. He was a privileged young man in the 80s and 90s, producing brilliant music that touched the soul of a generation. It was darkness wrapped in clever verses. But as an adult, this kind of behavior is annoying. The decades of whining is tired and no longer clever. Today, he is nothing more than a priviledged grumpy old man that looks like he has a dark cloud over his head.