Morrissey at Julie Rogers Theatre, Beaumont, 5/25/2014

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Photos by Abrahan Garza
Attending a Morrissey show is a strange experience. People cry, and cry, and cry and cry and cry. Last night Beaumont's Julie Rogers Theatre was full of sobbing concertgoers: one to the left, one to the right, and countless others throughout the venue.

The only time it's acceptable to sob your way through a concert is at a Moz show, apparently. And people did so from the moment he took the stage, no matter the song. Up tempo and angry or pulled-back and sorrowful; it mattered not the subject matter.

Opening promptly at 9 p.m. with "Speedway" from 1994 album Vauxhall and I, Morrissey made no small talk with the audience, choosing to speed from one song to the next instead. He ran from "Irish Blood English Heart" to "Ganglord" and "Hand In Glove" without speaking more than three words to the audience. Given all the tears, he was saying plenty, it seemed. Perhaps saying any more would have been too much for the audience to handle.

It seemed that Moz's mere presence was enough to bring forth the tears. Not even The Cure's sad-sack songs about love and heartbreak can elicit reactions the way this man does. Pretty impressive, really. I was surrounded by criers.

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Whether his lack of stage banter was to preserve the theater from becoming awash in salty tears, it was still in typical Moz fashion. He's not much of a chatter, at least not while performing, choosing instead to focus on the music for the most part. After all, he says plenty to the press about his thoughts on society and the British aristocracy, sometimes-loose lips that have earned him a reputation as a bit of a contrarian over the years.

In concert, though, he hardly lives up to that reputation. He throws in a couple of words here and there, but they are merely notes of gratitude toward the audience or bits of self-deprecation to lighten the mood. He's perfected the art of being flawed, which is a bit beautiful, and done in a very quiet manner. When Moz finally says something perfunctory, you're left begging him to tell you more.

As a performer, he hasn't lost one bit of the trademark vocals that set The Smiths so far apart back in the day. While Morrissey may have aged a bit physically -- his celebrated his 55th birthday at his Dallas concert only a couple of days ago -- his vocals remain impeccable.

It is as though his throat, which a year ago caused the postponing of a number of shows on his tour (including this one, twice), has been preserved in a strange, somewhat depressing time capsule. He's every bit the wistful, lonely vocalist he was in his early twenties, but if this is Moz after an illness, I cannot imagine what he sounded like a couple of decades ago.


Review continues on the next page.

Location Info

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Julie Rogers Theatre for the Performing Arts

801 Pearl St., Beaumont, TX

Category: General


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3 comments
michaelbell.1975
michaelbell.1975

Saw the show in Austin and had a very similar reaction to this reviewer.  Moz is a great performer and his band is aces.  Unfortunately he picked a pretty lackluster bunch of songs.  I wish he would have done the "super fans break past security and hug Morrissey" bit towards the beginning instead of holding it for the end.  Honestly, I wish he would have sung 'First of the Gang to Die' towards the beginning as well.  The show really needed a few shots of energy, and it seemed clear to me that he was coasting on the crowd's auto-enthusiasm rather than earning it.  I like 'Yes I Am Blind' and 'Asleep,' but not to the exclusion of just about every other tune on those records.  


Also: Boz Boorer must be eating a LOT of vegan burritos.

bulldogpaul
bulldogpaul

See, here's the thing. There are a lot of great recording artists, lots of great songs, and a few special songs that may be charged with memories for individual people, like you or me, because they remind us of a particular girl or boy, or a certain time in one's life, or something like that. There are lots of songs and artists that we like (and in fact the Cure is my second favorite band). But Morrissey/The Smiths are on a different plane entirely. Not just music that we like, but songs that impacted our lives. I really mean that. Songs that were there with us growing up, ***most especially in our darkest and loneliness moments.*** Songs that made us feel worse and better and laugh and not feel alone in the world, all at the same time. (I was in high school when the Smiths came out, at an all boys Catholic prep school, no less. So there you go.) Maybe this is hard to understand. Maybe some people have another artist who fits this bill, although personally there is none that comes remotely close. I didn't cry at the concert, but seeing Morrissey (for the first time since the Smiths' Cleveland show in 1986!) was emotional, stunning, monumental. And there are others like me. "I may walk home alone. But my faith in love is still devout." Cheers!

MorrisseyManiac
MorrisseyManiac

Beak chopping, pig beating! Fabulous! Lol Great review Angelica!! I was a total crier! The heart n tear ducts want what they want! Lol -Claudia

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