Morrissey at Manchester Arena: Review

The former lead singer of The Smiths, Manchester’s most iconic musician Morrissey is performing his only 2016 UK show in his hometown.

By Manchester's Finest | August 24th '16

The former lead singer of The Smiths, Manchester’s most iconic musician Morrissey is performing his only 2016 UK show in his hometown.

Manchester’s arena is packed out, we are presented with a huge screen displaying a 30 minute pre show video mash up, featuring Morrissey’s handpicked, artists, poets, bands, comedians, dancers, such as; Sex Pistols, Anne Sexton, Tina turner, The damned and The New York Dolls.

The screen drops, a large gong is played, there is a massive floor surge, waving Goldioli’s from his devotees, all for Mozza’s big entrance. He opens with ‘Suedehead’ and its high energy from the start.

Gracias Moz introduces himself I’m the new lord mayor of Manchester

He reaches out to the crowd during second track ‘Alma Matters’ he shows off his voice by finishing the song, a cappella. What?Moz has recently admitted that a series of cancer treatments over the past couple of years have slowed him down, well, tonight our 57-year-old Manchester legend is on top form. His voice is strong, as he sings You’re gonna miss me when I’ve gone.” during ‘All You Need Is Me’

So many songs, so little time

He belts out ‘You have killed me’ and then straight into ‘Ganglord’ where we are faced with a shocking video montage of US police brutality, as Moz sings he points to the screen behind him and inmates firing a gun.

The atmosphere is electric during tracks ‘Speedway’ and ‘Istanbul’ his adoring fans are chanting, throwing flowers onto the stage, crowd surfing, one mad fan finds his way onto the stage to grab Moz, who is immediately removed by security. Moz’s response “That was a member of the crew”

We cannot escape this legend’s political outcries tonight. Another message from Moz;

Sports women do not start wars. Sports men do not start wars. Hairdressers do not start wars. Cows do not start wars. Badgers do not start wars. Politicians start wars, and they love it.”

And another; as he plays a tribute to France ‘I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris’ the screen displays the French flag.

I would like to apologies to those at the back watching me on the big screen, I usually don’t look this bad, I usually look a lot worse, thank yourself lucky, this is a good night.”

And another;

My point being, that they have just elected the new mayor of Manchester, he’s very nice, he’s from Liverpool, and nobody asked for my opinion, did they ask for yours? why not someone from Manchester?”

As you know the world progresses in so many ways, this song is about the shame in Spain.” Moz’s speech before next track ‘The Bullfighter Dies’ which is supported by Imagery of Spanish bull fighting.

The lamb loves the farmer, the farmer feeds the lamb…f#ck the farmer! The stage is lit up Red for Smiths song ‘Meat is Murder’ which is accompanied by truly harrowing and shameful footage of animal abuse in slaughterhouses across the globe. Some of the crowd seemed unprepared, there are turned heads and tears. Long after the song has finished the tracks recognisable sinister sounds that continue, with the dimmed lights and a message displayed on the screen ‘WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE NOW. MEAT IS MURDER’ also spotted around the arena tonight tare posters ‘At the Request of the Artist, there will be No Meat Products Available tonight’

“I would like to express huge love and thanks to these guys” He Introduces his Latin band who are from Austin Texas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boz Boorer guitarist from the Nags Head! Who receives a huge cheer from the crowd.

Then lifting the mood is roaring Smiths track ‘What She Said’ which is a more brighter moment of tonight’s show, and has the arena on their feet.

Yet another tribute, this one is to this year’s losses it’s the year of the reaper. We would like to remember; Victoria Wood, we would like to remember Caroline Aherne, Mohammed Ali, Prince. Too soon, too soon, too soon.” (surprisingly excluding David Bowie) and so the atmosphere becomes increasingly emotional for song ‘Oboe Concerto’ as it sings “All the best ones are dead.”

As Moz returns to the stage for the encore ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’ Whatever happens. I love you” (are his last words of the show)

The charismatic performer strips off his red silk shirt and swings it around his head as he leaves the stage topless. Opera music is played to the stunned crowd who are hoping he will reappear for one more song.

Morrissey performed a powerful 22 track set list tonight, an emotional sole UK show and we hope it isn’t his last.

SETLIST

  1. Suedehead
  2. Alma Matters
  3. All You Need Is Me
  4. Ganglord
  5. Speedway
  6. Istanbul.
  7. Kiss Me a Lot
  8. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  9. World Peace Is None of Your Business
  10. The Bullfighter Dies
  11. Meat is murder (The Smiths)
  12. It’s Hard to Walk Tall When You’re Small
  13. Ouija Board, Ouija Board
  14. Every day Is Like Sunday
  15. The World Is Full of Crashing Bores
  16. One of Our Own
  17. Jack the Ripper
  18. I Will See You in Far-Off Places
  19. What she said (The Smiths)
  20. Oboe Concerto

ENCORE

  1. Irish Blood, English Heart