Morrissey - Staples Center - 3/1/13
Timothy Norris The Great and Powerful Moz
Better than... bacon-wrapped hot dogs.
There was the requisite Morrissey drama, for that's who he is, who we want him to be: the postponement last year of the Staples Center gig with Iggy Pop & The Stooges because of his mother's health; the postponement of earlier shows on his current makeup tour due to his own health; the back-and-forth over whether the Staples Center would serve meat; the battle with Duck Dynasty, a show he probably just made more famous by refusing to share the Jimmy Kimmel stage with members of its cast.
But Moz Angeles feted its king last night, and the man put on a typically wonderful show.
There was no meat served in the building, unless the richies in the premiere level had a secret sausage stash I wasn't able to find. Score one for Morrissey. McDonald's was shuttered. Beyond The Whistle Stop was shuttered. Hell, even Jersey Kiosk was shuttered, although that might've been unrelated. All the open concession stands in the main concourse were meatless.
Update: Pitchfork and others are reporting that there was, in fact, meat served.
Moz looked thin after his time in the hospital from a bleeding ulcer (so melancholic), but his voice was in fine form. He started with "Shoplifters of the World Unite" and worked his way through a mix of old hits and newish tracks; this was not a show for deep cuts. His slowed-down rendition of "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" -- come on, who doesn't relate to that song? -- was snuggly tucked between the warmth of "How Soon Is Now?" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday."
"Meat Is Murder," of course, was accompanied by a video of chickens and cows being abused in factory farms. He took off his shirt during "Let Me Kiss You" and briefly, very briefly, stood in front of the crowd before donning another.
The encore, one song as usual, was "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side," Morrissey's dig at a record industry that actually set him up pretty nicely by the standards of a couple decades later.