Morrissey in Albany/Smiths on Twitter

At 3pm EST today (8pmGMT), Friday October 19th, I’ll be engaging in my first ever Twitter Q&A, talking about my book and the Smiths in general. Come on to Twitter, choose the hashtag #MozArmyQuiz and join me. Then at 4pm EMT (9pm GMT), I’ll be hosting the weekly #MozArmyQuiz, asking ten questions that I’ll ensure are all related to the Smiths or earlier. The winner gets a copy of the UK book, and I’ll throw in an ultra-rare sampler, signed even.

I should be in the mood for it, having just seen Morrissey in concert last night at the Palace Theater in Albany. Has his diet improved, we were all asking ourselves? (I.e. has he finally gone vegan after years of arguably contradictory lacto-vegetarianism? The backdrop film of dairy farming during ‘Meat Is Murder’ suggested as much. ) Seriously, he has lost considerable weight in the last few years and his voice has probably never sounded better. Of the Smiths songs, Morrissey imbued ‘Still Ill’ with a new grandeur, while ‘Meat Is Murder,’ thanks to Boorer and co. behind him, had as much tension and vitality as when first released almost 28 years ago. Only the final encore of ‘How Soon Is Now?’ fell flat compared to the original, and that’s hardly surprising, given Johnny Marr‘s unique, inimitable contribution to the pantheon of guitar rock on that number. New songs ‘People Are The Same Everywhere’ and ‘Action Is My Middle Name,’ meanwhile, both packed punch even though they were (pleasantly) repetitive; the set otherwise picked its way through Morrissey’s solo catalogue, from ‘Every Day Is Like Sunday’ to ‘I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris.’

Despite selling out several nights in New York City, including Radio City Music Hall, the storied old Albany venue all of two hours north of Manhattan had a considerable number of empty seats up in the balcony, and that contributed to what seemed something of a lackluster atmosphere – especially compared to the relative chaos of the show I saw in Montclair last time around in an unseated venue. Still, the ritual stripping of the shirt provoked the requisite stage invasions and altercations with security, without which… well it wouldn’t be Morrissey would it? All in all, there was evidence here that SPM is comfortably making the adjustment from aging rock star into youthful elder Statesman, and if that seems like its own contradiction of sorts, well, once more, it wouldn’t be Morrissey otherwise, would it?

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