Buying a Morrissey ticket is always going to be a gamble - the enigmatic and sometimes, well, difficult
singer has an established history of canceling shows and even entire tours at the drop of a hat. Though in the case of Lawrence last year, he canceled due to a variety of medical concerns. On showing up to Liberty Hall last night for his rescheduled concert, it was affirming to see the line to get in snaking around the building, indicating that the show actually was going to happen. That in itself was a victory.
Security at the show was surprisingly deep, with at least four security t-shirt-clad guys just covering Liberty Hall's various entrances, with many more inside. Attendees were patted down and warned about cameras and recordings on entrance. I can't remember ever having been frisked at a concert, and it left me wondering what happens at Morrissey concerts that I'm not aware of that necessitates this sort of thing (beyond the obvious that Morrissey might just be a bit of a control freak).
Unfortunately, I missed the opener due to the long line and the security proceedings, but walked in with enough time to watch the crowd enjoying the show's pre-game video, featuring concert performances from the likes of the New York Dolls, as well as other vintage clips, including footage of Margaret Thatcher with "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" from the Wizard of Oz playing over it.
And then the distorted deep bass began, and the lights fell. Moz had arrived, and the audience - which leaned younger than I had expected - erupted. He started his show off by saying "You can do whatever you want to me, but please don't ever make me go back to Lincoln, Nebraska."
I do not know what happened in Lincoln, Nebraska, but Morrissey had some words for Kansas City a bit later in the show. He opened his set with "One Day Goodbye will be Farewell," off of 2009's Years of Refusal
. He sang and swayed, gesturing heavily. His distinctive throaty voice sounds as strong as ever, perhaps allaying fears some audience members may have had about last year's persistent illnesses.
His set meandered around through material spanning his career, but early in the set it was "Everyday is Like Sunday" that prompted the spontaneous standing ovation from the seated part of the theater just halfway through the song. It's debatable whether Morrissey likes his audiences, but they quite obviously love him. Due to the warm day, the venue was quite hot, and sweat poured down Morrissey's face, into his three buttons-open shirt.