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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Music

British legend kicks off North American tour


British crooner Morrissey sauntered onto the stage to the deafening screams of a sold-out San Antonio crowd on Monday night, took hold of the microphone and said, “Just lookie here — you don’t mess with San Antone.”

And with those words, and his band launching into The Smiths’ classic, “I Want The One I Can’t Have”, sent the already frenzied crowd into a tizzy — the Mozzer’s fall tour of North America kicked off.

The San Antonio crowd, which hadn’t been graced by Steven Patrick Morrissey’s presence in almost 19 years, never stopped showing their appreciation for the former Smiths frontman, who was in top form vocally and physically, as he went through 17 songs and one encore in the regal Majestic Theatre.

San Antonio was originally scheduled to be his second stop on the tour, but visa problems for longtime guitarist Boz Boorer postponed the Nov. 10 opening date in Chicago.

His choice of songs was similar to concerts he performed during a European tour earlier this year.

He took a cross-section of his vast solo catalogue — including the seldom-performed “Ouija Board, Ouija Board” and “Maladjusted” — and threw in a few unreleased tracks like “Scandinavia” and “People are the Same Everywhere”, along with four Smiths songs.

Standing out among the Smiths tunes was his late-in-the-show performance of “I Know It’s Over”, with the crowd shouting along to the lines, “It’s so easy to laugh. It’s so easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind.”

Adding to the moment of hearing such a poignant song was his quick segue into his solo classic, “Everyday is Like Sunday”, that the adoring crowd continued to sing to.

Morrissey provided a public service announcement on behalf of animals everywhere when before the vegetarian opus “Meat is Murder”, he stated, “The title of this next song…I will never stop insisting that…”

Words such as “Turkey and Chicken” were flashed upon the backdrop, which had been graced by a photo still of an Italian actor, and footage of meats and food processing plants followed. A little message to Americans in the lead-up to national turkey day for sure.

For his encore, Moz chose to send off his fans with The Smiths’ “Still Ill”.

The crowd, which had already provided one stage invasion, went mad. All in all, roughly one dozen fans made their way up on stage to hug their idol, with varying different degrees of success.

The response from security, which in some instances resulted in fans being pinned to the stage floor, doomed the encore, but what a way to finish the show.

Plus, at least this show made it further than the last time the Mozzer paid a visit to San Antonio in 1992 — there wasn’t even an encore.

A remark by Morrissey during the show best summed up everyone’s sentiments on Monday night: “I must say I am fat with happiness.”

Morrissey’s final Texas date is on Thursday in Dallas. No Houston dates have been scheduled at this time.

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