Thursday, December 5, 2013
By Aimsel Ponti email@example.com
PORTLAND – If it wasn't a sellout, it was a whisper away Monday night when Morrissey played the State Theatre. It's been 12 years since the former frontman of iconic British alternative band The Smiths played Portland, and to say fans were enthusiastic would be an understatement.
Morrissey sings “You Have Killed Me” on Monday night at the State Theatre in Portland. The former frontman of The Smiths made the Frankie Valli song his own with still-capable pipes, much to the pleasure of an adoring audience.
Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
WHERE: State Theatre, Portland
Among the first in line for the show was Curtis Butler, who had come all the way from Manchester, England, for this and several other Morrissey dates around the U.S. and Australia.
"I enjoy his passion, his music and what he stands for, what he believes in," Butler said. Other fans came from Argentina, Connecticut, Boston and even Japan to see the tour.
Steven Patrick Morrissey started with The Smiths' "Shoplifters of the World Unite" and many of us were beamed back to the heyday of The Smiths and their double compilation album (as in vinyl) "Louder Than Bombs."
A grand sing-along ensued and the show was off and running. Morrissey's stellar band, all dressed in black pants and "Thug" T-shirts, was comprised of guitarist Boz Boorer, bassist Solomon Walker, keyboardist Gustavo Manzur, guitarist Jesse Tobias and drummer Anthony Burulcich. There may be several people walking around with ringing ears on Tuesday, but the sound was terrific and the band spot-on brilliant.
Morrissey's second song was "You Have Killed Me," which he made his own with still-capable pipes, much to the pleasure of an adoring audience.
The rest of the show showcased tunes from Morrissey's lengthy solo career including "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," "Everyday Is Like Sunday," "Spring-Heeled Jim," "Let Me Kiss You" and "Speedway."
There was also a solid mix of Smiths songs such as "I Know It's Over" from "The Queen Is Dead," and the show-ending "Still Ill" from the band's 1984 self-titled debut record. The title track to 1985's "Meat Is Murder," was performed with several video clips of various slaughterhouses. It was difficult to watch, to say the least, but not surprising given Morrissey's long history of vegetarianism and animal rights advocacy.
Morrissey wasn't much for small talk, though he did declare he was "In a state at the State" and that the horoscope he had read in Monday's Press Herald had advised him to take a lengthy walk. He also said that Portland is a lovely place, but not if you're a lobster.
Morrissey also showed his friendly side, shaking hands with fans near the stage on several occasions. One extremely lucky fan (or perhaps several) got the shirt that Morrissey donned for one song before stripping it off and tossing it into the crowd. All told, he sported four different shirts throughout the show.
Morrissey and his band brought their A game to Portland and the excited, devoted crowd was full of love for him. It was a sensational show, albeit perhaps a bit too loud, and one that will surely be ranked among the year's best in Portland.
The concert began with a set from Kristeen Young, a singer and keyboard player of an avant-garde multi-octave persuasion.
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org