Whilst awaiting for former Smiths frontman and iconic lyricist to Morrissey grace the stage of Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, it is easy to feel the air of excitement as the crowd prepares to welcome him.
The stage is set up with a selection of footage featuring some of Morrissey’s idols and influences, such as The New York Dolls and poet Anne Sexton.
The controversy we expect from Morrissey also begins prior to his appearance as footage of Margaret Thatcher is played over ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’, which, unsurprisingly, is met by a chorus of cheers from the Glasgow crowd.
As the lights dim, an image of the Queen is shown and Morrissey himself saunters out to meet his audience, opening with The Smiths’ track ‘The Queen Is Dead’.
Following the opening track is ‘Suedehead’, which is met with the same positive reaction setting the performance in a good direction.
The following tracks are a selection of Morrissey’s solo work, however it is clear to see the change in reaction from the crowd between the hits and the newer tracks he has chosen to play, as the majority of people appear to become less engaged.
This lull is broken at a few points, such as when Morrissey declares his sorrow at the outcome of the recent referendum and states: “I was very disappointed by the outcome of the referendum. You missed your perfect chance… Maybe next time”.
Following this declaration, which seems to wake the crowd up into a collective cheer, he plays an array of tracks that rekindled the energy; ‘Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before’ and ‘What She Said’, however, towards the end of the performance, a complete change in atmosphere takes place.
It must be said that if you pay to see Morrissey, then you must anticipate everything that is expected to accompany him, from political controversy to passionate support of animal rights.
That said, the video that is played over the performance of ‘Meat Is Murder’ is graphic, to say the least.
It shows footage of various animals in slaughterhouses and the process in which they are killed.
Looking around as this footage is playing, many people looked fairly digested and shocked, placing a relatively large downer on the evening as some ethical views are thrown forcefully into the mix.
The atmosphere picks up slighted with encore ‘Speedway’, however the effect the video had on the audience remains until the very end.
All in all, Morrissey’s performance is a general disappointment.
He, himself, does not appear to be fully engaged in the evening and although you would be foolish to attend a Morrissey concert and expect a set full of Smiths hits, the audience’s lack of participation conveys that the chosen set fails to meet expectations.
Words: Orla Brady