As the house lights dimmed and the silhouettes of the band appeared Morrisey uttered the opening statement of "Let's take it back to junior prom", and without hesitation into the opening riffs of "Suedehead". The 56 year old former frontman of iconic british pop pioneers The Smiths played to a rather sparse crowd on Thursday night at Red Rocks. Pretty surprising as the the iconic status of one Steven Patrick Morrissey, either the current generation doesn't know who he is or are still upset for the various times he has cancelled appearances.
Either way those in attendance got a treat in the form of a two hour set spanning many of the hits we grew up listening to. Flanked by a projection board displaying various images throughout the night, everything from the Queen of England to Bruce Lee fans in attendance got to see Morrissey at his best. Some images left the audience turning away as images of livestock being butchered left the squeamish turning away as he set forth his stance on "Meat is Murder" the crying song for activist of animal rights groups.
"do you know how animals die?
kitchen aromas aren't very homely
it's not "comforting", "cheery" or "kind"
it's sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Morrissey Photo Slideshow (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)
You could definitely hear a stronger emphasis on lyrics pertaining to various social issues, which to be honest is what makes Morrissey who he is. A strict ban on meat products sold throughout this tour only stands to justify his stance on the issue. Although he has set his niche as a solo performer it is without doubt that many of his hits still carry over from The Smiths days including "Stop Me If You've Think You've Heard This One Before", and "What She Said". Both getting a rousing response as he performed them, it was as if all the original members were there with him.
Morrissey left it all on the table, which is why he continues to perform at such a high level. Will we ever see a Smiths reunion? Only time will tell, but when it does happen we will have front row seats to see one of the most iconic frontman and influential bands of the late 80's early 90's.
The opening set by Future Islands was nearly flawless as lead singer Sam Herring pulled out all the dance moves we are used to seeing from a drunk uncle at a wedding. We interviewed these guys back in 2011 (you can read it here). The amount of passion that Herring sings with is truly unmatched by todays frontman standards. Dance numbers accompanied by infectious groves made for one of the best albums of 2014. Translating that into a live setting only made it much more enjoyable.
Future Islands Photo Slideshow (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)