Review: Morrissey & Blondie Light Up Madison Square Garden

A countless number of fans spent Saturday evening with Morrissey at Madison Square Garden. The concert proved to be a mixed bag, yet the spirits were high.

Blondie gave an incredible set with intense energy and sound; I was shocked to see a woman who could sub in for my grandmother rock it out like that. With her motions, dance moves and so on, while she might as well be dancing the way she did five decades prior. There was an athleticism and energy unlike any other. Also, for the LGBT fans, Blondie gave a special little tribute midway through her performance telling fans that all they’d need to do to find out where the pride parade was is to “call me”.

For whatever reason, Morrissey took roughly 10-20 minutes longer than expected to get on… granted, with him it could be expected. To kill time during the wait, the venue played video clips of other musicians, films or poets. Some made sense… a five minute rant which sounded like poetry written by a 17 year old goth girl was, however, confusing. A few funny images posted up bashing the royal family and naturally some photos bashing meat showed up.

With keeping to the political nature of Morrissey, the big man entered in with a classic, singing “The Queen Is Dead” from the Smiths. And in short, it was absolutely 100% perfect. Every note he did has gotten better with age and in a concert format was just absolutely incredible. It was literally perfection where so many fans had tears of joy and were singing along to it in incredible rhythm.

After this opening, Morrissey gave fans about three major hits and the rest was loaded with lesser songs, new songs, bad songs and a little piece of debate known as Meat Is Murder.

With that, while Madison Square Garden setup an incredible show with a sound system superior to perhaps any other stadium on the east coast, Morrissey blew it by just not giving casual fans what they wanted. While the songs he performed were great, you could find droves of people leaving in the final third becoming bored with songs they just didn’t know. Even the big fans who were crying and singing along with every song found themselves stumped in their singalongs.

Upfront, fans were really locked in joy over what was going on and showed more a genuine happiness over other concerts. Where most concerts find themselves with a fan base of boozed out idiots who don’t care about the music and more about convincing the girl next to them to go topless, this was an experience where people were 100% on Morrissey… he probably loved that. Morrissey struck a chord well with fans and showed his music at least for now has no chance of being forgotten, and the field had enough people intensely into this that it shows there is still an audience for the lesser known Morrissey songs.

There was some pleasantry in not having the stench of hot dogs or burgers in the location. Also with the vegan options given for popular snack items, it could be argued they tasted better over traditional products. While not endorsing veganism, it’s safe to say they can have some good cooking done that no animal would feel unhappy about.

All in all, Blondie stole the night. She just had what the fans were looking for more,  though nothing is quite like being up close and personal at a Morrissey concert.

Setlist

The Queen Is Dead
Suedehead
Staircase at the University
Ganglord
World Peace Is None of Your Business
Speedway
Kiss Me a Lot
Alma Matters
I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Everyday Is Like Sunday
Istanbul
Will Never Marry
I Will See You in Far-Off Places
Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed
Kick the Bride Down the Aisle
Neal Cassady Drops Dead
The World Is Full of Crashing Bores
The Bullfighter Dies
Meat Is Murder
What She Said

Encore:
Now My Heart Is Full

  • Thelonious Funk

    LMAO @ Morrissey playing ONE deep cut as his encore set at MSG