We dig The Smiths as much as the next sad bastards, but solo Moz isn't really our thing and we certainly weren't planning to dish out the big bucks for a potential trainwreck at Liberty Hall. Lucky for us, some free tickets fell in our lap.
Here are a few highlights from the show, without pictures, of course, since photos weren't allowed along with a VERY large list of other prohibitions including leather pants and wallet-chains. Check out a photo here which @BARRR claims is a guy who was forced to remove his leather pants.
--First off, we weren't really expecting the full-body patdown on the way in. Chip requested that his be performed by a lady, but they were sticking to same-sex patdowns. (Chip: "I still got a boner."). Luckily, we weren't packing our knives, but new Kansas legislation is poised to make all kinds of knives legal in bars. Expect stabbings to increase.
--We missed the opener, and then got stuck in a possibly record-setting beer line that stretched the length of the balcony and halfway down the stairwell. Holy shit! The guy behind us told us he'd been there since eight and was "pretty sure" that no opener had played. Not sure what he was doing during that hour? Sadly, we missed some pre-show video political commentary (such as "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" playing over Margaret Thatcher clips). But of course the show itself contained some obligatory, very disturbing animal cruelty clips during "Meat is Murder."
--We were certain the woman behind us was going to hyperventilate during the long lead-up to Moz's appearance. Such screaming! The cult of Moz is just as rabid as you've heard.
--And the show? The show was actually pretty good, with Moz in fine voice and sufficiently theatrical. Great sound too, even under the often-muffled overhang downstairs, where we ended up for the encore. Moz opened the show with a bitchy comment: "Do whatever you want to me but please don't send me back to Lincoln, Nebraska," referring to one of at least two recent shows where he ended the set abruptly. But this show delivered a full set, complete with encore, and fairly light on talk--with a few exceptions like a rant again the Sea Life aquarium in KC and some surprisingly friendly banter with the crowd. Misery of the subject matter aside, Moz actually seemed to be having a pretty good time. Though the set was predictably heavy on solo Moz stuff and new-ish material, there were a few Smiths tunes, our favorite being "Hand in Glove" with Moz howling "Yes, I know my luck too well, you'll probably never see me again!" This lyric seems likely, given the long scheduling problems for this show, and the audience was certainly savoring every moment while they could. Presumably the fervent fanbase digs the new material too, though it didn't do much for us. One song was a short sad number about a dying bullfighter. Chip cried a little.
--At the end, Moz told us he "love, love, loves" us, and took his shirt off. The crowd, predictably, went berserk.
--During one of our tweets, our phone autocorrected "Morrissey" to "Mortuary." It was so perfect that we left the tweet uncorrected.
Do you ever find yourselves wondering, "Where do all the little goombas hang out in LFK these days?"
Well, tonight they are on the Gaslight patio hosting a big summer dance party with Maal a Goomba and New Suede and Michael Parallax ("celebratory electronic spiritual revival Tent Music"). The FB event page promises you'll "groove, sway, drink, dance, sweat, drip, and glow." Starts at 9-ish.
It will look like this: