"I take it you've come to observe, but observe what?" Morrissey asked the overwhelmingly packed crowd about three songs in. While hardly a joke, especially to those of whose sightline was blocked, it was a relief compared to the events that transpired the night before in San Jose.
While The Observatory was far beyond capacity, at least the crowd knew how to behave. Though bum rushing the stage to hug The Mancunian singer is considered a tradition, OC fans refrained (keeping it classy!) as the man known for doom and gloom seemed to be all smiles and sunshine, at least as much as he could be.
Like anything Moz does, last night's show wasn't without controversy. No, we're not talking about anything like what transpired in San Jose on Wednesday night. Instead, his royal Mozness allegedly demanded that the show in the Constellation Room, which featured We Are Scientists and PAWS, be cancelled. Though the show was shuffled around, both bands took shots at Morrissey. "SANTA ANA! So everyone can play a full set, tonight's show will start after Moz's bedtime," We Are Scientists tweeted. PAWS was a bit more vicious, calling him a "rich, has-been, ego maniac." Yeesh, the Scots have landed permanently on the legend's black list.
Despite the catty behavior, that didn't take away from the show, Mixing in Smiths classics, along with solo material, new material off his upcoming album and covers, the singer was rounding into form on the second night of his 2014 tour at easily one of its smallest settings.
There was little banter during the set, but what did you really expect? The one thing on stage that spoke the loudest was the big screen display overlooking the audience. The most prominent and perhaps graphic use of it was during "Meat is Murder." Fans who could actually see what was being shown couldn't help but be grossed out by the images of animal slaughter on stage. Yes, there was a PETA table by the merch area, but the video was a bit over the top to where people couldn't look. But then again this is a guy who almost cancelled a gig at Staples Center unless it refused to serve meat.
Shenanigans aside, his royal Mozness seemed to enjoy his time on stage. He started on time and looked sharp in a sport coat and dark jeans. But most of all, despite his pre-show animosity thrown towards the Constellation Room, there was no sense of hostility or even mention of his demands.
By the time he and his excellent backing band ripped through "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell," Moz not only allowed for a youngster in one of his t-shirts to come on-stage, but signed his t-shirt as well! Take that, Bay Area.
Overheard in the Crowd: Girl: "Every song sounds the same." Dude: "She deserves to get punched in the face."
Random Notebook Dump: Between the atrocious parking situation and the overlapping of crowds, the venue may be better served underselling instead of making life uncomfortable for nearly everyone there under 5'10"
Set list below:
Hand in Glove
The Youngest Was the Most Loved
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
World Peace Is None Of Your Business
That's How People Grow Up
Earth Is The Loneliest Planet
Life Is a Pigsty
The Bullfighter Dies
I Have Forgiven Jesus
Yes, I Am Blind
Everyday Is Like Sunday
Meat Is Murder
Trouble Loves Me
First of the Gang to Die
I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday
National Front Disco
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
Daniel Kohn is a writer based in Southern California. With bylines in an assortment of outlets, Kohn primarily specializes in music with other interests ranging from sports to food. As a transplant, Kohn loves the beautiful weather and is glad he no longer has to deal with brutal winters. If you see him, say hi and of course, he’s always willing to down a beer or two…if you’re paying.