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[Concert Review] Morrissey @ Warner Theater

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I’m a few days late on this (more on that later) but I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on Saturday night’s show. I was very excited about seeing Morrissey at the Warner, it’s one of D.C.’s oldest concert venues, styled like a junior version of Radio City Music Hall.
Strangely, I was not nearly as nervous to photograph Moz this time around. I was pins and needles two years ago at DAR, but was strangely calm this time. That is, until the rush of people crowding the front of the stage when the lights went down. I don’t think security at that venue was used to crowds like that. There was a lot of pushing and shoving at first but eventually everyone got a spot they were happy with and it was somewhat bearable.
I ended up stage right and in retrospect, it was too far from center. And due to the crowds, I couldn’t move around. The lighting was coming from the sides and back of the stage with a spotlight on Moz, so I got mostly profile stuff. Overall I got some good photos, but nothing as iconic as last time.
The show itself was better than I was expecting. I’m still not a fan of Years of Refusal and I wish he would have played some songs off of Ringleader of the Tormentors (I am still bitter that he was over playing those songs by then time his tour got to the East Coast two years ago). I still don’t like the alt-rock version of “This Charming Man” but “Ask” was quite nice. It was a thrill of hear Morrissey sing about the buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg. He also played a Buzzcocks cover and broke out “First of the Gang to Die” for the first time on this tour (Reader Ken notes that Moz played this in Myrtle Beach. Don’t forget to fact check, kids!). Moz hearts DC, he always breaks out something new here. I was hoping for “Reader Meet Author,” but oh well. Also, “Best Friend on the Payroll” sounded surprisingly great, and “The Loop” is still BEST.
Oh, and I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that noticed the heart-shaped sweat stain in Morrissey’s shirt.
Setlist:
This Charming Man / Billy Budd / Black Cloud / Let Me Kiss You / How Soon Is Now? / I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris / How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? / Ask / Seasick, Yet Still Docked / Something Is Squeezing My Skull / Death Of A Disco Dancer / You Say You Don’t Love Me / It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore / The Loop / Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself? / Best Friend On The Payroll / I Keep Mine Hidden / Sorry Doesn’t Help / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / I’m OK By Myself // First Of The Gang To Die
Lastly, I would highly recommend checking out David Malitz’s Washington Post review (with more of my photos!) and Chrs Klimek’s review for DCist.
PS – I have now photographed Morrissey, Radiohead and Oasis for the Washington Post. Jarvis, you’re next.

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