Sunday, May 20
For a good 15 minutes before Morrissey came onto the Murat Theater stage, a monotone voice was speaking over the PA. Starting with “Hitler” and progressing through every sad, unpleasant, depressing word in the English language, the voice seemed to be hypnotizing the crowd. It was quite the perfect intro for rock’s reigning mope master. When he finally appeared on the stage, though, things were lively, entertaining and, dare I say it, celebratory.
Showcasing songs off his latest solo outing, Ringleader of the Tormentors, the debonair Morrissey was clearly at peace with himself, his band and his fans. This made for an energetic, charming show. Morrissey tore through killer new songs like “The Youngest was the Most Loved” and “You Have Killed Me” with an almost gleeful energy, whipping his mic cord around while striking poses reminiscent of a matador.
His band, which featured a former guitar player from Adam Ant’s band, and a group of guys who looked like reformed skinheads, turned in a flawless set, faithfully reproducing the classics and feeding raw vitality into the new songs. As an incredible run-through of “Life is a Pigsty” started to meander into a bit of a jam, Morrissey lay on his back, feet upon the drum riser. The music stretched for a bit and then exploded into a monster version of “How Soon is Now?” Breathtaking.
Acknowledging making a “commercial film for his first solo single in Fairmount, Ind.,” the band ripped into “Suedehead,” a song that hadn’t yet been played on this tour. Morrissey was the epitome of class, fashion and showmanship, and his iconic voice never sounded better. It was nice to be at an Indy concert where the star of the show offered something a little special. However, the opener, Kristeen Young, was a screeching siren that tried way too hard to be Kate Bush, failing miserably.