Morrissey @ Genting Arena 27 February, 2018

Even with the elements against him….Morrissey played the Genting Arena.  Following a  day which brought snow and disruption to the country, he was there and the venue was full.

Nearly three years since his last visit and now with new material in the form of the Low In High School album (released Nov 2017) he has a lot in his armoury.  A thirty plus years career and some of the most influential, essential and emotional songs written, provide a strong back catalogue.

I’m one of those old enough (lucky enough) to have first seen him live when he fronted The Smiths in the 80’s and was delighted when he shone as a solo star from there onwards.  In this current line up the name is Morrissey but the man and musicians are as one, its a cohesive family and that is key to the performance.

I am looking forward to hearing the Low In High School tracks live. Live makes the difference –  the bite, the intent, the twist in the delivery and the physicality of performance that brings the element that flat vinyl (always vinyl) doesn’t deliver.

The stage is framed with prefect style illuminated badges and a backdrop screen behind the band showing film and visuals.  Clearly the most outstanding element of the gig is Morrissey’s voice. Vocally he is back at or very near his best and his confidence in this shows, the clarity in the sound mix is superb.

The gig flows with a strong showing for the new album, and live the songs deliver.   My Love, I’d Do Anything for You and Home is A Question Mark are outstanding, I Bury the Living and Who Will Protect Us From the Police are impressive, Spent the Day In Bed is quickly recognised with its keyboard intro.  It is well received.

Two covers are included, the opener You’ll be Gone and Back on The Chain Gang. My preference would be for more of his own solo material and of course there are Smiths tracks I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish and How Soon is Now, which the crowd love.

Morrissey has a wealth of classic songs, personally Munich Air Disaster 1958, Jack The Ripper and Speedway,  which display the vulnerability and emotional connection I adore about Morrissey are a delight.  For others in the crowd World Peace Is None of Your Business, Every Day is Like Sunday and encore Irish Blood, English Heart hit the mark.

I’ve maintained for years that Morrissey is exceptional.  Tonight was a great gig in a large venue, the physical reach to the crowd was tricky but hands were touched and connections made.  The best Morrissey gigs involve both crowd and performer in unison.

So a simple thought what makes a memorable gig ? When you wake up the following morning and the songs in your head are the new ones on the setlist!

Reviewer: Stephanie Colledge

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