Sometimes a rock concert is more than just another show where you stand around for a while and sing really loud with a bunch of strangers.
Sure, the sing-a-long thing happened during Morrissey’s performance at Kingsbury Hall on Friday night. He opened his set with ‘Hand In Glove’ from The Smiths’ first album. That was nice. There were songs like ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’, ‘Speedway, Trouble Loves Me’. Fantastic stuff, really.
But Morrissey is an artist who has never been known for being subtle. If he tells you he thinks it would be great to be with you when you get hit by a double decker bus and die, well, he means it.
Morrissey has always been active and vocal about animal rights issues. His consistency is admirable. In 1985 when it came time for his band The Smiths to release their second album, he named he record Meat Is Murder. Not exactly subtle.
When Morrissey performed the title track from that album Friday, video footage like the kind that inspired Utah’s ag gag law played on a large screen behind him.
Morrissey proclaimed “murder” with an unmistakable tone of righteous indignation in his voice as truly gruesome video played behind him.
Generally, rock shows are entertaining. This was not entertaining at all. But it was powerful.
And that’s what makes him an artist. He didn’t just sing and dance and make us all smile. He forced the audience to think about something that maybe we didn’t want to think about and there was no ambiguity in his position.
It will be hard to forget.