SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller


Austin Music Hall, Thursday, March 16

"By some shocking act of fate, you find yourself in Austin," the Moz posed from his throne. It's been a long time coming. He is Morrissey, the man in pompadour and suit jacket, the one with the cold sneer and the broken heart, the cool runner of sympathy and empathy. Opening with You Are the Quarry's "First of the Gang to Die," the man in pink stuck to the new stuff, and although the audience obviously longed for "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" and those others that make you want to curl up in the fetal position and cry, they settled for a glorious, mic-whipping "Still Ill" and the dear-to-our-hearts "Girlfriend in a Coma." "And now let's get serious," the icon jested before a 30-second rendition of "Deep in the Heart of Texas" – a full clap-along, of course. Before one teared-up eye could blink, Boz Boorer whipped out his double-necked 12-string, and a synthetic orchestra unfolded beneath the lights. "The good old days are good and gone," Moz admitted before the unflinching bassline of "How Soon Is Now." The lights flickered and the crowd began to throb; it's easy to forget our Pied Piper pulsates onstage. There he stood, two wardrobe changes later, brilliant and regal. He's the king of the indie world, young and old – the man who crosses genre lines and stretches over generations. And although his fan base will always love him for the Smiths, he will forever stand alone as the Moz. "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" echoed out his encore like a falling sigh in the wee morning hours. Regardless of how much Moz is the Ringleader of the Tormentors – or more likely the tormented – he's ours. Ours to love, ours to feel, and ours for understanding. He's a statue of juvenile angst in a grownup soul. He's Morrissey.

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