Last Updated on August 10, 2023
Since my first concert, way back in June of 1988 (guess who that was), I’ve seen more than a hundred concerts, but there are few artists that I’ve seen more than a handful of times. Morrissey is one of them. I’ve seen him so many times, in fact, that my mother actually recognized his name when I told her I was on my way to see him at the Hollywood Bowl. (To put this in perspective, she still doesn’t know who Nine Inch Nails or Björk is.)
My many Moz concerts have had their moments. When I saw him at the Palace of Auburn Hills, back when I was in college at UM, I landed choice floor seats and snuck up so close his sweat sprayed me when he whipped the mic around in his humble trademark move. Near the end of the show, he bared his chest (this was before his pudgy phase) and then — and I swear this — he looked straight at me as he flung his shirt into the crowd. I’m fortunate to be taller than the average greaser, and so caught the sleeve just before a multitude of hands ripped it to shreds faster than you could recite one of his song titles (admittedly, a long time). I managed to cling to a small blue-checked patch, which I kept sealed in a plastic baggy above my desk for many years. (Note to self: Check hope chest for baggy next time I’m back at Mom’s.)
It was more than just the music, the pop-culture-laden references, and memories of concerts of yore. In the middle of the concert, I found myself texting, for Chrissake. “At a Morrissey concert. Wish you were here,” I pinged a friend up north. Due to a mutual loss, his music means more to us than it should. And last Friday night, the emotions came swelling back — but kindly, this time. And for the first time in nearly ten years, I listened to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” with a smile, even if the lyrics pleaded otherwise.