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Morrissey Favors Solo Material in Tour Opener


Morrissey’s live appearances in 2009 have been plagued with mishaps, from the smell of grilling meats that forced the vegan singer to walk off stage during his Coachella performance, to an onstage collapse in the UK and subsequent hospitalization for respiratory problems, to the abrupt halting of a show in Liverpool after he was struck in the head by a bottle tossed from the audience.

Fortunately, Moz didn’t have to worry about airborne Aquafina last night at Seattle’s Paramount Theater (the venue forbids beverages) as he plowed through an 80-minute, 20-song set in support of Swords, his just-released collection of the best solo material from his last four albums.

Unfortunately, for Smiths fans, that meant only five songs — including opening number “This Charming Man” and set highlight “How Soon Is Now?” — would come from the great Brit band’s catalog.

But the hard working singer sounded great, and aimed to assert the merit of his most recent work, backed by a five piece band which included longtime collaborator/guitarist Boz Boorer.

He drew heavily from his 2004 comeback record, You Are The Quarry, and this year’s Years of Refusal.

By the end of the set, which closed with “Don’t Make Fun of Daddy’s Voice,” Morrissey had sweated through three different button-up shirts (some of which he tossed into the crowd), at least 12 people had been removed from the stage (one girl and two guys were lucky enough to get a kiss out of it), and the earliest solo Morrissey song performed was “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself,” off 1994’s Vauxhall & I.

And while the Smiths “Everyday Is Like Sunday” might have been a more fitting encore on this Sunday night, Moz and his band band returned to play one last tune: Years of Refusal opener “Something Is Squeezing My Skull.” Given his sometimes rough ride in 2009, just having an encore was good enough.