Thursday, November 1st, 2018 was a big day for Angelenos. As some celebrated the sacred Latin holiday, Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead throughout L.A., others flocked to the Microsoft Theater in DTLA to celebrate with the anticipated performances of icons Joan Jett and Morrissey.
As Morrissey tours in Southern California, fresh from a sold out show in Ventura and scheduled to perform in Long Beach over the weekend, it was in Los Angeles where the energy thrived. Fans lined up and even camped outside of the venue to secure an intimate and front-row spot in the pit. A Mariachi band with painted skeleton faces welcomed guests at the lobby of the theater, playing classic and cherished Mexican cultural anthems. A myriad pompadours, Smiths/Morrissey t-shirts and Morrissey look-a-likes formed a large part of the crowd. A mixed age range of seasoned and new fans came to follow the ex-Smiths front man and punk rock legend.
A giant backdrop announcing Joan Jett and The Blackhearts hung high and gloriously behind Ms. Jett. She appeared with her signature edgy short black hair and eyeliner and took us back in time with hits like “Bad Reputation”, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and her beautiful rendition of “Crimson and Clover.”
The venue’s seats had filled up when the dramatic and elegant images begun to appear on the big screen preparing fans for Morrissey’s soon to be appearance. His consistent embracement and appreciation for the Latin culture brought him out with a pink sugar-skull image on his t-shirt as he growled “Happy Death Day!!” to greet his fans.
He started with the classic Smiths tune “William, It Was Really Nothing.” He referred to himself as a monster before performing “November Spawned a Monster.” He disappeared in red stage lighting and smoke during the dark “Jack the Ripper.” And he exhilarated the night with a rare performance of “Dial-a-Cliché.” The 19-song set carried on complete with his signature microphone swinging, flamboyant moves and cryptic messages between songs. And ended with a beloved encore that gave us two classics: “Everyday is Like Sunday” and “How Soon is Now.”
As usual, his faithful fans refused to leave until the lights of the Microsoft Theater came on. For almost four decades, Morrissey’s music and eccentricity continues to triumph.
Photos by: Laura Pelayo