Sunday, September 30, 2007

Morrissey at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara is close to Los Angeles but not that close. Some unexpected traffic at the 405 and 101 freeway greatly delayed my arrival into Santa Barbara for Morrissey. The Santa Barbara Bowl is a splendid venue that occasionally hosts some superb concerts. Some of the shows I have caught at the Santa Barbara Bowl include The Smashing Pumpkins, Morrissey in 2002 and The Strokes. The important thing to note about the Santa Barbara Bowl is that they run on time because of a noise ordinance in the city. Morrissey was singing away at 8:00 sharp.

I arrived in time to hear the fleeting notes of "First of The Gang To Die". Only later did I find out that I missed "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before". Luckily I have a few more Morrissey shows to go and I know the traffic patterns out to the Hollywood Palladium very well. Morrissey sounded as good as ever as he crooned through the yet to be released "That's How People Grow Up". Boz Boorer(Guitars) was playing a red Les Paul Jr. Double cutaway that provided the lush chords on the song.

Besides "Vauxhall & I", one of my favorite releases from Morrissey is "Beethoven Was Deaf" which is an import live recording of his show in Paris from the Your Arsenal tour. I was reminded of this when the band kicked into "Sister, I'm A Poet". The version of the song was different compared to "Beethoven Was Deaf" in that Boz was providing a deep phaser effect as the undercurrent of the song. I felt the trip up to Santa Barbara was already worth it. "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" was next and I have to admit this song is in the top five of ultimate Morrissey songs. It had a slight country vibe to the song and Solomon Walker (Bass) did a splendid job on the upright bass.

Morrissey then proceeded to introduce all the members of the band saving Boz Boorer for the end. The upright bass was put to task as they entered into another track off "Beethoven Was Deaf" entitled "The Loop" which is also the B-Side to "Everyday Is Like Sunday". Morrissey was banging the tambourine on his hip throughout the song and incorporating his patented microphone line whips across the stage. "Stretch Out And Wait" was another surprise as Morrissey emphasized the "No No No children" parts in the songs to the general laughter of the die hard Morrissey fans.

It was soon chat with Morrissey time as he explained how he usually wakes at the crack of noon and handed the microphone to some audience members with one female fan telling him he looked and sounded gorgeous. A new song that I had not heard yet was "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris". This song was a mid tempo rocker with Boz playing a fast paced acoustic riff. Boz showed off his skills by performing a clarinet solo in the middle of the song that worked out well. "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" was warmly received by the crowd and had Boz showing off a sparkling Gretsch White Falcon guitar. "Let Me Kiss You" signaled the loss of Morrissey's first shirt into the crowd.

"Tomorrow" was another pleasant reward. It was performed at the same upbeat tempo as the recorded version and I noticed a capo on the Jessie Tobias's (Guitars) guitar. Morrissey played another new song "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" that had Solomon up at the front of the stage pounding out a nice fuzz bassline with a trumpet line provided by Mikey Farrell (Keyboards). Mikey Farrell moved over to his Moog Voyager to lay down a bubbly keyboard sequence that bled into "I Like You". Mikey also switched to the trombone for a brief spell during "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy".

When Morrissey came back out for the encore, he was wearing the black "Je Suis Morrissey" shirt that only he can pull off. The band closed the evening with a smoking rendition of "Irish Blood, English Heart" that had a few more seconds of delay on the guitars then I previously remembered. If Morrissey plays the same set every night I wouldn't complain because it featured so many of my favorite songs. With 10 nights at the Palladium though, I hope he mixes it up.

Morrissey Setlist for the Santa Barbara Bowl (9/29/07)

"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"
"First Of The Gang To Die"
"You Have Killed Me"
"That's How People Grow Up"
"Sister, I'm A Poet"
"Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?"
"The Loop"
"Stretch Out And Wait"
"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris"
"The Boy With The Thorn In His Side"
"Let Me Kiss You"
"One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell"
"I Like You"
"All You Need is Me"
"Everyday Is Like Sunday"
"I Just Want To See The Boy Happy"
"In The Future When All's Well"
"Dear God, Please Help Me"
"How Soon Is Now?"
"Irish Blood, English Heart"

No comments: