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Falling James

Morrissey & Kristeen Young - The Shrine Auditorium - 11-26-11

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Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM
click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris

See also: Our Morrissey slideshow

Morrissey & Kristeen Young

The Shrine Auditorium

11-26-11

Better than ... walking down Hoover in a blue-&-gold Bruins shirt after the big game.

For a person who once famously declared that he was celibate, Steven Patrick Morrissey is clearly too sexy for his body these days, showing a more relaxed and playfully campy attitude about being a pinup hero. In the past, this cultured contrarian just needed words to shock people, but now he's willing to take it all off, either to demystify himself before his overly worshipful fans or simply because he's proud of his hot body.

After thousands of those overly worshipful fans negotiated the airport-like security lines and aggressive pat-downs outside the Shrine Auditorium, they wandered past a different type of shrine just inside the front doors of the majestic Moorish-style theater. The merch booth was stacked with prized baubles and modern-day religious icons ranging from "I Only Swerve for Morrissey" bumper stickers to cute T-shirts with a picture of Him with a cat perched on His head.

But what really stood out was the life-size autographed cardboard cutout of the singer, who was naked except for a seven-inch (record) placed coyly over his private parts. Also available for sale was a $10 poster of that recent black-&-white photo where this charming man is lolling nude in a bathtub and licking his lips suggestively.

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris

Ironically, the former Smiths frontman didn't take off his shirt Saturday night and toss it into the crowd as he normally does. But he had other ways of provoking his followers at this unusual and ultimately kind of defiant concert. First among them was Kristeen Young, Moz's longtime protégée and opener on this tour.

You've got to hand it to Young. Given the single-minded focus and almost-slavish devotion of Morrissey's fans, it couldn't have been easy to open for him, especially considering her aggressively adventurous style of music. Young's songs have a Kate Bush ethereality and melodicism caged inside of an intense Nina Hagen artiness, with the St. Louis native alternated between madhouse piano accents and rolling waves of hard-edged synth. Young was dressed up in a typically outlandish outfit, which looked like a noirish grey 1940s suit that had exploded into a Patti LaBelle flashback, with a tombstone-size right shoulder pad. The end was torn from one of her black elbow-length gloves, revealing a white ribbon-like bandage around her left hand.

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