Staples Center


Better than… bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

There was the requisite Morrissey drama, for that's who he is, who we want him to be: the postponement last year of the Staples Center gig with Iggy Pop & The Stooges because of his mother's health; the postponement of earlier shows on his current makeup tour due to his own health; the back-and-forth over whether the Staples Center would serve meat; the battle with Duck Dynasty, a show he probably just made more famous by refusing to share the Jimmy Kimmel stage with members of its cast.

See also: *Our slide show from the concert

*Think Morrissey Is a Douche? Go Join the NRA

But Moz Angeles feted its king last night, and the man put on a typically wonderful show.

There was no meat served in the building, unless the richies in the premiere level had a secret sausage stash I wasn't able to find. Score one for Morrissey. McDonald's was shuttered. Beyond The Whistle Stop was shuttered. Hell, even Jersey Kiosk was shuttered, although that might've been unrelated. All the open concession stands in the main concourse were meatless.

Update: Pitchfork and others are reporting that there was, in fact, meat served.

Moz looked thin after his time in the hospital from a bleeding ulcer (so melancholic), but his voice was in fine form. He started with “Shoplifters of the World Unite” and worked his way through a mix of old hits and newish tracks; this was not a show for deep cuts. His slowed-down rendition of “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” — come on, who doesn't relate to that song? — was snuggly tucked between the warmth of “How Soon Is Now?” and “Everyday Is Like Sunday.”

Credit: Timothy Norris

Credit: Timothy Norris

“Meat Is Murder,” of course, was accompanied by a video of chickens and cows being abused in factory farms. He took off his shirt during “Let Me Kiss You” and briefly, very briefly, stood in front of the crowd before donning another.

See also: Top 20 Sexiest Male Musicians of All Time

The encore, one song as usual, was “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side,” Morrissey's dig at a record industry that actually set him up pretty nicely by the standards of a couple decades later.

But that's a nuance of little importance (and a sad statement about the industry). Beyond the occasional kind words for the crowd, Moz Angeles doesn't want its king to see the big picture. We want him to wallow in dejected details so specific they become universal again. We want him to be Morrissey, and that's who he was.

Personal bias: The first time I heard Morrissey's voice, I was 16 years old, wired on Marlboro Reds, riding shotgun in my friend Damon's car after school. Damon wasn't wearing a shirt; that was his style. We drove to Sam Goody with plans to tear open the bottoms of those tall cardboard CD boxes and slide the insides down our boxers. We were shoplifters, united, taking over.

The crowd: Latinos in black. Thomas Lennon. Heather Graham. Pompadours. Plaid. Polished shoes. One crooked ball cap (just one).

Random notebook dump: Don't ask the concession ladies to pile a bunch of rice and beans on top of your ballpark nachos as a meat replacement. You'll ruin the simplicity. Just stick with cheese and jalapeños and get yourself a bacon-wrapped hot dog after the show from one of the dudes outside, who seemed even closer to the doors of Staples than usual. Or you could go a night without meat; it's not that big of a deal.

Set list below:

Set list

Shoplifters Of The World Unite

Irish Blood, English Heart

Alma Matters

You Have Killed Me

You're The One For Me, Fatty

Action Is My Middle Name

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore

I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris


Meat Is Murder

Ouija Board, Ouija Board

November Spawned A Monster

To Give (The Reason I Live)

How Soon Is Now?

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

Everyday Is Like Sunday

Let Me Kiss You

First Of The Gang To Die


The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

See also: *Our slide show from the concert

*Think Morrissey Is a Douche? Go Join the NRA

Follow @KeithPlocek and @LAWeeklyMusic on Twitter.

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