Morrissey Storms Through Beaumont, Texas
Driving back roads to Beaumont viewing pastures of wild flowers and wetlands seemed to be the only appropriate way to see a Morrissey concert. The iconic singer is notorious for canceling his concerts. Might as well make the drive worthwhile just in case.
As I arrived at the Julie Rogers Theatre, there was a small group of Moz heads who had been there for three hours.
With items at hand, gifts and memorabilia to sign, I joined the small group in hopes of a signature for my 8×10 Smiths glossy promo.
With very little security and hardly any barricade, Morrissey steps out of his bus and walks into the building without making any eye contact to the adoring fans.
One one man questioned how he was going to be able to give Morrissey a bottle of his favorite cologne. Another girl shed tears because Moz himself ignored her presence.
Near 7 p.m. the pompadour-fashioned hair style came rolling in on newcomers. There could have easily been a Morrissey look alike contest, but I’m not sure if Morrissey is on that level of narcissism yet.
Without saying a single word, the concert began the evening with “Speedway” from Vauxhall and I. Morrissey didn’t have much banter between songs as the set list played out.
Just after the 3rd song, “Ganglord” Morrissey clutched onto the microphone while removing it from the stand and walks to the front of the stage.
“I would like to address something. Will you listen?” As the crowd just yelled his name in a drunken rage, he shrugged his shoulders and played The Smiths’ “Hand in Glove.”
What I found special about this concert was the lack of security and barricades. In fact, it was no different than watching this rare concert in an oversized stage downstairs at Fitzgerald’s in Houston.
Morrissey reached out to his fans and graced their hands and accepted their gifts. He seemed to like one as he propped his new French-narrated Le Petit Prince LP against the drum stage.
The set list was a mixture from his new album and lesser known songs, but that didn’t seem to have slowed the interests down for the audience. His presence was strong enough for he could have just stood there and the fans would have been satisfied.
“This is from our new CD/LP which is about to ruin your life,” Morrissey said just before he crooned into his new slew of songs supporting the new album, “World Peace is None of Your Business”.
After five songs in the Julie Rogers Theatre, Morrissey seemed to have kicked off his shoes and gotten more comfortable. He mentioned Texas’ love for meat and continued to introduce his band.
“Well here is my fine 100% ground beef!” He then proceeded to welcome each musician to the crowd as he snarled and literally barked into the mic. The audience could see the humorous side of the woe-is-me singer.
“Does anyone have to spill their guts?” Morrissey said as he passed the microphone around.
Morrissey rejected a woman’s request to play “Dublin” with a simple “No.” Women cried into the mic confessing their love as he yelled, “I want more!”
This wasn’t about the audience. It was about himself listening to girls cry for him.
But, it was nice to see him interact with the crowd.
As Morrissey handed off the microphone to a man, he requested them to not saying anything that they’d regret. One blurted out that Morrissey owes him for all the shows that he’s canceled.
With a smug look Morrissey received the mic and with a slight pause, said, “Postponed,” in a very playful pompous manner.
The band went on to play heavier driven songs with a touch of darkness including “Meat is Murder.”
The band could have been easily covering The Cure covering The Smiths. With punchy bass grooves from The Cure’s Simon Gallup and massive floor tom beats by Jason Cooper (also from The Cure), the song was anything but light and gleeful.
As the backdrop video played horrific videos of animals being slaughtered, Morrissey laid on the stage floor in a half fetal position with his hands over his ears. The animal rights activist even wore a small PETA sticker on the breast of his coat.
With no security separating fans from Morrissey, the audience knew it was coming to an end. Fans began to jump on stage to hug the singer.
During the whole concert fans respected Morrissey’s space and greeted him with smiles. Now girls in the front row reached their arms at him like he was John, Paul, and Ringo rolled into one.
There were also a few men who were aggressively tackled by Morrissey’s team. I was even used as a step ladder for a 200-pound-plus man to reach the singer.
The night ended with “The First of the Gang to Die.” The musicians stepped pass Morrissey in front the stage as the guitarist played those infamous janky 3-strum chord notes.
The song choice seemed fitting if you replace “gang” with “fans,” as they were trampled by security at Morrissey’s feet. As violent as it seemed (I was told a security guard broke a fans hand two nights before), it was a beautiful way to end the concert.
I saw such chaos with such a beautiful man and his voice. The stage was the hurricane and Morrissey was the eye of the storm.
The concert brought back nostalgia for my past relationship and helped close the wounds.
It was in Beaumont, a small town unlike Houston. Everyone questioned why Beaumont and not a bigger city.
Seeing Morrissey play in Beaumont added magic to the night, because we all had put extra effort to getting there.
The venue was filled with die hard Moz fans who didn’t need to hear the hit singles. This was our night, in an old country town, population 120,000.
by Jacob Calle