‘What would Edinburgh be without the rain? Who knows, but it wouldn’t be Edinburgh!’ Morrissey proclaimed during his show Monday night at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.
If it wouldn’t be Edinburgh without the rain, it wouldn’t be a Morrissey gig without the legion of devoted fans. Amy and I got there pretty early, several hours before the gig was set to start (a note to our professors and families, we did bring work with us). Turns out that we weren’t even close to being the first people there–some had been camping out since 3 am, the hardcores, of which a few of my friends would say I belong to, but which I fervently am not. Though, if I were returning to the States this autumn, I would definitely try and get to his Boston gig and at least one of the NYC gigs.
Yes, I have been bitten by the Moz bug, and after that show it isn’t difficult to see why.
Edinburgh was the gig that Manchester should have been.
The audience was mixed. There were those who have followed Morrissey since The Smiths, hipster kids in skinny jeans and knotted hair, parents and children, everyone else imaginable. Whilst queuing, we swapped stories of the Manchester gig and discussed vegetarianism–I am not a veggie and probably couldn’t be one, I like chicken too much. I did attempt it for the weekend, though.
I ended up in the second row, which was fantastic! The floor was far more subdued than in Manchester, filled with energy but not nearly so dangerous. There were still flying arms, all grasping to reach Morrissey’s hand, but the elbows and bodies did not fly around so much.
Morrissey himself was brilliant. Witty, engaging, his voice even stronger than in Manchester. You would never have realized it was the last night of the tour. He sounded fresh (though looked a little knackered to start).
As I’ve said earlier, there is something visceral about his music. It hits me in the gut. I find that I can relate to his lyrics, perhaps more than any other musician. Seeing him sing live, with all of the emotion in his voice–there was nothing else I needed. It was the sort of show where time stood still, life was on hold. Captivating, entrancing, wholely part of something.
That’s the thing I love about fantastic gigs. The music transcends social barriers, and together, the audience, the musicians, become part of something bigger. United for a few hours by a common love–the music.
Edinburgh captured this more perfectly than any gig I had previously been to–and I’ve been to some fantastic gigs. The sound, the power, the emotion.
The encore (“How Soon is Now?”) was incredible. People launched themselves over the barriers, keen to hug Morrissey, to shake his hand, to be a more active participant in the night. The chaos, the excitement, the cheers, the voices raised to match Morrissey’s, could never be described perfectly, only experienced.
Who knows if I will ever have another weekend like this one. But I certainly will be at another Morrissey gig, standing on the floor, my hand raised to shake his.