By Sarah Mae Martin
On Saturday, Nov. 4, The Masonic in San Francisco was filled with young and old alike, connected through their similar interest in the music of Morrissey, former lead singer of the 80’s band, The Smiths. Among the devoted music fans was a sea of people wearing the Smiths and Morrissey merch. As an advocate for animal rights, Morrissey had invited PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to provide information about animal rights, their mission, with the goal of spreading awareness through various campaigns. Morrissey’s refusal of playing at venues that sell meat has been one of his traditions and requirements for playing in certain venues. His devotion to animals began when he was 11 years old, and his lifestyle remains strong as he continues to be a spokesperson for the cause. As people waited for his set to begin, music videos played beforehand, from “God Save the Queen” by the Sex Pistols to “Don’t Make Me Over” by Dionne Warwick.
As fans expected, Morrissey played some of his more popular songs such as “Everyday is Like Sunday” and “Suedehead.” The audience sang along as he included more well-known songs from his days as part of the Smiths such as, “How Soon is Now?” and “Shoplifters of the World Unite.”
Morrissey performed The Smiths’ song “Meat is Murder,” released in 1985. As usual, the screen behind him played videos displaying disturbing animal mistreatment and the unnecessary practice of obtaining meat for human consumption.
Morrissey also played songs from his upcoming eleventh solo album “Low in High School,” like “I Wish You Lonely” and “Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage.” As presumed, his most popular song on Spotify, “Spent The Day in Bed,” left the crowd enthusiastically enticed for the upcoming album. The song was filled with lyrical complexity and classic synth samples.
As the show came close to an end, Morrissey threw his white button up among the crowd, causing fans to fight over the small memento from an amazing night.
Morrissey has impacted so many people through his music that following his concert at the Masonic on Nov. 10 was officially deemed as “Morrissey Day” in Los Angeles. In a statement released on Nov. 8, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Los Angeles embraces individuality, compassion and creativity, and Morrissey expresses those values in a way that moves Angelenos of all ages.” This day, “celebrates an artist whose music has captivated and inspired generations of people who may not always fit in — because they were born to stand out.” In addition, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez stated that Morrissey “continues to touch and uplift countless people across the globe. Morrissey uses his voice to raise awareness for many social issues while ‘in his own strange way,’ always staying true to his fans.” This special occasion leads up to Morrissey’s fourth stop on the U.S. tour at the Hollywood Bowl. On Nov. 11 and 12, Morrissey will perform with special guest, Billy Idol, a popular eighties artist.
Morrissey’s new album entitled “Low in High School” will be released on Friday, Nov. 17. As his U.S. tour continues, tickets for his U.K. and Ireland tour will remain to be sold for music lovers alike to enjoy his music live.