Morrissey fans began lining up Saturday afternoon on Highland Avenue. By the 7:30 p.m. show time, the line stretched down to Sunset Boulevard and Orange Avenue. After annoyed fans complained about the unorganized distribution of tickets at will call, the doors finally opened and people raced to the front of the stage.
My friends and I ended up front, dead center. Pinch me, I’m dreaming, I thought as British funnyman Russell Brand introduced Morrissey and gave a heartfelt thank you to the man who can “elevate the mundane.”
At 10 p.m., Morrissey, sporting a cobalt floral shirt, came out smiling and roaring screams resonated throughout the auditorium. The Moz opened up with “Alma Maters,” appropriately, and played a set based heavily on his solo career. Occasionally, he would play an old Smiths favorite such as “Still Ill” which brought even greater cheers from the crowd and multiple hands waving across to reach out and touch him.
The most shocking was his dramatic performance of The Smiths “Meat is Murder” which was accompanied by a backdrop of gruesome video clips of animals being slaughtered for human consumption, courtesy of footage from a 2002 documentary “Meet Your Meat.” Many fans were forced to look away and others watched with curiosity while Morrissey turned his back to the audience and kneeled to the floor in a dejected manner.
The Moz, being a long time vegan and animal activist, arranged the banning of meat during his sold-out performance at the Staples Center similar to Saturday’s show, which sold no concessions. The crowd frantically sang, “Meat is murder!” and threw their hands up in frustration while his crystal blue eyes began to water before transitioning into my personal favorite, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.”
Morrissey ended his set with “Let Me Kiss You” and, as always, tore off his (now third) floral button down to the crowd revealing his aged torso and creating chaos amongst the wild fans.
As tradition, fans began to jump on stage during the encore “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” and Morrissey gladly hugged those able to escape from security, including a young boy by the name of Devin who walked hand in hand with Morrissey while singing the final lines of the song.
Morrissey’s performance is one of the biggest things to happen to Hollywood High School since Elvis Costello performed in the cafeteria back in 1978. It was a truly memorable experience and goes to show that Hollywood High school is still an iconic attraction that will continue to be known for its famous guests, and it proved that Morrissey has maintained his legendary rock star status after so many years.