Morrissey makes a rare appearance on Tyneside, performing his first show in the region in 10 years at a packed out Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

The iconic singer/songwriter released his incredible eleventh studio album Low in High School at the end of last year and is currently out on an extensive tour in support of his latest offering. Tonight’s arena stage set is perfectly fitting for the occasion with oversized illuminated Prefects badges outlining the edge of the stage and a massive video screen adorning the rear wall.

Unlike many arena shows there is only a shallow pit between the stage and the fans at the front which creates somewhat of an intimate atmosphere despite the size of this venue. Frequently throughout the show fans reach out hoping to shake hands with the man himself, and many succeed whilst others occasionally throw flowers towards his feet.

Tonight there is no opening act, but the audience is warmed up with a 30-minute video presentation featuring music from the likes of the New York Dolls, The Four Tops and the Sex Pistols to name but a few.

Shortly after 9 pm Morrissey takes to the stage and opens the show with “I Wish You Lonely” from his latest record, which sets the tone for the night ahead. Classics like “Suedehead” and a triumphant airing of “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” quickly follows. The latter being one of a small smattering of The Smith’s numbers to feature in the setlist.

Throughout the course of the set Morrissey includes the lion’s share of Low in High School with eight of the twelve songs on the record featured in the show. These include the likes of “Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up On The Stage”, “Home Is A Question Mark” and the suggestively titled “When You Open Your Legs”.

Each number in the show is accompanied by thought-provoking visuals and black and white imagery, particularly during the likes of “Who Will Protect Us From The Police” and “The Bull Fighter Dies”.  Of course, Morrissey is well renowned for being a supporter of animal rights as well as being a vegan himself, and subsequently, there is a strict no meat policy inside the arena this evening. This is something that the Geordie patrons respectfully adhere to throughout.

Morrissey pays homage to the Busby Babes during a touching performance of “Munich Air Disaster 1958”, with each of the fallen footballer’s names listed on screen in the final moments on the track.

Tonight’s show largely delves into Morrissey’s expansive solo career, although there is room for a superb cover of The Pretender’s “Back On The Chain Gang”. Furthermore, the crowd are transported back to the mid-80’s during a crowd-pleasing airing of The Smith’s timeless anthem “How Soon Is Now”. Morrissey’s voice has aged like a fine wine, he still sounds as good now as he did back in 1985.

Morrissey closes out his main set with a triple whammy of old favourites including “Hold On To Your Friends”, “Everyday Is Like Sunday” and “I’m Not Sorry”, which leaves the Newcastle crowd wanting more. Following a brief interlude, Morrissey and the band return to the stage to close out the evening with “Irish Blood, English Heart”.

Tonight Morrissey delivers a spellbinding show in front of his loyal Newcastle audience leaving no stone unturned. With a career spanning in excess of forty years, Mozza is still going strong.

Morrissey
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Event Date: 23-Feb-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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