Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

Morrissey, May 22, 2007

Morrissey's first show in St. Louis in a decade or so was special for many reasons. For starters, Affton native Kristeen Young opened the night with a PJ Harvey-meets-Diamanda Galas art-rock bang. Second, this gig coincided with the crooner's 48th birthday — and as any rabid Moz fan will tell you, a Morrissey birthday show is a concert worth traveling to see, wherever it is. But perhaps most important, this sold-out Pageant show found Morrissey in tip-top musical form. His white-clad band injected jolts of energy into chestnuts from his Smiths days (a raucous, rocking "The Queen Is Dead," the uptempo sing-along "Panic") and solo songs from 2006's Ringleader of the Tormentors. This electricity was matched only by Morrissey's voice, which hasn't sounded so strong and able in years — whether revisiting his glam years ("You're Gonna Need Someone on Your Side") or dipping into his cheeky back catalog ("Girlfriend in a Coma"). In fact, such a dry sense of humor — sample quip: "I have yet to find my thrill on Blueberry Hill. I'd say I have another two years" — paradoxically helped the king of mope-rock reign over a fawning crowd.
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