Thursday, March 9, 2023

Morrissey @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - March 8th, 2023

The Moz is finally back in Paris, nearly eight years after his last concert at the Olympia. Tonight is the first of two shows in the venerable Salle Pleyel, as well as his first concert of 2023. He has a new album recorded and ready for release, but it remains in limbo until a label decides to pick it up and distribute it.

Judging from the few new songs we got to hear, it's a shame we won't be able to buy his new record anytime soon: a song like Without Music The World Dies, which he debuted last night, is as honest and raw as anything he's released before and Sure Enough The Telephone Rings is the closest thing to a pure punk-rock track Morrissey has ever come up with. But then he'll play another song that sounds just like an old-timey English music-hall number...

He of course sang a few Smiths songs and ended with an intense version of Irish Blood, English Heart from You Are The Quarry. Wearing a t-shirt in his image (because he can pull it off), Morrissey was his dry, caustic usual self throughout the show, throwing sharp quips and quick barbs to audience members, referencing the current social climate in Paris and introducing songs in the witty, quirky way  we've grown accustomed to.

While he may no longer look like the lanky teenager that used to adorn the cover of music magazines in the 80's (he is nearing his mid-sixties after all), his voice has only strengthened with maturity, and remains powerfully emotive expressing anger, bitterness, fear, but also love, hope and vulnerability, often in the same song.

A great return to active duty from one of the most peculiar (his word) personalities of English rock music.

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