DAR Constitution Hall
Nov. 2, 2007
This was an unofficial Rock Club show but I thought I'd put something up anyway. My sister got Mrs. Jimbromski and I tickets to this show for my birthday, which was a nice gesture as she well knows how much of a Smiths fan I was back in high school. Even better, she and her girlfriend offered to babysit Jimbromski Jr. for the evening. The three of us arrived at their place on Friday evening, dropped off the little shaver, ate a big salad (more on that later) and set off for DAR.
I hadn't been to Constitution Hall since about 1996, I think, when I saw Parliament there. It's a swank joint. Ingress/egress is simple and hassle-free. They have bars set up in every corner of the building where you can get a beer/wine/mixed drink. Mrs. Jimbromksi classed it up and got a glass of red wine. The glass was plastic, but shaped like a wine glass. Nice.
Morrissey went on at about 9:00 pm. Everything Fake Accents Dave said in this review of his 2006 (edit--it was 2007, not 2006) show at Wolf Trap is still accurate. Mozzer's back-up band is tight and hard-rocking. At this point in his career Morrissey has become sort of a Vegas act--each gesture is calculated, the band members all wear identical clothes, everything seemed scripted. It didn't detract from the show, it just made it seem polished and professional, which I suppose befits a guy who's 48 years old. He took off his shirt and threw it into the crowd three separate times, and by the end of the show people were running onto the stage to hug him, like all the womens used to do to Elvis. I suppose it's no surprise as the iconography of the young Elvis showed up more than once in The Smiths catalog of music, album covers and videos (check the cover of a song Elvis made famous, "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame", on The Smiths' live album Rank, for example). This time it was women and men running on stage, but still, same principle.
The songs sounded great. He kicked off with "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", then followed it up with "Irish Blood, English Heart", "Interesting Drug", and then "Death of a Disco Dancer". The last sounded particularly sharp, and its message of violence combined with bystanders looking the other way is timeless. I guess this is Morrissey's version of the "Stop Snitching" campaign.
"Death of a Disco Dancer," The Smiths, Strangeways Here We Come (1987)
Other highlights from the show were "Billy Budd", "Stretch Out and Wait", and "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." The only lowlight of the show was the salad my sister's girlfriend served me prior to our arrival. It was an excellent salad--hard-boiled eggs, chicken, fried onions, croutons, vinegar & oil dressing--but it didn't agree with me and 40 minutes into the show I was facing an intestinal crisis. This is the nightmare scenario, people--being out at the rock and having to push one out. I was saved by the classiness of DAR, and also the devoutness of the average Morrissey fan, as the bathroom was in fairly good shape, and most fans aren't ducking out in mid-set to drop a deuce, so I had the place to myself for about 30 seconds.
I end this review with a mini-quiz--if you're out at a show or other spectacle and gotta go, what's the best/worst option? My answer--best is probably a place like DAR or the Kennedy Center (obvious), but also, surprisingly, a sports event. My reasoning is that if the event is less than capacity--like most DC United games I go to--you can likely find an isolated bathroom in some remote part of the concourse, and go to work. This does not apply to, say, a Redskins game attended by 95,000 at FedEx Field. Worst is probably the Black Cat. As an addendum, I spoke to three people who attended the Van Halen show on 11/1 at the Verizon Center, and each said that the bathrooms were covered in piss and vomit. One--Potsy--also reported, however, that he found an isolated bathroom, and that two people were having sex in one of the stalls. This just goes to proves my point about sports arenas, if you substitute "taking a shit" for "having sex", which is generally true these days for me.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007