Celine-Lucien commented on Ology's Battle Of The Fans: '80s Semi-Finals (Duran Duran Vs. Depeche Mode):
“depeche mode <3”
May 21, 2013
Patty commented on Ology's Battle Of The Fans: '80s Semi-Finals (Duran Duran Vs. Depeche Mode):
“Duran Duran always!!!!”
May 21, 2013
Tammy commented on Ology's Battle Of The Fans: '80s Round 1 (Duran Duran Vs. U2):
May 20, 2013
Kat commented on Ology's Battle Of The Fans: '80s Semi-Finals (Duran Duran Vs. Depeche Mode):
“Duran Duran, watched them live many times since 1983. Best live band I've ever seen.”
May 20, 2013
Redcat commented on Ology's Battle Of The Fans: '80s Semi-Finals (Duran Duran Vs. Depeche Mode):
“Duran Duran. They've done New Romantic to funk to house, done them well, and combined them in interesting ways.”
May 20, 2013
Nell commented on Ology's Battle Of The Fans: '80s Semi-Finals (Duran Duran Vs. Depeche Mode):
“Duran Duran. I'm a fan of both, and have seen both perform, but it was hearing The Chauffeur live that really showed me how much a piece of music can do emotionally even when the lyrics are somewhat abstract.”
I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't take a minute to call major, major shame on the security staff at the Royal Oak Music Theaterin Royal Oak, Michigan. To start with, my girlfriend and I (beyond infinitely excited to see Morrissey... enough to wait two hours outside in the cold, anyway) were diverted from the original line into a second line for "physical" ticket holders (we picked ours up at will call), only to learn at 7:00pm that all of the internet purchasers (i.e. the line we'd been standing in for 90 minutes) were allowed to enter in toto (including a few concert goers who simply walked out of their cabs and through the doors) before the rest of us, many who'd been there for hours, were allowed to finally enter after an unnecessary 10 minute gap.
Once inside, not only were we forced to empty our pockets, open our jackets, etc. (standard concert venue procedure these days, whatever) but I learn from the jerkoff security bloke that I can't enter with the chain on my wallet and will either have to turn around and take it back to my car (after standing outside in the cold for two unnecessary hours... I didn't drive myself, anyway) or throw it into the garbage. I protested, pointing out that I'd seen several other people come through the line with them (and saw several more inside the venue afterwards) but these ineffably inept twits wouldn't hear a word of it. (p.s. I also saw several proper cameras inside the show, which were EXPLICITY forbidden upfront... unlike my fairly common piece of personal attire.)
The moral of this lengthy introduction: not only will I never... EVER... pay to see another concert at the Royal Oak Music Theaterin Royal Oak, Michigan, but I will make it my professional duty to--so long as I'm lucky enough to have the privilege--tell every band, musician, PR representative, and label staff member I happen to e-mail or interview to never, ever perform at this child's playground excuse for a concert venue. As you'll see in this review's Epilogue, their staff are amongst the least professional, least capable I have ever encountered in my concert-attending travels. Blah blah blah you're all #!@%s and I hope you get laid off without benefits in the near future.
The question on, I imagine, many of our minds was thus: "What in the hell is Morrissey doing in Royal Oak, MI?" At one point, my girlfriend and I turned to each other and exclaimed with glee: "Morrissey is in Michigan right now!" As the night wore on, it began to make a bit more sense. After all, where else in these United States could Manchester's maven of mope feel more at home: vast landscapes of industrial ruin, bleak gray clouds, the merciless winter chill, and, of course, the pervading mood of economic hopeless and existential futility. This was Morrissey country, all right.
After a more-or-less dreadful opening slot by Kristeen Young (accurately described by my more attractive half as "the electronic Regina Spektor"... her sound guy could learn a thing or two about properly mixing a keyboard) and a projected montage of handpicked retro performance clips (Brigitte Bardot, The New York Dolls, etc.), the lights went out and the man who verbalized my teenage experience better than I ever could then or now stepped into the backlit smoke, tearing through the Meat Is Murder favorite "I Want The One I Can't Have" with exuberance, poise, and (of course) disaffection.
The set was an odd but generally satisfying spattering of easy crowd-pleasers ("There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday" were both performed relatively early into the set), left-field personal favorites (the buzzy roar of "Maladjusted" and "Speedway" sounded transcendent in the hands of guitarists Boz Boorer and Jesse Tobias), and more recent fare (Years Of Refusal's "When Last I Spoke To Carol", "Black Cloud"; new song "People Are The Same Everywhere"). We took great glee in adding the "bom-bom-bom"s to his take on Lou Reed's "Satellite Of Love" ("I can't stannnnnnd to watch TV") and swayed solemnly to the sacred sounds of The Smiths' "I Know It's Over".
Many of the concert's carnivorous attendees balked at the projection of Meet Your Meat (a longtime staple of PETA, who were on-site handing out leaflets at the door) during an extended version of "Meat Is Murder", though as a performance piece, it had the desired effect of repulsing the handful of twentysomethings who still don't know where pepperoni pizza comes from. Returning to the stage in a sparkling sheer shirt that was later tossed into the crowd (and shredded to bits, surely), Morrissey finished us off with a surprisingly crowd-pleasing rendition of "Ouija Board, Ouija Board", the aforementioned "I Know It's Over" and "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell".
All the while, my inner seventeen-year-old stands in unadulterated awe at the feet of this gray-haired Englishman, this free agent songsmith, this hopeless anti-romantic... trying to grapple with the magnitude of what his lyrics have and continue to mean to me. I too once wondered when exactly it was gonna happen now... I didn't want to wake up on my own any more... and, of course, I went looking for a job and then I found a job and, well, you know what happened next. The reason Morrissey still connects with so many people of so many different walks (and crawls) of life is that unlike other sad-sap crooners, Mozzer always understands that not only is sadness, loneliness, and cynicism an unavoidable part of human existence... but that it's vital. It's necessary. How could we live in a state with 20-plus percent unemployment and not agree that America is ours and it owes us a living. As the song goes, to pretend to be happy could only be idiocy... blah la de da da da.
Morrissey returned to the stage for one final encore: a propulsive, spot-on version of The Smiths' early favorite "Still Ill". As is customary, the front row did everything in their power to climb up on stage. It was out of my eyesight, but halfway through the song, Morrissey was either nearly grabbed and pulled into the crowd... or guitarist Boz Boorer was roughed up by a security team member, depends who you ask... but Morrissey cut the band, scowled "Great security, Royal Oak. Yeah, goodbye," and stormed off stage [after security reportedly roughed up an overeager fan]. If that wasn't the perfect closing comment on the venue's nonwit, maladroit security personnel, than I don't know what is. "What the hell is Morrissey doing in Royal Oak?" I'm sure he boarded a plane wondering the same thing. It's likely we'll never see his face in the Great Lakes State again—for those of us who were there, it'll be a night to remember for more reasons than one.
"I Want The One I Can't Have" "First Of The Gang To Die" "When Last I Spoke To Carol" "You're The One For Me Fatty" "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" "Black Cloud" "Everyday Is Like Sunday" "Satellite Of Love" "People Are The Same Everywhere" "Maladjusted" "You Have Killed Me" "Speedway" "All The Lazy Dykes" "Meat Is Murder" "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" "Scandanavia" "I Know It's Over" "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" "Still Ill" (Amended)
If you had an unpleasant experience last night at the hands of the Royal Oak Music Theater's staff or security personnel, please e-mail themor call (248) 399-2980 and let them know why you won't be attending any more events at their venue.
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