Morrissey owned Waterbury’s Palace Theater Saturday night, or at least he acted like it.
The singer marched around the stage whipping it with a microphone cable, grimacing as though it needed punishment for offending his delicate sensibilities.
His Connecticut audience submitted with reverence to the honored guest, watching with a mix of awe and excitement while Morrissey played through a catalogue of old and new, like “You’re The One For Me, Fatty,” “Spring Heeled Jim,” and “Every Day Is Like Sunday” after cracking open with “You Have Killed Me.”
The band’s uniform for this show consisted of navy blue t-shirts with “BASH” splayed out in yellow lettering. It was less cutting than the “Ringling Beats Animals” they reportedly sported in Boston the night before, though the animal rights portion of the show was yet to come.
Blunt and outspoken are understatements for the Brit, and his vegetarian beliefs are no secret. Morrissey pointed his ire at the seeming abundance of Waterbury area restaurants advertising ‘wings,’ saying “Surely people don’t EAT wings, do they?” However the piece de resistance of the night was when a brutally visceral video of abuse at factory farms played backdrop to The Smiths track “Meat Is Murder.” Audience reactions to each moment were audible, and some turned away from the stage until the song was through.
Morrissey’s presence was commanding the whole night, stern yet crooning across songs kids listened to in darkened bedrooms for generations. His bold voice remains dynamic, filled with the howls, grunts, and gurgles that pop across recordings. Before bleeding into “I Know It’s Over, he fittingly quipped “I’m an instrument. For god’s sake, use me.”