Morrissey, the precious, golden-voiced singer booked for a sold-out concert at Benaroya Hall Tuesday, July 21, has been known to cancel shows after discovering meat is being served on-site.
In what might be a first, on Tuesday (July 21) you most likely will not be able to get a bacon and cheddar breakfast sandwich at the Starbucks inside the lobby of Benaroya Hall. In fact, no meat whatsoever will likely be served that day at Starbucks, or any of the several food establishments inside the building.
The temporary veganism of downtown Seattle can only mean one thing: Morrissey is in town.
Or he might be. The famous vegan and lead singer of the Smiths (“Meat is Murder” is one of their albums) has been known to abandon shows when he discovers meat is being served on-site, or for other reasons entirely.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; sold out (206-215-4747 or seattlesymphony.org).
Much of his last tour was canceled when he caught a “nasty cold” from his opening act. Morrissey’s tour cancellations have now become so legendary that a website lists them all.
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If you’re keeping track, there have been 10 tours, or partial tours, scrubbed since 1991. Morrissey’s reasons have ranged from “bad penne pasta” (food poisoning) to double pneumonia. If the singer does get pneumonia, it will certainly be double.
Morrissey is precious, but that is also one of the reasons he is beloved by his legions of fans. Few performers have ever risked putting so much of their personality into their art. That risk — and yes, it’s a risk, particularly if your personality is grating — is part of the reason the early, seminal Smiths albums were both popular and influential.
Morrissey is also an incredible singer, with an emotive voice that always hints at melancholy. He’s an underrated songwriter, too, and the catalog he crafted (with Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr), is full of gems, including “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”
As a band, the Smiths worked, in part, because of the counterplay between Morrissey and Marr, but since that band broke up in 1987, Morrissey has also scored several hit solo albums. His last one, “World Peace is None of Your Business,” debuted in the top 10 worldwide.
This Seattle appearance — assuming Morrissey shows — also marks his first here since the release of his “Autobiography” in 2013. That book became a number one best-seller, but also received scathing reviews.
“Morrissey is plainly the most ornery, cantankerous, entitled, whingeing, self-martyred human being who ever drew breath,” wrote the London Times. “And those are just his good qualities.”
It’s a line Morrissey himself could have written in a song.
New stars Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are the most recent targets of the singer’s animus. In an interview with the Boulder Weekly, Morrissey said Smith and Sheeran had been “force fed” to audiences by the music industry. But he also said, “I am not a performer. I am not an act, and this is not a career.”
Certainly no one is force feeding Morrissey to his devoted fans, and whatever motivates him, he is a unique talent, and a force to be reckoned with. The Seattle show is sold out.