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Morrissey Casts a Spell at The Fisher Center in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Two days after Friday the 13th and a few weeks before Halloween the enigmatic British pop icon Morrissey conjured up a spell at The Fisher Center in Nashville, Tennessee on October 15, 2023 as he delivered a fast-paced and mesmerizing 80-minute set that left his hoards of devotees wanting more from Morrissey in Music City.

Morrissey and his talented team wrapped up a two-night run in Tennesse at The Fisher Center.

The band leader's drenching charisma seeped out from the stage as if it was sort of a love potion. Many times during his succinct sold-out show fawning fans in front and behind us let out numerous audible gasps as they bellowed "we love you" throughout the 40 Years of Morrissey concert. The current trek which began in Florida featured the artist performing songs by The Smiths - who released their first single "Hand in Glove" in May of 1983 along with tracks from his solo career - which began with Viva Hate in 1988. This outing was heavily weighted to the Southeast before winding up in with scheduled stops in Washington, D.C. and New York City later in the month.

Morrissey is an English singer who came into prominence as the frontman and writer for the rock band The Smiths (active from 1982 to 1987). Afterwards, he enjoyed a successful solo career that is still going strong. Morrissey's music is characterized by his baritone voice and innovative lyrics with recurring themes of anti-establishment opinions, dark humor, dying and emotional isolation.

Morrissey was spell-binding in Nashville.

Images of death are often associated with Halloween. Morrissey's gig at The Fisher Center also had its fair share as both the start and end of the show concluded with that subject matter. At 7:30 p.m. a flick was shown and the first clips were of a village being bombed from above. The 40 minute film that kicked off the night was an eclectic mix of music and pictures spanning various periods of history that presumably traced the artist's career influences but a more cohesive biographical document probably would have served the momentous occasion marking his four decades in the music business a little better.

Despite all the doom, Morrissey with his talented team presented a snappy, career spanning show that had the audience at The Fisher Center on their feet all night. He opened with "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" flowing into "Our Frank" all delivered with his distinctive style that found the evening's focal point working the whole stage as he captivated the crowd with his classics. Other highpoints were "Let Me Kiss You" and "Darling, I Hug A Pillow".

It was a night of expressive and emotional entertainment on the campus of Belmont University.

Morrissey's time with The Smiths was well represented with "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", "Half a Person", "How Soon Is Now?" along with the compelling storytelling of "Girlfriend in a Coma" and more. Between tunes he would respond to remarks from fans or make humorous observations that had the ladies behind us swooning. Morrissey also tipped his hat or should we say his tie to country music with his novel take of "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" a Waylon Jennings cover.

He returned to grim imagery for a stellar "Speedway" paired with "Jack the Ripper" which was all the more menacing with the use of smoke and red lights and finishing with a troubling refrain about rats. Throughout the show Morrissey utilized colors paired with videos to enhance his moody muse which the crowd continued to respond to with much enthusiasm.

After leaving the stage with the house lights turned up Morrissey and company made the assembled wait a considerably long time before returning and rewarding the faithful with one final number and "Irish Blood, English Heart" was the engaging and resonating encore about the utter uselessness of political parties in England. The last lingering video image left on the screen behind the stage was that of someone shooting themself in the head taking the night from the sublime to the surreal to complete his spell-binding performance.

Morrissey remains a committed activist after 40 years in the business.

Helping out Morrissey in Nashville were his fantastic band made of noticeably younger, energetic and accomplished players consisting of Jesse Tobias (lead guitar, rhythm guitar); Carmen Vandenberg (guitar); Juan Galeano Toro (bass guitar); Brendan Buckley (drums) and Camila Grey (keyboards) who provided a powerful soundtrack at The Fisher Center. Morrissey was also mobile and in good voice - presumably a by-product of his strict vegetarianism and activism which was on full display in the lobby prior to the show as patrons were reminded that "Meat Is Murder".

The acoustically pleasing and well-appointed Fisher Center is located on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dedicated in September of 2021, this multi-functional venue that seats 1,727 has showcased a wide range of performances including dance productions, musicals, operas, plays and mainstream artists such as Morrissey. Please check their calendar for a full list of upcoming events.

The Fisher Center - this beautiful venue just might be our newest favorite place to see a show in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on MORRISSEY and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Morrissey | The Fisher Center


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