Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go back and see some of your favorite bands play some of their best shows? While technology hasn’t quite gotten us there yet, at least there’s YouTube! Now, you can sit back and join in on some moments that you may have been too young, poor or far away to enjoy. I’ve found great shows from REM, New Order, Depeche Mode, and many others from my youth. I’m looking forward to finding more and sharing them with you.
Tonight, I’m going to start with The Smiths. I didn’t see any of their shows because by the time I became a fan, they had already stopped touring, let alone speaking to each other. The combination of somber, often morbid, lyrics and jangly melodies was just the right combination to reel me in as a teenager and keep me hooked through today. Many of my favorite Smiths’ songs were never regularly performed in concert because they broke up before my favorite album, Strangeways Here We Come, was released.
Even so, I’d gladly hop in a time machine to go back and see them in this 1985 concert in Madrid. According to the YouTube description, it was the largest crowd ever for a Smiths concert (over 500,000). They cover a lot of their catalog and keep it basic with just the four core members – Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke – performing. Morrissey’s voice sails above the tight music from the band. My favorite moment – just shy of the 25 minute mark, Morrissey laments “I’ve seen this happen in other people’s lives, but now it’s happening in mine,” as he croons on “This Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”.
The set list…
Intro: Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet
William, It Was Really Nothing 1:47
Nowhere Fast 4:00
I Want The One I Can’t Have 6:49
What She Said 10:20
How Soon Is Now 13:35
Handsome Devil 19:24
That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore 22:22
Shakespeare’s Sister 26:35
Rusholme Ruffians 29:08
The Headmaster Ritual 33:39
Hand In Glove 38:25
Still ill 41:50
Meat Is Murder 46:17
Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now 56:05
Miserable Lie 59:40
Barbarism Begins At Home 1:07:10
This Charming Man 1:17:38
You’ve Got Everything Now 1:20:20
And the concert:
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! What concert would you like to go back in time to see? Maybe I’ll review it in an upcoming post.