Enigmatic singer/songwriter Morrissey, formerly of The Smiths, marked his 25th anniversary as a solo artist with this one off intimate live concert performance at the 1,800 seat auditorium at Hollywood High School on March 2, 2013, a concert that sold out in just 12 seconds. The intimate performance was in stark contrast to the sold out performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles just the night before.
The show would take 25 songs from the length of Morrissey’s brilliant career, both solo and with The Smiths, including the catchy “You’re the One for Me, Fatty”, “Meat is Murder”, “Irish Blood, English Heart” and the plaintive and self-pitying “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”, here turned into in an even more melancholy, arpeggiated, mid-tempo ballad.
Morrissey himself seemed in top form throughout the night, vocals only occasionally missing a note here or there, but his laid back attitude, several shirt changes, and cynical lyrics all make up for it, and bring flashes of the man in his prime, during the ’80s and early ’90s.
- Alma Matters
- Ouija Board, Ouija Board
- Irish Blood, English Heart
- You Have Killed Me
- November Spawned A Monster
- You’re The One For Me Fatty
- Still Ill
- People Are The Same Everywhere
- That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
- To Give Is The Reason I Live
- Meat Is Murder
- Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
- Action Is My Middle Name
- Everyday Is Like Sunday
- I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
- Let Me Kiss You
- The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Morrissey: 25: Live is the rare live concert video with a 1080p encodement on Blu-ray Disc. The image is crisp, with strong contrast and very little in the way of anomalies given the amount of lights, fast motions, and edits.
There’s a marked difference in quality between the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) track and the LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) stereo track, which is rather unusual. The lossless 5.1 has a balanced and dynamic sound with good low frequency extension, clear dialogue with distinct instrumental separation between the electric guitars. The high frequencies are reserved and airy. By contrast, the LPCM 2.0 sounds very shrill, with tweaked high frequencies and a thin midrange. At first I thought that perhaps the boosted LFE in the 5.1 mix may have been masking this, but even turning LFE to 0 in the 5.1 track had a smoother sound. The mastering is completely different and inferior for the PCM version.
There’s an excellent “live” in studio set, a brief behind-the-scenes featurette, and a featurette with comedian Russell Brand offering his thoughts on Morrissey. Without a doubt, the live set is the strongest extra included.
- Studio in Session (1.78:1; 1080i/60):
- The Kid’s a Looker
- Action is My Middle Name
- People Are the Same Everywhere
- Behind the Scenes at Hollywood High (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:48)
- Grissle Bandage Presents Lord Mudslide (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:13)
The Definitive Word
Morrissey delivers a fantastic performance in this intimate venue, 25 years into is solo career for the truly devoted fans. This is one for all those true believers who’ve been following Morrissey and The Smiths for years.
Additional Screen Captures