Why I will still go and see Morrissey in San Jose (Or at least buy tickets and see if he shows up)


By the Festival Lawyer //

So Morrissey just announced the start of another tour. This one kicks off in San Jose May 7th at City National Civic.

As you might expect, the announcement was not exactly greeted with enthusiasm in the Bay Area. Headlines like “Morrissey is pretending to play the Bay Area again” or “Morrissey announces tour dates he will probably later cancel” were the most common reaction.

You can’t really blame people for being pissed. Morrissey has cancelled six consecutive shows in the Bay Area. The last time Morrissey actually played a scheduled gig in the Bay Area was in 2009 in Oakland. Although some of last year’s cancellations were due to health issues, what really pissed people off was Morrissey playing shows either right before or right after the dates he missed for health reasons. It seemed less like he was sick and more like a deliberate snub to the Bay Area. In fact, a local SF store actually started selling “Fuck Moz” signs.

Comments on social media sites were varied, and ranged from, “No I won’t be buying Morrissey tickets” to “Oh HELL NO I won’t be buying Morrissey tickets.”

So having said all that, why am I telling people to “Buy” when it comes to the Morrissey stock market when everyone else is telling their investors, “Sell”?

It’s the start of the tour

Unless Morrissey is trying to invent new ways to mess with us, it just seems super unlikely that he would cancel the very first show of the tour. Also, the first show of a tour is pretty exciting. What’s on the playlist? Which Smiths songs will make the cut? Any new stuff from the upcoming album? And let’s not forget about the bragging rights that come from seeing the first show of a tour.

It’s in San Jose

Morrissey hasn’t performed in San Jose since the 90s. Because of how long it has been and how far south it is, he may not even realize that he is playing in the Bay Area. Plus, if Morrissey cancels we can all head over to Original Joe’s and have a late night dinner and bitch session.

He is one of rock’s great icons

Despite all the drama, Morrissey remains a huge rock icon. Music magazine NME called Morrissey “one of the most influential rock artists ever”. In 2004, Pitchfork Media called him “one of the most singular figures in Western popular culture from the last twenty years.”

A few years back the BBC produced a show called “The Importance of Being Morrissey”. If you haven’t seen it, it is less a documentary and more a 45 minute love letter from the people of England. Suffice to say that most stars have to be dead before reaching the level of hero worship people have for him.

You need to change your perception of what a “ticket” is

Most people would define a “ticket” as a contract to see a certain performer at a certain time perform for you. Morrissey concerts are more akin to a “Morrissey Lottery” than a traditional ticket. The fun part of buying a ticket to a Morrissey concert is that you literally have no idea what will happen. I have a friend who was walking into one of his shows when it was abruptly cancelled. I have another friend who went to a bar after Morrissey cancelled a show and saw Moz there having the time of his life. I’ve been at shows where Morrissey was close to openly fighting with the audience.

On the other hand, he can be a superb live performer when he feels like it. When I saw him in 2012, he whipped the mic around like a pro, sounded great and mixed older and new material with ease. When security kept the crowd from coming on stage, Morrissey announced “It’s your stage, don’t let them tell you what to do.” The response from the audience was close to what I expect you might see from one of those revivalist church in the south. It was fantastic.

2014 could be Morrissey’s year

I asked Tom Hastings why in the world any fan would go see Morrissey after the way he has treated the Bay Area. Tom has been a Morrissey fan for 25 years, and has seen over 50 Morrissey shows. (He also has a cameo in the Coachella documentary and his own chapter in the book, The Day I Met Morrissey.) He thinks 2014 will be a big year for Morrissey.

I am still going to take my chances and get these tickets to see a true legend, an icon really, perform live. I think 2014 is going to be Morrissey’s comeback year. He recently released his critically acclaimed autobiography and he is recording his new album. Moreover, his health problems seem to be behind him now. I can’t wait to see this show, especially on opening night…not knowing the setlist and all. I predict this show will sell out FAST! ~VIVA MOZ!

The idea of a Morrissey comeback may seem crazy to you. But remember, this is a guy who has had at least 4 major comebacks in his career. (Example, in 2004 he went from having no record deal to a top ten album in the UK and top eleven on Billboard.) So a comeback is not at all farfetched.

The Smiths aren’t getting back together anytime soon

Listen, we have to collectively let the dream of a Smiths reunion go. They’ve supposedly been offered insane sums to do it, from UK festivals, and Moz just won’t. Coachella makes a try at a Smiths reunion every year. It’s not happening. The fact is that if you ever want to hear and sing along with classics like “How Soon is Now” or “There is a Light that never goes out”, it’s going to have to be at a Morrissey concert.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Morrissey is a tribute band or will be doing some kind of “Greatest Hits” reunion tour. Remember, he had a critically acclaimed and commercially successful album as recently as 2009. This is a chance to see a great live performer working through a few decades of great material.

(Speaking of tribute bands, if the Blank Club doesn’t book “This Charming Band” for a combination “After party and/or cancellation party” that same night they are crazy.)

The bottom line is that if you are a fan it’s probably worth the risk of getting burned in exchange for the chance that you will see something truly special. Or as Tom Hastings put it, “if you haven’t experienced a Moz cancellation, and then taken a chance on seeing him again, you are not a true fan.”


Presale: February 20 from 10am to 10pm. Use password ARSENAL to buy tickets. Tickets for general public on sale Friday, February 21 at 9am.

Get tickets here.


  1. Wow, I had a BLAST reading this article. I too, am in the ‘burned by moz’ club. Most recently the show at the small-ish Regency in SF. POstpned > cancelled 4 hours before the show. Crushing to say the least, but not enough to stop me from seeing this Englishman at least once in my life.

    • Oh Please please please let me get what I want…moz to show up and rock out! San Jose here we come with our fingers crossed, can’t wait!

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