Morrissey Meets With Crowd’s Approval

At his Hammerstein show on October 22.Photo: Wes Orshoski / Retna

“Thank you for coming. And God help you all.” So quoth Morrissey, opening his show (the last of five at the Hammerstein Ballroom) last night. You could be forgiven for confusing the man onstage with the man upstairs: Resplendent in studded denim, his shirt halfway unbuttoned, Mozza was bathed in heavenly lights. And his every utterance was received with adolescent-type fervor: “It is an indisputable fact that no American musician of any consequence has ever been on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.” Giddy approbation. “Every song, a bitter lesson. What a big surprise.” Giddy approbation. Something about members of the crowd who are from New Jersey. Giddy approbation. And said crowd roared, of course, to all of the Smiths songs — loudest, perhaps, for “Death of a Disco Dancer,” which had one gentleman in a business shirt flailing over the balcony for more. Actually, they clamored most raucously when, in the midst of “How Soon Is Now,” Morrissey ripped off that studded shirt and sang, “I am the son, I am the heir,” before disappearing into an intense flash of lights. Yes, we glimpsed his chest. —Emma Pearse