Morrissey - 25 Live

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Filmed in the rather intimate confines of the auditorium at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, 25 Live presents a show mostly featuring songs from throughout the two and a half decades that Morrissey has now racked up as a solo artist.

Some may wonder why Moz starts the show by shouting "Viva Mexico!" as the singer lives in L.A. and clearly knows he's not south of the border; in all likelihood Morrissey is acknowledging the fact that the school body at (and area surrounding) Hollywood High is predominantly Hispanic.

Cleverly beginning the concert with a take on "Alma Matters" from his debut album Viva Hate (that record's "Everyday is Like Sunday" would come late in the set) Morrissey takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride, waxing melancholic one moment and turning pithy the next, the latter quality demonstrated vividly on "November Spawned a Monster."

The buoyant rave-up "You're the One for Me Fatty" and the Smiths' vegan anthem "Meat is Murder" are performed, as are favorites like "Ouija Board, Ouija Board," "Irish Blood, English Heart" and "Let Me Kiss You."

Moz is not known for doing cover songs but his interpretation of Frankie Valli's "To Give is the Reason I Live" fits in perfectly here and certainly Morrissey leaves it all on stage on this night, closing the set with the poignant "The Boy with the Thorn is His Side."

Many will always think of Morrissey's work with the Smiths as the music that defines his career; the adoring audience celebrating his solo output on this night would beg to differ.

4 Stars

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