Morrissey is theatrical enough on a daily basis. When combining them with the theatrical electro-rockabilly sound of Kristeen Young, the Wang theater almost felt like the West End. It wasn’t a highbrow sophistication type of game, it was very much an art-house type of feeling; something Andy Warhol would be seen at.
Kristeen Young stood on the stage alone, the only things around her being a keyboard, with ample chords and foot pedals, and a mic stand. Behind her a white sheet of fabric hung down, with images changing and shifting behind her.
Her songs went from a melodic tinkling of keyboard keys and a sweet voice similar to Karen O’s, to a loud crescendo of instruments, and computerized sound. The images that were thrown up behind her ranged from a close up of her eyes, to a quaint 1950s shot of a family.
The songs were each vastly different, but strung together with the same electronic back beat. Kristeen moved around the stage occasionally, holding the microphone and attempting to dance in 5 inch stilettos.
Kristeen ended her set around 8:30, the lights coming up. The audience was revealed to each other in full. The scene around was generally full of aging rockers from the 80s, and dozens of mid 20s rockabilly chicks in polka-dot dresses.
The in-between band time was not spent running to get tour merch, or trying to push into the bathroom. The white cloth that was in front of the stage was now taken down, and behind it was a large drum set, on risers. The entire contraption spun around, twirling the drummer.
On the screen were films from the 1960s and 1970s projected in large silent images, with period music playing behind them. The theatrical piece ended with the lights going out and the crowd buzzing with excitement.
Morrissey and the band took the stage, taking their positions and starting in on their own crooning ballads. Morrissey himself is quite a character on stage. He struts around, as though he owns the stage, even though it’s a different stage every night.
His singing ability hasn’t diminished in the years he’s been around. But, his theatricality took a turn for the mildly annoying during the middle of the set.
Around 9:45, half way through the set, Morrissey begins to sing, the slow and angst ridden sound hitting the audience full force. Behind the band, on the white cloth, are images of chickens, cows, and hens being prepped for eating or for egg laying.
Thankfully the PETA campaign only lasted one song, after which Morrissey went right back into crooning to the crowd.
Photos courtesy of Morrissey’s Official Facebook Page