Upon walking into the Los Angeles Sports Arena this past Saturday for the all-star line-up of Morrissey and Tom Jones, I immediately felt like I was at a rockabilly / rebel quinceniera. We all know that Mexicans LOVE Morrissey — but my goodness — I swear my photographer was one of 50 white people there (and that’s being generous). With a crowd heavy in both men and women, the fashion was most interesting from your dolled-up wannabe pin-ups clad in polka dots and pink hibiscus flowers in their hair, to the usual all-dressed-in-black, and of course the Mi Vida Loca-style cholas. As you can imagine, growing up in East L.A., Morrissey was a prime staple in our homes. I felt as though I was at a Sunday BBQ with my family back in the day at Schabarum Park! It was truly a visually stimulating concert, and I’m not just talking about the grand performances by Morrissey and Tom Jones, I’m talking about the fans. One thing I learned about this concert (which I already knew, but not to this extremity) is that die-hard Morrissey fans are fucking crazy.
Not going to lie, but I was most excited to see one of the most iconic soul and pop voices of the 60s own the Sports Arena; I’m talking about the one-and-only Tom Jones. Nearly 50 years later, this charismatic soul man made his popular hit “It’s Not Unusual” sound as though it was just performed live for the first time. Jones made sure to note that in November of this year, the song will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It’s so hard to believe that Jones is pushing 74 years of age. The man has so much style, charm and sex appeal, it’s no wonder women (and men) still to this day throw their panties on stage as a sign of admiration and gratitude to the singer. I really do wish however, that more people would have mustered up the courage to throw a pair of chonies on stage for Jones. I don’t think I saw any. But then again, this act might have only confused the Morrissey fans even more.
As Jones’ undeniably radiant performance came to a close, the floor and seats in the arena began to thicken. Fans waited in great anticipation for Moz as they watched videos of the Ramones, New York Dolls and other early punk greats. I was surprised at how spread out the crowd was, but that moment only lasted so long. From the minute Morrissey hit the stage, like a tsunami sucking in the ocean before it explodes, the sea of fans all quickly moved toward the center (as I took steps back in the alternate direction). As expected, after his second song “Speedway”, one-by-one fans came running out of the pit covered in sweat and gasping for air. Apparently it was a fearful experience in there. One heavy set girl was about to cry as she yelled to me: “Those people are crazy! I couldn’t breathe and they were pulling down on me to get to the front.” If you think an old school Black Flag show was nuts, you clearly don’t know how crazy and obsessed Morrissey fans are; all just for a chance at touching this man’s hand, or better yet crowd-surfing their way onto the stage for a hug. Fans get so ridiculously infatuated, that sometimes they even knock Moz over causing him to end his performance early. Thankfully, that did not happen here. I did find it hilarious though that Morrissey had his crew (security) and band dressed up in Football jerseys that read “Americuh”. Perhaps this was a stab directed to the obsessed American fans to not tackle Morrissey this time.
Aside from any past Morrissey drama that was in the media leading up to this performance, Moz put on a most excellent show. This charming man has one of the most beautiful voices in the world and it’s no wonder why some (crazy) fans can’t resist him. Needless to say, Morrissey has some seriously douchey tendencies, but on this night, I was able to put those behind me and fall in love with his charm.
Words: Sandra Burciaga
Photography: Bryan Olinger
Scroll down for our photo gallery of Morrissey with Tom Jones.
Morrissey at L.A. Sports Arena Setlist:
Hand in Glove (The Smiths)
I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
The Bullfighter Dies
I Have Forgiven Jesus
Life Is a Pigsty
Everyday Is Like Sunday
To Give (The Reason I Live) (Frankie Valli)
Yes, I Am Blind
World Peace Is None of Your Business
Trouble Loves Me
Meat Is Murder (The Smiths)
Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
First of the Gang to Die
I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday
The National Front Disco
Asleep (The Smiths)
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
For more photos of Morrissey and Tom Jones at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, check out the photo gallery below!