Thursday, August 29, 2013

'Morrissey 25: Live' DVD arrives next month

This just in: Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Morrissey 25: Live on Oct. 22 on DVD, Blu-ray and Visual Digital Formats.

Bonus features include four exclusive tracks recorded in a studio session: “The Kid’s A Looker;” “Scandinavia;” “Action Is My Middle Name” and “People Are The Same Everywhere.”

There’s also a mini “Behind The Scenes At Hollywood High” feature, plus a segment titled “Grissle Bandage Present Lord Mudslide” with features actor/comedian Russell Brand’s introduction to the Hollywood High School show.

Here's my review of the recent theatrical release...

Los Angeles is among Morrissey's largest fan bases in the world and primarily serves as his adoptive home. So it made perfect sense to shoot the former Smiths singer's first official concert film since 2005's Who Put the M in Manchester there last March.

Still playing in select cinemas across America, Morrissey 25: Live From Hollywood High provides a good primer on why the outspoken Brit continues to draw extreme fan devotion a quarter century after launching a solo career.

The main concert runs 92 minutes and starts with various backstage scenes as Moz (his affectionate moniker) performs at the sold out Staples Center right before a far more intimate, Hollywood High School Auditorium (capacity: 1700) gig.

All tickets were snapped up for the latter in less than a minute. Fans are shown sporting their tribute tats and speaking about the effect his music has had on their lives.

"Viva Mexico. I'll never forget my alma mater," says the singer, before launching a great 19-song set, with (what else?) "Alma Matters" and other tunes he doesn't play too often.

"Ouija Board, Ouija Board" is driven by Jesse Tobias' careering guitar lines, while the slow building rocker "Irish Blood, English Heart" and "November Spawned a Monster" come across as intense as ever here.

Morrissey reaches out to shake hands with concertgoers (including a 9-year-old boy, who eventually gets onstage and is held by him) throughout and gives the microphone over a few times to them.

Crowd shots are ample, but the focus is primarily on the top notch band, including longtime guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Boz Boorer. A constant back and forth between a fish eye camera angle that frames Moz from below is only a minor distraction.

The dramatically elegant take on The Smiths' "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," utilizing mainly soft electric guitar and piano, is simply breathtaking and worth the film ticket price alone. His version of Frankie Valli's "To Give (The Reason I Live)" is also touching.

Elsewhere, "Still Ill," "You're The One For Me, Fatty" (where Moz shakes maracas), the austere grandeur of "Everyday is Like Sunday," the disturbing "Meat is Murder" (the singer kneels down on the floor) and "Speedway" are among the other highlights.

Finally, the singer strips off his shirt and tosses it to fans amid show closer "Let Me Kiss You" and the usual stage crashers break through on "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side."

See the official Morrissey 25: Live From Hollywood High trailer here: 
Get theater listings and ticket information here:

Full show/DVD Track Listing:

1) Alma Matters
2) Ouija Board, Ouija Board
3) Irish Blood, English Heart
4) You Have Killed Me
5) November Spawned A Monster
6) Maladjusted
7) You’re The One For Me Fatty
8) Still Ill
9) People Are The Same Everywhere
10) Speedway
11) That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
12) To Give Is The Reason I Live
13) Meat Is Murder
14) Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
15) Action Is My Middle Name
16) Everyday Is Like Sunday
17) I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
18) Let Me Kiss You
19) The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

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