It's Morrissey's world
It feels like I've waited all my life to see Morrissey live, and I guess that's kind of true if you take in to account the fact that I'm only 23.
Now calm down all you older fans, I know you love to torment the fresh meat with slurs like - 'Oh, you won't know this one, it's well before your time' - but that's just not the case.
My first introduction to the legend was through a mumbled word from the big mouth of Russell Brand. He was rambling on about his cat and how he named it after his hero who was the master of melancholy melodies. My ears pricked up at this so the next day I went to Borders and purchased my first ever Morrissey CD. From the first note of "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" my world changed and I've been a member of the Moz Army ever since.
I had that CD on repeat in my car, on my iPod, on my stereo and when there were no speakers available his lyrics curdled around in my head and made me feel both happy and sad at the same time.
I can officially say that I was (am) obsessed with this man. So when a picture of Morrissey appeared on Stuff.co.nz with the headline "Morrissey confirms NZ gigs", a surge of hysteria pulsed through me and I almost lost the plot right there in front of all my co-workers. With shaking hands I text my boyfriend four of the most beautiful words I will ever write: "Morrissey's coming to NZ". I received an almost instant reply: "Who?"
So I was going - alone - to experience the only thing I had ever truly wanted in my life: To see Morrissey live.
And I wasn't the only one. When I arrived at Vector Arena there were about 15 people already there. I wasn't expecting anyone to be honest, it was only 3pm. I smiled at the fruit salad of people sitting in front of me - bought together by honest lyrics and a stuff-what-anyone-else-thinks attitude.
One person was following Morrissey around on his world tour, someone had ditched work for the day to line up early and another had flown from Germany to apologise for an incident at an earlier gig. I know it's a cliché but the air really was buzzing with excitement. We exchanged Moz anecdotes, quotes, pictures and if anyone went off topic it was quickly stubbed out and we were back on target.
As more and more people lined up the atmosphere intensified. Every second t-shirt had his handsome mug on it, every other arm had his named inked on to it.
Lining up in the sun for four hours was definitely worth the wait. I was second row back with a clear view of the stage. When the lights went down the time had finally arrived. He meandered on stage with his band and they bowed before the cheers and chants of the adoring crowd. The hum of "Shoplifters Of The World" carried through the audience. It took a while for the awe to wear off but once it did we sung Morrissey's lyrics back to him, with an appreciation that is impossible to describe.
The standout moment for me was when he began to sing "Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want". It was just Morrissey and I, in his lounge and he was pouring his heart out just to me. The only sound connecting to my brain was his sweet voice which gave me permission to let my emotions free. Tears trickled down my face and I'm betting they were matched by others in the crowd.
The rest of the night is like a dream now. My photos are much the same. Blurry, faded images that you really have to look at to see what's going on. But you can tell they are of someone who has shaped the lives of many and left lasting marks on the hearts of more than one generation.
My next up-close-and personal with Morrissey will probably be when he releases his auto-biography. No doubt I will pour over it as I have done his music. The release date was scheduled for December 2012 but I am still waiting. I'm not sure the day will ever come, although I said the same about Morrissey coming to New Zealand.