Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

Morrissey at Toyosu Pit 2023-11-28

On Tuesday, November 28th 2023, Lisa and I went to see Morrissey at Toyosu Pit.

A few months prior, I saw that Morrissey would be coming to Tokyo. I really have not been listening to any music for the past decade at least – really since I started work at Amazon, it just hasn’t fit into my daily routine. I’ve replaced a lot of music with podcasts, which is nice, but I do miss making time for listening to music. When I saw that Morrissey was coming, I impulsively bought two tickets – I know Lisa doesn’t know Morrissey well, but if there was a chance that we could go together, I wanted to do that. At worst I would throw away the extra ticket, no big deal.

I thought if I didn’t take this opportunity to see Morrissey, I might not ever be able to. Neither of us are getting any younger. Morrissey was a huge influence in my life. I was thinking the other day about my personal most influential musicians, and it turns out it’s a lot harder that I thought. I was pretty sure on a quick check that he would be top 3 for sure, at least in terms of retrospectively what I thought was important.

  1. Weird Al Yankovic
  2. They Might Be Giants
  3. Depeche Mode
  4. The Smiths
  5. Morrissey
  6. The Cure
  7. Nine Inch Nails
  8. U2
  9. New Order
  10. Front 242? Joy Division? The Violent Femmes? The Sugarcubes? Bjork? The Pixies?

So when I sit down to try to write up a top 10 like that, it is a lot harder than I imagined! That list definitely changes if I look at grad school, but certainly Weird Al and TMBG have to be up in the top. Then it’s a real toss up between Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Morrissey, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and U2. There’s a whole bunch of other bands trailing too!

At any rate, The Smiths and Morrissey were a large part of my musical foundation in high school and college. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him live – pretty sure I never had the chance. I really didn’t go to too many concerts in high school or college.

Year Album Song
1992 Your Arsenal We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful
1988 Viva Hate Suedehead
1997 Maladjusted Alma Matters
1991 Kill Uncle Our Frank
1987 (Smiths) Strangeways, Here We Come Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
2023* (Unreleased) Bonfire of Teenagers Sure Enough, The Telephone Rings
2017 Low in High School I Wish You Lonely
1984 (Smiths) Meat is Murder How Soon is Now?
1987 (Smiths) Strangeways, Here We Come Girlfriend in a Coma
2004 You Are the Quarry Irish Blood, English Heart
2004 Let Me Kiss You (single) Let Me Kiss You
1987 (Smiths) Louder Than Bombs Half a Person
1994 Vauxhall and I Speedway
1991 Sing Your Life The Loop
1984 (Smiths) Hatful of Hollow Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
1998 Everyday is like Sunday Everyday is like Sunday
1992 Certain People I Know Jack the Ripper
1995 (Smiths) Sweet and Tender Hooligan Sweet and Tender Hooligan

We got to the venue at about 18:30, the doors opened at 18:00 and show was supposed to start at 19:00. I was surprised – I expected just a general admission sort of thing, but there was a huge line outside the venue and they were using the standard admission by ticket number thing they do here. I think our tickets were like 550 or something, and they were up to 600, so we could just scoot right in. It still took us like 10 minutes to wind through the crowd and get through the door though. We stuffed our stuff into a locker – it was going to get hot, and we didn’t want to be wearing our jackets / I didn’t want to carry my work backpack. Then we found a place pretty close to the stage, an waited. The place really filled up – must have been about 3000 people – the capacity of the place is around that. All standing, no seats in the place at all. At about 19:00 some videos started up, and that went on until 19:40 when Morrissey and the band came out.

I was surprised at the crowd – I expected mostly older people like me, but there was a real range of ages. Lots of foreigners, so be expected, but still probably only around 30% or so. I saw some definite parent / child groups. Of course, there are going to be people that discover The Smiths / Morrissey in their youth too, but I was surprised – I feel like he was pretty niche back in the day. It got me thinking about people in high school that were into the Beatles or older bands at the time, it’s just kind of strange to think about how time just keeps passing.

The set list is above – I wouldn’t have thought to take notes except Jon Evans recently went to a Depeche Mode concert and had the set list. With 40 years of music I was also curious to see years would show up. I knew almost everything, except for Sure Enough, The Telephone Rings (from a recent album that was never released) and I Wish You Lonely from 2017 – I definitely don’t have that album. I have very few new albums post 2011.

Morrissey still sounded great to me, I’m sure people that have a better ear for music might have had something to say, but it was fun. I had to intentionally stop myself from singing along because I didn’t want to lose my voice, but I definitely was singing along. Lisa told me later that she listened to Morrissey on Amazon Music, and was really only well acquainted with We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful, which was “the most popular song of his on Amazon Music”. That was a bit of a surprise to me. She seemed to have a real good time too, dancing around to the songs.

He had a really good mix of songs from my point of view. Quite a few Smiths songs mixed in, which I had heard that he’s been doing for the past decade or so. Those were a big hit with the crowd. Morrissey was really active, moving around, talked a lot with the crowd. He talked a bit about going around Shibuya to different record stores – his favorite is Disk Union, Tower Records is ok, he did not like HMV. Lisa later told me how on twitter she had seen a lot of people tweeting about seeing Morrissey in record shops in Shibuya. He also talked about how people gave him clothes for his cat, as well as Vodka and Whiskey. And how his cat must be pretty drunk while being well-dressed.

There was only one song in the Encore, which surprised me, but it was lots of fun. The show was done by 21:30, or maybe a bit sooner. A good hour and half to two hours, totally worth the money.

After the show (getting out of there took a while!) we walked down to the Mitsui Garden Hotel’s Penthouse restaurant on the 38th floor with a great view. We had a really nice dinner (and definitely a bit too much wine – a bottle and two more glasses between the two of us) before heading home. This was the first time in six or seven years that we’ve seen a live show – we took Alan to an Owl City concert once, and the first time in at least 11 years since we’ve been out on a date night with just the two of us in Tokyo. Lisa’s parents were kind enough to take the kids in for the night – though Lisa did sleep at their place while I was on my own at our place!

Lots of fun, I’ve got to keep me eyes open for another chance to see some music that we like. Will repeat for sure!







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