The Millennium Square provided an incredible venue for the concert and the venue itself was a sight to behold. The beautiful architecture and the setting sun created a breathtaking backdrop – I had to remind myself on more than one occasion I was there to photograph the live music and not the scenery. Being surrounded by such stunning visuals while enjoying live music was a truly special experience.
Kicking off the evening with a burst of infectious energy was The Lottery Winners. Known for their catchy melodies and witty banter, they set the tone for an unforgettable night. Throughout their set, it was evident that they held Morrissey in high regard, considering him one of their idols. Their talent and genuine appreciation for the opportunity to open a show for one of their idols was evident, and it was clear that they were relishing every moment on that stage. However, it was during their rendition of “A Letter to Myself” that a powerful emotional connection was forged. As they belted out the lyrics, “You’re gonna find films – And the songs of The Smiths – And that whole universe – For you to exist – It’s gonna teach you – Others feel the same way” the impact was profound, resonating with many in the crowd, myself included. It was a moving moment that underscored the profound influence of music. Witnessing their dreams unfold on stage, I couldn’t help but be moved to tears—a sentiment shared by many in the audience. The Lottery Winners’ heartfelt connection with Morrissey’s music and the way they conveyed that passion on stage made their performance all the more memorable and meaningful. I am grateful to have witnessed their set and to have been touched by the emotions they evoked. Their presence added an extra layer of magic to an already unforgettable evening.
Next up, The Slow Readers Club took the stage, and it was my first time experiencing their music. Hailing from Manchester, just like myself and the legendary Morrissey, The Slow Readers Club brought their signature blend of uplifting post punk/alt-rock music to the stage. From the moment they started playing, it was evident (and so lovely to see) that this Manchester-based band had a dedicated following, with many of their fans eagerly crowding the venue to show their support. As soon as the first note rang out, a wave of excitement swept through the audience, and it was clear that many attendees were familiar with The Slow Readers Club’s discography. The sight of so many fans joyfully singing along to every lyric was infectious, creating an uplifting and communal experience that added an extra dimension to the performance. While their genre may not have been my personal preference, I couldn’t deny the band’s talent and their ability to create a captivating live experience.
Finally, Morrissey took the stage, and the atmosphere crackled with fervour. His commanding presence and iconic voice filled the square, captivating everyone in attendance. Morrissey’s distinct baritone voice resonated through the venue as he opened the set with my personal favourite “How Soon Is Now?” immediately captivating the audience. His stage presence was magnetic, commanding attention with every movement. The crowd eagerly sang along to classics such as “Irish Blood, English Heart” and “Half a Person”, displaying their unwavering loyalty to the Manchester icon. Despite only playing 18 songs. Each song was meticulously chosen, showcasing the artist’s talent and stage presence. It was a testament to the fact that quality triumphs over quantity. From the very first note, his performance exuded passion and artistry, drawing the audience into his world of poetic lyricism and raw emotion. The crowd swayed, sang along, and connected with the music and each other on a profound level. Even though Morrissey’s music may not typically be my cup of tea, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the concert. The energy in the crowd was contagious, and I found myself captivated by his performance from start to finish.
Reflecting on the night, I can’t help but feel grateful for taking the leap and attending this concert. Being someone who typically doesn’t gravitate towards his style of music, I entered this gig with a mixture of curiosity and uncertainty. I never expected to witness a live Morrissey concert, as it isn’t typically my kind of crowd. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the experience. Morrissey’s stage presence and distinctive voice created an enthralling atmosphere that transcended any preconceived notions I had. The crowd’s enthusiasm was contagious, and I found myself fully immersed in the music, embracing the unexpected joy of the performance. Morrissey and his skilful band’s performance was a testament to the transformative power of live music. It reminded me that sometimes, embracing the unexpected can lead to extraordinary experiences. And in this case, it allowed me to appreciate the artistry and brilliance of an artist I never thought I would connect with.
Words and Photos by Ellie Dawson