Last night old Moz paid a visit to the Bay Area, and he didn't cancel the show or collapse on stage. That's the good news. Also for good news, he played a ton of old Smiths songs and seems to be keen on just giving the audience what it wants these days. The bad news is that The Paramount, while lovely, is a pretty shoddily run venue that can't even handle a not-sold-out show.
The walk into the Paramount is stunning, especially this time of year with the big Christmas tree in the center of the atrium, all the deco details lit up like they were just an elaborate part of the holiday cheer. This reviewer had seen a few shows there in the past decade, but not since long before the Fox Theater reopened up the street under the helm of Another Planet Entertainment. The Paramount is still beautiful inside, with an intense amount of wood carving that went into the walls and proscenium to create the bronze- and gold-leafed patterns rising up on all sides. But now that music fans have been spoiled by The Fox, The Paramount had better step up its game in terms of service.
The opening act, Doll & The Kicks, seemed talented but didn't sound so hot live -- sort of a strained, sloppy amalgam of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and No Doubt, with a lead singer whose vocal style owes a debt to Gwen Stefani. Also, the majority of Morrissey's fans didn't seem like they were in the mood for these guys, and mostly just lined up at the bars for beverages.