OG emo crooner Morrissey is coming back to the Bay Area this fall, and he's the first semi-major musical act to be announced at the Castro Theatre amid its transformation into a live-performance venue at the hands of Another Planet Entertainment.
Another Planet announced the November 19 Morrissey show Tuesday morning, with ticket pre-sales beginning Thursday, September 22. The all-ages show will be a seated concert, given that the Castro still has all its seats, and ticket prices are set between $85 and $115 for reserved seats.
This will be Morrissey's first local show since he's seemingly taken a turn for the conservative and racist — supporting Brexit and backing a far-right party called For Britain, and criticizing London's Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan saying he "cannot talk properly." His transformation into a prejudiced, anti-immigrant old grump was even lampooned by The Simpsons last year.
Also, Morrissey fans in the Bay Area know all too well that the singer has had a penchant for canceling shows here in the last two decades — something that has happened multiple times, due to "illness" and other excuses. Morrissey has tended not to cancel shows so readily in San Jose or Los Angeles, where he may have a stronger fan base at this point — especially among the Mexican American community, who have long loved Morrissey and The Smiths.
But hopefully that won't happen this time, and the scheduling of the show at the Castro indicates that Morrissey's management may not be trying to sell out larger venues in the Bay Area anymore.
Morrissey played the larger Paramount Theater in Oakland in 2009, and infamously, after playing a show in San Jose in July 2015, Morrissey spoke out about allegedly being groped by a TSA agent at SFO. The singer claimed that the TSA agent approached him while he was gathering his things from the scanner trays and randomly crouched down and touched his junk.
"Should you find yourself traveling through San Francisco International Airport, you should expect sexual abuse from the so-called 'security officers' who, we are unconvincingly warned, are acting only for our security," Morrissey wrote online at the time.
The show at the Castro Theatre will be something of a test for Another Planet Entertainment and the neighborhood, as some residents have been vehemently opposed to allowing the theater to be converted into anything but the repertory movie house and occasional drag-show venue it has been for several decades. One major objection that still faces scrutiny by city agencies has to do with a proposal to remove all orchestra-level seating and create a series of tiered platforms for standing-room audiences — similar to what Another Planet did at the Fox in Oakland.
A community meeting in August about the proposals brought out a number of those opposed to changes to the theater, while others voiced support for Another Planet and fears that an even less cooperative, non-local operator could take their place if this deal falls through.
Look for tickets to the November Morrissey show here, through Ticketmaster. (Notably at the August meeting, APE senior vice president Mary Conde told the audience that the company had not "chosen the ticketing platform that we will use at this venue," with some objecting to any exclusive deal with Ticketmaster.)
Top image: Morrissey performs during the When We Were Young Festival 2017 at The Observatory on April 8, 2017 in Santa Ana, California. (Photo by Harmony Gerber/WireImage)