As the line for the sold-out, highly anticipated “Evening With Morrissey” at the Boulder Theater snaked around the block, one could not help but notice an ambulance parked directly in front of the entrance. While much of the general age of the show’s crowd inevitably matched that of the 57-year-old singer they’d come to see, the emergency vehicle seemed out of place, more appropriate for the sidelines of a football game than for a performance of the recondite crooner. Upon entering the venue, fans were confronted with a fifteen-foot bewildered visage of Carl Dreyer’s Joan of Arc elegantly draped on stage, a long ordained symbol in Morrissey lore. Meanwhile a playlist seemingly informed by the pages of the famed-Brit’s recent autobiography issued from the loudspeakers, decorating the dim theater with a heritage of thoughtful defiance.
It wasn’t until twenty minutes past the official start time that Moz himself appeared on stage, conspicuously alone. Visibly distressed, the singer soberly addressed the crowd with news that keyboardist Gustavo A. Manzur Jr. had suddenly collapsed backstage and was currently being hospitalized nearby.
“We are family. We stay together. And we cannot move until we know what has happened to him," Morrissey said, asking the crowd to wait. Facing an indefinite downtime, a sea of phone screens lit up the near-dark ambience. But the audience did not have to wait long. At 9:40 p.m., guitarist Jesse Tobias announced the show had been canceled, as the state of Manzur’s condition remained unknown.
Exiting the venue, disappointed fans congested in groups on the sidewalk. While many acted visibly compassionate to the uncertainty of the situation, others were not shy in expressing their casual contempt. Their weariness was not entirely unfounded, since the singer is almost as famous for canceling his concerts under capricious circumstances as he is for his darkly funny melancholia. There have also been less-than-capricious circumstances, such as when Morrissey was undergoing treatment for stomach cancer in 2014. Whatever conditions determined past cancellations, it was clear that tonight’s disappointment was unplanned and unanticipated. And the ambulance that had been parked out front had disappeared into the night.
Refunds for last night's show are available at point of purchase. The concert has not been rescheduled as of this writing.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.