Morrissey's first show in St. Louis in a decade or so was special for many reasons. For starters, Affton native Kristeen Young opened the night with a PJ Harvey-meets-Diamanda Galas art-rock bang. Second, this gig coincided with the crooner's 48th birthday and as any rabid Moz fan will tell you, a Morrissey birthday show is a concert worth traveling to see, wherever it is. But perhaps most important, this sold-out Pageant show found Morrissey in tip-top musical form. His white-clad band injected jolts of energy into chestnuts from his Smiths days (a raucous, rocking "The Queen Is Dead," the uptempo sing-along "Panic") and solo songs from 2006's Ringleader of the Tormentors
. This electricity was matched only by Morrissey's voice, which hasn't sounded so strong and able in years whether revisiting his glam years ("You're Gonna Need Someone on Your Side") or dipping into his cheeky back catalog ("Girlfriend in a Coma"). In fact, such a dry sense of humor sample quip: "I have yet to find my thrill on Blueberry Hill. I'd say I have another two years" paradoxically helped the king of mope-rock reign over a fawning crowd.