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The Moz. The Godfather of Brit-Pop. The Pope of Mope. Morrissey‘s the kind of guy who inspires some pretty strong feelings—-and they’re not always positive. But to many in the capacity crowd at Strathmore Music Center last night, it was like they were standing at some sacred altar.

Fans handed him gifts. Hands reached out to touch him as he crossed the stage. At least two young men jumped up to hug him (which he did cheerfully, not missing a single note). Stripping off his shirt at one point and tossing it to the crowd like an indie-pop Tom Jones, Morrissey showed that, at 53, he hasn’t let himself go. His voice sounded up to the task, too—-a baritone nearly as flexible as it was at The Smiths’ creative peak.

His vocal dexterity was never more apparent than when he delivered the sadly beautiful “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,” almost a capella, prompting many around me to lose control of their tear ducts. He followed that delicate number with his famously intense “Meat is Murder,” which he paired with “Meet Your Meat,” a brutal video of animals being slaughtered for human consumption. He wrapped up his 90-minute set with an encore of, naturally, “How Soon is Now.” It served as a reminder of how his sound and influence have held fast for as long as they have.

See photos from the show in the gallery.

Everyday is Like Sunday
Action is My Middle Name
You Have Killed Me
I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Ouija Board
Black Cloud
Still Ill
Alma Matters
I Know It’s Over
Let Me Kiss You
People Are the Same Everywhere
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
Please, Please…..
Meat is Murder

Encore: How Soon is Now

The original version of this post misidentified Morrissey’s age. He’s 53, not 54.