Overzealous Morrissey fans ambushed the stage at his concert in San Diego on Saturday, forcing security to rush the singer off the stage but not before the 59-year-old was jostled by the mob as he was finishing an encore performance.
The English singer, in town for a sold-out solo concert at Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall downtown, was just wrapping up his encore — reportedly “Everyday Is Like Sunday” — when fans rushed the stage.
During the incident, initially reported by the tabloid news website TMZ on Sunday morning and described as an “attack,” one of the concertgoers appeared to have “struck him in the face” while onstage at the 2,200-seat venue.
A 34-second video posted on TMZ showed the singer still performing when concertgoers stormed the stage. A few seconds later, security personnel appeared, and chaos ensued.
The video showed the singer being rushed off the stage. He never returned, according to fans who posted about the incident on social media, forcing an abrupt end to the Saturday evening concert.
According to TMZ, one concertgoer was taken off the stage in a chokehold.
Though it was not immediately known Saturday night whether Morrissey was injured during the melee, his manager, Peter Katsis, posted a statement on the singer’s Facebook page Sunday morning that downplayed the incident.
“Nobody tried to punch M last night,” Katsis said. “Morrissey’s fans are not malicious. The fans were simply doing what they have been doing for almost 30 years. Trying anything they could do to jump onstage and touch him, or hug him. The fan in question was certainly more aggressive in reaching out for him than most, so security had to do their job and subdue the fan. That’s all it was. In the end no one was hurt, and no one was arrested.”
San Diego police had no record of any calls coming from Copley Symphony Hall on Saturday night, according to Officer Dino Delimitros.
Fans rushing the stage to hug the singer is commonplace at Morrissey concerts — so much so that it’s been called a rite of passage for many fans. In 2014, during a concert in San Jose, fans rushed the stage and an overeager fan appeared to have tackled the singer.
A 31-second video posted on YouTube — published early Sunday by user Tamago Sandwich — showed a different vantage point but confirmed the initial report. The user posted a comment: “Really, really annoying...Mozza stays cool throughout. RESPECT!”
The British singer, formerly the frontman for the English rock band the Smiths, is in the midst of a California tour that made stops in Ventura, Los Angeles and Long Beach before coming to San Diego on Saturday. His next scheduled concert is at the National Auditorium in Mexico City on Nov. 22 and 23. The last date on the tour is Dec. 15 at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile.
His 11th solo studio album, “Low in High School,” was released on Nov. 17 of last year.
On Nov. 1, he appeared with Joan Jett for a one-night-only concert at the Microsoft Theatre in downtown L.A. Four days later, on Nov. 5, he headlined the Tropicália Music & Taco Fest, held at the waterfront Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach.
San Diego Union-Tribune staff writers Andrew Dyer and Karen Kucher contributed to this report.