21 February 2000|
State Theater, Portland, ME
Billy BuddMorrissey was in top form, very talkative and theatrical. The crowd was also very enthusiastic. The fans reacted to their idol's every move and word, without being violent. Two or three of them made it on stage after being encouraged by Morrissey to "try harder... try harder..."
"Tomorrow", "Now My Heart Is Full" and "Lost" were temporarily dropped in favour of "November Spawned A Monster", "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" and "Reader Meet Author". It was the latter title's first airing in two weeks.
Morrissey's opening line as he came on stage was "Good evening Porthole!" As he delivered it he grimaced as if he was in pain. In set opener "Billy Budd" one line was changed from "so you think that you should" to "... that you could". However Morrissey didn't change the "12 years on" line the way he often did. After the song he welcomed his fans to "...our Arts and Crafts evening of cruelly gloomy songs". After "A Swallow On My Neck" he asked someone in the audience "Yeah? You missed the questions and answers time... what were you on?... you see you don't want to know anything..." In "November Spawned A Monster" a line was changed to "...kiss him full on the mouth". Near the end of that song Morrissey got on his knees in a very dramatic pose with his back to the crowd.
Before "Hairdresser On Fire" Morrissey asked "You didn't really expect us to sell out did you?" and followed this with undecipherable chatter with audience members. After the song he chatted with fanzine editor Julia Riley. He asked her where she stayed in Pittsburgh and said that he didn't go because she took his room! After "The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get" he enquired about the crowd's reception: "Is this really for me? (crowd "yeah!") Or are you confusing us with others?... Oh yes... we've heard you..."
After "Half A Person" Morrissey ranted "We'd like to now play another MTV favourite... but there hasn't been any!" After "Break Up The Family" he said "All I want to do is make you happy... this is the only way we know how... although I'm sure there are other ways... I wouldn't know about it, I've heard about it, I've read..." During this Boz was twanging his guitar, as if he was growing impatient, so Morrissey first made faces, then complied, saying "Yes Boz..."
In "Reader Meet Author" Morrissey sang "I'd be the first away because I'm that type" and followed the line "you don't know a thing about their lives" with the question "do you?". After singing "Have you ever escaped from a ship-wrecked life", he turned around and said "yes!", looking quite smug. More interestingly, for the first time ever he updated the "year 2000" line to "...it hasn't changed anyone here". After the song he said "Thank you for that round of applause..."
Because fans cheered as soon as they heard the opening notes to "I Can Have Both" Morrissey asked "How do you know this song?". After "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils" he mentioned something undecipherable about his t-shirt and, seeing blank stares, he added "That's British humour... we don't even understand it in England..." "Is It Really So Strange" was very well received by the audience, to the point where an apparently surprised Morrissey enquired "are you just being polite?". He then joked "When I coughed in the middle of the song, that was intentional, it's a new part that I slipped in". For a second time that night Boz was twanging his guitar as if to signify his impatience so Morrissey said to himself "shut up Morrissey... okay..."
Morrissey started to introduce "Meat Is Murder" with the line "This next song is about being suspended from a revolving chain..." This made some people laugh for some reason so the man asked "Why is it funny? Why is that funny?... Why is that funny?". After the song he added "And for some reason that didn't make it into the VH1 Top 100 songs of all time because that chart was taken with people like Elton John, you know, real critical people who changed the world... let's not hear it for VH1..." At this point Alain wanted to say something, but he was cut off before even starting by Morrissey saying "...too late!". After "Boxers" Alain finally got to say his bit: "About MTV, that chart isn't funny anymore, that's all I wanted to say" to which Morrissey added "I think I'm supposed to laugh at that... but..."
"That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" was actually heard soundchecked but was not played here or anywhere else on this tour. To this date it has yet to be performed live by Morrissey without the Smiths.
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