9 August 2002|
Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I WantMorrissey's first date on this tour with no name was a success. The fans were ecstatic, and many tried their best to make it on stage and touch their idol. One of them even caused sound problems when he tackled sound equipment in his rush to make it up before security could get to him. Having no new album to promote Morrissey didn't know what to expect and he even commented at some point about not knowing if people would show up. He and the band did look a bit nervous at times, but they still gave a great show.
This being the first date of the tour, the fans also didn't know what to expect. They were treated to three new compositions that had yet to be released ("First Of The Gang To Die", "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" and "Mexico"), three Smiths-era numbers never performed by Morrissey in his solo years ("Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want", "I Want The One I Can't Have" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out") and a few solo songs ("At Amber", "Little Man, What Now?") that had never been played in front of an audience. Because there was no new album to promote he returned to an album that had never been toured and played four songs from his debut "Viva Hate" as well as two b-sides from that era. Actually if it had been played in full as planned the set would have featured another song from "Viva Hate", "Late Night, Maudlin Street" and another new composition, "I Like You", as well as "Glamorous Glue". The former two titles would be added to the set the following night, but the latter would not be played ever on this tour.
After the new walk on intro - Betjeman's "A Child Ill" followed by the sound of church bells - Morrissey greeted his fans "Good evening Wichita!". The first number of the evening was a very rocking version of "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" with the slightly changed chorus line of "let me have who I want this time". Clocking in at 2 minutes, it was over before most fans got over their surprise and the shock of having Morrissey in front of them. Unfortunately this was to be the final performance of this title on this tour. The song would only make the setlist again late in 2006.
After that Morrissey exclaimed "I'm still alive! Boz's alive!" before going into "Jack The Ripper", performed for the first time since the 1995 Boxers tour. Next on the setlist was "At Amber" which had never been done by Morrissey before and hasn't been since. A few lines into the song Morrissey exclaimed "This microphone is off-key!" Whether because of that or because he had forgotten some lyrics, many lines further down into the song were only hummed. In the second occurrence of the chorus Morrissey changed a line to "If I had your limbs for a day, Christ! I'd steam away".
After the song Morrissey self deprecatingly joked "I really thought that by now you all would have just moved on... (crowd: NO!) but there's still time!". The next numbers were "Alsatian Cousin" and "Little Man, What Now?" and the first segued into the second the way they do at the beginning of the "Viva Hate" album. In the latter of those two titles Morrissey changed "down to a few lines in the back page of a fading annual" to "back to the mean melancholy streets that you came from".
The debuting "I Want The One I Can't Have" was introduced with the words "This song is just before... I forget..." Next up was "Hairdresser On Fire" and it was done with all the lyrical changes introduced on the Oye Esteban tour. More specifically Morrissey sang "home of the crass, outrageous and free" and "I am depressed, but I'm remarkably dressed, and that all I need", the latter change only an occasional one on the latter tour. However, Morrissey adapted the first line to the city he was in: "Where is Phoenix? Jesus! I'm in Phoenix... is it home of the free..."
After the latter title Morrissey joked "I'm sure you think we're Blink 182... but we're not! Maybe one day..." It was at this point that he introduced the first of the three new compositions that would be debuted on this date: "This is a new song... which none of you will listen to... and it's hot off the (?) and it's called... it's definitely called... it's called... it's called... (articulates) 'The First Of The Gang To Die'..." After just four bars someone made a mistake and the band stopped. Morrissey joked "That's a very short song..." A few words were exchanged with the sound guy then Morrissey said "If we get to play this song, it's called 'The First Of The Gang To Die', 'The First Of The Gang To Die', 'The First Of The Gang To Die'!".
They finally managed to play it and during its closing bars Morrissey asked someone "what's your name?". After its performance, surprised at the audience's positive reaction, he asked "Now did you really hear that song? Did you? You're not just being nice?... Did anybody not like it?... Boz, are you okay?" He then proceeded to introduce another new composition: "This is another new song - you don't get away too lightly - it's called 'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores'." This early live version had minor lyrical and musical differences to the version that would be recorded and released two years later on "You Are The Quarry", but nothing major. After that Morrissey explained "That song was called 'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores' and... it really covers my... personal interest in... love making and... (crowd laughs) so... which isn't meant to be funny, but... (someone cracks a joke) Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Tucson! Humour!".
Next up on the setlist was "Everyday Is Like Sunday" and Morrissey introduced it with the line "This song is about Flagstaff... which is where I was born... which accounts for the fact that I have leather skin... (fans boo) Tucson humour..." The song was returning to the set for the first time since the Your Arsenal tour and was done slower, with Boz on a banjo. Morrissey wasn't very happy with its performance and followed it with the comment "It's the microphone that's off key, it isn't me... I swear... We're trying, we're trying, God knows..."
Another new song, this one called "I Like You", was next on the setlist, but it was skipped and the band went straight into "Suedehead" which had more or less been absent from Morrissey's setlist since the Your Arsenal tour, bar a few dates in Japan in 1995. In it Morrissey changed a line to "it was just to see, just to see all the crap you knew I'd written about you". After the song he sarcastically announced "Tomorrow before we go to Tuxson, Tucson, Tuxson... we go shopping in Fashion Square, because... obviously, we need to buy some fashion, and erm..."
"Sister I'm A Poet" was next. It also hadn't been heard live since 1992, and was now performed closer its original studio arrangement instead of the rockabilly-ish arrangement from the 1991 and 1992 tours. Morrissey more or less still made the same lyric changes, but he also sang "sister I'm a... brother I'm a..." The musical arrangement of "Meat Is Murder" was slightly less dramatic than the one from the previous tour, but still very powerful. After the song Morrissey asked someone shouting at him "What would you like me to do? Which? Which?"
However, the following song had been planned, and it could not have been requested because it was the final of the three newly introduced composition: "Mexico". Just like the other two it had minor differences with the version that would be released two years down the road. Again Morrissey was apprehensive of the fans' appreciation and asked "Does it sound really terrible? (crowd: NO!) Are you sure? (crowd: Yeah!) Did it sound okay? Did it sound okay?".
There were no surprises in the live staple "November Spawned A Monster", Morrissey made most of the previously heard changes. He followed the song with the comment "Attentively, so patiently..." The final planned song of the main set was "Speedway" and for this new tour Morrissey reverted to the usual live arrangement, closer to the studio version and for the first time the opening lines of the song were sung, albeit very slowly, with a tension-building gap before the drum kicked in. Again lyrically there were a few changes, but nothing new.
On returning to the stage after a short break Morrissey introduced the encore with the line "We'd like to do a song in memory of the most important American who died 25 years ago, in the last 48 hours... and, this song is for him, and you know who he is... Or do you? No you don't know who he is?" The person he had in mind was of course Elvis Presley. The song dedicated to him was "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", a fan-favourite from the Smiths days which had never been done by Morrissey in his solo years. It was obviously very well received by the audience.
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