6 May 2004|
Apollo Theater, New York, NY
First Of The Gang To DieAfter a break of one day Morrissey resumed his five-date residency at New York's Apollo Theater. This "third installment" went down even better than the previous two. Morrissey was a bit less talkative, but in an excellent mood and the audience was almost as energetic as the Southern California crowds. The fans danced and sang along loudly, but unfortunately none of them managed to make it on stage. Morrissey thanked them by sending not one, but two of his shirts into the crowd.
There were quite a few changes in the setlist for the benefit of fans who bought tickets for more than one show. "Hand In Glove" was replaced by "Shoplifters Of The World Unite", but not in the encore position as would have been expected. "I Like You" and "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" were dropped and replaced by part-timers "Now My Heart Is Full" and "I Have Forgiven Jesus". "Rubber Ring" was handwritten on the setlist as a possible second encore, but it wasn't played. The song had never been performed by Morrissey solo before, but it was about to make its live debut two days later on the final date of the Apollo residency.
"I'm Jackie Wilson, this is the Apollo, you are the Quarry..." were Morrissey's first words as he took the stage. After set opener "First Of The Gang To Die" he extended his greeting with "Welcome to your third installment..." After crowd favourite "Hairdresser On Fire" he announced "I'd like to say that despite massive discouragement we have released a new cd and it's called 'A Fate Worse Than Life'." Because a female fan in the front row was acting like a metalhead Morrissey asked her after "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?": "Oh stop that! I suppose you're a Smelly Osbourne fan... I love Kelly Osbourne, (giggles) I really do... No I don't..."
Future b-side "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" was introduced with the line "This is an even newer song, and it's called 'Don't Make Fun Of Me Because I'm So Fat' - it's called 'Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice'." After the song Morrissey thanked his favourite fan and answered shouts from others in the audience: "Thank you Julia... Yes! What? Okay... you'll regret it though, you'll regret it, you'll regret it in later life, you will..." The Smiths classic "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" was performed unusually early in the set (it's usually slotted as an encore) and after it Morrissey apologized "Sorry I have a really bad chest..."
Because this concert took place on a Thursday, Morrissey changed a line in "Everyday Is Like Sunday" to "everyday is like... (pregnant pause) Thursday". After "Now My Heart Is Full" he proceeded with the customary introduction of the band: "Could I please introduce you to the Harlem Dolls? Almost in the wings, Boz... never in the wings, Gary... a drummer who has wings, Deano... and wings wings wings wings, Alain... and wings wings wings wings, Mikey..." After "All The Lazy Dykes" he announced "That song was called 'All The Lazy Dykes' and it's from 'A Fate Worse Than Life' which is the new - as you know - cd, album, long player, however you wish to call it... (fan shouts something) How do you wish to call it? (Morrissey mocks the person by making funny noises) What? Fab? Crap? I don't know what they're saying Julia... Is it interesting? (crowd laughs) No, really? So why do you want to ask me something that's not really interesting?"
During the line "written words on paper, can you write?" in "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey pulled fan letters out of his pocket to illustrate what he was talking about. Then after the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" he asked "why are you smiling?". After the song he said "And maybe to keep your brains between your legs isn't really such a bad thing... maybe I'm just a slow learner... but at least I admit it... I suppose..." After "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday", he jokingly announced "We're ready for Shea Stadium tomorrow! It will be completely empty but we'll be there..." He then turned to a fan in the front row and said very quickly "Of course Jim, the 80s, it's pathetic, pathetic, pathetic, a cover version, you don't know, you've forgotten... Your hair? You know you have to cut your hair tomorrow, I beg you, I'll pay you, let me do it, let me do it, I have a blowtorch..."
Over the opening notes of "Jack The Ripper" Morrissey replied to someone in the audience "Oh it's alright, we know you're clever..." After the song he said "Thank you for clapping", then after "I'm Not Sorry" he added "Somebody at the back didn't clap, I feel really embarrassed... Kidding! Kidding! Sort of..." Over the opening notes to "Irish Blood, English Heart" he told someone in the audience "I saw you on the Price Is Right."
When he returned to the stage for the encore Morrissey started by saying "I now have a night job at Radio Shack and I'm due back in half an hour but before we go, please you must remember..." Then at the end of his vocal part in encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", as he was saying his goodbyes, his thank you's and his I love you's, the crowd gave him a standing ovation, which prompted him to say "No need to stand, really!" The return of that song as an encore also meant the return of its extended outro during which each band member stopped playing and left the stage one after the other, until there was only keyboard player Michael Farrell left. So gradually the song was stripped from its instruments one by one until the only thing left was the 'violin' melody line played on the keyboard.
There is a second audience recording out there. It is not commonly circulated and its quality is unknown.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.