17 July 2004|
Blue Jam Sessions, House Of Blues, Chicago, IL, USA
Let Me Kiss YouAfter a month and a half playing festivals across Europe Morrissey crossed the Atlantic for the Blue Jam Sessions weekend in Chicago, a festival aiming at raising money and awareness for music education programmes in America's (and particularly Chicago's) public schools. Guitarist Jesse Tobias took over from Lil' Barrie who had been filling in Alain Whyte's shoes for a month. Morrissey was talkative and in a great mood.
The setlist was very similar to the ones from the recent European dates, but it was completely resequenced and in the process the more obscure cover of Raymonde's "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" was replaced by the crowd favourite "Jack The Ripper".
After "Shakespeare's Sister" Morrissey greeted his audience with "I'm glad to see you're all still alive... I am what's left of Morrissey..." After "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" he joked "I can't continue, I'm too happy... goodbye!" Following "Jack The Ripper" he asked "Would you please give a wail of encouragement to our new guitarist Jesse..." In "I'm Not Sorry" he changed a few lines to "when will this cold heart stop beating" and "there's a wild man in my head, believe me".
Morrissey introduced the current single "First Of The Gang To Die" with a dedication to the New York Dolls' Arthur 'Killer' Kane who had passed away just a few days earlier: "If such a thing is possible or permissible I would like to dedicate our appearance here tonight to a very good friend of ours who died this week, his name is Arthur Harold Kane Junior and (crowd cheers)... he was a very lovely person and he died very suddenly and he was the bass player in... (Morrissey waits a few seconds for the audience to answer) the New York Dolls... and he was the fourth of the gang to die, so... Arthur, wherever you are, may God or somebody incredibly similar bless you..."
Before going into "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" Morrissey enquired "Have any of you seen Farenheit 911? (mix of cheers and boos) And when you boo it means what? Does it mean you don't like Farenheit 911? (more mixed responses) I mean is anybody in this room actually gonna vote for George W Bush? (mixed responses) No? Do you think anybody in America will vote for George W Bush? But they did the last time? And... I know it's too much of a simple statement to say that he's brought so much shame to America, moreso than any other person in the history of this country and (crowd cheers)... If you know anybody at all who's gonna vote for George W Bush, I beg you, drug them on the day of the election, bla-bla-bla-bla! Maestro!"
After "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of the band: "Would you please say hello to the teenage dads... Here, of course, is Boz... and here is Gary... and playing the very very first instrument ever is Deano... and here is the wonderful Jesse... and a man of many many parts, Mikey..." Morrissey mentioned that he was happy to be in Chicago, even though it was the birthplace of McDonald's. When someone argued that it wasn't, he insisted "Yes it is... yes it is!" He handed the microphone to a fan in the front row to ask her if she knew where South Bend Indiana was because a show was being scheduled there for the autumn.
At some point Morrissey had a jab at the lack of success of his newest album "You Are The Quarry" in America. He said the album "reached #1 in many countries... of which this is not one." He went on to say "Oh, well... you have your preferences... the feeling is mutual..." When he returned to the stage for the encore his final words were "I'll see you along life's rather pathetic rocky road..." There was one failed and one successful attempt to make it on stage during the encore.
The concert was filmed, but it is unclear whether this was for Morrissey himself or for the festival. The footage has yet to be released, broadcast or leaked. Eleven songs ("Shakespeare's Sister", "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?", "Jack The Ripper", "Rubber Ring", "I'm Not Sorry", "First Of The Gang To Die", "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday", "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores", "I Have Forgiven Jesus", "The Headmaster Ritual" and "Irish Blood, English Heart") were broadcast on Chicago's WXRT radio the week after the concert. This audio was also webcast.
Also out there is an audience recording of 32 minutes from this concert. This is not circulated much at this point in time.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.