9 October 2004|
Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY
First Of The Gang To DieMorrissey was in fine form and in excellent spirits, the sound of the venue was excellent, the New York crowd was appreciative, but perhaps a bit underwhelmed on this first of two consecutive dates at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Security was very strict, to the point where one security man was mocked by Morrissey for being too rough (read further). Therefore only a few fans managed to make it on stage. One of them humped Morrissey, making him miss a few words. An oddity: a groom and bride went to the concert and left afterwards in a limousine!
Morrissey played 18 songs on this date, which means that the lucky New Yorkers were treated to one more than the tour standard. "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" was temporarily dropped and replaced by setlist part-timers "Rubber Ring" and "Now My Heart Is Full".
As the "Imperfect List" intro was played, the Vegas style backdrop of letters spelling out Morrissey's name rose behind the band's gear on an hydraulic lift in very dramatic fashion. This was the only place on the tour where the backdrop appeared this way. Following this Morrissey and his musicians entered stage and the singer greeted the audience with "Welcome to the Music Hall! For tonight this is my living room..." After set opener "First Of The Gang To Die" he added "Thank you for driving yourself along... you'll regret it!" After "Bigmouth Strikes Again" he said something that would find itself in his song "You Have Killed Me" two years later: "So, who the hell am I that I come to be here... I don't know, surely a loaded question..."
Besides the numerous usual lyric changes in "November Spawned A Monster" Morrissey made the song more personal by singing "could you even bear to kiss me full on the mouth" and "I'm just so ugly". He also sang "because it's the closest you will get to love, I should know, I should know..." During the song's bridge he fell to the floor and mimiced the incapacitated subject of the song. After the song he teased "So yes, as you can tell, it's gonna be that kind of a night (crowd cheers)... which means what exactly? Nobody knows..." He then chatted briefly with his favourite fan: "How are you Julia? Julia, an honoured guest, always..." Then "I Like You" was introduced with the line "We've managed to release an album called 'The Revenge Of The Unloved' - I'm sorry, 'You Are The Quarry' and... and from 'You Are The Quarry', strange to imagine, 'I Like You'..."
Elections were coming up in the States so every night on this stretch of the tour Morrissey had a few political comments to make and on this date this came in the introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores": "So of course, the message to the world is laughably simple: Dick Cheney no. Laura Bush no. Donald Bumsfelt no. The world is full of crashing bores yes!". After the song Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of his musicians: "There's absolutely nothing I don't know about... well prison, really... Would you please say hello to the lights of my life, beginning with, of course, Boz Boorer... the two and only, Gary Day... and banging away at the back, the mighty Deano!... and beyond belief, Jesse Tobias... and a man of many parts, some of them are real, Mikey V Farrell... and I'm just a poofy face! Joke!"
During the outro to "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" Morrissey sang to someone in the audience "Hello... hello... hello my man!... hello... hello..." He has always loved playing venues where his heroes had performed at before and he was surely proud to be playing the infamous Radio City Music Hall. However before going into "Let Me Kiss You" he jokingly pretended otherwise: "I'm not really intimidated by the venue, I mean, I know that Bob Hope stood here and things like that but, no I don't care about things like that really. The only thing I'm intimidated by are curtains... somebody laughed and spoiled our mood..."
After "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey had his customary chit-chat about American television: "When I was in Boston I felt obliged to tell people that I never thought Cheers was funny (crowd laughs)... and when I was in Philadelphia I felt morally obligated to tell people that I thought the Cosby show was crap (crowd laughs)... so therefore what do I find funny? I'm glad you asked. The American tv show that makes me... ooowwww... is Unsolved Mysteries, do you know that? I've actually written to Robert Stack but... he's dead so he hasn't replied... so that's me!"
In "I Have Forgiven Jesus" Morrissey changed various occurrences of the question "do you hate me?" to the statements "I know you hate me", "because you hate me" and "all because you hate me". The Smiths classic "How Soon Is Now?" was introduced with "When this song first came out, surprisingly, we had some degree of opposition and certainly in England nobody played it and in the US everybody said that (takes on funny American accent) 'Oh my God! It's so depressing!'... which of course it is, they missed the point! What's up about being happy? It doesn't bring you peace of mind..." The latter crowd favourite was obviously extremely well received and Morrissey acknowledged this with the words "My belly is full of gratitude, believe me..."
"The Never Played Symphonies" was introduced with the line "So, when you are basically, truthfully, a drab person and when you are reasonably unattractive, what do you do? You climb on the stage of Radio City Music Hall and you sing a song like this..." After the song Morrissey emotionally said "Thank you for indulging me... Millions wouldn't, and don't." He then teasingly asked the audience "So you're not itching to run off home yet are you? Because this is just another hometown Saturday night, really, I mean it. It could be Louisville Kentucky, it really could... No it couldn't, just kidding... don't be offended..."
The b-side "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" was introduced with "It's absolutely up to you but my advice is: don't make fun of daddy's voice..." After the song Morrissey discussed his opening artist: "We hope those of you who caught Damien Dempsey enjoyed him... However, he's not vegetarian... But, if it kills him - I mean if it kills me... well that's something difficult isn't it?... (takes on Irish accent) I'll have to kick the holy bejaysus out of him, to make him vegetarian! Oh I see, you are not vegetarian! It's disgusting!..."
Besides the usual lyrics changes in "Now My Heart Is Full" Morrissey also sang "just some rain-coated lovers Everly brothers". Further in the song a fan was roughly tackled by security and seeing this Morrissey sarcastically shouted between two lines "No happiness at Radio City!". Then another fan was successful and Morrissey shouted "Oh my God!" in an excited little girl's voice. He actually adlibbed in that voice almost until the end. Then after the song he sarcastically added "Now don't forget Bob Hope walked on this stage, it's very hallowed ground so, no smiling, no happiness, no touching!... (roars) This is Radio City!"
After "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" which sounded fine to almost everyone in the audience Morrissey said "So the microphone wasn't in tune to the beginning of that song, it wasn't me." He then said "It's nice to see many NYD t-shirts... NYD? No? NYD? Boz... What? Tell me..." By NYD he was of course referring to his beloved New York Dolls. During "Everyday Is Like Sunday" another fan made it on stage and was rewarded between two lines with a "thank you, God bless you" from Morrissey. After the song the singer answered someone's request with "Did you say 'Hand In Glove'? Anything but that, surely, anything but that surely, anything but that surely, surely, surely..."
When coming back on stage before the encore Morrissey and the Lads formed a line at the front, arms around each other, and bowed before everyone took their respective position. Then Morrissey delivered his usual emotional and ominous goodbyes: "So is this goodbye or is it farewell? Remember me in your prayers, if you say them... I pray for you, it's only fair... thank you for listening..." Boz's guitar gave up early in "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" so he had to swap it for another one. Seeing this Morrissey giggled and asked "Why so quiet?" Thinking the question was aimed at them, the audience cheered, but Morrissey corrected "I meant me, not you... (pointing to Boz) that's why..." Shortly after this he extended a line to "and I'm welcome no more, God knows... Jesse!"
The existence of a second audience recording is rumoured, but this may just be the 'remastered' version mentioned above.
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