10 October 2004|
Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY
How Soon Is Now?The second of two consecutive dates in New York started off just as well as the first one. Morrissey was in a good mood, playful and talkative and the audience was appreciative but a little subdued at times. For many fans who attended, the most memorable part of the show was the way it ended. Seeing security being rough with fans who were trying to get on stage Morrissey left halfway into the encore of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" (read further for details).
As on the first night the New York crowd were treated to an 18-song setlist. "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" and "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" were replaced with "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" and "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel". The rest of the set was shuffled, with "How Soon Is Now?" returning to the opening spot.
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, formed a line at the front and bowed, then the singer greeted the audience with "Behold your smiling faces... it's beautiful to see you, thanks for turning up..." After set opener "How Soon Is Now?" he extended this with "Welcome to the second act of Richard III... which is me!" After "First Of The Gang To Die" he asked the audience "Are you sure you can bear another round? Yeah well then prove it!" He then looked around for his favourite fan: "Julia? Where? Julia? I feel safe now..."
"I Like You" was introduced with the line "We have a relatively new album which is called 'Somewhere There's A Someone' and it's hiding in Virgin Records on... Slime Square, whatever it's called... and this is a song - magically! magically! - lifted from the album... lifted... and it's called... Yeah? (shades his eyes) Why is everybody staring at me? Not fair! 'I Like You'!" In that song Morrissey changed a line to "No one I every knew or have spoken to resembles me - you!" He also replaced some occurrences of "I like you" to "I love you". Further into the song someone tried to hand Morrissey a record but was roughly pushed away by security until Morrissey told the bouncer "steady on, good God!" The bouncer was then advised by one of Morrissey's men to be more gentle.
The record was an old Nancy Sinatra one and after the latter song Morrissey looked around and announced "So, my good friend Nancy Sinatra is standing amongst you tonight. Nancy, where are you? Nancy where is you? Where? Where? Where? Ah, there you are... Yeah, I'm here! God bless Nancy..." Following the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" in "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey exclaimed "I do!". As an introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he said "And of course crashing bore of the day has to be, really has to be this whole pointless stupid story about Martha Stewart. I mean, does anybody care? Well... Who me? Who? What?"
After "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" Morrissey apologised by saying "I can also sing that song in tune..." American elections were coming up in the States so he then had his customary political rant of the evening: "And on the subject of Stewarts, my 'John Stewart For President' petition, now there's 61 signatures (crowd laughs)... so we're nearly there, John Stewart for president, don't forget... (?), the (?), the Y-fronts, anything... he's the man for me, fatty!" Besides the usual change of a line to "as the flames rose to her roman nose and her iPod started to melt" in "Bigmouth Strikes Again" he also sang "Now I know how Oscar Wilde felt".
After the latter number Morrissey had a few words with fans in the front rows: "Hello to AJ... Okay Julia? Sure? (a fan shouts a request) What? Ah please, no, I beg you, don't force me to sing that song, I beg you... the dead are dead..." Besides the usual lyric changes in "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" he sang the alternate "The more you abhor me, the closer I get". Quite a few gifts were sent his way during that song. First a t-shirt, which he looked at then threw back, then a bouquet of red roses which he kept.
Before going into "I Have Forgiven Jesus" Morrissey introduced his band: "When they're not working with me, they're very happy and balanced people... but tonight they are... Me first! Well, the magnificent Boz Boorer... so bashful... the two and only Gary Day... and banging away, the mighty Deano... his parents are from Taiwan, that's why he bows... and beyond belief, Jesse Tobias... and he was born in Cleveland but we still think he's okay, Mikey V Farrell... and I'm a preacher in human form... I was kidding, I was kidding, really... no more kidding..."
Presenting himself as a preacher was probably Morrissey's way of introducing "I Have Forgiven Jesus", which came next. In the latter song he replaced "Do you understand" with "Does anybody understand? I'm sure everybody understand..." After the song he answered someone in the audience "So? What? Yeah, well I don't think it will be... not 'til I'm dead anyway... which may not be too far away... (audience reacts) Yes! Yes, indeed. That was a song from (points at audience) 'You Are The Quarry' and this is... (to someone) you are strange child through no fault of your own... This is also from 'You Are The Quarry' if I could just squeeze one away in hedgeways, and it's called... well..."
In "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" Morrissey changed a line to "everybody look, see pain, and scuttle away". The latter number was bridged to the Smiths' "Rubber Ring" with the words "So this is my life, past and present, and... what a gruesome picture..." At the end of "Rubber Ring", after the line "do you love me like you used to?", a fan jumped on stage and in his enthusiasm knocked Morrissey to the floor. As the fan was dragged away by security, the singer got up and said something undecipherable.
"Let Me Kiss You" was just about to be released as a single so right before its performance Morrissey announced "Tomorrow morning in the very jolly record shops of England my great friend Nancy Sinatra releases her single 'Let Me Kiss You' and also tomorrow, in the jolly shops of England, old Morrissey releases 'Let Me Kiss You'... so the world really isn't such a bad place, not really..." As always at the end of that song he suggestively removed his shirt and went backstage to change into a clean one. When he returned to the stage he simply asked "So now what?" <0> After the lesser known "The Never Played Symphonies" Morrissey asked the tame audience if they prefered this venue to another one in New York where he had played earlier in the year: "Is this venue as good as the hollow Apollo? (crowd: no!) Do you prefer the hollow Apollo? (crowd: yes!) Are you shackled by the ankles? Do you have a fire marshall on your shoulders? I can see some people are bootlegging this concert and I'd just like to say, you made a really good choice. I hope you make lots of money!" In "Irish Blood, English Heart" he changed a few lines to "you can see me standing by the flag" and "racist or racial". After the song he apologetically said "you're very understanding, thank you!" He then teased the audience by asking "Are you bored stiff on the balcony yet? Somebody said yes..."
Besides the numerous lyric changes in "Everyday Is Like Sunday" Morrissey also sang "dear mother how I dearly wish I was not here". He also adlibbed a few other minor changes that were lost on most people. Something must have made a fan laugh because at the end of the song Morrissey sang "What's so funny? What's so funny?". Then after the song he just asked someone else "What's wrong?" After "Now My Heart Is Full" Morrissey threw another sweaty shirt into the audience and when he came back to the stage in a fresh one he told the fan who had caught the other one "If the shirt's not your size, post it back to me and I'll send you the proper one..." In "You Know I Couldn't Last" he extended a line to "your royalties bring you luxuries... maybe".
When Morrissey returned to the stage for the encore he first said "What? Nancy? (giggles) When? When? When? Tonight?" then had final words for the audience: "So thanks for the memories and by way of a last word, try not to forget me, and look after your very precious selves, and may God or one of his relatives bless you..." During the encore itself, knowing that the end of the show was approaching, there were a few more attempts by fans to get on stage. Seeing one of those fans being manhandled by security Morrissey stopped singing and shouted "Oh, good God! Sir? Sir? (pointing at the action) Oh shit, absolute shit! (to the fan) Thanks for trying, may God bless you, thanks for trying... (to whole audience) Jesus!... Watch for security, they got machine guns..." Morrissey looked visibly upset and completely lost the thread of the song so he just said "Goodbye thank you... A big boo for security! Boo!" then let himself be escorted off stage by one of his own security men.
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