13 March 2006
Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

You Have Killed Me
Still Ill
The Youngest Was The Most Loved
In The Future When All's Well
Irish Blood, English Heart
My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye
Girlfriend In A Coma
I Have Forgiven Jesus
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
Reader Meet Author
Life Is A Pigsty
Let Me Kiss You
Trouble Loves Me
How Soon Is Now?
First Of The Gang To Die
I Will See You In Far Off Places
At Last I Am Born
/Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
The first of three warm-up dates for the upcoming Tour Of The Tormentors was a success. Unlike other tours' kickoff concerts, the band seemed in top form and at ease performing the new material. Morrissey's voice faltered a few times, but he was in great spirits, reasonably talkative and seemed to enjoy, and was even surprised by, the response from the crowd. The fans were very energetic despite not being familiar with the new material. Security was very tight and no one made it on stage.

The new setlist featured seven songs from the about-to-be-released album "Ringleader Of The Tormentors". Most of the audience was obviously still unfamiliar with the new songs, so they were more excited by the selections from Morrissey's back catalogue. The biggest surprise was the live introduction of two Smiths-era songs never played before by Morrissey without his old band, "Still Ill" and "Girlfriend In A Coma". Actually the latter number, a posthumous single, had never been performed by the Smiths either. The encore of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" was also almost new, it had never been performed by the Smiths, and only once by Morrissey in 1988 in Wolverhampton. Previous album "You Are The Quarry" was represented by its four singles and b-side "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye". The only older material was, in reversed chronological order, "Trouble Loves Me" from 1997, "Reader Meet Author" from 1995, the debut solo single "Suedehead" and the Smiths classic "How Soon Is Now?", all previously performed in front of audiences.

Morrissey walked on stage to the new opening music, Jobriath's "What A Pretty". He threw back into the crowd some flowers that had been thrown on stage and greeted the audience by shouting "The pleasure, the privilege is mine, Tulsa!... (Bob Rose?) is still the king!" He bridged new songs "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" to "In The Future When All's Well" by introducing both of them: "That song was called 'The Youngest Was The Most Loved' and it's from our new album called 'Cheerleader Of The Tormentors' and... 'In The Future When All's Well'..." After "Irish Blood, English Heart" he announced, "Our previous drummer was poached, would you please say hello to Matt Walker!"

This first airing of "Girlfriend In A Coma" really surprised the audience. The fans cheered loudly when they recognised it, and sang along. After the song Morrissey said "So, obviously, yesterday we arrived in Tulsa in a tornado electrical storm which... was absolutely horrible. But I take it you're used to it, are you?... Strange way to live!". New composition "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" was simply introduced with the words "This song is called 'I Just Want To See The Boy Happy'." Noting that a surprising number of fans were singing along to the new material, Morrissey had to follow the latter number with the question "So should I assume that some of you have the new album? (crowd screams) Does this mean you won't buy it? (crowd reacts) I don't mind..." In "Reader Meet Author" Morrissey made the previously heard change to "The year 2000, it hasn't changed anyone here", but he also teased the audience by singing "have you ever escaped from a Tulsa life".

The epic "Life Is A Pigsty" was surprisingly well received so Morrissey answered the crowd's cheers by saying "You don't have to." He had just introduced his new drummer, but he then proceeded with the proper introduction of the full band: "However, if it doesn't put you out and if you don't mind, would you say hello to the lovely Boz Boorer... and to the only Gary Day... once more to Matt Walker... to Jesse Tobias... to Michael Farrell... that's it really!" After "Let Me Kiss You" he played his game of pitting cities against nearby ones by announcing "Tomorrow we take on Oklahoma City (crowd boos)... and I think we might lose, I don't know... Does it matter?" The returning "Trouble Loves Me" was preceded by a short old-style and yet to be identified (anyone?) piano intro.

Following "I Will See You In Far Off Places" Morrissey commented "Let's speak perfectly plainly... the television in Tulsa is dreadful (Morrissey giggles, crowd cheers in agreement)... Who in Tulsa watches television? Surely nobody (Morrissey gets blank stares)... No, I was wrong..." He changed a line in "Suedehead" to the brilliant "You had to sneak into my room just to play Your Arsenal / It was just to see, just to see all the songs you knew I'd written about you".

At the end of the main set Morrissey removed his shirt and threw it into the audience before fleeing backstage. It took less than two minutes after that for he and the band to come back out. Morrissey's parting words to the audience before going into the encore were "You've been very loyal, very kind, it's appreciated, God bless Brokeback Mountain!" He changed both occurrences of a line in encore "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" to "...only slightly more than I used to, my love". He also sang "And so I drank one, or was it four? And when I fell on the floor I drank more... Well?".


An excellent audience recording of the complete set is available on physical and digital bootlegs (recorder: JG).


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