16 March 2006|
Austin Music Hall, Austin, TX
First Of The Gang To DieThis Morrissey appearance at the South By Southwest Festival was the best concert of these three American dates. Morrissey was in top form and very talkative. The audience was very responsive despite the presence of many non-Morrissey fans who had come so see other bands. They sang along to many of the songs, especially "Girlfriend In A Coma". Nobody tried to scale the barrier until the very end of the encore and then about two or three fans made it on stage.
The Oklahoma City setlist from 2 days before must have been more satisfying than the one from Tulsa before that because the songs were performed in the same order here in Austin. Only "Suedehead" was dropped, perhaps to comply to the festival's time restrictions or schedule.
As soon as Morrissey walked on stage, he greeted the audience with the unusual and surprising "And all of a sudden, by some shocking act of fate, you find yourself in Austin!" After set opener "First Of The Gang To Die" he said something closer to a greeting, but still not quite "So finally, finally, finally, we make it to Austin". In "Still Ill", besides the previously introduced change "England's a swine, and it owes me a living", Morrissey also sang "and I should know because I've seen them but very very often". After the song he answered a fan "Am I still ill? Dear God, I hope so..."
In "You Have Killed Me" Morrissey slightly changed a line to "who am I that I even come to be standing here". After the song, as an introduction to it and the next, he said "That was that, this is this!" and then the band launched in "The Youngest Was The Most Loved". He followed the song with a proper introduction: "That song was called 'The Youngest Was The Most Loved' and it's from our new album which... I think you can depend upon Waterloo Records... (then in a lower voice) maybe..." In "Reader Meet Author", besides the now common change "The year 2000, it hasn't changed anyone here", Morrissey made many more minor changes, such as "you don't know a thing about their life", "book won't save them...", but more interestingly "you hear the way this sad voice sings" (which probably implies that the author in question is listening to Morrissey).
After the latter song Morrissey introduced his musicians: "Would you please say hello to the lovely Boz Boorer... and to the only Gary Day... to newboy Matt Walker... and to our very own Austin boy, Jesse Tobias... and from (coughs) Cleveland... somebody has to be, Michael Farrell..." He asked some heckler in the audience: "Yes? What would you like to say?". In "I Have Forgiven Jesus" Morrissey made a change to "by Friday, this job has killed me" and in "I Will See You In Far Off Places" he sang "It's so easy for us to stand together, but it's so hard for the flesh to combine". After that song he remained on the same topic by sarcastically commenting "So I heard today that the USA bombed Irak again, (crowd boos) but they're probably looking for weapons of mass destructions, eh... keep an open mind...".
After "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye" Morrissey said "We hope you had a great time at South By Southwest... (crowd cheers) And we're sure you have, yes? (crowd cheers) Somebody said no!". Then after "Girlfriend In A Coma" he announced "And just in case anybody's wondering, she didn't pull through". "Life Is A Pigsty" was introduced with the words "This song concerns our faith in human nature, and it's called 'Life Is A Pigsty'." After that number, Morrissey announced "And now, let's get serious..." Keyboard man Michael Farrell then launched into a few lines of "Deep In The Heart Of Texas" on the piano. This served as a humorous one-time only intro to "Trouble Loves Me". It was completely unexpected by the audience but many Texan fans soon found themselves singing along to the piano ditty. After singing the first line in "Trouble Loves Me", incidently the title line, Morrissey added "... I think!"
"How Soon Is Now?" was often introduced with a comment about the passing of time, and in Austin the comment was "It was Loudon Wainwright who said 'the good old days are good and gone now, that's why they're good, because they're gone'..." The song was meant to start right after Morrissey's comment, but because of some mishap, it didn't so Morrissey filled in the extra few seconds with "...it's magically on queue!". "At Last I Am Born" was introduced by Morrissey after its performance along with the next one on the setlist: "That song was called 'At Last I Am Born' and this is 'I Just Want To See The Boy Happy'." Then after the latter number he thanked his audience "You've been very civil, very loving and it's a pleasure to be in this city (crowd cheers) and it's a pleasure to see you, so thank you". At the end of "Irish Blood, English Heart" Morrissey removed his shirt and threw it into the audience to be fought over before exiting stage. He was soon called back and, upon returning on stage, said "Thank for having us, and (undecipherable)" and then made kissing noises. Instead of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" which had served as an encore on the two dates before this one, the Austin crowd was given "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me". The new 2006 version started with a slow piano intro.
This concert appearance at Austin's SXSW Festival was recorded and seven songs ("First Of The Gang To Die", "You Have Killed Me", "Reader Meet Author", "I Have Forgiven Jesus", "I Will See You In Far Off Places", "Girlfriend In A Coma" and "How Soon Is Now?") were broadcast ON BBC's radio 2 in the UK two days later.
Morrissey was also interviewed by David Fricke during the Festival's Music and Media Conference. Topics included: Playing the Apollo in NY, "At Last I Am Born", "Reel Around The Fountain" banned by BBC, celibacy, Jeff Saltzman, producers , the writing process, titles of songs, "Life Is A Pigsty", playing instruments, writing with Johnny Marr, Johnny Marr's music and influences, monetary offer for a Smiths reunion, New York Dolls, seeing the original Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972, writing lyrics, first confirmation w/The Smiths on songwriting - "Hand In Glove", American Idol, Eurovision, Los Angeles, being interviewed by the FBI Special Branch, Thatcher, politics, "I Will See You In Far-off Places", British celebrity, Pete Doherty, critics, Robert Smith, Mark E. Smith, Manchester, Joy Division, advice for new bands such as Arctic Monkeys. Read about it in details here.
A 6-minute video montage of Morrissey's interview mentioned above can also be found on the internet, as well as a bad quality and low bitrate audio bootleg of the full one hour event.
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