7 May 2006|
Opera House, Manchester
First Of The Gang To DieUnlike the night before at the Apollo, this concert took place in a more upscale seated venue. Morrissey gave the best of himself and was very well received. Because of the presence of an empty orchestra pit, the stage was about 10 feet away from the front rows, so there was less interaction between Morrissey and his fans.
Because this was the second consecutive date in the same city and Morrissey probably knew many fans attended the Apollo gig the night before, there was a significant shuffling of the setlist and in the process "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye", "On The Streets I Ran" and "A Song From Under The Floorboards" were replaced by "In The Future When All's Well", "The Father Who Must Be Killed" and "Let Me Kiss You".
Entering stage, Morrissey greeted the audience by making a reference to the name of the venue: "Good evening opera lovers!". After a very well received opener "First Of The Gang To Die", aware that many fans were seeing more than just one of the Manchester shows, he asked "How could you possibly come back for more?". Upcoming single "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" was introduced with the words "So in the dreadful world of pop music, this is our new single." After that Morrissey commented on his most recent album: "You will be very pleased to know that 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors' did very well in most countries around the world, apart from the USA (audience boos) and err... nothing really...".
After "In The Future When All's Well" Morrissey commented on the audience and said "...three of you are actually not that ugly... incredible!" In "Let Me Kiss You", one line was changed to "I heard that you'll try anyone twice". After that song came the customary band introduction: "None of them are Northern, but nonetheless would you give a (undecipherable) to the wonderful Boz Boorer... to the indestructible Gary Day... to Matt Walker the great... to the extremely sultry Jesse Tobias... and to the horny Michael Farrell... and I am nothing, nothing..."
After "Girlfriend In A Coma", Morissey mentioned his favourite fan: "However, like Julia knows, life goes on... coma or no coma..." This was the final night where Sons And Daughters opened for Morrissey, so after "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" Morrissey saluted them and praised his other opening act "We said our very tearful goodbyes tonight to Sons And Daughters, they have trekked with us for a while, and we wish them all good things (crowd cheers)... and please keep your eyes and your ears open for Kristeen Young because, she's bigger than life..." After "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" he asked a fan, or perhaps the whole cheering audience, "Are you sure?"
On this night and the one before also in Manchester, the Smoking Popes cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone" heard on the intermission tape was booed by the Mancunian crowd because the song also turns out to be the theme of a Liverpool football team. Morrissey noticed it and after "At Last I Am Born" he commented (while poking fun at the song title) "I realise that at the end of the intermission tape some people get very upset by 'You'll Never Walk Again' (crowd boos)... however, you will be amazed to know that the song has a history which travels much further than Anfield... It's a big world! Keep your eyes open! Accept everything... nothing happens..."
Performances of "Trouble Loves Me" on this tour were segued from a short intro of a well known local song. This date was no exception. The song picked for this date, "Sally" by Gracie Fields (the theme from the 1931 film "Sally In Our Alley") was different from that of the night before, but the same as on the opening night of the leg in the Mancunian suburb of Salford. After the song Morrissey reminisced "Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, as Len Brown will verify, I came here to see Mott The Hoople (...) and the support group were? Yes very clever... so famously, the support group were... Queen! (crowd doesn't react) And that's the response that they also had... but you know something? They were very good... don't quote me..."
After "I Will See You In Far Off Places" Morrissey joked "...and when I say far off places, I don't mean Winslow!". The classic "How Soon Is Now?" brought the set to a close and Morrissey threw his shirt into the audience before walking off stage for a break. The fight for the shirt or a piece of it lasted throughout the whole break and the encore. As the audience was walking out of the venue, security had to intervene to break up the melée.
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