6 July 2006|
SRC Salata Open Air Festival, Zagreb, Croatia
How Soon Is Now?This concert was one of the highlights of the Summer of 2006 according to an interview with Morrissey on the semi-official "True To You" website. Nobody left disappointed. The Croatian fans had been patiently waiting for Morrissey to play around their part of the world for over 20 years and they showed their appreciation by giving him the warmest of welcome. They sang along to the new songs as well as the old ones. Morrissey was in a very good mood and talkative, he was clearly enjoying himself. He fed on the crowd's enthusiasm, he even at times appeared to be overwhelmed by the response.
Setlist-wise "At Last I Am Born" made its return, replacing "To Me You Are A Work Of Art". The lesser known "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye" was dropped.
Morrissey's musicians were all dressed in white t-shirts that said "Meso je ubojstvo" (Croatian for "meat is murder") on the front. When they entered stage, they made a line each side of Morrissey at the front and bowed before going to their respective spot. Morrissey greeted the audience "Zagreb, how soon, how soon, how soon, how soon..." which served also as introduction to set opener "How Soon Is Now?". This fan favourite was extremely well received and immediately set the tone of the evening. After the song Morrissey looked for and had a few words with his favourite fan Julia.
At some point Morrissey cynically announced "I'm pleased to see lots of smiling faces here, but be prepared... soon tears will come... Soon... tears..." He mentioned that the only reason why he never played Croatia before was that he was never asked to come. He thanked the audience for getting his newest album "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" to number 5 in the Croatian charts and added that if they hadn't bought it, it was okay. Fans kept shouting requests for "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and Morrissey teased them by asking "Which light? Where? That one? That one?" while randomly pointing at lights around the stage. It was dark outside and mosquitoes could be seen flying around those lights, as well as around Morrissey, who called them little mozzies.
At some point there was the customary band introduction. On this date Morrissey introduced each one of his musicians by ascribing them different orchestral instruments: "Here on the left we have Boz Boorer on the clarinet... here is Gary Day with his flute... here is Matt Walker on the oboe(?)... here is Jesse Tobias on the fiddle, well he is always on the fiddle... and Mikey Farrell is squeezing his squeezebox." At some point Morrissey said that the saddest songs were always the best, and that he didnt know why. The New York Dolls cover "Human Being" was introduced with something like "About 100 years ago there was a band... they were called the New York Dolls... 4 people in Croatia knew about them, but they didn't like them." After the song he continued the joke by adding that they were lucky to get a New York Dolls cover because it could have been the Rolling Stones.
In "Girlfriend In A Coma", when Morrissey sang "there were times when I could have strangled her", he made his microphone cord into a noose and swung it around. In "I Will See You In Far Off Places", as he sang "looking to the camera, messing around and pulling faces", he did just that, he looked into the camera that was filming him, made hand gestures and pulled faces. In "You Have Killed Me" he changed a line to "Morrissey is me I think Anna Magnani you could only be". As the end was approaching Morrissey said "When you go to bed tonight, think about me... You have been a dream to me... I am going to dream about you tonite with my eyes open, thank you for listening..." When the band returned to the stage after a short break to perform the encore, they all bowed again and then Morrissey's musicians stripped out of their t-shirts one after the other before throwing them into the audience. It was certainly all staged, but each time one shirt was taken off, Morrissey feigned surprise.
This concert was filmed and the full set minus three songs and all of Morrissey's between-song banter was dropped to make the rest fit inside a one-hour programme. This was broadcast by local station/network HRT2. The three songs not broadcast were "At Last I Am Born", "Human Being" and "Irish Blood, English Heart".
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