1 May 2007|
Oakland (CA), Paramount Theatre
The Queen Is DeadThis concert was a good one. Morrissey was in excellent form, brilliant, talkative and obviously enjoying himself. He gave a few fans in the front rows a chance to speak by handing them the microphone. Unfortunately the audience was overall quite lethargic. It must be said that the venue's reserved seating might have had a negative effect on the atmosphere. Two fans made it on stage.
"Girlfriend In A Coma" was temporarily dropped from the setlist, but in its place three titles were reinstated: "First Of The Gang To Die", "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" and "Panic". The latter number was actually played here for the first time on this tour.
When Morrissey entered stage he greeted the audience with a shout of "Mayday! Mayday!" After set opener "The Queen Is Dead" he added "Good evening Oakland... Welcome to uh, even more poetry..." After "First Of The Gang To Die" he said "You've left your house. You came out by yourself. You think you're gonna meet somebody. You think you're gonna have some fun. Very naive, very naive... I'm talking about me!" Dismayed at the lack of enthusiastic response following "The Youngest Was The Most Loved", he sarcastically told the audience "Very convincing, thank You..." After "You Have Killed Me" he looked at someone in the front row who was handing him a gift and asked "For me? Is it for me?... Thank you..." After the crowd favourite "Disappointed" he enquired "So somebody really did buy 'Bona Drag'? (crowd cheers) 8 people!"
After "Panic" Morrissey asked one of the irregular regulars in the front row: "Haven't seen you in Nevada? Haven't seen you in Nevada? (hands microphone to said fan who says he was at the recent Nevada shows) Was he in Nevada? I didn't see him... really? You?" He had recently recorded six songs for the Jimmy Kimmel show so after doing "All You Need Is Me", which was one of those songs, he announced "That was a new song called 'All You Need Is Me' which, as Julia will tell you, we played on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, but it wasn't transmitted because they needed to show commercials for boneless chicken (crowd boos)... which is far more important! Because boneless chicken kills more people than I do... And it's only my personal observation but, isn't that what American television commercials are all about? Just selling things that kill people? I've never seen on American tv in commercials, I've never seen anything vegetarian or organic or anything that actually helps people. It has to kill as many people as possible... Join the cue!"
In "Lucky Lisp", following the opening line "When your gift unfurls, when your Talent becomes apparent", Morrissey added "Never!". Then following "When your name is with the best will my name be on your guest list?" he added "No!" After the song he told the audience, pointing left and right, "There's really no point requesting anything because I'm very heavily programmed, I can only move that way, never that way. It's that way... watch!" After "In The Future When All's Well" he asked one of his most dedicated fans "Winnie can I talk to you? Do you mind? Do you know why I asked you about Edna St.Vincent Millay? Do you remember? Have you really heard that? (she says yes) Can you name one thing? (hands her the microphone; she doesn't speak into it) She's very shy... This is her 300th gig and she's very shy... What the hell are you doing? Winnie speak to me! Has anybody heard of Edna St.Vincent Millay? Millay? No? (jokes) She was Czechoslovakian. She had her own kiln, she made pots. (articulates slowly) Edna St.Vincent Millay... (moves to the other side of the stage) Julia? Julia, please say yes (Julia says yes) Julia knows Edna. Winnie says she does but she doesn't really... Maestro!"
After "Ganglord" Morrissey said "It strikes me that the people in life who are most satisfied are those who are the most blinkered and I wish to God I could find a pair of those blinkers. I really do..." This might have served as an introduction to the following number, "The National Front Disco", a song about a short-sighted right wing nationalist. Before launching into the Smiths classic "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" he simply said "Well?" After the song he joked, "As I say, the old ones are the worst... people, not songs..." He changed lines in "Everyday Is Like Sunday" to "how I dearly wish I'd never been born" and "on your silly face".
Following "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" Morrissey asked a shouting fan, "What was that? (fan asks 'does money everything?') What would I know of that? I don't know. Do you know? What's the answer to that? (other fan answers 'Cyndi Lauper') Cyndi Lauper? What, wait? Sorry, go on, please. Kimmie, kimmie, now's your big chance, they're all listening to you, go on (she explains that Cyndi Lauper knows that money changes everything, Morrissey shushes the audience) Freeze please, please. Say that one more time... (fan repeats, Morrissey finally understands and sighs) And I actually asked you to repeat that three times!" He changed a line in "I Will See You In Far Off Places" to If God bestows protection upon me and if the USA doesn't bomb me".
After the latter number Morrissey said "You mustn't feel pressurized, really... we don't mind... everyone can't be a yo-yo..." Besides the usual lyric changes in "Life Is A Pigsty", he also sang "once again I turn to anybody". He changed a line in "Let Me Kiss You" to "I've zigzagged all over Los Angeles". Before the final number of the main set, "I Just Want to See the Boy Happy", he took a moment to thank the crowd: "You've all been very nice, and terribly civil... As you drive home, try not to kill yourself... Well (smiling dryly) do try..." When he returned to the stage for the encores he said "Well, I think you'll agree, it's much better than Bob Dylan (cheers)... and, God bless us, it's much better than the Rolling Stones!" The acoustic rendition of the Smiths classic "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" inspired a sing-along so reverent and emotional it bordered on the holy. Between two verses of "You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side" Morrissey told someone "very stylish!"
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