20 July 2007|
Atlanta (GA), Chastain Park
PanicThis concert wasn't very well reviewed by most people who attended, but Morrissey had nothing to do with it. The venue's front section was set up with tables where people ate candlelit dinners while the back section was seated. The front was filled mostly with season ticket holders, so many people didn't even know who Morrissey was, or just talked amongst each other with their backs turned to him. The venue was also only half full at the time Morrissey walked on stage (it filled a bit more throughout the show). This had a negative impact on the atmosphere and the energy of the crowd. Morrissey looked disappointed with the set up and commented or teased about it a good deal in the first half of the show. He was still very professional, he gave the best of himself and chatted with the fans who had managed to make it through the tables to the front despite the unhappy security who constantly threatened to stop the concert if they didn't return to their seats. Unfortunately security didn't only have a stubborn audience against them, but also Morrissey himself. When he saw the bouncers trying to push everyone back, he made a face and stood behind them so everyone just pushed harder forward to get closer to the stage. Four fans made it on stage near the end, plus one little girl earlier in the show.
There was no change in the setlist from the previous date, but Morrissey decided at the last minute to skip "The National Front Disco" and "Life Is A Pigsty". It was originally believed he did this because of his dissatisfaction with the way the show was turning out, but he commented a few days later in Myrtle Beach that the Sheriff or the Fire Marshal didn't want anyone to have fun, sing or smile. He was surely alluding to something related to the interruption threats made by security to the fans at the front.
Morrissey entered stage holding a box of Cheez-It crackers and told the audience "You brought your dinner, I brought mine..." He looked embarrassed to see the place only half full and almost everyone sitting. At the very end of "Panic" he shouted "take the hint!" He then told the audience "So, I take it this isn't the Tabernacle then... I think we're in the wrong place... Bye!" Although it sounded fine he probably didn't like his voice at the very beginning of "First Of The Gang To Die" because following the first line he exclaimed "I'm embarrassed! Embarrassed!" After the line "We are the pretty petty thieves" he added "I am! I am!" Over the last bars of the song he shouted "Where am I?... How did I end up here?... I'm a serious artist!..." Then after the song was done he asked someone in front row: "What is this place? (fan: I'm not quite sure... it's a bit quiet...) Say that again, friend? (fan: I'm not a season ticket holder, I'm a fan!) Well, by the looks of things, you're heavily outnumbered!" The latter comment made the crowd break into laughter.
Morrissey changed a line very early into "All You Need Is Me" to "...that's because all you need is food" or "...that's because all you need is booze". He took a jab at the people sitting at the tables in front of him when he changed another line to "all you can do is sit there and complain about me". After the song he expressed again how annoyed he was by asking "So, I really am here, is that correct? I haven't been drinking or anything? So this really is not Birmingham Alabama, is it? Well it could be, it could be..." After "I Just Want To See the Boy Happy" a fan got Morrissey's attention and handed him a gift with a red bow. Morrissey took the gift and said "Oh for me? All for me? Thank you... what is it? (fan: it's a photo album of the last 20 years) Of you or me? (fan: of us! - crowd erupts in laughter) Very funny... thank you..."
After "Disappointed" Morrissey said "So, this could either go that way (points to his left) or that way (points to his right)..." Fans understood that he was talking about the show, but hoped he wasn't debating what side he would exit the stage and not come back. He was about to go into "Let Me Kiss You" and it was after that very same song that he had walked out and not come back a few weeks earlier in Boston. But Morrissey did not walk out and following "Let Me Kiss You" he said "So if you could find your way to put down your ham and tongue sandwich... We actually passed... (gets interrupted by a fan) You see, it's so difficult to communicate... Messing what?... Yeah but this is me, isn't it? Well thank you... (returns to subject) We passed a restaurant today called The Pig and Chick (crowd cheers)... The Pig and Chick... and I wondered if barbarism could get any more serious... I suppose it could..."
Following this, Morrissey decided to proceed with the customary introduction of the band. He started "Would you mind saying hello to the musicians?..." then handed the microphone to a fan who said that they all loved him. Then before he could go any further, a little girl was hoisted up on stage. Morrissey took her in his arms, told her "there you go... there you go...", then told the audience "this is my daughter..." It was a very touching moment but it was soon obvious that Morrissey was having a difficult time keeping her up with only one arm, so he exclaimed "Help! Help!", put her down, then joked "It was never meant to be this way..." He then managed to resume the introduction of the band: "Please say hello to Michael Farrell... please say hello to Jesse Tobias... please say hello to Matt Walker... please say hello to Solomon Walker... fire, famine, flood, there always is Boz Boorer... and please say goodbye to me!"
Morrissey was overall very reserved with his lyric changes throughout this show. In many songs he reverted back to the original lyrics as they had been recorded, even in cases where he almost never sang the original words. One example of this happened at the very beginning of "You Have Killed Me" when he sang the studio version's "Pasolini is me Accattone you'll be", something which he had probably never done since he had started playing the song in 2006. After the latter number he asked "So what the hell happens now?... Anybody know?". New composition "That's How People Grow Up" was introduced with the words "I think in the exercise we've gained 2 new friends... and 4000 new enemies... but that's how people grow up..." A line in that song was slightly extended to "As for me, I'm okay, am I? For now anyway..."
The classic "Everyday Is Like Sunday" was in turn introduced with "I was born and braised in a strange little place called England (crowd cheers)... for which this next song speaks half a volume..." The fan favourite got the biggest crowd participation of the evening as everyone who knew the song seemed to be singing along. After "I Will See You in Far Off Places", as the audience was finally warming up, Morrissey sarcastically said "So maybe afterall cabaret is my forte and next week I'll be singing at the Pig and Chick..."
Following "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" Morrissey said "There must be a question" and handed the microphone to his favourite fan Julia who asked him how he was. Morrissey answered "Do you really want to know, Julia? Another question..." He then handed the microphone to someone else who asked him "I want to know what you did for fun in Birmingham." Nonplussed, Morrissey answered by saying "Next question?" However he didn't hand the microphone to anyone else. Instead he and the band went into "Irish Blood, English Heart". After the latter number Morrissey joked about his hair which was now flattened by his sweat: "So something has really confused me.... When I actually came on tonight, I had hair, I don't know where it's gone... I ain't too happy..." His final words to the audience before going into the encore sounded like "(?) in shocks... it's really not bad... and it smell heaven..."
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