13 March 2009
Richmond (VA), The National

This Charming Man
Something Is Squeezing My Skull
Black Cloud
Billy Budd
How Soon Is Now?
All You Need Is Me
How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
Seasick, Yet Still Docked
Let Me Kiss You
Best Friend On The Payroll
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
The Loop
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
I Keep Mine Hidden
Sorry Doesn't Help
Death Of A Disco Dancer
I'm OK By Myself
/Irish Blood, English Heart
This was an excellent concert. Morrissey was chatty, very playful, and reached out to audience members numerous times. The crowd was generally receptive, except perhaps a bit less for the songs from latest album "Years Of Refusal". Very few people made it on stage because of tight security and a 4-foot gap, but also because many fans in the front row didn't let anyone go through.

A few changes were made to the setlist. The epic "Life Is A Pigsty" was replaced with the equally epic "Death Of A Disco Dancer" which was being played for the first time in 2009. "That's How People Grow Up" was replaced with "All You Need Is Me" while, surprisingly, current single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" was temporarily dropped in favour of "Sorry Doesn't Help" which was being played for the first time ever.

Morrissey took the stage and greeted the audience with the line "It's such a perfect night for... an... assassination..." before going into opening number "This Charming Man". After the song he replied to the loud cheers with "...and so do you!" Following "Black Cloud" he jokingly said "It is Friday the 13th... which is precisely why you were drawn into this building... because, initially you didn't want to go, you didn't want to come here, but something, something (make strangled face)..." After a loudly received "How Soon Is Now?" he shouted "Noise is the best revenge!... and to hell with living well..."

Besides the usual lyric changes in "All You Need Is Me" Morrissey also followed the line "you ask me what will I be when I grow up to be a man" with a shout of "Big shit!" then something undecipherable. He changed "and you don't like what it means" to "and you quite like what it means". At the end he sang "you won't miss me when I'm gone" and then "you won't miss me when I'm dead". After the song Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of the band: "Will I please introduce you to the wild and willing Boz Boorer... the wild Solomon Walker... the wild Matt Walker... the willing Jesse Tobias... and the wild Kristopher Pooley... and ruining everything, standing at the front, the marionette..."

Morrissey changed a line in "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel" to "everybody look, see pain and run away". After the song he asked the crowd "Anything earth shattering to say?" and handed the microphone to a fan who shouted "we love you!". Morrissey smiled and replied with the words "very original... thank you..." Instead of the usual lyric change to "it's the nuclear bomb that will bring us together" in "Ask", he sang "it's military might that will bring us together, so before then ask me, ask me, ask me". After the song he replied to something shouted to him with the words "I should very well but, you didn't ask..." He followed "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed" with the statement "What is, was, and shall always be a song from 'Years Of Refusal' which is selling very well, thank you (crowd cheers)... Yes I know, I know... "

Following "Seasick, Yet Still Docked" Morrissey asked someone "What, do you mean me?" then mockingly repeated "Fatty!" after them, in a funny voice. "Best Friend On The Payroll" was introduced with the announcement "In the one final remaining record shop in Richmond, in two weeks time if you care, you'll be able to buy - if you care - a cd called 'Southpaw Grammar' from which this track is not..." Next up "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" was introduced with the line "So this is what happens when you leave your house on a Friday night... this is what happens... this..." After the song he asked "Is everything tragic or is everything ridiculous? (fan answers ridiculous)... I agree..."

The fan favourite "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" was introduced with the line "I know you all have thrillingly fulfilling lives and fantastic jobs, and you go to fantastic schools and you learn everything, but did you ever feel remotely curious about (makes funny noise)... therefore, seven words of wisdom..." After the song he asked "So what now?", and as he pretended to shiver, went "Oooh!" Following "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he said "No, no-no-no that's okay... Winnie that's okay... We have no interest in anything but in pleasing others..." After "I Keep Mine Hidden" he said "It's the filthy, the filthy sleuth of time..."

Morrissey made quite a few lyrics changes in the live debut of "Sorry Doesn't Help". He changed a line to "certain to pull you through", replaced "seasoned, you have no doubts" with "I have no doubt", replaced "you lied about the lies that you told" with "you lied, then you lied about your lies" and sang "which is the very extent of being you is all about". He also reversed the lines "sorry will not bring my teen years back to me" and "sorry will not bring my love into my arms". Over the final notes of the song he said "That's the way... Talent! Talent is an asset... What is talent?... Nobody knows, nobody cares..." Before launching into "I'm OK By Myself" he sang acapella a few lines from Frankie Valli's "To Give (The Reason I Live)": "To give is the reason I live / To give all I can give / In return for the love that I earn". It must be said that he might have had Shirley Bassey's version in mind when he did it.

When he and the band returned to the stage for the encore under loud cheers from the audience, Morrissey told them "Nobody's twisting your leg..." After the line "to be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial" in encore "Irish Blood, English Heart", he said "this bad". He then changed a line to "there is no one in Virginia that I'm afraid of", making sure to emphasize the southern accent on 'Virginia', and changed another one to "I will die with both of my legs untied". At the end of the song he was looked around and surveyed the crowd with a playful and slightly bemused look as if he was expecting more and was looking for it. He hung around and shook hands a bit before fleeing backstage.


A rather good audience recording of the complete concert is circulated on physical and digital bootlegs (recorder: Not Right In The Head aka Southern Bootleggers). The best thing about the recording is how it managed to capture the crowd's enthusiasm and energy. There is another audience recording of this concert out there, but it has not been shared much yet.

"This Charming Man", "Best Friend On The Payroll" and "I'm OK By Myself" are featured on "Nights Of Refusal" volume 1, a compilation DVD featuring HD Youtube material from the first half of the American leg of the Tour Of Refusal.


Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.