22 March 2009|
Philadelphia (PA), Academy of Music
This Charming ManThis was another excellent concert. Morrissey was in top form, very chatty and extremely playful. He was very clearly enjoying himself. The crowd was receptive, but with the exception of the first few rows, rather static, perhaps because of the fact that the venue was a very posh seated one. Many fans tried to get on stage, and a few of them were successful towards the end. One of them was rolled off the stage by security as if he was a bowling ball.
The setlist was brought back to the standard 21-song one with the return of "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" and "Death Of A Disco Dancer".
Morrissey entered stage under the roar of the crowd, simply smiled and said "We know how to!" before going into opening number "This Charming Man". His first real greeting to the audience came after that song, when he said "Welcome to the revue!" He changed a line in "Billy Budd" to "do you think you could if you should" After the classic "How Soon Is Now?" he announced "As I'm sure you all realise, Academy is a Greek word which of course means 'learning school' and I can assure you tonight you will learn nothing..." After "Irish Blood, English Heart" he asked the crowd "Dare you continue to stay?... You don't know..."
Following the latter day classic "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of his band: "Our chief practitioner, the lovely Boz Boorer... putting on a very brave front is Solomon Walker... his identical twin Matt Walker... he sleeps every night wrapped in a Mexican flag, Jesse Tobias... and piano forte, Kristopher Pooley... and my own life has many questions, none of which require answers..." He changed a line in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to "in the absence of your smiling face I scoot all over the place". He had a very difficult time introducing "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" because of all the heckling: "This is only an extremely rough guess, but - What? What's wrong? You've not found your seat? (pause, interacts with fan) This is a very very rough guess, as I was saying... (breaks again) This is a rough guess but I think people write songs in order to sort out their own problems... but as I say I could be wrong, except in the case of this next song..."
Following the latter number Morrissey had these touching words to share: "Whilst in New York City, I discovered the most historical building in the entire city, which is certainly worthy of your attention... it's the Virgin Megastore in Union Square (crowd laughs), because second by second record stores, record shops are disappearing and... catch one while you can so (switches to old Northern person's voice) take the family to the Virgin Megastore, take the photos outside, have your sandwiches, dress warmly and in the future these strange places will be remembered with tears rolling down your cheeks..." The Smiths b-side "I Keep Mine Hidden" was introduced with the line "And of course, we all have our imperative past... here's mine..." and followed with "Every summit a twisted tale... but very catchy..."
"One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" was met with a lukewarm reception, so Morrissey asked the crowd "Do you need a rest? (crowd: 'no!') Because I can be a bit much you know... especially at dinner parties... which is why I'm never invited... I understand..." Besides the usual lyrics changes in "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he also sang "you're surely wondering how the boy next door turned out, no?" After the song he delivered his most remembered quote of the evening: "Then you see, it's not rock music, (in posh accent) it's theatah!" At that point in time he often changed a line in "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" to "they have an interest in your funny career" or "your strange career", but on this date he had no adjectives to describe the career, he just mimicked someone pushing away something annoying. He also crooned Elvis-style when he sang "you'll never believe me so why don't you find out for yourself".
Before going into the Smiths classic "Ask" Morrissey accepted a few gifts from outstretched arms and said "I hate to go home empty handed... thank you, thank you..." Over the closing bars of "Best Friend On The Payroll" he said "It could almost be Mott The Hoople!" Then after the song he paused and asked "You do know Mott the Hoople, don't you?... Mott The Hoople... I just wanted to check..." After "Death Of A Disco Dancer" he rewarded his drummer with the request "Could we please have an extra cheer for the outstanding Matt Walker (audience cheers)... That's enough!" Besides previously heard changes in "Sorry Doesn't Help" he also sang "Forced back it - spit it out!". Upcoming single "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" was introduced with the line "This is our new single in Iceland." Morrissey slightly changed a line near the end of that song to "there's really no need to gimme anymore". Then right after ending it he simply said "Just a song at twilight..."
When he and the band returned to the stage for the encore, after the traditional line-and-bow, Morrissey had parting words for the audience: "After which, we'll all run away, to be hosed down in a nearby field... we'll all have no choice but to burst into the song 'Alfie'..." Over the opening bars of encore "First Of The Gang To Die" he shouted "this is not Alfie!" If anyone wondered what he was talking about, the answer came halfway into the latter number. Distracted by all the action between security and fans trying to get on stage, he missed words, mumbled, made funny sounds, then scatted his way through until he started singing "I can't remember the words, I've forgotten the words, but I do it in style... what the fuck, what the fuck!" He then briefly caught up with the usual lyrics, and soon lost it again and sang the opening lines of the theme to the Michael Caine starring film "Alfie", originally performed by Dionne Warwick.
"This Charming Man", "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel", "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself", "Sorry Doesn't Help" and "First Of The Gang To Die" 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.
The audio-only audience recording mentioned above has yet to be put in common circulation (recorder: Dave Hamblen). At this point in time it is being limitedly traded under the name "Tonight You Will Learn Nothing!".
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