25 March 2009|
New York (NY), Webster Hall
This Charming ManThis was overall a good show, but many fans had also attended the recent Bowery concert - which was one of the best of the year - so those who expected more of the same left Webster Hall slightly underwhelmed. With the exception of the first few rows the crowd was rather static, though still appreciative. Despite it all, Morrissey was very energetic, talkative and seemed in good spirits.
The setlist remained almost identical to the one from the previous show. The only change was the return of "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed", slotted in the place of "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?".
Morrissey's greetings to the audience on this date came in the form of a question: "I just have one soul-searching question to ask you ... which is... where the hell am I?" He may have been unhappy with the venue, because later on he would joke that a rat had fallen from the rafters and dropped on his head, and commented on how his dressing room was "a closet and a bucket". He changed a line in "Billy Budd" to the strange "Say Billy Budd, if you could you think you should" Over the opening bars of "How Soon Is Now?" he replied to someone's shout of 'hello!' with one of his own. Besides the many usual lyrics changes in that song he also sang "I am the son and the heir look! of nothing in particular" and "I still live my life the wrong way". Then after "see I've already waited too long", he repeated "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!".
Following the latter number Morrissey said something that ended with "...in one case, nobody knows the logical meaning, so they never get to stage 2, which is where you are now. Any further question? Any further question?" After "Irish Blood, English Heart" he proceeded with the introduction of his musicians: "Of the very first order, Boz Boorer... Of the very first order, Solomon Walker... Solomon Walker, Matt Walker... Jesse Tobias-ssss... Kristopher Pooley... and I am a myth..." Over the piano bridge in "Let Me Kiss You" he shouted "trumpets!" Further into the song he took one of the usual lyric changes to "excuse me! would you let me cry on your shoulder I've heard that you'll try anybody twice". He changed a line in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to "in the absence of your smiling face I skate all over the place".
The fan favourite "Seasick, Yet Still Docked" was introduced with the line "and this is where things get particularly grotesque..." After the song he enquired "Would you be offended if I asked you a very serious question... Good, you're about to be offended... We have been invited to sing on the Ellen Show (crowd cheers)... Should we? (crowd :yes!) Your wish is my command..." At some point, following one of his numerous trips backstage to change into a fresh shirt, he reappeared and said "Greetings, I'm Morrissey's understudy." Following "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he handed the microphone to fan and said "Bla-bla-bla" The fan asked him "what's the name of your baby?" and he replied "Tiger". To someone who shouted something his way, he replied "And what’s it all for?" After "Sorry Doesn't Help" he told the crowd "As the night moves along, three people get frisky, whatever it means..."
As usual the encore was mayhem. Morrissey was too distracted by the fans' attempts at crashing the stage to keep to his usual lyrics. He was of course enjoying it all, and was probably dreading that this would not happen on the following night at the very classical Carnegie Hall, because before going into the encore he said "So I'm told that if you show any sign of life at Carnegie Hall, you get clamped, towed away, your legs removed, (makes disheartened face)... Oh brother..." Then over the opening bars of encore "First Of The Gang To Die" he repeated "Oh brother!"
"Black Cloud", First Of The Gang To Die" and a snippet of "Irish Blood, English Heart" 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.
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