1 April 2009|
Columbus (OH), Palace Theater
This Charming ManThis was an excellent concert, it left most attendees ecstatic. Morrissey was at his best vocally, and he was playful and energetic. He and the band raced through the first half of the show, so he was slightly less talkative, but still in great spirits. The crowd was also generally more into it than on average. Many fans tried to get on stage during the encore. Some were successful and others slung back off the stage. There was no change in the setlist.
As he walked on stage Morrissey greeted the audience with a simple "Buenos tardes..." Besides other common changes in "Billy Budd" he also sang "if you should do you think you could". In the live staple "Irish Blood, English Heart" he sang the slightly different "look at me! standing by the flag not feeling shameful, never racist or partial". After that song he proceeded with the customary introduction of the band. As usual he started with Boz, moved on to Solomon, then Matt. As he reached Jesse he said "Happy birthday today to Jesse Tobias... does he look 50?... Yyyyyeeesss..." He finished with Kristopher Pooley, then added "And I'm just a great big sponge sucking everybody up!"
At some point Morrissey supposedly said "We're just like CNN, a lot of shock and drama... but yet you all are still here?" and "Can anyone imagine all the historic debate that has gone on in this theater? Neither can I..." He ended "I Keep Mine Hidden" by replacing "use your loaf" with "I say, what the hell is that song!" He was very playful with his performance of "Ask", changing lines to "...from doing all the things in life that you want to, believe me, I know!" and "Nature is a language can't you read? No! Nature is a language can anybody here read?" Following "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" he walked to the drums to get a drink. In the midst of it he said "Not Hilton. Hilton. Not Paris Hilton", or something to that effect. Following "When Last I Spoke To Carol" Morrissey supposedly teased the crowd into action by saying "Some people are just too afraid to take a chance..." A very rare occurrence: he changed a line in "Seasick, Yet Still Docked" to "and all of my life, no one has shown me anything". After "Death Of a Disco Dancer" he had a brief off-microphone exchange with a fan, then moved to another one who he couldn't hear, so he pointed at the microphone, walked to it, picked it up and handed it to her as he asked "Repeat that, what?". She asked him to sign a record for her father. He rolled his eyes, said "Well, I'm not like Charlie Rich... yes I am...", but never obliged.
At some point someone gave Morrissey a record by the band Stinky Toys. Morrissey asked the fan "What are they called?" and she said the band's name as Morrissey was walking away. He then stopped and said, "The Stinky Toys, now I'm interested..." He took the record and asked "Where are they from?", then put the record on the drum kit. He introduced "Sorry Doesn't Help" by saying "If you're old-fashioned enough to go along to your local record store - there must be at least one left in the whole Ohio - and behind the masses and mounds of U2... you'll see a small little lonely cd, which is ours, it's called 'Years Of Refusal' from which..."
When Morrissey and the band returned to the stage for the encore, three fans managed to climb on stage even before Morrissey reached his microphone. The singer hugged them one after the other, then did the line-and-bow with his band, then when he finally made it to the microphone said "You see, we have a few friends in Columbus... but nowhere else!" Over the length of encore "First Of The Gang To Die" many more fans made it on stage. Some reached Morrissey, others were tackled before they got even close. Meanwhile Morrissey was too distracted and missed many lyrics, so he mumbled and la-la-la'ed his way through parts of the song. Over the closing bars of it he first said goodbye, then roared "Life, it goes like that (snaps his fingers)... One minute you're alive, the next minute, you're still alive..."
"The Loop" and a snippet of "Let Me Kiss You" 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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