10 May 2009|
Liverpool (UK), Empire
This Charming ManThe order above is approximate.
After two great weeks touring Ireland and Scotland, the honeymoon ended in Liverpool, and it left many people disappointed. Morrissey looked like his heart was not into this show. He was seemingly coming down with a cold or something like that because he mentioned antibiotics twice over the course of the show and at some point he turned around to blow his nose. If there were any doubts about his health, they were dispelled when the two concerts scheduled after this one were cancelled. The venue's set up certainly didn't help Morrissey's enthusiasm, as he did complain more than once about the atmosphere, particularly about the height of the stage which made contact with the fans very difficult. Also, for some reason, security kept forcing fans to remain seated instead of standing and dancing.
The setlist was brought back to this leg's near-standard content with the return of "Billy Budd", "I Keep Mine Hidden" and "Seasick, Yet Still Docked", at the expense of "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores", "Death Of A Disco Dancer", "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" and "Sorry Doesn't Help". It has been speculated that one of the two latter titles was on the setlist but was skipped because Morrissey wanted to save himself.
As Morrissey came on stage he greeted the audience by shouting "Are you in the mood? Well, then prove it!" At some point he complained, "Such an empirical venue... with no atmosphere... How does the mayor cope?" He changed a line in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to something that sounded like "In the absence of your smiling face, I came all over the place" or "...I aim all over the place". After "Girlfriend In A Coma" he proceeded with the introduction of the band. Before going into "Ask" he replied to various shouts of his name with his own "Yes?". When the crowd cheered during the latter number's bridge he told them to "stop it now..." He then changed a line to "nature is a language can't you read? no, sorry". He punctuated a line in "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" by singing "Some girls mothers are bigger than other girls mothers, imagine!".
Before going into "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey went backstage to change into a fresh shirt. Meanwhile the crowd broke into a chant of his name so when he finally returned he said "You're very impatient... I'm only small..." He changed a few lines in that song to "There's a place in the sun, I believe, for anyone who has the nerve to chase one" and "I've heard that you'll try just about anything twice". Before going into the verse that ends with him removing his shirt and throwing it into the crowd, he followed the line "let me kiss you" with the question "is it too much?"
Morrissey's most recent single "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" had just fared very poorly in the charts so at some point he complained, "You'd have to be an archaeologist in order to find our new single... so we won't bother (playing?) it, instead we will torture you with another track from 'Years Of Refusal', can you bear it? (crowd cheers) The song is called 'Can You Bear It?'..." The song he ended up doing was actually "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell". He had another chart-related complaint when he said "Bob Dylan's newest went straight to number one... I do believe it's an inside job..." Before going into "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" he asked "Would you like to share something nice? Anything helps!" In any other city on this tour he would hand the microphone to various fans in the front rows after saying this, but he couldn't really do it in Liverpool as the stage was too high.
The tradition on this tour was for Morrissey to come on stage at the end of an instrumental piano version of standard "You'll Never Walk Alone". In Liverpool he also referred to that song before going into the encore, by twisting its opening line to "When you storm through a walk..." Over the opening bars of encore "First Of The Gang To Die" he shouted something undecipherable that ended with "...between families". At some point into the song he interrupted himself to reply to some fan who was trying to get his attention: "Me? There? Now? You? Me?" The fan in question tried to get on stage but was pulled back by security. He was still rewarded by Morrissey saying "nice try..." From this point on the singer just lost his concentration. The action seemed to finally stir him up. He said "At last... at last the night begins... at last the night begins... just before I was gonna take an overdose of antibiotics..." He would sing one line then babble something random like "oh jesus!", "Where to now? Where to now?", "so many lights!" and much more, mostly undecipherable. He didn't sing the encore as a medley with Big Dee Irwin's "Swinging On A Star" as he had been doing a lot at the time, but he did try at some point near the very end, before finally giving up on the song and just crouch along the stage's edge to shake hands. One of the last things he said before fleeing backstage sounded like "there's nothing like a Mersey sidewalk!"
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.