23 May 2009|
Manchester (UK), Apollo
This Charming ManThis second of two consecutive concerts at the Manchester Apollo was a good one, but it could not beat the 50th anniversary show which had taken place the night before. Morrissey's voice broke early on and he did most of the show in a lower key than usual. This obviously affected his mood and enthusiasm. He was more focused on his voice and less chatty, and there was less interaction with the crowd (ie no chat with fans in the front rows). He still danced up a storm and gave a great show. Also, there was nowhere near as much anticipation in the crowd. Where on the first night everyone was up on their feet singing and dancing, on this second date many people were sat down. Only at the front was there action, to the point where people sometimes had to be pulled out. For some reason it was also reported that the sound was not as good.
The setlist length was brought back to the 21-song tour standard with the return of "Seasick Yet Still Docked" and the removal of "All You Need Is Me" and "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores". Then, surely because of Morrissey's vocal difficulties, "Sorry Doesn't Help" was skipped (it was initially slotted after "Best Friend On The Payroll").
Upon entering stage Morrissey greeted the crowd by saying "What, you again?". He said something that sounded like "Grey Mare Lane 1978" or "Green Lane 1978" at the beginning of "How Soon Is Now?" He punctuated a few common lyric changes in the latter number by singing "I am the son, the son and heir, OF WHAT!?" of a shyness that is crippling and vulgar" and "most of my life has gone, thank God!". After that song he asked the crowd "Are you mad enough? Are you willing enough? Well, who are you then?" After "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" he said "You may shout now..." After changing into a brown shirt he said "When I wear brown, I get loose tongued!"
Following "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of his musicians: "Could I... possibly... interest you... in... Boz Boorer... or do you feel partial to Solomon Walker?... Do you really?... Matt Walker on the drums... They is brothers... unrelated, sleek, Jesse Tobias... and the lonely Kristopher Pooley... and I... have anythings... I just said that..." After "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" he answered someone with the line "I dunno... it's something I fight with..." At the beginning of "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" Morrissey's voice broke and he said "oh dear" out loud, into the microphone. For the rest of the song he seemed to struggle to finish his lines. The next few songs were sung in a lower key. After "I Keep Mine Hidden" he said "What now? What happens now?" At some point he said something about nodules, "one here... and another", whilst he bent down pretending to pick things up.
After "When Last I Spoke To Carol" the band were getting prepared for "Sorry Doesn't Help" but Morrissey decided to skip the song and go straight into the next planned number, "Best Friend On The Payroll", so they had to switch instruments again. Between two lines in "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" the singer asked someone "Yeah? What? Why? When? Who? Me? You?" Main set closer "I'm OK By Myself" was introduced with the line "This next song is called 'Sink Or Swim'..." When Morrissey returned to the stage for the encore, he had these parting words for the crowd: "I will see you either up there (pointing up) or down there (pointing down) and meanwhile, thanks for saving my life..." As he had been doing on and off on this tour, encore "First Of The Gang To Die" was done as a medley with Big Dee Irwin's "Swinging On A Star". During the song Morrissey pulled Boz by his guitar to the front of the stage. The singer then went stage left and leaned his head against the speaker for a couple of seconds, he even kissed it, and then was gone.
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