12 June 2009|
Berlin (Germany), Columbiahalle
This Charming ManMorrissey was going through a good phase and this was another great concert, perhaps one of the best of this leg of the Tour Of Refusal. Both Morrissey and the band were at their best. The singer was very theatrical and communicative. For the first time in some time he chatted with fans in the front rows. The audience was very energetic and receptive and the front, but very still at the back. There were no changes made to the setlist.
As he walked on stage Morrissey greeted the Berlin audience with the line "I'm your very humble guest!" In "Billy Budd" he punctuated the line "things have been bad" by adding "Really? Yes!" The Smiths classic "Ask" was extremely well received so he cajoled the audience by saying "So, maybe, maybe after all, I am German..." He followed "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" with the introduction of the band: "And when the sun rests in a particular light, on the trees in the distance, somehow you can see Boz Boorer... somehow you can see Solomon Walker... on the drums, Matthew Walker... on the guee-tar, Jesse Tobias... piano, Kristopher Pooley..." At this point, instead of saying something about himself, he sang a few lines of Elvis' "Wooden Heart", surely because that song is based on the traditional German tune "Muss I Denn Zum Städele Hinaus": "Treat me nice, treat me good, treat me like you really should, cause I'm not made of (makes sound instead of singing 'wood') and I don't have a (makes triple sound instead of singing 'wooden heart')..."
After "Girlfriend In A Coma" Morrissey accepted various gifts handed to him from the audience, while saying something that sounded like "Scarabus, scarabus, scarabus... gracias..." After "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" he had more kind words for the Germans: "Thank you Berlin... thank you for my life..." Following a very passionate "Seasick, Yet Still Docked" he added "So, here I am, I'm alive now, I'm in Berlin, and quite happy..." He then handed the microphone to various people in the front rows and chatted with them: "How are you? How are you? (fan answers) Gracias... (hands microphone to someone else) Any questions? (fan: 'no question but I've got bruises bigger than dinner plates') Was it worth it? (moves to someone else) Any questions? (fan says Poland is waiting for him) We will be in Poland very soon... (moves to someone else) Da-da-da-da-da! Question? (fan asks him to come to Australia) Next question... (other fan: 'Sweden loves you!') We love Sweden! That was an easy one..."
Morrissey twisted a usual lyric change in "Let Me Kiss You" to "I heard that you'll try just about anyone twice". After the song he echoed one of its lines by teasingly saying "My heart, and everything else, is open to you..." When everyone returned to the stage for the encore, they did the traditional line-and-bow but, having been in a playful mood all evening, Morrissey pulled the whole line down to the floor and everyone piled on top of each other, laughing. Before going into the encore Morrissey treated the Berliners to a few lines from the Cabaret song: "Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret". During "First Of The Gang To Die" the front of the crowd became hectic with people trying to make it on stage and in the midst of all that action, over the song's bridge, Morrissey shouted "You call yourself a man!? You call yourself a woman!?" One female fan landed on the stage. The security guard managed to grab her ankle but her ambition pulled her free and she ran straight past Morrissey towards the exit, probably because she was blinded by the stage lights. She turned around, saw Morrissey and gave him a big hug before letting herself be taken away.
Instrumental versions of "Jeane", "Tomorrow" and "You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side" were heard at soundcheck. It is unclear if Morrissey was considering adding them to the setlist or if they were just songs the band liked to play. None of those songs would be played on this tour, and they were not soundchecked with Morrissey.
As for audio, the concert was taped by (at least) two different people. Both recordings are of quite good quality and feature the complete set. The recording credited to recorder Lucky_Dog is slightly better than the one credited to the Louder Than Bootlegs team. The latter version is often seen with artwork under the simple title "Berlin".
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.