7 December 2009|
Pomona (CA), Fox Theater
This Charming ManFollowing the cancellation of the previous date, fans were worried about how this one would turn out, but their fears were in vain. Morrissey may have looked a bit tired according to certain reports, and he was drinking something warm to soothe his throat, but he was in a great mood, passionate, theatrical and overall he sounded good. The crowd was loud, but tamer than expected. They broke into weak and poorly coordinated chants of Morrissey's name.
The setlist was brought back to a typical sequence of this tour, with the return of "Because Of My Poor Education", "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores", "I'm OK By Myself" and "First Of The Gang To Die", and the dropping of "Let Me Kiss You" and "If You Don't Like Me, Don't Look At Me".
When he took the stage Morrissey greeted the crowd with the line "Thank you! My... my pretty face is going to hell!", a slight variation on the title of a Stooges song he was particularly in love with at the time. He had actually just programmed it as one of his Desert Island Discs (on UK's BBC Radio 4) a few weeks earlier. After the song he thanked "Pomona, Pomona, Pomona...", echoing "Pomme, Pomme, Pomme", the title of a Eurovision contest favourite of his that he had featured in his intermission music some years before. He changed a line in "When Last I Spoke To Carol" to "I've hammered a smile across this potty face of mine". Following the usual live change in "How Soon Is Now?" to "you see I've already waited too look and most of my life has gone", he added something that sounded like "unless... unless..." or "more or less... more or less..."
Following "Ganglord" Morrissey told the crowd "Well, this really isn't too bad because in Vegas I actually died for 8 minutes, so this isn't bad..." Then, with his back to the audience, he mumbled dismissively "nobody cares..." He introduced "Is It Really So Strange?" with the words "this next song is extremely spiritual..." In live performances of the latter number at the time he usually changed a line to "I found a modest house", but on this date he took this further and sang "I found a Camden house". After the song he asked the crowd "Am I really in Pomona? (crouches and points at the stage floor) Is this really Pomona? It's incredible! (moves and points left and right around the stage) Pomona!..."
Between two lines of "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" Morrissey exclaimed "where's my sombrero!" He ended the song by singing "grab me while... just grab me!". He then tried to tease the crowd into action by asking "Is everything okay? (cheers) Is anybody having a horrible time? (audience roars no, Morrissey points over to house right at someone) Somebody said 'yes'..." After "Death At One's Elbow" he proceeded with the introduction of the band: "Dancing his legs down to the knees is, would you believe, would you believe, Boz Boorer... Would you even believe, on the bass guitar is Solomon Walker?... It's his birthday yesterday, and... today he looks old. On the drums is Matt Walker... On the guitar, uh (pretends to read notes on his palm) his name is, I believe, Jesse Tobias.... and playing the piano is Gustavo Manzur... I am angry, I am ill, and I am ugly as sin (crowd cheers) Don't applaud that!"
Between "Teenage Dad On His Estate" and "Because Of My Poor Education" Morrissey joked "That song and this song are on our recent cd called 'Swords', which you can buy in Rosemead with the frozen vegetables..." He extended a line in the latter number to "this is my bed and I must lie... forever!". He also altered usual lyrics changes to "kind people they look at me and say 'Thank Christ that's not me" and "Reality? What's that? It's never been real for me". As an introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he said "Now I'm very sorry that the modern world of music is so terrible... and modern radio, music television is so awful... but I think as we music lovers know... well, the world is full of crashing bores..." He changed a line in that song to "they who wish to put you down, they work within the law".
"Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" also saw variations on usual lyric changes, as Morrissey sang "some men here, they have a special interest in your fatty career, they wanna help you to grow but first syphon all your dough". After the song he asked "Gracias! Shall we continue?" The crowd replied loudly and over the opening bars of "Cemetry Gates" Morrissey incredulously asked "Really?" He pulled a female fan up on stage during that number, but she was pulled away by security before she even had a chance to hug her idol. Over the closing bars of the song the singer said something about Pomona. Then after the song he asked someone about something written on a sign he was holding "Honestly? (Did this happen?) Is this true? How do you know? (hands microphone to fan who says something about the Thirties and watching Bing Crosby) You've been watching what? And you said?"
Morrissey was given an Elvis flag at the end of "Ask", so before and during following number "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" he wrapped it around his legs like an apron, then spun it, then wrapped it around his head and his neck before disposing of it on the drum rise. For the benefit of the many hispanophones in the room, he followed "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" (which ends with repeated not-quite-Spanish 'no te divertes con pappy') with the explanation "If you're curious about the fading words, it's a Columbian mating ritual to which nobody answers..."
When Morrissey and the band returned to the stage for the encore, following the traditional line-and-bow, the singer had touching parting words for the audience: "Thank you, of course, to Doll and the Kicks. Please go and see them next Monday at the Whiskey, they deserve your support. And I don't deserve your love, but I have it and I'm happy, so thank you..." Quite a few fans tried to make it on stage during the encore, and Morrissey looked like he wanted it, but no one was successful thanks to the vigilance of the sometimes brutal security.
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