10 December 2009|
Los Angeles (CA), Gibson Amphitheatre
This Charming ManThis concert left a good number of fans disappointed or worried about Morrissey's health. The singer started struggling with his voice again and repeatedly drank warm liquid from a metallic container. His vocal troubles distracted him and at times he slurred, skipped lyrics and seemed out of focus. To some, he looked like he was going through the motions. He was obviously unhappy about this and it showed. He soldiered on and, against expectations, finished the set. He seemed to accept this and still playfully interacted with the audience which was very receptive and appreciative. No changes were made to the setlist.
As he picked up the microphone after coming on stage, Morrissey greeted the audience with a shout of "Unite and take over!" Over the crowd's deafening applause following set opener "This Charming Man", he added "welcome to hell!" Over the opening bars of "Ganglord" he said something that sounded like "A flash of light in colour, and what you have..." He changed a line in that song to "history tells us, the police they can always be bribed". After the song he simply said "Thank you enormously..." He changed lines in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to "only stone and steel accept this love" and "only stone and steel quite nicely accept my love". After the first of many instances where he would stop singing and look annoyed with himself, he ended the song with the line "yes you've made yourself more plain... many times..."
Morrissey introduced the Smiths classic "Is It Really So Strange?" with the line "I think I can hear it now... having been safe, for three seconds... Let me quote myself, by saying this..." The song was very well received by the crowd, but Morrissey wasn't happy with it and responded to the cheers by saying "No-no-no-no... that's ok..." while motioning for them to stop. After "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" he made another unhappy face, then said "For the reason I'm here is for this.... (takes gifts from audience) Gracias... God bless you (holds a pile of gifts up for everyone to see) Goodbye!..." Then, as an introduction to "Death At One's Elbow", he asked "Can you bare anymore?" In live performance of the latter number at the time he usually changed a line to "you'll slip on the trails of all my sad remains", but on this day he took this to "you'll slip on the trails of all my beautiful remains". He was again unhappy with his performance, and told the cheering audience after the song, "you're too kind..."
Following the final "he's happy so leave him alone" in "Teenage Dad On His Estate", Morrissey asked "what does that mean?" The latter song, just like the next planned one, were from his latest album "Swords", so at this point Morrissey said "If you're 20,000 leagues under the ocean, or if you're a part of some very mysterious private club, you will know we have just released a cd called 'Swords'... and from it is this song. Thank you..." That song was "Because Of My Poor Education", and Morrissey slightly extended one of its lines to "a ship lost six inches away from the bay".
As an introduction of "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" Morrissey said "I think it's all very well in life to have an open mind but, if you drive up and down Sunset, and if you see all the billboards on Sunset, you realize, quite naturally, that the world is full of crashing bores..." He once again had to skip words in the latter number, and as the crowd carried on singing, he said "I know!", as if he had forgotten his words and they were telling him what they were. When he skipped more words down the line, he just bent down, shook someone's hand, and asked "Are you sure? Are you sure? You must be..." Later he playfully changed a line to "take me in your arms and love me, and do something with me!" He mumbled some of the song's final words, then at the very end he just howled like a wolf.
Following the latter number Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of the band: "They are doing their best to radiate love, and - yes, I heard you - and that here is Boz Boorer... that here is Solomon Walker... on the drums is Matt Walker... guitarist is Jesse Tobias... and our new friend, Gustavo Manzur... my name is George Lopez..." The latter bit was a joking reference to his previous night's performance on television late night programme Lopez Tonight. One verse into "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" Morrissey bent to one fan, asked "for me?" and accepted a gift handed to him. After the song he deadpanned "that's just the way it goes!" He then had his traditional chat with various fans in the front rows: "Would you like to speak? Help! Help!" A few people said their hellos and thanks, and one person suggested he used the cough drops she had given him, before one fan quoted from Elvis and told him "I want you, I need you, I love you, Morrissey..." On getting the microphone back, the singer self-deprecatingly replied "It will pass..."
Besides the usual lyric changes in "Cemetry Gates", Morrissey also sang: "Keats and Yeats are on your side and you win because Wilde is on mine". When he returned to the stage for the encore, his parting words were "You win some, you lose some, but thank you for your love...." He was very likely referring to his disappointment on how the show turned out for him. His heart was not really into singing encore "First Of The Gang To Die", but he still looked like he was happy to be there. After a verse he eyed the frantic fans trying to get on stage, said "now it begins", and more or less stopped singing. He let the crowd fill in, accepted gifts, then sang a bit of "Swinging On A Star" before giving up again and letting the fans finish the song. He then removed his shirt and as he usually does, threw it into the audience before fleeing backstage.
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