21 September 1997|
Lakewood Civic Auditorium, Cleveland, OH
The Teachers Are Afraid Of The PupilsAll in all, this concert went down well. Morrissey was in good spirits and the audience rather receptive and at times energetic. The highlight must have been the live introduction of "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils". It was played for the first time on this tour, and consequently for the first time in North America. It was performed in an abridged form, as it had been on the 1995 dates promoting the "Southpaw Grammar" album. To make space for it "Maladjusted" was dropped and the song took its place as set opener.
Morrissey kicked off the show with "Goodbye, Cleveland!" before going into the first number. He wasn't very talkative throughout the evening. Beside a few thanks, such as "Thank you we are most grateful" after "Billy Budd" or "Thank you enormously" after "Speedway", his most elaborate banter was "I suppose you're bored stiff, really... or you're just too polite to say..." after "Sunny" and "This is our last song, and we're going to... like to play it!" before main set closer "Satan Rejected My Soul".
Besides the usual changes in "Read Meet Author", Morrissey sang "I'd be the first away because I'm that type". In "Paint A Vulgar Picture", instead of the usual live change "Please depressing Belgians", he sang "please the bloody Belgians". He also sang "BPI, MTV, BBC, kiss their arses", something he would repeat over the following few weeks.
After "Paint A Vulgar Picture" someone shouted "Johnny did it better!" which prompted Morrissey to retort "No he didn't". But this was only the tip of the provocation to come. A few bars into the last song of main set someone in the audience lifted a sign saying "Joyce 1, Morrissey 0" (an allusion to the previous year's court case which Morrissey lost). After reading this Morrissey stopped singing and walked off stage, taking Boz with him. Boz then had Johnny and Spencer follow him while Alain fingered the offender with both hands and shouted "You just ruined the gig". Security escorted the Smiths-shirt-wearing troublemaker outside so the concert could resume, but perhaps also because the angry crowd wanted to lynch him. Then Morrissey returned to the stage to perform the planned encore "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" without mentioning the incident.
The first 45-minutes of this concert (so until halfway into "Paint A Vulgar Picture") were filmed and this recording is circulated on bootlegs DVDs. The footage was shot from right-of-center on the balcony and is of average quality. It is a mix of shaky zoom-ins and more stable zoom-outs, with many black-outs in between.
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