12 December 1999|
Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno, CA
You're Gonna Need Someone On Your SideThis was a very good concert. The audience was incredibly receptive and energetic. Morrissey was in great form and in good spirits despite sound problems making it difficult for him to perform. At some point these technical difficulties were bad enough that one song even had to be stopped (read further). After that the situation wasn't completely resolved, but fortunately for fans who attended there were no more interruptions.
The setlist was slightly scrambled and regulars "Billy Budd" and "Break Up The Family" were reinstated. To make space for them, "Lost" and "Trouble Loves Me" were dropped. The latter title would not be played again until the Latin American dates the following Spring.
Morrissey's first words as he entered stage were his greeting to the audience: "Frisky Fresno, we've come to thrash you!... Hello..." After the opening segue of "You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side" into "The Boy Racer" he added "Thank you compadres, it's nice to see you, all of you... it's nice to see you..." In the opening bars to "Billy Budd" he told someone "very nice!" After that song he joked "I hope you're wearing Pampers because... some of you just might pee, I dunno... I hope so, I'm ready to pee..."
After "Speedway" Morrissey commented on a sign someone was holding: "Ah dear Mexico, very nice sign..." Someone else must have been trying to get Morrissey's attention with their sign because after "November Spawned A Monster" the man told them "I can't see very well..." After a rapturously received "Half A Person" he enquired "I hope we're playing in tune, are we? (crowd: yes!)... Can you hear me properly? (crowd: yeah!)... Does anybody here actually live in Fresno? (crowd: yeah!)... Oh, oh, oh... Is there anybody from Stockton? No? Thank God..."
A few lines into "Break Up The Family" Morrissey said "I can't hear properly!" Then after a few more lines he asked "Ah stop a minute, stop... I can't hear, I can't hear you play..." The band stopped and while they were waiting for the problem to be fixed the audience broke into a chant of Morrissey's name. The man interrupted it to apologise "I'm sorry about that, but I couldn't really hear it properly so, we can either move on, or... move on..." After another short pause he added "This doesn't happen to Simply Red... but nothing happens to Simply Red..."
After "Hairdresser On Fire" Morrissey replied to another comment shouted to him: "Where? Which one? What?... Ah yesterday? In San Francisco?" He acknowledged the audience's enthusiasm for "Is It Really So Strange?" with "We're very pleased that you like all these very depressing English songs... it can only mean one thing... which is what, what does it mean?... I don't know..." Halfway into "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils" he encouraged a fan who was trying to reach the stage by telling him between two lines "swim boy, swim boy, swim boy..." After "Meat Is Murder" he chatted again with fans in the front rows: "Gracias... how are you? Are you okay?"
In the opening bars to "Now My Heart Is Full" Morrissey asked someone "Can you come on the stage?" Near the end of it he sang "Help! SOS! Help me! Help!". After that number he removed his shirt and said "Whoever gets the t-shirt gets me... zoop, back it comes!". After throwing the shirt, he added "If you don't get the t-shirt you can also have me." In "Reader Meet Author" he changed a line to "Have you ever escaped from a Mexican life!" After the song he voiced his concerns again about the sound: "I'm sure everything is off key and not in tune but erm... thank God... What? Sorry? What? What? Do you mean this? This!? Yes? Should I plug it?"
When he returned to the stage after a short break to perform the encore "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me", Morrissey introduced it with the words "This song is for the young at heart! I love you! Don't forget me, I won't forget you..." After his vocal part was done he said "thank you for listening!" and sang a few lines of "I love you, goodbye! I love you, goodbye!"
There is a second audience recording out there, it is of unknown quality and has yet to make it to common circulation and on the internet.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.