22 February 1984|
University Of Reading, Reading
Hand In GloveThis concert wasn't the best of the tour. Troublemakers in the crowd spit at the band, threw water and shouted abuse. Johnny actually spent most of the show with his back turned because his front was soaked with something thrown his way by someone in the audience.
After "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" Morrissey scolded some troublemaker: "What? Ssshhh!". Then after "Girl Afraid" he sarcastically told the disinterested audience "...not to have any heart attacks". He changed a line in "This Charming Man" to "this man said it's gruesome that someone so farty should care". Next up "Pretty Girls Make Graves" was introduced with the line "Nothing to say, except this..." Morrissey screeched "I dunno" at some point in "Still Ill", as he often did at the time. There were a few musical mistakes in that song and the following one, "This Night Has Opened My Eyes". This was probably due to the crowd's animosity distracting the band.
Morrissey himself seemed distracted during "Barbarism Begins At Home", or perhaps he just lost interest because of the troublemakers. He changed the melody of many lines, improvised parts, and at times, couldn't fit the words with the music. Next on the setlist, "Back To The Old House" was introduced with the words "This is for all you doomed romantics..." Before the final song of the main set Morrissey asked "Well? What should we do?" The audience wasn't given a chance to answer, the band went straight into "What Difference Does It Make?".
When the band took the stage again for the encore, Morrissey scolded the audience one final time: "Reading... are you listening? (crowd: yeah!) Rule #1, don't spit... old hat!" It seems like the negative elements didn't listen because one third into "You've Got Everything Now" Morrissey stopped singing and left the stage. Very professionally the band cut short to the outro. Someone unfamiliar with the song would not even have noticed that a few verses were missing.
Review collaborator: Nigel S.
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