18 June 1985|
Beacon Theater, New York, USA
Meat Is MurderBecause the Smiths were playing the same venue for a second night in a row, the setlist was completely re-sequenced. It was also stretched by one song, "Reel Around The Fountain" which was returning for the first time on this leg of the tour. It had only been played a few times on the British leg at the beginning of the year. All this added up to a record total of 20 songs. Given that final song "Barbarism Begins At Home" lasted around 12 minutes, it can be said that the New York crowd was spoiled.
"Meat Is Murder" was usually the last song from the main set in 1985, but for this date it was moved all the way up to the beginning. The song was performed slightly slower, but still with a good dose of passion and emotion. The intro was slightly stretched as the band entered stage. Morrissey was the last one to come in, just before he started singing. In this night's performance, he changed a line to "The meat in your silly mouth as you savour the flavour of murder". There was no break between "Meat Is Murder" and "The Headmaster Ritual", the first segued straight into the other.
Morrissey wasn't very talkative throughout the evening. Before "This Charming Man", in which he sang "Will nature make a mouse of me yet", he said "Thank you, you're very nice, kind and considerate...". Soon after, "Stretch Out And Wait" was introduced with "This is a song which was like... thrown in the wastebasket at Sire Records... where would we be... 'Stretch Out And Wait'." Sire was the Smiths' American label and they had passed on releasing the "Shakespeare's Sister" single on which that song was found. Instead they preferred to slip the latter a-side on the back of their "How Soon Is Now?" single and forget about "Stretch Out And Wait".
Before "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", Morrissey commented on the previous night's less subdued crowd by saying "Obviously it was all the tomboys last night and tonight it's the poetic librarians but you're... a nice crowd...". After "How Soon Is Now?", which replaced "Meat Is Murder" as main set closer, he just said "Goodbye we love you" and the band left stage. They were soon called back for a total of three encores. In "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" Morrissey changed a line to "Lord know you can be the first time". "Jeane" was dedicated by Morrissey: "This song is for Billy... who is a good boy... 'Jeane'!" The final song "Barbarism Begins At Home" was stretched to 12 minutes and was very well received by the New York crowd.
An alternate audience recording of the full set (taper: dgk), this one of excellent quality, can also be traded from certain bootleg collectors, but this has only made it on the internet on 2006 and is still scarcely found there at this point in time.
MP3s of "I Suffer" are well circulated on file sharing networks, sometimes augmented by the addition of "Barbarism Begins At Home" from the second recording mentioned above.
Live versions of "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want", "Jeane" and "Barbarism Begins At Home" found on some bootlegs produced for the September 1985 show in Glasgow are credited as being from New York, but this is probably from the first New York gig which took place on the night before this one. See details for the latter date here.
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