25 August 1986|
Universal Amphitheater, Studio City, Los Angeles, CA
Still IllThe Los Angeles shows were the wildest ones of the 1986 North American tour. There was a great deal of stage climbing, often encouraged by Morrissey himself. When asked in interview about these LA concerts, Morrissey had this to say: "The first night in LA, they brought in the police. The second night they had to bring in the army. People were so responsive - I had to be dragged off the stage several times. It was really insane."
The Smiths were adding variety to their setlist at this point of the tour. The recently reintroduced "Shakespeare's Sister" wasn't played but "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" returned to the set for the first time in a few weeks and the medley of "Rusholme Ruffians" with an intro of Elvis' "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame" was played for the first time on the North American leg of the Queen Is Dead tour.
As soon as the Smiths came on stage there was an incredible rush of noise. The band fed off the audience's energy and Morrissey was quite talkative. He greeted the crowd when he entered stage, but his first significant banter came as an introduction to the crowd favourite "How Soon Is Now?": "This next song is written by one of our most talented songwriters... Madonna..." After the song he acknowledged the conditions in the front rows by saying "Listen, if you feel the urge to move, for heaven's sake, move..." After one more number he introduced "Panic" by saying "This is a new song, which I'm sure they'll keep away from you, 'Panic'." The reason for this comment was that at the time Sire (the Smiths' label in the USA) had declined to release the single in America despite the fact that it had charted very well in the UK. They would change their mind, but not until the end of this tour.
After "Stretch Out And Wait", through deafening cheers, Morrissey teasingly asked "Where are you? We can hardly see you, are you there?" The newly written and not yet released "Is It Really So Strange?" was introduced with the straightforward line "This song is called 'Is It Really So Strange?'." Following "Cemetry Gates" Morrissey strugglingly said "I'm sorry... I'm sorry you're pinned to your seats... but still... never mind..." The vegetarian anthem "Meat Is Murder" was "...dedicated to all the people who made this happen... the Smiths!" Morrissey had a sarcastic jab at American radio as an introduction to "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now": "This song is quite old, but it still applies, especially when you take into consideration... daytime radio airplay..."
When Morrissey joined the rest of the band on stage after the instrumental "Money Changes Everything", he introduced "I Know It's Over" with the words "This song is a dedication to a friend called Andy..." Between the second encore's "Hand In Glove" and "Bigmouth Strikes Again", when the feel of last call was pushing more fans to try and make it on stage, Morrissey teased them by saying "Listen, if you get stopped by security, kiss them on the lips!"
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