17 April 2004|
The Joint, Las Vegas, NV
First Of The Gang To DieThe first concert of Morrissey's extensive You Are The Quarry tour went down very well, especially when considering that more than half of the setlist was performed for the first time ever and that the band now included a new member, keyboard player Mike Farrell. The sound was overall excellent, but there were a few vocal glitches here and there early on in the gig. Morrissey apologised for this more than once and said that they would work it out for the Anaheim show. Things gradually picked up and by the end of the show everything was perfect. All in all Morrissey was slightly less talkative than he had been on the past few tours. Security was very strict and a barrier kept the audience at a certain distance from the stage so, despite a few near-successful attempts, nobody made it up to their idol. Many fans still managed to shake Morrissey's hand.
The setlist featured 8 of the 12 songs off Morrissey's newest album "You Are The Quarry", set to be released one months later. Four of these had already been introduced on the 2002 tour and the other four were completely new to everyone in the audience. The crowd was therefore more quiet during these numbers because the fans were paying attention to words and music they were not familiar with. "All The Lazy Dykes" (also from the newest album) was on the setlist but skipped.
Another unfamiliar song in the setlist was Morrissey's cover of Raymonde's "No One Can Hold A Candle To You". The song would later be released as a b-side, but not until the end of the year. Morrissey also did two Smiths songs never performed live before in his solo career, "The Headmaster Ritual" and "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours", as well as two more that had already been played on previous tours. The rest of the setlist was rounded up with early solo songs ranging from 1988 to 1992, all of which previously done live, except for the new version of "Everyday Is Like Sunday" which included a new intro, the first verse of a New York Dolls song called "Subway Train".
After the "Imperfect List" intro Morrissey walked on stage with his musicians and greeted the audience with "Good evening to you Vegas... Hello..." He had something that looked like mistletoe hanging from his crotch zipper. The plant was eventually sent flying into the audience, just like Morrissey's shirt would at the end of the concert. The first live introduction of the evening was "America Is Not The World" and it was introduced by Morrissey with "It's very nice to see whoever you are like... and, of course, we don't agree with experiments on animals under any circumstances but... we don't mind experimenting on humans, so... tonight we're gonna try out some new songs and... we never know, you might like them! Please don't be offended, America is not the world..."
After the latter number Morrissey said "That really wasn't so difficult..." then had a few words with his most dedicated fan: "Julia... We're only here because Julia's here, as usual..." In the debuting "The Headmaster Ritual" he mistakenly sang "same old suit since 1902. He must have realised his mistake because he followed it with a strange sound, and after the song apologised "I should be singing in tune by Anaheim, I swear... maybe not!"
After the crowd favourite "Everyday Is Like Sunday" the audience broke into a chant of Morrissey's name and the man in question self-deprecatingly replied "I don't deserve it..." In "I Have Forgiven Jesus" he changed, perhaps distractedly, "unlock all this love" to "offload all this love". The song was very well received and this prompted Morrissey to tell the appreciative audience "Thank you that's very very kind of you..." before introducing the following song, another new number, with "This is another song from - would you believe, please don't faint - our new album and the song is called 'How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?'."
The latter number was also very well received but Morrissey wasn't very happy with his performance and this prompted him to say "thanks for your steely patience..." He then apologised for something he didn't really have any control over: "Oh, by the way, I'm sorry about the Spin cover... Horrible. Have you seen it? Have you seen it? Not very nice... not very nice..." In "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" he followed the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" with "thank God!". Following "Little Man, What Now?" he said "I'd like to (?) people who traveled because... I know... I'm very aware of the fact that nobody actually lives in Las Vegas (giggles)... that's impossible!"
After the debuting "I'm Not Sorry" Morrissey said "Thank you that was a new song from our album which is called 'You Are The Quarry' (crowd cheers)... and you really are the quarry, do you realise that? No?... (to someone in particular) I saw you today by the pool with all the frats, all the jocks or whatever you call it..." Morrissey was also unhappy about his performance of "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours" because after it he repeated "As I've said earlier we'll be in tune for Anaheim... possibly... maybe... (someone passes a remark) Say that one more time!" Over the first few bars of "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he exclaimed "Classic!"
The Raymonde cover "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" was introduced by Morrissey with "Really, we're all aware of how much you absolutely love the eighties so... (crowd screams loudly) I know - but God knows why you do, I really don't know but... Now we'd like to do a cover version from the eighties from a group... Have you - if anybody knows who recorded this song... I will give you... I will give you twenty dollars..." The song was very well received so Morrissey said "Very nice" then turned to someone trying to answer his question: "Who? Who? Please applaud this boy (crowd applauds)..." The fan actually pronounced the band's name as 'Raymonday' but because it is a French name, the final 'e' is mute so Morrissey corrected him with "However it is pronounced Ray-mond, but never mind..."
The crowd favourite "Jack The Ripper" was then introduced with "We know you're sick to death of this song but we quite like it so pppfftt!" In it Morrissey changed a line to "I know a place where everyone is likely to pass." After the song he asked someone "Does that mean you're actually not singing 'Jack The Ripper'? Very peculiar... Are you alright Julia? Yeah? Well..." Before launching into encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" he announced "The final song is entitled 'Because We Must'..." The song's new live arrangement for this tour ended with the musicians leaving the stage one after the other until there was only keyboard player Michael Farrell left. So gradually the song was stripped from its instruments one by one until the only thing left was the 'violin' melody line played on the keyboard.
There are one or two additional audience recordings out there, but they are not shared much at this point in time. One of the circulated or uncirculated recordings is credited to recorder Shelley.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.