24 April 2004|
The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA
First Of The Gang To DieNight #3 of Morrissey's five-night residency at the Wiltern was another great show. Morrissey was in a good mood and talkative, and the band was at its best. The crowd was quieter and more attentive during the unfamiliar new numbers and more demonstrative during the classics. Quite a few fans made it on stage, some with the help of Morrissey himself.
Because this was the third consecutive date at the same venue Morrissey scrambled the setlist and made a few changes to its content. Surprisingly new song "I Have Forgiven Jesus" was not played for the first time on this tour. "Little Man What Now" and "Now My Heart Is Full" from the back catalogue were also dropped. The latter would actually never be played again. Only two songs - "Hand In Glove" and "The Headmaster Ritual" - replaced those three, this brought the setlist length down to 17 songs.
Morrissey came on stage with a plant (allegedly lilac, read further) hanging from his crotch zipper and greeted the audience with a simple "Hello to you!". After set opener "First Of The Gang To Die" he introduced himself and the band with "We are the Sweet And Tender Hooligans... my name is Jose..." This greeting was prompted by the latter tribute band's presence in the audience. The Smiths-era's "The Headmaster Ritual" was introduced with the line "And there's a very small part of West Hollywood which is... which will be forever Smithy... so, you must please remember..." Morrissey ended the latter song with a high-pitched "Shazam!" Future b-side "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" was then introduced with "And as always you can make fun of my lilac but don't make fun of daddy's voice..."
Before going into "Jack The Ripper" Morrissey teased the audience with the question "Would you like to hear a song from 'Kill Uncle'? (crowd cheers) Yeah? You will have to go home and play it..." After the song a t-shirt with the words "It's okay to cry" on the front landed on stage. Morrissey picked it up, had a good look at it and, with an amused look, asked "Who threw this? I cry every day, every day..." In "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" he mistakenly sang "everybody look, see pain and walk away" instead of "when they are they and only I am I". After the song he thanked the appreciative crowd with "Very generous, thank you..." then asked his favourite fan "Julia? Julia? Are you okay?" He handed her the microphone so she could share her side of the conversation with everyone. She answered him and returned the question, which he answered with "How am I? Well, I'm really well, and you? Are you staying in a nice place? (to the crowd) It's Julia..."
Over the opening bars of "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" Morrissey told someone "nice hair!". After the song he said "That song was called 'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores'. Can you name one? Who? Who? Who? Madogga? Madogga? I don't know Madogga. I've heard of Madonna... It's not funny was it?" The crowd favourite "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" was slotted halfway into the setlist but, as if the song was played in its usual encore position, many fans tried and successfully made it on stage. Before going into "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey said "I'd like to dedicate that song to Cruz... Cruz? (listens to shouts from the audience) No... You!... Sammy!"
Before going into "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" Morrissey proceeded with the customary introduction of the band. As he gave each of his musicians' names he went to them and shook their hands: "Now... I wonder if I could just introduce you to... (answers someone) no... introduce you to the boys in the band? Can I? Boz! Gary! Deano! Kenny (undecipherable) - Alain! Mikey! Yes..." The cover of Raymonde's "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" was introduced with "So as the irregular regulars know, a cover version, British, 1980s, Raymonde!" Then "I'm Not Sorry" was preceded by "This song is, for a change, the story of my life, and... God knows there's been many many stories but, as Julia knows, I'm not sorry..."
After "I'm Not Sorry" Morrissey replied to someone's shout with the question "Which man? Which man exactly?" Then to other shouts he replied "Don't hold it back, it'll only create flatulence, spit it out!" New song "All The Lazy Dykes" was introduced with "This song could very well be about you, it's called 'All The Lazy Dykes'..." After the song Morrissey picked up a bra that had just been thrown on stage and said "Thank you for throwing this but it's of no use because recently I've gone up a bra size..." As the joke fell flat on the audience's ears he felt he had to add "Joke! British joke!"
When Morrissey returned to the stage after a short break for the encore, he pretended to limp and held his right leg as if it was stiff or numb. He then took the microphone and said "I thought this was the case last night, but it's also the case tonight that, I've finally realised the importance of being... Ernesto!" The band then launched into encore "Hand In Glove" but stopped after just a bar or two. Morrissey exclaimed "Oh dear... tomorrow night I'm working with tapes!" and the band started the song again, this time without a hitch.
As for audio-only recordings, fans and collectors will want to get their hands on an audience recording of the complete set circulated on compact discs and in digital format on the internet (recorder: D.Hamblen). The sound quality is rather good, the only minor annoyance is the proximity of a screaming girl. This is sometimes seen under the title "Live At The Wiltern 24-4-2004". It is also sometimes seen on the internet without "Everyday Is Like Sunday", and incorrectly credited as being from 26 April 2004.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.