5 June 2004|
Heineken Green Energy Festival, Dublin, Ireland
First Of The Gang To DieThe Dublin Castle Festival gig went down very well but it might be remembered less for Morrissey's performance than for a controversial comment he made about Ronald Reagan's death (read further). The venue was an open-air one. The concert started during daylight and ended right after sunset. Despite telling his fans that he was tired from lack of sleep Morrissey still looked in fine form. He was visibly enjoying himself and was very talkative. Alain looked tired though, he actually mentioned being ill at some point into the show and was seen crying when he entered stage. He still gave a flawless performance.
The Morrissey Comeback special setup (Morrissey's name in tall letters made of lights) introduced in Manchester two weeks earlier was now part of the tour set. It must be said though that in Dublin the letters were more bunched up together because the stage was smaller than at the M.E.N. Arena. No one made it on stage as it was six feet high and a barrier kept the fans at a distance.
The only surprise in the setlist was the return of "America Is Not The World" which had only been played live once so far, on the very first date of this tour. "The Headmaster Ritual" and "Jack The Ripper" were both temporarily dropped.
When he came on stage at the end of the "Imperfect List" intro piece Morrissey greeted his fans by shouting Dublin's name in Gaelic: "Baile Átha Cliath!". Britney Spears was scheduled to play there the following day so after set opener "First Of The Gang To Die" he said "And you thought you'd come to see Britney... and you have!" After the crowd favourite "Hairdresser On Fire" he simply said "So far, so good..." Following the performance of current single "Irish Blood, English Heart" he just basked in the crowd's adoration and, when someone shouted his name, he answered "me?"
Following "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey decided to plug his newest album: "As I think some of you know, we have a new album called (Morrissey motions for crowd to answer, it shouts 'You Are The Quarry'! but Morrissey corrects) 'You Ate The Curry'... and as you know we were cheated from the number one position in England... Thank you Universal Records... (fan shouts something) Ah well yes I agree, but... This is a song from it, and it's called (feigns crying)... it's called 'I'm Not Sorry'."
In the latter number Morrissey changed the line "when will this tired heart stop beating?" to "when will this feeble heart stop beating?". After the song he inexplicably said "Hello Liverpool!... that's it really..." Before going into "Let Me Kiss You" he thanked Damien Dempsey who had played before him: "And of course, massive thanks to Damo for opening the night (crowd sends mixed response)... What do you mean, boo? Do you mean woooh or boo?... Oooh? Does that mean you find him sexually attractive? I don't see it myself..."
For some very strange reason Morrissey followed one occurrence of the title line in "Let Me Kiss You" with the word "asparagus". After the song he proceeded with the introduction of the band: "You wouldn't believe they were all born and raised in the Liberties... Would you please say hello to the man with no guitar, Boz!... would you please say hello to Gary... would you please dribble for Deano... the lovely Alain... and a man of many parts, Mikey... and I'm the lovely Morrissey... not for me, not for me... this is called 'Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice'... (to someone in the audience) Beautiful, take it off!"
After the latter number Morrissey simply said "No apologies" then asked his favourite fan: "Are you okay Julia? Yeah? I had a terrible night sleep, terrible... Well it doesn't show..." After "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours" he apologised: "As Julia would tell you, occasionally I sing that song in tune, and it's much better..." He then introduced "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" with "And of course, I won't mention fat old Britney but... as a matter of fact, you'll all be there tomorrow, as a matter of fact, it just so happens, it's nothing to do with me, but it just so happens that... the world is full of crashing bores..."
Before going into "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" Morrissey enquired about his fans' voting intentions in an upcoming referendum about citizenship for immigrants: "Are you gonna vote yes or no? That sounded like a no..." After the song he said "That was a song called 'No One Can Hold A Candle To You' which is a cover version from a group called (someone in the crowd: Raymonde!) Yes, yes..." He then introduced "I Have Forgiven Jesus" with "And I can't really sing this song in tune but, do we care... Do we care? Or are you just encouraging me to sing badly? (mocking someone) You must?!" He must not have been happy with his performance because after the song he said "Well it's good on record anyway... on cd..."
Before going into "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" Alain had a word with Morrissey who then took the microphone and asked "Do you mind if Alain says hello? They don't mind... Alain then said hello and Morrissey immediately followed this with "Ok, that was it!" Alain then apologised "I'm not feeling very well so if I'm not playing well that's my excuse, sorry..." Alain took the microphone again before "America Is Not The World" and said "We're gonna try this one". This was followed by Morrissey's own introduction: "Please take this song very literally." Morrissey changed the intentions of the song by replacing "and I love you I just wish you'd stay where you is" with "I once loved you but you wouldn't stay where you is", and at the end "I love you" with "I once loved you".
Before going into main set closer "Rubber Ring" Morrissey said "I'd like to thank you for dragging yourselves here tonight it's... it's very appreciated and..." He then replied to someone's shouts with "Elisabeth who? Elisabeth who?" Of all of Morrissey's banter throughout the evening, the one that would be repeated in the press all over the world the following day was delivered right before the encore: "I would like to tell you that while we were on stage tonight Ronald Reagan died (crowd cheers)... and of course, the only unfortunate thing is that it wasn't George W Bush (crowd cheers even more)..." At the end of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" Morrissey left the stage followed by his musicians one by one, gradually stripping the song down to its orchestral melody.
The concert was recorded and broadcast within a few days on Irish radio station 2FM. "First Of The Gang To Die", "Hairdresser On Fire", "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" and "I Have Forgiven Jesus" were cut out of the broadcast as well as some of Morrissey's banter, particularly his controversial comments about George W Bush. A later rebroadcast on digital satellite radio included "First Of The Gang To Die".
The 14-song radio broadcast mentioned above can be found on the factory-pressed bootlegs titled "Poet's Justice" and "Green Energy" which also include as bonus tracks 5 radio sessions performed around that time for the BBC: "Irish Blood, English Heart", "First Of The Gang To Die" and "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" for Zane Lowe's programme, and "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" and "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" for John Peel's.
A different bootleg, this one titled "You Ate The Curry", features the same 14-song radio broadcast, paired with a different set of radio sessions from 2004: "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" (Peel), "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" (Zane Lowe), "I'm Playing Easy To Get" (Janice Long), "Redondo Beach" (Janice Long), "It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small" (Janice Long). A manufactured bootleg 2-cd set titled "How Soon Is Berlin?" features the radio broadcast of a full concert from Berlin 17 December 2006 as well as the same 14-song radio broadcast of Dublin. Finally, a bootleg titled "Yellow Belly" features an inferior recording of the radio broadcast.
The digital satellite radio broadcast mentioned above (which features the original 14-song broadcast plus "First Of The Gang To Die") is also out there but the quality is not as good as that of the radio broadcasts, and it still does lack three songs, so collectors who prefer content over sound quality will want to look out for two different audience recordings. One sounds good-ish but lacks set opener "First Of The Gang To Die" (the set is often seen circulated with the latter song in audio lifted from the DVD mentioned above). The other audience recording features the full set and sounds average.
All of the above can be found on the internet.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.