29 September 2004|
DAR Constitutional Hall, Washington, DC
How Soon Is Now?The first concert of the North American leg of the 2004 tour went down very well. Morrissey was in great spirits and gave his best despite looking slightly under the weather. He had something to say in between every song, or almost. The audience looked a bit subdued but still appreciative. Security was very rough in the crowd and around the venue but, under Morrissey's instructions, gentle with fans trying to make it on stage.
Two new numbers were debuted, both from the Smiths catalogue. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" was the first one, it had not been performed by Morrissey since the Smiths days. The 2004 live arrangement of the song was rough and energetic, as it had been almost 20 years earlier. The other new addition to the 2004 setlists was "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me". That one had been performed in 1999 and 2000 on the Oye Esteban tour, so it wasn't new to solo Morrissey. However it was now done closer to the album version, including a piano intro. All in all, Morrissey would sing 5 songs from the Smiths years throughout the evening. The remainder of the setlist was typical of the earlier sets on this tour.
Morrissey hit the stage at the end of the usual "Imperfect List" intro music and greeted his fans with "It's wet, it's Wednesday, it's Washington!". After set opener "How Soon Is Now?" he jokingly added "It's nice to be back here at the 9:30 Club." The latter was the venue he often played at when in Washington. After one more song, he said "Thank you... and thank you for thanking me for thanking you... and welcome to our - yes, I'm afraid, it's a pop concert... and you thought you were sophisticated. Not yet!"
To the usual live changes in "November Spawned A Monster" Morrissey added "Yes I am a freak nothing can make good of all the bad that's been done." The latter change would be standard throughout the remainder of this tour. After "November Spawned A Monster" Morrissey chatted with his favourite fan and explained why two shows scheduled before this one had been postponed: "Julia, how is your knee? Much better? Well, you know, my voice completely went, it completely went... How do you know that? You read the internet do you? Well, it completely went." She told him something he couldn't understand, he said "sorry?" and handed her the microphone so she could repeat what she was trying to say. She congratulated him on his latest album "You Are The Quarry" going platinum in the UK the previous week, which drew cheers from the audience.
In "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey followed the line "most people keep their brains between the legs" with a shout of "well look!". After the song he said "Just remember you don't need to clap if you really don't want to... I know more than I know... (someone requests "Come Back To Camden") Uh?... I can't, I can't, I can't sing, I just can't sing that..." This was followed with the unexpected live debut of "Bigmouth Strikes Again". The song was brought into the 21st Century by Morrissey with the change of a line to "As the flames rose to her roman nose and her iPod started to melt". After the song Morrissey dropped his microphone or something of the sort and said "I'm not professional yet... another 20 years... you'll see! I'll even make it to Rolling Stone Magazine! 20 years..."
After "Let Me Kiss You", Morrissey introduced his band: "Could I please introduce you to some American blood, English hearts... which is a great combination and... (answers someone) Me first!... (back to introduction) Here is Boz Boorer... here is Gary Day... Deano!... the incredible Jesse Tobias... and a man apart, Mikey V Farrell... (someone shouts something) What? (fan repeats, Morrissey reprimands) Tsk-tsk-tsk-tsk... And this is completely unrelated but, as a matter of fact, as a matter of absolute fact... the world is full of crashing bores..." The latter line was of course Morrissey's introduction for "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores". After the song, on the subject of crashing bores and being in Washington, the man had to tackle the subject of politics: "Of course, it just may be that the most unfortunate aspect of American life is American politics... I mean I don't know if you've ever been to Europe or the Middle East or Scandanavia lately but... have you?"
Next up was the second surprise addition to the setlist. As the piano intro started a good portion of the audience seemed to recognize "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" but it wasn't until Morrissey started singing that the audience really cheered. Unsure of his performance Morrissey then asked someone in the front row "Was that song a bit froggy? Froggy? No? Is it alright? I believe you, I believe you... I have confidence now... God knows why!" After "Everyday Is Like Sunday" he changed shirts again and said "I had to change because you never know, you never know... I knew Julia when I saw the pillars and I saw the blah-blah that there were gonna be a very nice crowd (crowd cheers)... which is occasionally a good thing... (someone shouts something) What? People always ask me that question what am I supposed to, you know... (mumbles) I should have died years ago or something... What? Well this is it, I mean... I know, bad news eh?"
Following "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel" Morrissey said "That was a song from our latest CD which is called 'You Are The Quarry' which is really selling quite well considering it's me and all, you know... Amazing, really... (someone shouts something relating to what he had just said) For what?... I didn't want to be me, it was thrust upon me..." At the end of his vocal part in "Now My Heart Is Full" Morrissey asked someone "how are you?" After the song he enquired "Have you seen a television programme called Arrested Development? Yeah? Do you like it? No? Why don't you like it? Not funny? Oh you've not seen it?"
After an extremely well received "Rubber Ring" Morrissey joked "So I've been coughing all my germs on the people in the front row so (coughs loudly) enjoy!" After "Irish Blood, English Heart" he said "Thank you, you're very generous... but you make terrible bread... You're very generous but you make terrible bread, it naturally follows..." He then introduced "I Like You" with "This is another song from... 'You Are The Quarry' and... Hmmm?" In "You Know I Couldn't Last" Morrissey extended a line to "the critics who cannot break you, they somehow help to make you, unfortunately" and another one to "your royalties bring you luxuries... they don't!.
When they returned to the stage for the encore Morrissey and his musicians got into a line at the front, arms around each other, and they all bowed together. As everyone was taking their respective position on stage Morrissey then announced "We're not the Grateful Dead you know... but we wish we were... thanks for listening!" In encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" he extended a few lines to "because I haven't got one anymore... very true!" and "I haven't got one, look! I haven't got one". Over the length of the song four fans made it on stage. One of them was tripped by security as he got up there, and he happened to be on one side while Morrissey was on the other. He must have thought his chances were dead but Morrissey saw him and crossed the whole stage to shake his hand before he was pulled away.
The existence of a third audience recording is rumoured but unconfirmed.
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