12 October 2004|
Hummingbird Theatre, Toronto, Canada
Bigmouth Strikes AgainThis was a great concert despite a few ill-directed remarks by Morrissey which left the audience uncomfortable. The man looked a bit subdued when he arrived on stage, but his mood quickly changed when he saw how passionate and receptive the crowd was. He often teased the audience by caressing his chest inside his half unbuttoned shirt and by sliding his hand down his body. His people must have had a word with local security because approximately 50 fans made it on stage throughout the evening, and it all happened without a single problem. There was no barrier between the seated area and the stage which was only chest-high, so it was very easy to climb up. It must be said that the Toronto fans were very gentle and polite. They waited their turn and rarely went up more than one at a time, and many just walked up to Morrissey to give him a gentle hug or kiss his hand. They then walked away without having to be dragged off. Mozzer's Men (Morrissey's own security) made sure that everyone got their chance before getting escorted off stage.
The Toronto audience was treated to an 18-track set, just like the New York audience a few days earlier, while the tour standard was 17 tracks. Morrissey replaced the lesser known "The Never Played Symphonies" with the rarely-played "Shakespeare's Sister".
When Morrissey came on stage he greeted the audience with "Good evening Toronto..." After the newly-appointed set opener "Bigmouth Strikes Again" he extended this with "Welcome to the Hummingbird whatnot and... very nice to see you..." After "First Of The Gang To Die" he said "This is an evening of loud music and poetry and... more specifically, it's the dying art of live music..." During the instrumental break in "November Spawned A Monster" he writhed on the floor in a very suggestive sexual manner. After the song he replied to someone's shouts with "Yes friend, ssssay it now... Now!"
After "I Like You" Morrissey said "That song was from our reasonably new cd which is called 'You Are The Quarry' and..." He then greeted his favourite fan with "How are you Julia? How are you?". She answered and returned the question. Morrissey in turn answered "Well, I'm alright, I'm okay... I'm not fantastic or anything..." He then handed her the microphone again for her to say "Yes you are fantastic!". Morrissey looked flattered and asked some other fan in the front row "And Happy birthday to you, how old are you?" The fan answered that he was 20 and Morrissey asked "Years?" After a pause for effect he added "...sorry".
After "The World Is Full The Crashing Bores" Morrissey chastised the Canadian audience for the actions of their government: "You don't really approve of the Canadian government allowing baby seals to be clubbed to death every year do you? So how come the Canadian government do it and get away with it? Why? Why don't people do something about it? Hmm? You're spineless! What, I assume is the government doesn't listen to you? Does the Canadian government ever listen to the people? (crowd: no!) Oh I knew you would say that..." This would take an ugly turn in 2006 when he would altogether decide to boycott his Canadian fans and not include Canadian dates on his tours.
At the end of "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey followed the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" with "Which is a good thing I think!". He then announced "Shakespeare's Sister" with "The past is a dark and dangerous place as - Oh I've said this before Julia - it's very dark and very dangerous but... it's gone now... hopefully!" After that number he replied to someone's question with "You're asking me if I'm still depressed? You know what? Who said I was ever depressed? I mean if you're reasonably intelligent, you're bound to be a bit depressed... I mean look around: CNN, George Bush, (?)... how could anyone possibly be happy?"
Following new single "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey announced the mid-week results for its placing in the British charts: "That's our new single in England and the mid-week is #6 today so, Julia... so the world isn't such a bad place really... in pockets... (someone shouts something about pollution) What? What d'you mean, pollution? Who? Are you being nasty? Is he? Oh what, I'm the cause of all pollution?" In "I Have Forgiven Jesus" he replaced "Do you understand? Do you understand?" with "Does anybody understand?"
After the latter number Morrissey proceeded with the customary introduction of the band. He started it by quoting from this own song "Southpaw": "And I ran with my pals in the sun, I turned around... (literally turns around) and they were here! Boz Boorer... the two and only Gary Day... the mighty Deano... beyond belief, Jesse Tobias... and a man of many parts, Mikey V Farrell..." After "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" Morrissey had another reprimand in store for Canadians: "I should also point out that - a mighty detail but 'You Are The Quarry', the front of the cd, the photo in Canada has been slashed because they won't show... a what?... Yeah they won't show a gun... Which is amazing, really... strange society..." He didn't seem to be aware that the Canadian branch of record labels rarely had anything to do with the artwork. The cropping of the album's artwork had been decided in the United States where the use of guns is a controversial topic.
After a rapturously received "How Soon Is Now?" Morrissey asked the audience "Do you really mean it? Honestly?" The audience's high continued throughout "Irish Blood, English Heart" and after that song Morrissey thanked the crowd, was thanked back and reiterated "Oh no, thank you!" After "Rubber Ring" he invited his fans to the next scheduled show in South Bend Indiana which hadn't sold very well: "Tomorrow we go to play in South Bend... (fan shouts that he'll be there) We'll be there! No, I don't think so... And you'll be really surprised to hear that we haven't really sold many tickets and... so if you find yourself dangling your legs with nothing to do and feeling really brave (fan: stay here!)... exactly..."
In "Now My Heart Is Full" Morrissey changed a line to "some rain-coated lovers skinny brothers" and another one to "every jammy Manchester poet". He was distracted away from singing for extended parts in that song by fans making it on stage. After the song he thanked his opening band: "We would like to say thank you to... thank you for the Dears... who are extremely dear... as are you..." Then someone screamed "I love you!" and he quickly retorted "That's a predicament isn't it? Psychiatry? Prozac?" In "Everyday Is Like Sunday" he followed the usual lyric change "scratch on a postcard" with "oh mother how I dearly wish I was not here..."
Before going into set closer "You Know I Couldn't Last" a beaming Morrissey said, with emotion and apparent sincerity, "I assure you my little wooden heart is very full... for how long Julia, that's the question... God... God... God!" Before encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" Morrissey's final words were "Now of course, 50 years hence, we'll all be dead so... how can anything possibly matter, really... thanks for listening!" Over the opening bars of the song he told someone "You had to!" Considering how many fans had thus far climbed on stage and the events of the previous gig in New York City, people were anticipating a major stage invasion during the encore but the fans kept on behaving as politely as they had earlier and Morrissey managed to finish the song. He and his musicians then formed a line at the front of the stage, arms around each other and bowed before exited.
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