16 July 2006|
Teatro Romano di Ostia Antica, Rome, Italy
PanicAt last the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI brought Morrissey back to his new home, the city that inspired - and where was recorded - his newest album "Ringleader Of The Tormentors". The man was obviously in the best of spirits. His performance on this date was among the greatest of this tour. He was very talkative and made many references to Italian culture. The audience was very receptive although unfortunately moreso for Smiths-era titles than for newer material, particularly b-sides "Ganglord" and "Human Being". Quite a few people managed to make it on stage. This was a rare occurrence in 2006, Morrissey seemed to not let this happen anymore. For some reason he helped and encouraged quite a few fans to get on stage. One of the successfull climbers was roughly tackled to the ground as he was running towards his idol.
The Romans were almost treated to a new live addition. Morrissey wanted to do "Dear God Please Help Me", the only song from "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" which he still hadn't played live, but dropped it after two lines. Setlist part-timer "Trouble Loves Me" returned while "Reader Meet Author", "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" and "Still Ill" were dropped.
As he entered stage, after the traditional bow with his musicians, Morrissey roared "Mamma Roma!" as a greeting. This was a salute to his newly beloved city, but also the title of a movie by Pasolini featuring italian actress Anna Magnani. Both of these people were often namedropped by Morrissey in interviews and song lyrics at that point in time. Also, on a related note, Ostia was the place where Pasolini had been killed 31 years before. "First Of The Gang To Die" kept the pace up and saw the first of the stage invaders successfully make it on stage. As a reward for the fan's efforts Morrissey gently bent and kissed her hand.
Before "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" Morrissey started "After all these years, finally, finally back to Roma... and..." He didn't finish that line, but let it segue into the Roman ambulance sound sample that marks the beginning of "The Youngest Was The Most Loved". In the song he changed a line to "Bambino is the most loved" and put more emphasis in another one by singing "There is no such thing as normal THANK GOD!" Then as an intro to "In The Future When All's Well" he announced "So what's to say, so little time..."
After the latter song Morrissey said "I'd like to tell you, if I may, exactly what I've been doing lately..." The rest of what he meant to say was to be found in the beginning of the next song, "Dear God Please Help Me". The first notes were heard but Morrissey missed his cue and added "If I can remember...", looking concerned. He then started to shakily sing "I've been walking through Rome... with my heart on a string..." but he was visibly struggling to get the notes right so gave up with a "No-no-no-no-no!" and apologised to the audience: "I tried..." He then motioned to the band to go into the next planned song, "You Have Killed Me". Over the intro to the latter number Morrissey continued his apology: "I tried Julia... all you can do is your best!"
Morrissey then started "Now, as you probably know, some of you may know..." but interrupted himself to say something to someone who had been trying to get on stage "Yeah? Did you lose something?" He then returned to what he meant to say: "As some of you know, tonight just down the road Bob Dylan is singing... so thank you for not going... very very wise decision!" Between two lines of "I Will See You In Far Off Places" he congratulated a failed attempt to get on stage with "Nice try!". After the song he asked his favourite fan in the front row "Julia, you're not too dehydrated? No?" then tried to decipher things that were shouted to him from other people in the audience.
After "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey proceeded with the traditional band introduction: "For identification purposes could you say ciao-ciao to Boz Boorer... and ciao-ciao to Gary Day... to Matt Walker... to Jesse Tobias... to Fabio Cannavaro, err Michael Farrell! And my name is Totto!" After "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" he tried to plug his newest album but had trouble saying the name of a Roman record chain called Ricordi Mediastores: "So somewhere in the deep bowels of Ricordi and Messageari err Musicari... Messageari? Musicari? (fans try to correct him) Messagi? (crowd shouts 'no!') Well look I'm French, I can't pronounce anything correctly... you know how the French are! (crowd cheers) Anyway, deep in the bowels of certain places you can find 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors' if you care..." A fan shouted something and Morrissey took the time to listen and try to understand what he was trying to say "Woolworths? In Roma? (turns to sarcasm) Very very funny, very very funny..." He then resumed his introduction of the next planned song: "This song is not from 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors', and it's called 'Ganglord'."
Before going into "At Last I Am Born" Morrissey had his customary nod to his opening act: "We hope that you enjoyed Kristeen Young... the most dazzling woman of the 21st Century... the new Rita Pavone, I'd say... she's hoping!" Something else that was customary on this tour was the addition of a few bars from an instrumental piano song at the beginning of "Trouble Loves Me". This short intro was usually taken from a well known local song, so different from city to city. Morrissey's choice for Rome has yet to be identified. It may have been the theme to some movie by Pasolini or another Italian filmmaker, or some past Italian entry in the Eurovision song contest. Between two lines of "Trouble Loves Me", after some other fan succesfully made it on stage, Morrissey shouted "Next!"
Morrissey introduced a new outro to "Life Is A Pigsty". At the end of the song band members left one by one, leaving Michael to play "Auld Lang Syne" on the piano. For a few weeks now the song had been ending with some sad piano music, but this was the first time that Michael played "Auld Lang Syne", echoing the outro to the Smiths' "Asleep". The change would stay for the remainder of the tour. Michael eventually also left the stage and after a few minutes and cheering from the audience everyone came back, formed a line at the front, bowed and returned to their respective position. The encore song was "Irish Blood, English Heart", but on this occasion it was rechristened "Italian Blood, English Heart". Halfway into it Morrissey acknowledged someone's vain efforts at getting on stage with a "Very good!"
Morrissey also supposedly at some point congratulated the Italians for winning the World Cup. To someone who shouted that they supported Manchester City he replied "Yes I remember that team as well". He also supposedly joked that he supported Ukraine.
"We'll Let You Know" was soundchecked before the concert. It was planned as the next new addition to the setlist. However it would not make the setlist for another month.
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