22 October 2007|
New York (NY), Hammerstein Ballroom
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One BeforeMorrissey's 5-night residency at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom started on a good note. The band was tight, Morrissey was at his best, playful and talkative. The crowd was mellow but enthusiastic and appreciative. Security was tight and the barrier was at a great distance from the stage so no one made it up to Morrissey or even got to shake his hand.
The setlist was slightly resequenced and "Dear God Please Help Me" and "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" were temporarily replaced with "Shoplifters Of The World Unite". Actually it would not be surprising if either "Dear God Please Help Me" or "Life Is A Pigsty" were planned before "How Soon Is Now?" but skipped.
Morrissey greeted the audience by quoting from his back catalogue of lyrics, as was tradition at the time: "Climb upon my knee, New York City..." Over the final bars of set opener "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" he shouted "Some of us... is turning... nasty!", the words found printed on the bass drum's skin. After the song he extended his greeting to the audience by shouting "Welcome to Madison Square!" By doing so he was alluding to a concert planned there earlier in the year, but which had been cancelled and never rescheduled. After "Tomorrow" he asked the crowd "So what now? What happens now?" After "Sister I'm A Poet" he alluded again to the cancelled concert by saying "A few coughs, a few sniffles, but our little donkey finally made it to New York City... which is a miracle, for us... thanks for your patience... thanks for waiting... Assuming of course that you're all not from Waukegan... Could be! Who knows... Boz!"
The crowd favourite "The Loop" was introduced with the line "Everything in its place, everything has its place, even this song..." After the song Morrissey joked "If only we were as good as Kid Rock... well you can't have everything..." Someone shouted a follow up to his comment and he added as an answer "Yes I've heard..." Following "That's How People Grow Up" he took a wrapped gift from a little boy and said "Very nice to receive gifts..." A line in "Jack The Ripper" was slightly modified to "you don't agree, but you'd never refuse, would you? Would you? Would you? Would you?" After that song Morrissey proceeded with the customary introduction of the band:"Behind me of course, the best band in the whole of America... he will out-endure all of us, Boz Boorer... Solomon Walker... Matt Walker... extremely shy, Jesse Tobias-ssss... and last and by all means least, Michael Farrell..."
Over the opening bars of "I Like You" Morrissey shouted "Smiling faces!" He sang the line "Forces of containment they shove their fat faces into mine" with particular emphasis and added at the end of it "I don't know why..." Over the last bars of the song he shouted "No barrier big enough... no barrier strong enough!" Then after the song he asked "Does anybody have a Strepsil?" He scanned the front row and, stopping on a fan, said "Yes, conversation? Bored of the songs so you'd like to talk?" He handed her the microphone, she said something, but Morrissey made a face, took the microphone back and said "Well, I can't hear very well at this age, what did you say?... It's a cough drop! Thank you..." After "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" he had his political comment of the evening: "So I think in an ideal world it has to be Barack Obama... it has to be! Very nice teeth, very nice voice, something which an American president has never had... Jimmy Carter... and it can't really be Hillary. It would be nice to have a woman, but... not Hillary, please... However, it strikes me that if your government really cared for climate control, the first thing they'd do was abolish the McDonalds empire (crowd cheers)... Have you seen their recent slogan 'Billions and billions served'?... Yeah, it should be 'Billions and billions killed'... However, on we go, struggling through life... I do that anyway..."
Over the final bars of "Stretch Out And Wait" Morrissey sang "You, yes you... stretch... out... and wait!" After the song he asked the crowd "Any questions?" Someone requested "Satan Rejected My Soul" and Morrissey answered "Only if you're very patient..." At the end of "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he had to tell the audience to remain "steady!". Then, ready to launch into "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me", he told his keyboardist "Michael, whenever you're ready..." The crowd loudly sang along to that number, and Morrissey looked particularly emotional, like he was about to break down into tears. After the song he told the appreciative audience "Thank you for your kindness... anything helps..." After "Billy Budd" he simply said "Well?" At the end of "All You Need Is Me" he pretended to sneeze.
Following "Death Of A Disco Dancer" Morrissey cryptically said "So as you can see, we're not very friendly..." After "Irish Blood, English Heart" he had the equally cryptic "Yes I know, I do know, I know more than I know..." Over the outro to "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" he told someone "very brave!" then shouted the final words "ANYBODY! Take over..." After "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" he said "One day goodbye will be farewell... Well, it's nothing to do with me... I didn't create the human race... thankfully, cannot be blamed..." Besides the usual lyric changes in "You Have Killed Me" he also sang "you tried your best but". Between two verses of the latter number he told someone "Yes? What now?" Then at the very end he sang "I forgive you, I tried very hard and at last, I do forgive you..." After the song he told a fan "Well why whisper? Why not just say it loudly? And how come I have a Liverpudlian accent... when I'm from West Yorkshire..." He changed a line in "How Soon Is Now?" to "so you go and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, oh what a surprise..."
When Morrissey returned to the stage for the encore he looked over the edge to the barricade and made a weird face. He was clearly disappointed that this was going to keep the fans away as they usually desperately tried to reach the stage during that final number. Before going into the encore the thanked the audience by saying "Thank you for allowing us into your living room... we hope we didn't leave a mess anywhere..."
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