27 October 2007
New York (NY), Hammerstein Ballroom

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
You Have Killed Me
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Irish Blood, English Heart
I Like You
Jack The Ripper
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
The National Front Disco
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
All You Need Is Me
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Sister I'm A Poet
The Loop
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Stretch Out And Wait
Dear God Please Help Me
How Soon Is Now?
/First Of The Gang To Die
Night 4 of Morrissey's five-date residency at the New York Hammerstein Ballroom was a fantastic show. Morrissey looked like he was having a good time. He was playful with his voice and with his words. The crowd's energy level was not as high as it had been on the previous shows of this residency. However, the fans woke up for the encore when it looked like everyone at the front was trying to make it on stage, and quite a few actually did, sometimes with the help of Morrissey himself.

For the benefit of the fans who had bought the Maximum Morrissey package (tickets for all 5 New York shows), many changes were made to the content of the setlist. "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys", "You Have Killed Me", "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side", "I Like You", "The National Front Disco", "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" and "Dear God Please Help Me" took the places of "Billy Budd", "Shoplifters Of The World Unite", "Ganglord", "That's How People Grow Up", "Tomorrow", "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" and "Life Is A Pigsty".

After a few dates wearing jeans Morrissey walked on stage wearing a tuxedo. His opening words were "Fourth bout, seconds out, hey-ho! Let's go!" After "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" he told the audience "Don't restrain yourself, don't contain yourself!" The Smiths classic "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" was introduced with the line "You can stick your head down the lavatory but really, there's no way of forgetting, there's no way of forgetting... there's no way..." After the song Morrissey said "Please don't make me sentimental... I'll sit here and I'll wail, you'll be very embarrassed..." Over the opening bars of "Irish Blood, English Heart" he said "Happen? Here? What?" After the song he said "Songs with meaning seems out of place in the modern world - and thank you for the chocolate..."

At the very end of "I Like You" Morrissey said something undecipherable which ended with "...which is 'I Like You'..." He then proceeded with the customary introduction of the band: "As you already know I don't really have what's commonly known as a heart but... with the final shreds of my beating heart... I love this band (crowd cheers)... my pleasure, my privilege, the unsinkable Boz Boorer... for ever and ever, Solomon Walker... for ever and ever, Matt Walker... the extremely glamorous Jesse Tobias... and last, and most certainly least, Michael Farrell..." Over the opening notes of "Jack The Ripper" he said "And then... at the hall of the bridge... 1888... you're in Whitechapel, all of a sudden... 'excuse me'..." He repeated 'excuse me' in the song when he extended a line to "you don't care if you're lost, excuse me, oh you look so tired..." He also sang the slightly different "you don't agree, but you didn't refuse, did you?"

The crowd favourite "The National Front Disco" was preceded with a simple shout of "Aficionados!..." After "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" Morrissey cryptically said "For which the cure is..." At the very end of "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" he shouted "See!". He punctuated the line "you know who it is, but you don't like what it means" in "All You Need Is Me" with a shout of "too bad!" After the latter number he treated his audience to a good dose of sophism: "I dont know if you've heard the news but... Canada are having a terrible problem... Canada, the country... they're being overrun by baby seals... Toronto, the seals are taking over... Montreal, the baby seals drive the buses... Quebec? All you see is baby seals everywhere... So, the government of Canada, who are very intelligent people, have decided to kill all the babies with spikes through their heads... and then... this is all they can think of, because these baby seals have completely taken over Toronto... everywhere, baby seals... hanging from trees... And so with the pelts from the baby seals they sell to very intelligent loving, caring mothers like... Madonna, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham... all those very intelligent women who love their children and wear the children of other beings on their backs and you wonder why modern society has gone to shit..."

Following the unfamiliar "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" Morrissey asked the audience "So you're not too bored yet? Well give it five more minutes and pffft... you never know..." After "Sister I'm A Poet" he said "I am aware that several of you traveled very far to be here (crowd cheers)... from as far as... New Jersey!... From as far as Paris... Sasha Distel... from as far as (makes random noises)..." Morrissey exceptionally sang the alternate intro to "Stretch Out And Wait", well at least a slight variation on it: "On the high-rise estate / What's at the back of your mind? / Oh, your face I can see / And it's more or less kind / But what's at the back of your mind?" He made the other usual changes in that number, and after singing "is there any point ever having children" he handed the microphone to the crowd, as usual. And as usual they shouted "no!". The song was very well received so he thanked the audience and added "You are goodness itself, reassuring..." He then added "And my tongue won't stay in its mouth... Interesting?", which was surely a funny allusion to the reason why he booted his opening act Kristeen Young off the tour a few days earlier.

During the instrumental outro of "Dear God Please Help Me" Morrissey told someone something that sounded like "What are you doing? Let the mouse rest..." When he returned to the stage for the encore his final words to the audience were simply "Thank you for having us..." He changed the encore's opening line to "You have never been in love until you've had me down by the reservoir, where else?". Following this there was a stampede for the front. Morrissey could barely keep up with the singing, between helping fans on stage and dodging other ones running after him.


A recording of "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" from this date was released in 2008 as a b-side on the "That's How People Grow up" cd-single.


A quite good audience recording of the complete concert is being traded between fans and collectors, on compact disc and in digital format on the internet (recorder: I'm Not Right In The Head). This is sometimes found under the title "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Baby Seals".


Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.