26 November 1997|
Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
Do Your Best And Don't WorryThe final date of the North American Maladjusted tour went down well until the encore (read further). Morrissey was very energetic but towards the end he started to show signs of exhaustion, didn't finish some of his lines or just growled some words. The crowd was very responsive and energetic. Many fans made it on stage.
Only minor changes were made to the setlist. "The More You Ignore The Closer I Get" and "Now My Heart Is Full" were replaced by "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" and "Ambitious Outsiders". "Trouble Loves Me" was on the setlist but not played. "Satan Rejected My Soul" was probably not planned, but because of the abrupt ending of "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" (read further), the band performed a second encore. There were many rumours that "Lost" or a song from the Smiths years would be played, but this didn't happen.
As Morrissey entered stage he started by greeting his fans with a shout of "Hello Sexy!". Following the opening song he continued by teasing the New York crowd with "Hello New Jersey!". He changed a line in "Billy Budd" to "So what! they turned me down". After "London" Boz took some time preparing the guitar he needed for the next planned song "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself". Meanwhile Alain picked notes on his own guitar then, growing impatient, Morrissey asked "Boz, something wrong? Alright then let's go to the next song". The next song was "Hold On To Your Friends" and, as Morrissey often did on this tour, he shook many hands in the front rows and accepted gifts. Near the end of the song someone threw cigarettes on stage. Morrissey managed to catch one, put it in his mouth for a few seconds then got rid of it.
Following "Hold On To Your Friends" Morrissey told a fan who was presenting him a letter: "I can't see it... What does it say? I can't see it... I still can't see it... Mind you I can't see anything, but never mind..." He then acknowledged shouts from the audience by repeating "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" before finally going into the previously planned but skipped "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself". After the song Morrissey acknowledged the dedication of fans who had followed the tour: "This is the last night of... the tour in America and we'd like to thank all the people who've traveled around with us... it's made a great difference... thank you..."
After "Reader Meet Author" Morrissey told someone "Say something nice, go on..." Then, to someone who was waving a record, he asked "Can I have that? Can you throw it? I'll catch it!" Meanwhile, someone else closer to the stage was trying to hand him some flowers and Morrissey, interested in what was further back, told that person "No, not that... that's not valuable". The album was tossed on stage but he only caught a corner of it and it ripped to pieces, to Morrissey's clear disappointment.
After "Alma Matters" someone shouted for Morrissey to take his shirt off, to which the man replied "Why should I do that? What would happen then? If you take yours off I'll take mine off"!" The person did take his shirt off, but Morrissey didn't, deciding instead to go into "Spring-Heeld Jim". In the latter number a line was changed to "Now it's too cold and you feel too old". After the song Morrissey addressed another fan: "I'll never speak to you again Winnie, I saw you!" He changed a line in "Roy's Keen" to "He's romancing you and chancing his arm, he'll be here frowning on time".
On returning to the stage for the encore Morrissey asked "Are you quite sure?", apparently in answer to someone who had requested "Cemetry Gates". Once into "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" he started sounding out of breath and would not finish most of his lines. He then started growling and said "Go on, go on, go on!". He was very likely encouraging people to try to make it on stage. However security would not let this happen and at some point one guard started violently roughing up a stage climber. Seeing this Morrissey got upset and shouted "Ohh steady! Ahhh stop! Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!..." He then pointed in the direction of the trouble and shouted "Ugly man! Ugly man! Ugly man! Ugly man! Ugly man! Ugly man!", then dropped his microphone and left the stage. Morrissey's musicians looked at each other for a few seconds then decided to follow their boss backstage.
At this point the exit music started playing so everyone thought the show was over. The disappointed audience started chanting "Ugly man, ugly man!" and it has been speculated that this is the reason why Morrissey unexpectedly returned to play an extra song, even though the aborted one was almost finished when the trouble occurred. Morrissey first thanked the fans for their devotion "... which is always nice, and if the security don't bully you to death we hope you enjoy this song... and if you don't, it doesn't matter!" The band then started "Satan Rejected My Soul". Besides some of the usual changes in that song Morrissey also sang "He's seen your face around" and "I'm really sly". At some point he growled "Yes! Yes!" just like he had done in the first encore. Near the end of the song he answered someone "I don't blame you" and after that profusely thanked the audience by repeating "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you" before leaving the stage.
A fair sounding audio audience recording of the full set is also out there for collectors, as well as an audio rip of one of the video recordings mentioned above. The former is sometimes traded under the title "Ambitious Outsiders" or "Ugly Man". The same or a different one has also been seen under the title "Hello Sexy!".
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.