Click on date for concert information:
After almost six months touring his "You Are The Quarry" album Morrissey had only played a few warm up dates in North America at the very beginning of the tour. He had originally been scheduled to follow the Lollapalooza tour across America throughout the summer, but the ticket sales had not been very good so the festival was cancelled, much to Morrissey's relief in retrospect. These dates were put together after the Lollapalooza cancellation announcement, and include a brief leap to South America to appear at festivals in Chile and Argentina. An appearance at KROQ's Inland Invasion festival scheduled for 18 September was cancelled and replaced by a make-up show on 31 October. The 19 September gig at the Now & Zen festival in San Francisco Golden Gate Park as well as two concerts scheduled in Houston and Austin between Forth Worth and Devore were cancelled and never rescheduled.
The venues for this leg of the You Are The Quarry tour were often seated ones, which accommodated Morrissey's ageing fanbase, but this might have had a negative impact on the energy of the crowd in certain cities. Morrissey still always gave the best of himself, even when he was coming down with a cold in late October. He was always very talkative and sexually suggestive. He often caressed and groped himself, particularly during numbers such as "Let Me Kiss You". It was also often observed that his fly was down or his buttons were undone, this was very likely an evolution of the flower-in-zipper stunt from earlier in the tour. Finally, at least once every show, if not more, Morrissey would throw the shirt he was wearing into the crowd, after wiping his chest and down his crotch with it.
The American presidential elections of 2004 were on 2 November so almost every night before that date Morrissey shared his political views with the audience and urged his fans to get George W Bush out of the office. Then after Bush was re-elected he voiced his disappointed at the election results.
For Halloween night in Devore Morrissey was dressed in a priest's suit while his musicians were dressed as nuns. Morrissey would keep on wearing the religious outfit throughout most of the remainder of the You Are The Quarry tour as it paralleled the release of his upcoming single "I Have Forgiven Jesus".
On a darker note many of the concerts from this period in time ended with Morrissey hinting that he would soon be retiring, or would not be returning. He used lines such as "there are goodbyes, and there are farewells", "keep me in your prayers", "my herding days are over" or "whatever happens keep me in your thoughts".
Personnel: Boz Boorer (guitars, clarinet) , Jesse Tobias (guitars), Gary Day (bass), Dean Butterworth (drums) and Mike Farrell (keyboards, saxophone, tambourine, etc). Although it was rumoured that Morrissey's regular guitarist Alain Whyte might return, it wasn't so and he was still replaced by Jesse Tobias. Alain was sorely missed by some fans, but Jesse seemed to fill in his shoes more satisfactorily than expected. Boz still carried his machine gun shaped guitar. There was still a gong behind Deano, it was used by him at the end of certain songs. Morrissey was occasionally seen with a tambourine.
The most recent album "You Are The Quarry" was represented by regulars "First Of The Gang To Die", "Let Me Kiss You", "Irish Blood, English Heart", "I Like You" and the usual main set closer "You Know I Couldn't Last". "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" and "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel" which had been slighly neglected on the previous leg in England were now played on most dates. The upcoming Europe-only single "I Have Forgiven Jesus" was only performed on about half the dates while "I'm Not Sorry" made the setlist three times only. "All The Lazy Dykes" was dropped altogether.
Recent b-sides "Munich Air Disaster 1958" and "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" remained in the set as part-timers. They were joined by "The Never Played Symphonies" and "Friday Mourning". The former saw its live debut near the beginning of this leg and was played now and then while the latter was actually played once only, in Las Vegas. Two more numbers were played once only, one for each of Morrissey's two concerts at the Los Angeles Universal Amphitheater. On the first night Morrissey played for the first time his cover of Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach". The song had yet to appear on any of his releases, but would become a live staple on the following leg of the tour. On the second night Morrissey introduced "I'm Playing Easy To Get", a song he would never release or play live again, except on a radio session for the BBC later in the year.
Morrissey's solo back catalogue was still represented by regulars "November Spawned A Monster" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday". "The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get", Morrissey's biggest mainstream hit in America, was reinstated for the first time in many years. It was played almost every night after its reintroduction a few shows into this leg. "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" had more or less been neglected on the recent British dates but it was a live staple again on this leg. "Now My Heart Is Full" was downgraded to part-timer while "Jack The Ripper" and "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" were played only a few times each for variety when Morrissey was in the same city on two consecutive nights.
The Smiths quota was increased to five songs per night on this stretch of the tour, even up to six on certain dates. The recently introduced "How Soon Is Now?" was the near-standard set opener while "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" was the standard encore. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" and "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" were both introduced on the first date of this leg and were played most nights thereafter. The latter had been done by Morrissey in solo on earlier tours, but not the former. "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" was reintroduced almost halfway into the leg and played for most dates after. "Rubber Ring" was downgraded to part-timer and "Shakespeare's Sister" was played only four times for variety. "The Headmaster Ritual" was fully retired.
"It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small" was heard soundchecked in Philadelphia and it was rumoured at different times that "Rusholme Ruffians" and "Still Ill" would be added to the setlist, but they weren't, at least not on this tour.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 25 concerts.
How Soon Is Now? - 25
Click here for more tour statistics.
The other Smiths classic "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" was lyrically very faithful to the studio version. The only minor changes were when Morrissey followed "if a ten ton truck kills the both of us" with either "so what!" or "who cares!" and when he extended a line to "I haven't got one, believe me! I haven't got one" or something similar. At this point in time Morrissey sang the chorus at the end of the song. He had only done this once at the very beginning of the Queen Is Dead tour in 1986, then never again, even in solo, until halfway into the festival dates earlier in the year. The song was always slotted as an encore.
The addition of keyboardist Michael Farrell on this tour also made possible the piano intro at the beginning of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me". On previous tours the intro had always been dropped. In "Rubber Ring" Morrissey sang "a sad factor widely known", which is what he had originally written. He also sang "Good God! smother me Mother" or on a few occasions the variant "Please God! smother me Mother". He brought "Bigmouth Strikes Again" into the 21st Century by changing a line to "As the flames rose to her roman nose and her iPod started to melt". The second occurrence of the line "sweetness I was only joking when I said..." in that song was usually changed to "sweetness I wasn't joking when I said..." Morrissey also sometimes applied the latter change to the first occurrence of that line.
The songs that were the most changed on this part of the tour were generally the ones from Morrissey's solo back catalogue, particularly "Now My Heart Is Full" and "November Spawned A Monster", and to a lesser degree, "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday". Morrissey had been more conservative with "Now My Heart Is Full" earlier in the year but he was more playful with it in North America. He did the usual "I was tired again, I tried again" but at least once he took it to "I was tired again so I cried again". The usual change to "every jammy Stretford poet" was done alternately with "every jammy Manchester poet" or "every jammy British poet". Morrissey sometimes changed "just some rain-coated lovers' puny brothers" to "just some rain-coated lovers' ugly brothers", "...beautiful brothers", "...skinny brothers", "...silly brothers", "...awkward brothers" or the silly "...Everly brothers". He sometimes changed "Patric Doonan raised to wait" to "Steven Patrick raised to wait" or "Antony Newley raised to wait". He also sang a few times the more personal "I rush to danger and I wind up nowhere" and "now this heart is full".
In "November Spawned A Monster" Morrissey often sang "sleep on and dream of love, why?, because it's the closest you will get to love", "you're just so ugly, you're so so ugly", "please hug me, oh hug me" and "she'll never be rich or beautiful". The recently added change to "Jesus made me, so he should save me from pity, sympathy and idiots discussing me, yes I am a freak, nothing can make good..." was now almost standard. The song was made more personal with the introduction or reintroduction of the changes "kiss me full on the mouth", "I am a symbol of where sex-mad lovers must always draw the line, no, no, no, no..." and "because it's the closest you will get to love and I should know, I should know".
"Everyday Is Like Sunday" was segued from the first verse of a New York Dolls song called "Subway Train". Many fans thought that the extra verse they heard came from Morrissey's "My Love Life" because the latter is musically very similar to, and probably inspired by that New York Dolls song. In "Everyday Is Like Sunday" per se Morrissey regularly changed a line to "scratch on a postcard" and sometimes followed this with "dear mother how I dearly wish I was not here", "Oh mother how I dearly wish..." and finally the future standard "Oh Mama! how I dearly wish..." Instead of "please come, please come nuclear bomb" he went for the original studio version's "come, come nuclear bomb". He reinstated the change to "I do believe this is the coastal town" on a few dates. At the very end of the song he often extended the era's standard live change "...when you're all alone, when you're on your own" to "at least when you're all alone, when you're on your own". In the song's "Subway Train" intro he sang "it isn't easy" instead of "it ain't easy". He even sometimes punctuated that line with a "believe me!", "Jesus!" or "it really isn't!".
In "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" Morrissey almost always sang "whether you like me or do not" and "take the difficult way and give in to me". He sometimes vented his frustration with a past court decision by singing "senile British judges" and "like a bad debt that you won't pay" or "...that you'll never pay". At the end of the song he sometimes sang "you're asking for it and it you shall get. The 2004 live arrangement of "Jack The Ripper" featured a new musical arrangement of the outro. As usual Morrissey dropped the song's final verse and replaced it with a repeat of the chorus. In 2004 this repeat of the chorus was over minimal music, almost accapella, and the audience would often sing along with Morrissey. The man sometimes slightly changed a line in that song to "you don't agree but you don't refuse me, I know you".
In "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey sometimes stuck to the studio version's "how I love all of the very simple things of life" but more often than not went for the alternate "...complicated things of life". He also sometimes followed the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" with a shout of "I do!", "you do!", "yeah!", "yes!" or "look!". He also sometimes picked letters that were handed to him by fans in the front rows while he was singing that song's line "written words on paper - can you write?"
In "I Like You" the change from "envy makes them cry" to "hatred makes them cry" was rarely done anymore. Similarly, in "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" Morrissey stuck to the original "everybody look, see pain and walk away" instead of the earlier common change to "...and turn away". However at least once he did sing "everybody look, see pain and scuttle away" or "...run away". A line further into that song sounded like "as for you in your uniform, your totally smelly uniform", but Morrissey didn't sing the word "totally", it was actually a sound sample of a man saying "we told you".
In "You Know I Couldn't Last" Morrissey sometimes sang "don't let these blue eyes fool you" and "don't let the good days of the old discs". He sometimes downplayed the line "your royalties bring you luxuries" by following it with a contradicting comment such as "not really!" or "no they don't!" In "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" the recently introduced change from "something got stuck in his throat" to "somebody got stuck in his throat" was rarely done anymore, but it would eventually return. In "The Never Played Symphonies" the line "you meant to be one" was usually changed to "you knew you were one" and "you knew you were one" to "of course you were one". On a few occasions Morrissey changed "when there is nothing left to care for" to "when there is no one left to care for".
The two other shows filmed by fans in the audience are the two Los Angeles ones from the end of this leg. The 11 November concert was filmed by Slickmode while the 12 November concert is available from two different sources: Slickmode again, and the other one uncredited. It must be said however that neither of the latter three recordings are shared much at this point in time.
Collectors of great sounding recordings might also be interested in three more dates for which excellent audience recordings are in circulation: Washington, Atlanta and Devore. These have the added advantage of featuring longer setlists than the South American dates mentioned above. All of these are also excellent shows, particularly Atlanta and Devore. Collectors in search of Washington and Devore should be sure they get the best of the two recordings out there for each of those dates.
Completists should be able to find without too much difficulty good to average audience recordings of Philadelphia 1, Philadelphia 2, New York 1, Toronto, Detroit, Louisville, Los Angeles 1 and Los Angeles 2. Also out there is the audio lifted from a video recording of New York 2. Of this lot, non-completists will be particularly interested in the second Los Angeles date for the one-time only live performance of "I'm Playing Easy To Get". The first Los Angeles date featured the only performance of "Redondo Beach" on this leg, but the song was done regularly on the following leg of the tour. A recording of Las Vegas is out there, but is not shared much, which is unfortunate because on that date Morrissey did the rarely played "Friday Mourning" and "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday".