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These three American dates served more or less as warm-up for the upcoming Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI. Actually within these gigs it could be said that the first two ones served as warm-up dates to the third one, Morrissey's appearance at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin. Morrissey debuted material from the upcoming and yet-to-be-released "Ringleader Of The Tormentors".
There was a huge gong behind drummer Matt Walker with the word TORMENTORS on it in what seemed like peel-and-stick decals. The kick drum's resonant head was the Italian flag's tri-partite green, white, and red.
Personnel: Boz Boorer - guitar; Jesse Tobias - guitar and occasional cymbals; Gary Day - bass; Michael Farrell - keyboards (also hits drum with mallet in "Life Is A Pigsty"); Matt Walker - drums. Morrissey also played the occasional maracas.
Most of the audience was obviously still unfamiliar with all this new material, so they were more excited by the selections from Morrissey's back catalogue. The biggest surprise was the live introduction of two Smiths-era songs never played before by Morrissey without the Smiths, "Still Ill" and "Girlfriend In A Coma". Actually the latter had never been performed by the Smiths either. The encore of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" on the two first dates was also almost new, it had never been performed by the Smiths, and only once by Morrissey in 1988 during a one-off gig in Wolverhampton.
Previous album "You Are The Quarry" supplied its four singles, "Irish Blood, English Heart", "First Of The Gang To Die", "Let Me Kiss You" and "I Have Forgiven Jesus", and b-side "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye", available on that album's deluxe edition. The only older material was, in reversed chronological order, "Trouble Loves Me" from 1997's "Maladjusted", "Reader Meet Author" from 1995's "Southpaw Grammar", the debut solo single "Suedehead" (except in Austin where it was dropped) and the Smiths-era "How Soon Is Now?" and "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" (the encore in Austin), all previously performed in front of audiences.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 3 concerts.
At Last I Am Born - 3
Click here for more tour statistics.
"Reader Meet Author" was adapted to the new century by the change of one line to "The year 2000, it hasn't changed anyone here", and Morrissey still sang "you hear the way this sad voice sings". Trumpet was added during the bridge of "Let Me Kiss You". In "I Will See You In Far Off Places" Morrissey changed lines to "It's so easy for us to be here together, but it's so hard for our flesh to combine" and the similar "It's so easy for us to stand together, but it's so hard for the flesh to combine".
Morrissey made many minor lyrical changes in "Trouble Loves Me". He sang "somebody hold me" and "somebody kill me" instead of "otherwise hold me" and "otherwise kill me", and "which is only the way it should be" instead of "which is only as it should be". He also changed a line to "to chide me but never to guide me". But more importantly the song was always preceded by a different old-style piano intro of a well-known local song. See individual dates for details. In "Life Is A Pigsty" Morrissey usually replaced "I only live for you" with "I have lived only for you" or "I may live only for you", and "I'm falling in love again" with "I am in love again".
In "At Last I Am Born" Morrissey sometimes changed the "vulgarians know" line to "vegetarians know". He made a previously unheard lyrical change in "Suedehead" when he sang "You had to sneak into my room just to play Your Arsenal, It was just to see, just to see all the songs you knew I'd written about you" and "...just to see, just to see all the crap you knew I'd written about you". He also did the previously heard change "still it was a good lay". In "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", as for the only earlier performance of this song, Morrissey sang "so I drank one, or was it four?" He also sometimes sang "only slightly, only slightly more than I used to my love".
Completists will also be interested in a BBC radio broadcast of 7 songs from the Austin show. This will not be of interest much to non-completists given the quality of the audience recording of the complete concert mentioned above.