Click on date for concert information:
This section brings together a handful of festival dates Morrissey did during the summer of 2008. These dates are listed as being part of the Greatest Hits tour despite the Greatest Hits album having been released quite a few months earlier. It felt more like Morrissey was simply bridging the gap until the release of his next album by playing a few shows he was in the mood for.
Musicians: Boz Boorer (guitars), Jesse Tobias (guitars), Matt Walker (drums), Solomon Walker (bass) and Kristopher Pooley (keyboards).
Wireless Festival in London: the New York Dolls and Noise Is The Best Revenge played different stages than Morrissey, so they technically didn't open for him.
Saturday Night Fiber and Benicàssim (the former is a spin-off from the latter): the New York Dolls played on the Friday on the Benicàssim site while Morrissey was in Madrid. There were technically no opening band for Morrissey.
Tel Aviv: the New York Dolls, preceded by Asaf Avidan.
Videos, between opening act's and Morrissey's sets:
Following this, the curtain/screen dropped and Morrissey walked on stage at the end of the drum intro from his song "The Operation", except in Tel Aviv where he entered stage at the end of the "Imperfect List" by Big Hard Excellent Fish.
Frank Sinatra's "That's Life" signalled the end of the show.
The setlist also featured the recent singles "All You Need Is Me" and "That's How People Grow Up" as well as 4 songs from the forthcoming album "Years Of Refusal" (which a the time was announced for the coming autumn, but would only end up being released the following spring): "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed", "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris", "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" and "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell". It must be said that the latter two titles were dropped from the set after the Irish dates as Morrissey concentrated instead on more familiar material.
Previous studio album "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" was now only represented by the epic "Life Is A Pigsty" and Morrissey's much-loved "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy". The earlier "You Are The Quarry" was represented by live staples "First Of The Gang To Die" and "Irish Blood, English Heart" as well as "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores". Morrissey's solo back catalogue supplied "Sister I'm A Poet", "The Loop", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself", "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" and "Billy Budd". "Everyday Is Like Sunday" was also played, but only in Tel Aviv where the audience was treated to a safer set.
Besides the additions from the Smiths catalogue mentioned above, Morrissey also regularly did "Death Of A Disco Dancer", "How Soon Is Now?" and "Stretch Out And Wait". The hits-oriented Tel Aviv setlist also featured a record seven songs from the Smiths catalogue, including There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" which were not played anywhere else that summer.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 6 concerts.
All You Need Is Me - 6
Click here for more tour statistics.
Morrissey also made a few interesting changes in the returning "Ask". He sang "coyness is nice but coyness can stop you from being all the things in life you want to" and "it's the bomb, the nuclear bomb that will bring us together". Just as he did in the Smiths days he replaced the second occurrence of "nature is a language, can't you read" to "nature is a language, can anybody read". He also made many minor changes such as "shyness is nice but shyness can stop you" and "just ask me I won't say no". The other recent introductions from the Smiths catalogue ("What She Said" and "Death Of A Disco Dancer") were not updated from their studio arrangement.
"The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" was still slotted as either set opener or encore on these dates. In the song's lyrics, previously heard changes to "Reggie Kray always knew my name" and "Ronnie Kray always knew my name" were always done. On American dates the year before Morrissey had introduced a twist in "in our lifetime those who kill, Fox News hands them stardom". He tried here to adapt this by replacing "Fox News" with CNN or the BBC, but the changes didn't stick. He sang "just to make myself attractive to you" and after "have I failed?" he sometimes shouted "yes!". In "First Of The Gang To Die", the previously heard "the first lost lad to go - where else? - under the sod" was done about half the time. It was the only remaining lyric change in that song.
In the classic "How Soon Is Now?", the first occurrence of the line "of a shyness that is criminally vulgar" was rarely altered anymore. The second occurrence of the line was sometimes changed to "...that is crippling and vulgar". Now and then Morrissey would change the second occurrence of "how can you say, I go about things the wrong way" to "how can you say, I live my life the wrong way". He usually replaced "you could meet somebody who really loves you" with "you could meet somebody who even likes you" or "you could meet somebody who can even stand you". He also always extended a line to "so you go on your own and you leave on your own" with a shout of "oh what a big surprise!". The change to "look at this face! all my hope is gone" was done all the time as well. The recently introduced "When you say it's gonna happen now, now! well, when exactly do you mean?" was done most of the time. The studio version's final verse was still excluded from the live arrangement.
At the end of the epic "Life Is A Pigsty" Morrissey still replaced "I only live for you" with "I have lived only for you", "I'm falling in love again" with "I am in love again" and "but I'm still the same underneath" with "how come I'm still the same underneath". The recently introduced change from "even now in the final hour" to "even now, yes now" was not done anymore. The latter number and "How Soon Is Now?" became a pair again, the second seguing from the first. However the traditional piece connecting them together wasn't "Auld Lang Syne" anymore, but the "Happy Birthday" tune, played on the piano. The chorus of "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" was still changed to "Please, please, please let me have who I want". As in the Smiths days the final two verses were repeated to extend the song's length. However in the repeated part Morrissey updated the melody of the line "let me have who I want" by bunching the words closer together. The only new change was in the song's final line when Morrissey sang "Lord knows it would be impossible".
Morrissey still made quite a few alterations in "Stretch Out And Wait". After alternating between the song's two known intros on the previous leg he now settled on a variation of the "The World Won't Listen" version's opening, ending with: "Oh your face I can see, and it's really not bad". He always changed "it's the Eskimo blood in my veins" to "it's the Manchester blood in my veins" and "how can you consciously contemplate" to "how can you stand there and contemplate". He sang the "will the world end in the day time?" line before the "...night time" one instead of the other way around. He actually changed the second of these to something like "or will the world end in the night time, don't ask me I don't know...". He followed the line "is there any point ever having children?" with a moan or a shout of "no!". He still sometimes sang "ignore all the silly codes of the day". Finally on a few nights he made a change he had never done before when he sang "let yourself be yourself".
There were no surprise in "Billy Budd". Morrissey alternated between the basic "Did you hear? They turned me down" and the variation "So what! they turned me down". He also sang "do you think you even could" now and then. In "Sister I'm A Poet" he still sang "does anybody feel the way I do?" and "a plastic bag stranded at the traffic lights, this once was me" (or "a silly fool stranded at the traffic lights...") He often replaced an occurrence or two of "sister I'm a..." with "brother I'm a..." The crowd favourite "The Loop" was kept to its original form. Morrissey only changed "when you're bored" to "if you're bored". He stopped doing the previously heard changes in "Irish Blood, English Heart", even the recently added "you can see me standing by the flag not feeling shameful..."
In "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" Morrissey always sang "for my own life I never cared anything". In one case he pulled out the previously heard "why is this so impossible. In "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores", the change to "say a quick prayer 'cause he's still there" was now standard. The only alteration left in "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" was "what do you do, anyway!". As in previous live performances of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" Morrissey sang the lines "he broke my knees", "then he really laid into me" and "so I drank one, or was it four?" the way they had originally been written instead of the way they had been recorded and released. He changed the first occurrence of "I still love you only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love" to "...only slightly more than I used to, my love".
In "Everyday Is Like Sunday" Morrissey replaced "etch on a postcard" with "scratch on a postcard" and this was followed with "Oh Mama! how I dearly wish I was not here". The change to "please come please come nuclear bomb" remained, but the other previously heard alterations were dropped. The song's final line was extended to "everyday is silent and grey at least when you're all alone, when you're on your own, when you're all alone". Morrissey sang the end chorus in "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", and followed "if a ten ton truck kills the both of us" with a shout of "so what!"
After being in Morrissey's set for over a year, "That's How People Grow Up" and "All You Need Is Me" had finally been released and were now familiar to most of the audience. This also meant that they were not works-in-progress as much as they had been the year before. In the former number Morrissey sometimes made the very minor changes from "someone who does not exist" to "somebody who does not exist", and from "someone's sweetie" to "somebody's sweetie". In "All You Need Is Me" he had taken the habit to change "you roll your eyes up to the skies mock-horrified" to "you roll your eyes up to the skies and pretend that you're horrified", but now he changed this to "you roll your eyes up to the skies, absolutely horrified". He also often sang "yet you remain here 'cause all you need is me" and "all you can do is stand there and complain about me". In early live performances of the song he used to sing "I was a small fat child in a council house", which he changed to "...welfare house" when he recorded the song for posterity. Now he stuck to "...council house" most of the time (but not always). He sometimes sang "look! fate has just handed it to me".
Though not yet released, "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" had been recorded by this point, and Morrissey sang it very much like the studio version that would come out the following Spring. The only changes heard was "when I die ah let me go to hell", and it happened once out of the song's two performances. The situation was similar with "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed", "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" and "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris". On one night he changed a line in the latter title to "I skate all over the place".
As for the cover of the Buzzcock's "You Say You Don't Love Me", Morrissey made some changes, and not necessarily the same ones from one show to the next one. See information here.
Collectors who are only interested in professionally filmed footage will want to get their hands on Morrissey material featured in 'festival highlights' type television programmes. For this period in time there are four such songs from a television broadcast of the Wireless Festival and two more songs from the Benicàssim Festival. These are usually found tagged at the end of DVDs of other concerts, or available as 1-song files on the internet.