24 October 2007

Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 23 October 2007

"A rush and a push..."

Stage invaders. Those daring idiotic fans who throw caution (and sanity) to the wind and take to the air in an attempt to clear the concert moat and make it onto the stage for even a few partial moments of a moment with Morrissey. To be able to shake his hand, give him a hug, whisper "I love you" or "thank you" in his ear. It's the pinnacle of Morrissey/Smiths fanaticism, and, to many of us weirdos, a Morrissey show isn't complete without at least one or two of them. It's part of the culture. Don't try to understand it if you think it's really so strange, just take my word for it. It all makes sense in our world.

Last night the Hammerstein Ballroom again played host to a Morrissey concert, though you'd not know it if you were passing by outside the venue before the show and heard the security guys telling people "Morissette, Alanis Morissette is this line, The Tragically Hip is on the other side." Apparently The Tragically Hip played The Grand Ballroom last night. I wonder how that worked out for them... I wouldn't know, I was headed to the main ballroom for Alanis.

Once again I arrived right around 8:30 and caught the final few songs from the opener Kristeen Young as I found my concert spot. This time I decided to stay towards the back, just to vary it up a bit. Variety is important when you're going to 5 shows from the same artist in one week. Thankfully Morrissey understands this too - but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The timing for Tuesday night's show went something like this: curtain dropped at 9:00 on the dot, Morrissey took the stage right around 9:05. At which point he promptly proclaimed "Welcome to the Frankenstein Ballroom!" Indeed. Have you ever looked closely at the interior of Hammerstein? It appears to be held together with bubblegum and duct tape and thousands of loose screws. I can only imagine what the backstage area looks like. Still, it must offer enough comfort to not have fully frustrated Morrissey and his lads because everybody seemed to be in high spirits.

Again they started the show with "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", but there was something different. An extra pep in their collective step. It was evident in the audience too. Right away I knew this was going to be an even better show than the first night and it most definitely was. If you'd like a rating on a ten point scale - for the sake of comparing (since I rated the first concert an 8 out of 10) - I'd give this show a 9 out of 10. I mean, even Morrissey's choice of outfit (denim, head to toe) was much better.

As the band blazed through the first four songs a crazy thought occurred to me. I nearly hated myself for even thinking it, but there I stood thinking "if The Smiths DID reform and tour, they honestly might have a hard time delivering the same kind of punch that Morrissey's current band does." Blasphemy! But I'm serious. This current lineup, and tour setlist, really flat-out rocks. There's barely any jingle jangle in the guitar work, even when they play songs by The Smiths. Not that that's necessarily good or bad, just worth noting.

Speaking of which, the fifth song ("The Boy With The Thorn In His Side") of Tuesday's set came as a pleasant surprise. It was followed by two more songs not played during the first show: a New York Dolls cover ("Human Being" - after which Morrissey quipped "If you don't know the original would you please leave the building NOW!") and another new Morrissey song ("I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris"). All three of these songs were delivered perfectly, with Morrissey's voice sounding better than ever.

In all, the band played six new songs not heard during the first night (with "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want", "Disappointed", and "Dear God, Please Help Me" making up the remaining replacement songs), a clear sign that Morrissey and crew are well aware of the fact that many in the audience were likely present both nights. In response, the crowd exuded appreciation and joy and wonder and love; and, unlike night number one, a few of them displayed these emotions by - you guessed it - invading the stage.


Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Billy Budd
All You Need Is Me
Irish Blood, English Heart
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Human Being
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
That's How People Grow Up
Jack The Ripper
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
The Loop
Sister, I'm A Poet
Stretch Out And Wait
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Dear God, Please Help Me
How Soon Is Now?
First of the Gang to Die

To see a scan of the setlist from last night, click HERE.

"Human Being" by The New York Dolls

Remaining New York dates:
26 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
27 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
28 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom


*above photo from HERE - I didn't bring my camera this time simply because I didn't feel like it. it's nice to just be able to enjoy the show and not worry about pics or video. down with cameras!


Jess said...

such a great show last night...

Traci said...

Thanks for the wondrous recap - you captured the night perfectly.

Lance said...

I saw the opening night and I'm semi-crushed that he played Disappointed last night and I missed it. I'm gonna see another show on the run, so hopefully I'll catch it. I think the crowd will consistently get better and better as the week goes on. With such a legacy of songs, I can't wait to see what all he brings out in this run, and I can only hope for some from 'Kill Uncle'. Long live Moz.

Troy said...

Tues. was great, but he played 'Last Night I Dreamt...' on Monday. So you can't have everything. Unless you're going all five days. Buy up those tickets for the weekend. You won't be sorry. (I saw him 10 years ago and was sorry, but things were different on Tues.)

Amber said...

Thanks for reviewing this show. I took my daughter and we both loved it. Well, except for the bit where Morrissey seemed spooked by the exuberant stage rushing fans.

I can not, for the life of me, remember what song ended with the band building & building on drums & guitar. I thought Jack the Ripper, but from the vid posted I am wrong. If you know, please help?

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