Thank you Milsquakee! My official recap...a few days late, but these things take time!



Saturday October 16th 2004
The Eagles Ballroom -- Milwaukee, WI

After already seeing Mozza 4 times in the past two weeks, I was still ever so eager to see him yet again. This tour has really been so invigorating that I am savoring every moment and every show. I hadn’t initially planned on hitting up a 5th show on this tour, mainly due to my time off for the year having been whittled away at this point. So I looked at the Mozzer itinerary in search of a Saturday show that I could possibly hit on the east coast where I wouldn’t have to worry about taking more time off from work. It basically came down to the Radio City Music Hall show last weekend in NYC vs. Milwaukee.

Why did I choose Milwaukee? Quite simply, it is one of the few general admission shows on the tour out here and at a significantly smaller and more intimate venue than that of Radio City. General admission of course allows you to pretty much control your own fate as to how close you wish to be to the stage. If you want to be first row, you’ve got to get in line outside the venue in the morning. And for Morrissey, I am indeed ever so willing to do so!

So Milwaukee it was. I asked around to see who would like to accompany me for the long pilgrimage. And indeed, Milwaukee is quite a stretch from the humdrum town of Buffalo…a good 11 hour drive away. My friend Alex was down with the cause….but at the 11th hour, unfortunate events unfolded and he could no longer make the journey. However, I did not have to make the long haul entirely by myself…my friend Melissa was wanting to get out of town as well. She also invited her friend Michelle along. They aren’t Moz fans, but trekking for a weekend with two fine lasses is never a bad thing really.

I got out of work early on Friday afternoon and we hit the highway around 3pm or so. Somehow we made it all the way to Milwaukee that night…arrived in town around 2am and crashed at a cheap motel a block down from The Eagles Ballroom. We awoke early in the morning and quickly transported ourselves across the street to the more posh Ambassador Hotel.

As all of the other shows I have attended this year have been seated venues, I really had to switch gears back into general admission mode…the mode I have been so accustomed to in the past. For me, there really is no substitute to being at the very front for a Morrissey show. I have been further back at a few shows, and although I have always enjoyed myself in such positions…it is nowhere near the same as being within touching distance of the Man himself.

I headed outside the confines of my swanky hotel room, leaving the divine hot tub behind in favor of a day waiting in line to endure the freezing cold and rather blustery winds with my fellow Moz devotees. As I made my way across the street to the venue, there were about 10 or so people lined up at this point. In the middle of the group was my new friend Mike from NYC. We had corresponded online a couple days prior to the show and had planned on meeting up. So we all put our time in, enduring the elements to secure our place in line. Conversed with some of the other diehards also in wait. Saw and spoke with the girl who is briefly interviewed on “The Importance of Being Morrissey” documentary. We took turns…a couple of us would wander off seeking food and warm refuge, while some would stay behind holding our precious places in line.

Our first break paid off though. After hitting up Taco Bell for some sustenance (if it can be called that), we walked over to my hotel, The Ambassador. Mike wanted to check it out as he was still considering where to stay for the night himself. As soon as we entered through the hotel doors, we ran smack into none other than Boz himself! He was most amiable and we proceeded to chat it up with him for several minutes…talked about some of the shows, he was asking for directions to a local record store, and he told us that he purchased his trademark “tommy gun” guitar for 80 GBP on eBay. I was going to ask him about Alain and about some of Moz’s remarks as of late alluding to a possible “farewell”…also wanted to get a couple quick pix with my cell phone. However, before I could do so, a taxi had arrived to pick him up, so he had to quickly jet. It was a nice and unexpected little run-in though.

We forged ahead back over to continue our wait in line..which had now grown to around 25-30. Everyone trying to survive the cold as best we all could. The Lads walked up and into the building waving at us. Finally around 5pm or so someone from the Eagles Ballroom staff decided to let us all inside the venue and into the bar area. Twas very nice to get indoors. People continued to pile around the bar. There wasn’t a very good semblance of a line going on, which later would create a bit of chaos. I stuck around the bar area that was closest to the doors that would later open up into the main club itself. Socialized a bit…bought a wickedly overpriced pint…and wrote a little note to give to Moz during the show. Then suddenly…

…security staff opened up the double doors and began to herd everyone up the stairs into the ballroom. Very unwise for security to bring this on so unexpectedly as it did lead to a lot of pushing and shoving. Since there was no real line, people were a bit on edge trying to procure a spot at the front. I know this apparently resulted in some latecomers cutting in line and passing some of the devoted souls who had been waiting significantly longer. Myself, I had no problems. Mike and I both headed over to the rail just a little left of center…just where we wanted to be. One could have arrived at the venue as late as 7pm perhaps and still been able to stand at least 3rd row…but nevertheless, in my mind, it’s worth all the extra hours in wait in order to be right against the stage barrier.

The venue took a good while to really fill up. Damien Dempsey went on just after 8pm. He’s a charming enough Irish lad, however, I must admit that his music doesn’t do that much for me. As 9pm approached, the tension was mounting. As we awaited the beginning of “The Imperfect List”, Moz delivered a curveball…the theme song to “Laverne and Shirley” (based in Milwaukee for those who didn’t already know).
Finally, our heroes took the stage and did their traditional group bow before the audience.

“Hello Milsquakee!“
First out of the cannon was a soaring version of “How Soon Is Now?” followed up with “First of the Gang to Die” and then into ”November Spawned A Monster” as has often been the first trifecta on this tour. There were no musical surprises out of the sky tonight, however, it was the first of the shows I have attended wherein the sublime “Shoplifters of the World Unite and Take Over” was played. And I am always happy to hear that track, not only because it is a splendid song in its own right, but it is also the song that he encored with and during which I made my first two stage invasions back in ’97 and ’00…so it always brings back such wonderful memories!

“Don’t Make Fun of Daddy’s Voice” sounds better and better every time I hear it! Such a remarkable glammed up stomp with very sexy and playful lyrics. I really hate to see it relegated as a b-side…but as we all know, there are so many truly great songs in Morrissey’s arsenal that do end up as such, even some of which I believe to be more “singleworthy” than some of the singles he has released as a-sides. Ironically on this note, I just received the new “Let Me Kiss You” single in the mail this week…and was terribly excited to hear the recorded version of “Daddy’s Voice”. Unfortunately, I must admit that I am letdown by the new single and it’s b-sides. Both “Friday Mourning” and “I Am Two People” sound languid at best. They could somehow turn out to be “growers” but usually I can at least get a better vibe for a song than I have from these tuneless tracks. Most disappointing though is “Daddy’s Voice” itself. Being that I have been so enamored with this song in the live arena, I had very high hopes for it on record…but it really doesn’t live up to it’s live predecessor. Not that it sounds doesn’t. It does sound “good”…but not nearly as explosive as it does live. It’s painfully obvious that these new songs were recorded at a separate session from the album. Mozzer’s voice sounds subdued for some reason and just isn’t recorded terribly well…his singing on “Daddy’s Voice” live is so remarkable and moving, that it’s a shame it is so restrained on this recorded version. The sound in general on this song and the other b-sides almost sound like demos done at a small studio as artists usually do before taking them for the royal studio treatment.

Some of Mozzer’s chatter for the evening…
''you are known for Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and Jeffery Dahmer which are you most proud of?”

''I truly believe Dick Cheney and his wife are evil. And I think they Know it. And they don’t care"

A couple of my newly acquired friends I had met during the day had some nice moments. Jen ended up scoring her second setlist of the tour (make me copies!). Moz made some banter in between songs and posed a question along the lines of what we can do about the world we live in…Erin standing right next to me shouted out in response “defeat Bush”..clearly this was music to Moz’s ears. He walked over to her and had her repeat her comments. She spoke with Morrissey! I know this had her “walking on air”. Apparently she had only even started listening to Him earlier this year..and in that time has already become an obsessed devotee..and this was her first show.

As much as this tour’s setlist is so heavy on “Quarry” songs and lacking on delivering the goods wanted from “Your Arsenal” and really can’t hold many candles of complaint. So many excellent songs you wish it would never end. Even the new b-side “Munich Air Disaster 1958” proves to be more breathtaking and alluring in the live realm than might have been thought.

It was time for me to deliver my letter to Moz…and just like in Toronto, I thought “Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference” was the perfect time to do it. As he made his way over my way, I held out my hand with my note for him in it. He came closer, crouched down, gazed into my eyes, and stretched his hand out to mine…taking my written words on paper and placed it into the pocket of his black trousers. Of course it was very touching to have that moment. And it turned out to be the only letter or gift he took from anyone this night as well. It was real sweet too that so many of my fellow devotees surrounding me clapped and cheered when he took my letter. A haunting version of “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” came later on. Not that this song ever comes across as non-haunting I suppose…but it really is so heart-wrenching, chilling and purely and devastatingly real. The best song ever made, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” concluded another excellent show.

As we finally made our way outside the Eagles Ballroom, the bitter night air served me a quick reminder that I was only clothed in my “viva hate” t-shirt and needed to find warmth asap. (And yes of course I had jeans on too you perverts!). I left my group of new friends to find solace in the hot tub back in my hotel room with the girls. Before doing so, I did make tentative plans with Mike and the gang to possibly cross paths a little later in the evening in search of drinks and debauchery…this never ended up materializing…although I would find plenty of debauchery of my own back in the hotel room…methinks I’ve clearly said too much. Errr, anyway, the hottubbing action with the girls was relaxing and much needed after battling the cold all day and the general post-show fatigue and muscle aches.

Oddly enough and most disappointing, the city of Milwaukee, home of the Brewers and makers of large quantities of beer…STOPS SELLING ALCOHOL AT 9PM!!! What the bloody hell!?! This hampered our plans a bit needless to say. Michelle and I left the premises in search of pop even. We went down just a few blocks to a gas station, and were greeted by a friendly chap who warned us that we probably shouldn’t be hanging out and about in this section of town. We drove back towards the hotel parking lot, only to see Jesse Tobias (new Moz guitarist) walking down the street in the direction of the venue/tour bus. Wish we had been a little quicker and could have parked and caught up with him in attempt to possibly meet up the with the Lads for some drinks or something…ah well…yada yada yada …turned out to be an unexpected and lovely evening nevertheless.

Michelle, Melissa and I awoke the next morning…time to depart from our posh palace and make the long trek back to Buffalo.

This was to be my 7th and final Morrissey show for the year. However, my dear friend Catie88 has run amuck with a seed I planted in her very own head. That being traveling out West for one more show. It didn’t take much convincing really…could I ever pass up another chance to see the Mozzer?

Sin City, Here We Come…
Las Vegas, Saturday November 13th…You are the quarry!!!

Joe Benzon

Hey, this is Joe(the other guy you met that day). How are you doing?

I was wondering if you could make me a copy of that Philly DVD you were talking about? Also do you have Mike's and Erin's e-mail adresses? Thanks.

Lazy Dyke

Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for posting this lovely review! It's almost like being there (though sadly, not quite!).

Glad you got to hear Shoplifters, and congrats on your personal moment with Morrissey! I wish he'd played "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" in Toronto (but I'm not complaining, of course - best night of my life!).

Have a great time in Las Vegas! Anxiously awaiting your next account!



I love reading your's like I'm right there. Glad you had such a great time.

Hope to see you in LV!!



greetings and salutations dear westEndGirl!
thank you much for the positive feedback!
so i take it you are def going to vegas? what's yr name? where from? we'll have to meet up and at least say hello.
send at least one thoughtful letter to the email addy above.
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