Cincinnati, OH - Nov. 19, 1997
Taft Theatre

Set List:

Do Your Best And Don't Worry / London / Billy Budd / Spring-Heeled Jim / Paint A Vulgar Picture / The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself / Roy's Keen / Reader Meet Author / Sunny / Alma Matters / Hold On To Your Friends / The Boy Racer / Satan Rejected My Soul // Shoplifters Of The World Unite

Set list provided/confirmed by: Amy Franklin and The Phubbs.

Summary by Amy Franklin

Well, this was my first Morrissey show and I must say I was not in the least disappointed. Morrissey was in top form all night long. His voice was wonderful, frisky, and devilish throughout the show.

A note about the Smoking Popes. I think they were very good and really didn't deserve the slight and random applause they received.

Morrissey arrived on stage, from what I could tell, in gray slacks and a gray shirt. A growled hello started the evening. The band immediately broke into a spirited version of "Do Your Best and Don't Worry."

This being my first show, I can't compare this to any other, but Morrissey seemed at the top of his game. He sang each song with vigor and teased the audience with his antics. Some of the things he asked the audience (some might be paraphrased) were:

"I'm feeling a little strange. Any suggestions?"
Someone called out something from the audience, and Morrissey's reply was a deep growl, "No."
"What's it like to live here? Awful?"
And later, "Are you born here or do you immigrate here?" Then a sarcastic, "I'm intelligent."
And toward the end, "Have you forgotten that really silly question? I hope you have."

Morrissey seemed in high spirits, changing lyrics as in "The More You Ignore Me" to "The More You Abhor Me," wrapping the microphone cord around his neck and hanging himself, to making the sign of the cross and pointing up.

It wasn't a sold out show, unfortunately. Almost the entire row ahead of me was empty. The crowd, I thought, could have been more enthusiastic, but even I, for the first ten minutes, was still trying to register that I was really there and it was really Morrissey up there singing.

Summary/Story by Andrew

Waiting is the worst part. I have been waiting to see Morrissey now for five years; my friend Mary who introduced Morrissey to me has been waiting for seven years. Finally the Maladjusted tour rolls around and we immediately buy tickets for the Cleveland and Chicago shows. Enduring at least a five year waiting period, we had many and great expectations. This was our downfall; I have told people this before, "...after Cleveland don't get your hopes up too high because they may not be met. If they are lower, he could meet them; and he could always surprise you." So when we saw him in Chicago on the first night, with lowered hopes, we were pleasantly surprised considering that he was ill.

However with the additional dates and a different set list -- I was looking forward to hearing more songs from Vauxhall and perhaps "Trouble Loves Me." Cincinnati finally arrived, and we went down to the Taft Theatre. The Taft is such an excellent venue to see Morrissey -- the antiquated, classic, ornamental theatre suits him as being the classy, suave performer when he is up to it. Luckily for everyone, this was one of those evenings.

The Smoking Popes opened up to a lukewarm reception as everyone remain seated. The set was energetic, but overall I couldn't concentrate on them. Instead, I was thinking about how Moz would act tonight. As the lights dimmed and the "Operation" drum solo began, the masses awoke. Mary and I ran from our 4th row aisle seats to the railing, a little left of center -- the closest we have ever been. I couldn't really tell how into the show the audience was because I dared not look back. Moz and crew entered the stage... and I could tell that tonight was special. I immediately threw a bouquet of flowers to Moz, and he responded by picking them up, giving them a swing and then shooting it off into the crowd. The song, "Do Your Best And Don't Worry", began. He immediately honed into the lefthand side of the stage where we were. After shaking the hands of the girls next to us. He came right over to me, and I stretched as much as I could to give him the one flower I kept. To my delight, he picked it up, smelled it, (I think) crossed himself with it, raised it in the air -- and then threw it. "London" was next -- and what a rocker it was. After that song, he became a bit talkative -- saying "I'm actually feeling strange." Quickly followed by "Do you have any suggestions?" Launching into "Billy Budd" or "Spring Heeled Jim" (I forget which). He then later asked, "So you get born here, or do you immigrate here?" Laughing he said, "No, I'm really intelligent." After the next song he  added, "I'll bet you all forgot that stupid  question" in which everyone yells "NO!"

What I felt was really amazing about the  show was how Moz I guess was really feeling   strange; or else in really good spirits. He was continually jiving, twirling the microphone cord (even mocking hanging himself during "The More You Ignore..."), acting quite sexual, throwing flowers (even licking flowers), etc. Also, to my benefit, he kept returning to the side where Mary and I were standing. I finally shook his hand -- twice actually! Mary was also received the benefits of his good humor this evening: the first time, she held out both of her hands and he leaned down and held both of them staring directly at her. I could not believe it. The second time she caught his attention by waving her finger (not the middle one) signaling for him to come over; he came over and did the same gesture smiling. Then he started doing circular motions with it, and so did she. Finally, they both moved their fingers and touched fingertips, like in "E.T."

The highlight of the evening for me was yet to happen. During the fifth song, a boy managed to slip past the security guards by way of the left-most side of the stage where   the railing stops, and climbed on stage to hug Moz. Well, now it was the last song, "Shoplifters". I thought I would try to touch him once more -- what the heck! So I jumped a little to lean more on the railing, and the guy behind me thought I was trying to get on the stage -- so he lifts me up in the air. The next thing I know my feet are on the railing and I am thinking how this cannot be happening. Luckily, instincts take over; I jump on the stage and somehow I ran to Moz. I remember reaching him and wrapping my arms around him and feeling his arms around me, and the touch of his polyester shirt. But stupid me, I closed my eyes, and didn't even look at him that up close. When I thought of that the inevitable happened: the security guard ripped me away and I almost fall as I am being wrenched away and dragged off stage. I had no idea of what was happening to me; I didn't know what they were going to do with me. I was pushed down this long dark hallway and I saw a door. They opened it and shoved me through. Unfortunately it was not the dressing room, but the side hallway that leads to the lobby. "Shoplifters" finished and I waited by the side for my friends, unsure of how to act. From the time of being lifted up to this moment, time went so fast -- it all seemed like a big dream, a very surrealistic moment.

To me the show regardless of getting on stage was super excellent!!! 15 songs, Moz in high spirits, the band in an energetic mood (Boz almost got carried away during "Hold Onto Your Friends" or the "Alma Matters" solo -- I think -- wobbling about to the different notes, screwing his face up in pain, like those cheesy guitar, hair bands; it was great). The show was everything I could have asked for -- and I originally was just looking forward to hearing some of the songs! Silly me, I forgot how Moz is the master of being unpredictable and the man with some tricks up his arm.


last modified: 28 Nov 1997 05:24 PM

All rights reserved. Copyright © 1997 by David Tseng