Gainesville, FL - Nov. 08, 1997
U. Of Florida, Performing Arts Center (capacity: 1750)

Set List (provided by Adam, Stephen Riley):

Maladjusted / Alma Matters / Billy Budd / The Boy Racer / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself / Ambitious Outsiders / Speedway / Reader Meet Author / Roy's Keen / Spring-Heeled Jim / Paint A Vulgar Picture / Now My Heart Is Full / Satan Rejected My Soul // Shoplifters Of The World Unite

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Summary by Adam

First thing Morrissey sees when he walks out is a massive gap between the "pit" seats and the regular seats (regular seats being held back by a wooden barricade and security), he says: "I have to say THIS (points) is the silliest thing I’ve ever seen", and we all tumble over. He made reference to the UFaG (University of Florida at Gaynessville) homecoming, but I honestly can’t remember what he said. He asked "Who was the last band to perform here" (to which he got the response The Smoking Popes) and then later said "Who was the last ENGLISH band to play here" The Specials "Mmmm The Specials, ahhh". About 15 people got on stage as there was NO barricade. The end of the show, someone jumped into the pit with Morrissey’s microphone and made off with it. The police were called, but it wasn’t retrieved. People were pissed. All in all, a very sweaty and energetic show.

Addition by [email protected]

I was at the Gainesville show and my friend stole Morrissey's mic after the encore. He got all the way out to the parking lot and then this guy we had been talking to, who is friends with Boz, asked for it back. I'm pretty sure Morrissey got it back...

Summary by Brian Newby

Morrissey played a very crisp set to the half-filled Center for the Performing Arts. The entire center had reserved seating, and the floor appeared to be sold out. The balconies, however, were sparsely filled. My seats were in the top balcony, but it quickly became evident during the Smoking Popes set that I would have to move because the seats didn’t allow for the intimacy you would expect from a small facility.

As a result, the crowd upstairs never got engaged. Downstairs, Morrissey entered after the rise of fog and the drum introduction from "The Operation." He opened with a strong performance of "Maladjusted." After the song, he took notice of the railing separating the floor seats and the stage by about 20 feet. "I think this looks ridiculous," he said as an invitation for us to jump the rail and move closer. He then broke into "Alma Matters," shaking hands and popping fists with many of us against the stage.

A handful — 11, I think — of fans jumped to stage, touched Morrissey, and then cooperatively left with security off the stage. I was the last to jump — right before the encore on the right side — but quickly leaped back onto the floor when I realized that Morrissey was coming back in from the left. Security, overall, was protective, but friendly and not overbearing, and the crowd was particularly civil.

Morrissey’s band played intensely, stayed put for the most part, and seemed to have trouble keeping up with Morrissey’s energy level. He was on, and sang very powerfully, especially during "Spring-Heeled Jim". As in other shows, he changed the lyrics in "Paint a Vulgar Picture" to "MTV, MTV, MTV...kiss their ass!," and later replaced the word you with I when singing, "I just haven’t earned it yet, baby." He was decked in a black shirt and black pants or jeans and he remained clothed (unusual, it seems, based on recent reports from other cities).

He came on stage around 9:20 and sang for about an hour. The Smoking Popes played for about 40 minutes and sounded good as well, but frankly, few cared. Many waited for Morrissey with flowers and one person attended as a dead ringer for Morrissey from the "Strangeways" era. I bought a T-shirt, grey with green "Morrissey" and "Swimming" printed for $22 -- the person selling them said this shirt started as a crew shirt and they began selling it. Other shirts displaying photos on them and city listings were also available, and they also sold the new Smoking Popes CD.

Personally, I have waited 13 years to see Morrissey after many attempts to see him. I was in Orlando on business and therefore missed his show in Kansas City (my hometown) and drove from Orlando to see him in Gainesville. My wife (much less of a Morrissey fan) attended with me, encouraged me to move to the stage, and even slapped skin with Mozzer herself (twice). It was a great night and I am envious of those of you who will see him perform in the weeks ahead.

Summary by Stephen Riley

Set Duration - 1 Hour including encore.
Moz Attire - All Black

Moz’s voice was excellent; all songs sung in perfect key and range. Encouraged crowd to be close to him. The theatre had an orchestra pit that was about one quarter occupied during opening song. At end of first song, Moz made a comment about how "stupid" this arrangement was which served as an invitiation for the seated audience to forge the wall into the pit. All through show, Moz shook hands, made contact with crowd. About a dozen or so made it on stage... one at a time. Moz encouraged this and was very accomodating although he wouldn’t allow these visitors to interrupt his singing. At one point he gestured as though he was going to take a dive into the crowd... but he didn’t. We wished that he would have introduced the band. Moz made a comment or two between every song but he was a little hard to understand from where we were sitting. I brought the whole family to the show... the wife, and my two daughters (12 and 14) who are Moz/Smiths warriors. They were the only kids at the show. They have four of the six slots in our car’s CD player loaded with Moz/Smiths. Anyway, the show was very good and I am glad we went.

Summary by Neil MacKinnon

The Gainesville concert was an incredible event especially because of all the interaction between Morrissey and the audience. The Center for Performing Arts seats about 1800 and it was pretty much full. It was all assigned seating except for a pit area directly in front of the stage. My girlfriend and I had second row, center seats. After the usual Operation drum solo and "Boy Racer" opening song, Morrissey pointed to the space in-between the people in front of the pit and the beginning of the assigned seating and said "This gap looks awfully silly" and that was enough to cause tons of people to rush forward. The security were ill prepared to deal with them and eventually gave up as the pit filled up. They were also ill prepared for the number of people who jumped on stage during the concert. I’d have to guess that at least 30 people made it up to Morrissey throughout the concert. Almost everyone who tried made it to Morrissey before being whisked off. Morrissey received alot of flowers and through several of them back, one of which almost hit my girlfriend. Morrissey was quite witty and at one point said "This song is even worse... it is called 'Roy’s Keen'". It was the University of Florida Homecoming Weekend and he made some kind of comment about "Shouldn’t you all be attending a Homecoming event tonight?" At one point, Morrissey also seemed to be making shadow puppets on the upper balcony. Overall, the interaction between Morrissey and the audience really made this concert and he seemed to feed off the number of people who made it on the stage.

Summary by Julia Henderson

The show was in the Center for the Performing Arts -- not the best venue, with mostly assigned seating and a little open area right in front of the stage.The Smoking Popes were a lovely choice for an opener, in my opinion, but of course, most of the crowd’s attention was focused on the fact that Morrissey would soon be on stage, and not on the brilliant Popes. Unsurprisingly, the stage was rushed as soon as Morrissey appeared, pushing those nearest the stage into the stage (and I have the bruises to prove it!!). The performance was phenomenal -- I have never, in close to 10 years of concert-going, seen a more thrilling show. Morrissey still looks good, his voice is still fantastic, and he can still play the crowd better than anyone else. Most of the material was from Maladjusted, naturally, but to our delight, he played "Now My Heart is Full", "Paint a Vulgar Picture", and (one of my favourites) "Speedway", among a few older others. He seemed good-natured about people rushing him onstage, and even encited it during "Shoplifters". Almost everyone in the front got a handshake; I personally had my hand taken three times (!!!!). For what I think will most likely be his last tour, the end was a bang, not a whisper.

Summary by Heather Lea Blaikie

I feel sorry for everyone who saw bad versions of Morrissey’s tour. The Gainesville show was worth the 5 hour drive we took. I was expecting to see a poor version of the Morrissey I love, but was instead swept off my feet by a fabulous performer with that golden voice. The crowd successfully broke through the low security barriers and even me, with my row Z ticket got right up to the stage. He seemed to be in good health and spirits. The many fans that jumped on stage to give friendly hugs and hand shakes were well received by Morrissey, and they weren’t treated that badly by the security, except the guy who took a microphone at the end of the show. The crowd was good, the sound was great, and Moz’s voice sounded as perfect live as the best recording. I had thought that maybe he was as washed up as Britain seems to think he is, but after this show, I hope this isn’t the last time we see him in the U.S.


last modified: 17 Nov 1997 08:41 AM

All rights reserved. Copyright © 1997 by David Tseng