Hartford, CT - Nov. 25, 1997
Webster Theatre

Set List:

Do Your Best And Don't Worry / The Boy Racer / Billy Budd / London / Hold On To Your Friends / The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get / Reader Meet Author / Spring-Heeled Jim / Alma Matters / Roy's Keen / Now My Heart Is Full / Satan Rejected My Soul / Speedway // Shoplifters Of The World Unite

Set list (not in order) provided by: Shirley Palma, Jimmy McDonald

Summary by Emily Donahue

I showed up at the Webster Theatre in Hartford at 9:15 (buses were very slow), thinking that Moz would already be on stage (My ticket said 8:00). I walk in and get carded and frisked, asking people if the Popes already finished their set. Nope. The DOORS OPENED at 8, but the show didn't begin until almost 9:30. I guess the point was to squeeze drink money out of fans for the first hour and a half, since the Webster is no more than a bar with a stage. As expected, Moz was not delighted. He had virtually NO room to move, dance, or fling his microphone cord. He took the stage after a lively Popes set, and said, "This must be the NICE side of town", all sarcastically. He played quickly and without much chatter between songs, so the whole set lasted less than an hour. There was a barricade between the stage and the fans, and not one person made it on stage. We actually got to see the whole song of "Shoplifters", which was nice. I managed to sneak a camera and and took a whole roll of shots as a bouncer just looked at me and shook his head. He also took my letter that he wouldn't touch at the Lowell show, and put it in the front pocket of those lovely grey plaid slacks.

Summary by Jimmy McDonald

I went to 5 shows, Boston, Providence, Lowell, Hartford and Manhattan. This was definitely my favorite one.

The Webster Theater is a small venue, similar to The Strand in Providence but without a balcony. The stage was very small and Morrissey had approximately 20 feet to move left to right. The crowd was packed in pretty tight, reaching the stage was impossible. The stage and the barrier were both at least 4 feet high -- the gap between the two was about 7 or 8 feet. Because the stage was so narrow, the "population density" of the bouncers (who were also quite large) in the pit was quite high. No one made it on stage and I don't recall anyone even trying.

From looking at the set lists, as far as I can tell, this was the only show on the entire tour that he did not play a slow song, i.e., "Ambitious Outsiders", "Wide To Receive" or "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself". This kept the crowd bouncing and hopping the entire night. I felt like the show was relentless. With no slow songs at all, this show actually felt like the longest of the 5 I saw. The closest he came to a slow song was "Now My Heart Is Full", which starts slow and the same can be said for "Hold On To Your Friends". Live, both of these songs have  a lot of energy.

I don't remember a lot of the quotes but he did say this when he came out: "Hello Hartford. I was expecting a bit more. Weren't you?" Morrissey was really into this show. I think its because the crowd was good. I was right up front in the center and we were really into it.

As many of us have noticed, "Roy's Keen" is slightly different. He skips the line "foot in a bucket, we trust you to wreck it". I noticed they also changed the drums during this song. He was making gestures along with the cymbals on the words in CAPS.

You're up the LADDER
Into each CORNER
Dunking the CHAMOIS
Just think of the GOODWILL

If you listen to this song on the tape/cd/album you will notice that there is not cymbal while he says some of these lines.

On a side note, I invited a friend who doesn't know any Morrissey songs at all. He said:

"He's got a really good voice."
"I really liked the guitar player on the left (Boz), he was good."
"I'd definitely see one of his shows again."

His favorite song from the set was "Spring-heeled Jim". I commented that I wish the show was a bit longer, my friend replied, "He played a lot of songs, the show wasn't that short." I guess that just reiterates what I said before about this show feeling like it lasted longer than any of the others this tour.

Summary by Jen

Upon arriving at the theatre (which is pretty much an overgrown bar) well after 8 p.m., and as such expecting to wind up somewhere way towards the back, I was quite surprised when I was able to walk right up and secure myself a spot right in front. The lady at the box office said that less than 300 tickets had been sold. The Smoking Dopes had yet to take the stage, and I was curious to see them since I had missed them at all the other shows. My friend who warned me about them was right... the lead singer looked like Forrest Gump on guitar... and they made me long for the days of Elcka. Morrissey made his great entrance by walking to the front of the stage, bending over, and sticking his tongue out at us. The stage was VERY small, which made it difficult for the boys to move around much.... and the gap between us and the stage was huge (thankfully making it impossible for any stage invaders to get up there and ruin the show). Morrissey and Boz were rather playful with each other... at one point Boz sat down and Morrissey looked at him quizzically and asked, "Tired?" When Boz left his hand hanging in the air, Morrissey placed it back on the guitar for him. When it was time for the encore, he began by saying, "And now for something from our extensive repertoire...", and of course, it was "Shoplifters..." His voice sounded terrific, and the show was tops.

Summary by John Bent

Well, in short the Hartford CT show was stunning. I have never seen the Moz live before so I was quite pleased with his performance. The opening band, the Smoking Popes were unoriginal tripe and bored most of the audience... author included. We all sat through the Popes set awaiting the arrival of Morrissey... it was agony.

When Morrissey came on though it was evident that our suffering was well worth it. Dressed to kill in blue and grey plaid pants and a navy blue button up shirt Morrissey and his band launched right into "Do Your Best And Don't Worry". Morrissey was abounding with energy and accepting gifts, which I had heard he would not do. My sister, Megan Bent, tossed Moz a gift package of James Dean photos and a James Dean magnet and Morrissey accepted the gift and placed it on the drum riser...

It was great show and a great experience for me. Everybody at the show was very nice and positive, something I had not experienced at a concert in some time. Morrissey shook hands with people several times, but at times he seemed perturbed by the audience... this could be because the barrier prevented anyone from being close to Morrissey, we were about 5 feet away from the stage. In all it was a great evening and something I hope to see again... if Moz tours again.


last modified: 07 Dec 1997 04:58 PM

All rights reserved. Copyright © 1997 by David Tseng