Lowell, MA - Nov. 22, 1997
Memorial Auditorium (capacity: 2800)

Set List:

Do Your Best And Don't Worry / The Boy Racer / Hold On To Your Friends / London / Spring-Heeled Jim / Reader Meet Author / Billy Budd / Satan Rejected My Soul / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself / Ambitious Outsiders / Trouble Loves Me / Roy's Keen / Now My Heart Is Full // Shoplifters Of The World Unite

Set list provided/confirmed by: Scott, Rob Radel and Paul Prescott.
** Scan of the actual set list provided by Scott.

Summary by Paul Prescott

On a snowy Saturday night Morrissey performed at the stately Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. At precisely 8:00pm, the Smoking Popes took the stage and played a well-received 35 minute set to the sparsely filled auditorium. People continued to filter in so that when Morrissey arrived, the floor was filled, but the balcony was sparse. One person in the balcony had a "Moz 1, Joyce 0" sign.

The Lowell Auditorium is quite posh, complete with reserved seating and middle-aged ushers. Apparently their "security" consisted of 6 average sized men all in matching blue oxfords and khaki pants. Needless to say, they were no match for the fans trying to get onstage. The stage hands/roadies did most of the work dragging the stage crashers off. It looked like the offending patrons were returned to the audience as one woman made repeated attempts at embracing Morrissey. As one woman was being dragged off, Morrissey had the stagehand stop so that he could kiss her hand.

Morrissey was in excellent voice and quite animated, so that the crowd was surprised when he announced mid-way through the show that he had "picked up the New Brunswick [NJ] flu". Although his voice remained powerful throughout the night, he was visibly slowing down by the last few songs. It almost seemed that he cut the set short by casually leaving the stage after "Now My Heart Is Full". The band seemed to be caught by surprise and eventually followed him.

Morrissey did return for the encore announcing, "Just to show you we can act off the cuff...", as the band launched into "Shoplifters".  Since this has been the standard encore throughout the tour, I was unsure what he meant by the remark, or if he was going to play something additional. Anyway, it was only a few words into the song when the mob overtook the stage. The stagehands, after prying the herd of "fans" off of Morrissey, whisked him offstage. Alain Whyte shook his head at the crowd as the rest of the band left.

The musical highlights included slightly slower versions of "Hold On To Your Friends" and "Now My Heart..." which took on an increased intensity. Also "Trouble Loves Me" was very well done with Jonny Bridgwood bowing an upright bass. Boz was quite animated all night providing some nice leads and launching into a break-neck double-time at the end of "London". Overall a wonderful evening despite the few rabid fans who insisted on bringing the show to a premature conclusion.

Summary by Emily Donahue

The Lowell show was absolutely amazing up until the encore. Moz made it through "Learn to Love me", of "Shoplifters" and then was ransacked by fans and escorted off stage. Boz was quite upset about this, and went on to yell curses at the audience, and Alain threw his hands up in a gesture of "That's what you get". A good number of people made it on stage during the show, since there was no barricade and the stage wasn't high. I was pressed against it, and my arms rested on the stage up to my shoulders. The guy next to me also pulled Moz down to us during his first song, and we all got to hug him until the security guy came. Moz danced around a bit, shaking his hips and all, and had a few comments to make, like "Does anyone have any messages...for anyone in England? No? I didn't think so." The set was great, except that "Alma Matters" was left off.

Additional note from Rob Radel

A friend of mine spotted Louise Woodward, the British au pair / convicted baby killer in the crowd. Hmmm... maybe she took "Suffer Little Children" a bit too literally!


last modified: 03 Dec 1997 12:37 AM

All rights reserved. Copyright © 1997 by David Tseng