New York, NY - Sep. 17, 1997
Central Park SummerStage

Set List:

Maladjusted / The Boy Racer / Billy Budd / Alma Matters / Ambitious Outsiders / Nobody Loves Us / Now My Heart Is Full / Wide To Receive / Reader Meet Author / Paint A Vulgar Picture / Roy's Keen / Satan Rejected My Soul / Speedway // Shoplifters Of The World Unite

Set list provided by: Jason Endicott

Summary by Jason Endicott

Morrissey entered with a bagel in his mouth and another in his hand, which he tossed (dropped?) into the audience. People were hysterical. He grabbed the microphone and bellowed "Aw, SHUCKS". As the guitars started wailing, the voice of Anthony Newley came over the PA; "On this glorious occasion, of the splendid defeat" and "Maladjusted" was the first song.

For me, the highlights were "Now My Heart Is Full" (for the beginning of this song, Morrissey came down to my side of the stage and sat right in front of me and sang the first verse not 3 feet from me. It's very exhilarating), "Nobody Loves Us", "Shoplifters", and "Speedway". The only lowlight is a mildly botched beginning of "Wide To Receive". Other than that, Morrissey and the band are stellar. Some of the Morrissey stage commentary throughout the night:

"Hello, New York"
"Can you take any more?" (the crowd roars) "Well... you don't have to." (Crowd roars again)
(Introducing "Speedway") "I'm afraid it's time for bed, so this will be the last song."

Summary by Mike Scalare

Was anybody else as surprised as I was to hear "Paint a Vulgar Picture" and "Shoplifters..."? Can we expect to hear more Smiths’ stuff in the future? In fact in the wake of the whole Princess Di thing I’m surprised he didn’t play "The Queen is Dead".

Anyway, he was way more energetic than last time I had seen him. He completely won me back, this coming after canceling 2 Carnegie Hall performances a while back and a rather lackluster performance before that some years ago. (I had GREAT seats for the Carnegie Hall shows and could not wait to see my idol up there on such a grand stage)

The crowd at SummerStage was kind of small. Probably most New Yorkers were thinking like I was. Man, did they miss out. It was a great show. It was so refreshing to see Moz acting out the lyrics to "Paint a Vulgar Picture". I wasn’t lucky enough to see the Smiths in concert and had resided to hearing their repertoire on recorded CD.

Summary by Shadi R.

Elcka opened up and in mid-set thanked NY for not throwing things at them, they had heard it was a tough crowd. Three minutes later a plastic bottle was thrown at the lead singer to which he responded to by blowing a big kiss in the direction it came from. After their set was over the crowd eagerly waited to see the main feature of the night. Morrissey came out with a bagel in his mouth and flung it into the audience saying something like (I forget the exact words) "Did you miss me?" To which the audience responded with loud screams, I was unable to hear the rest. The guy next to me was desperately trying to get some sort of reaction out of him so he had thrown what appeared to be a spiked bracelet with rings at Morrissey in the middle of him singing "Maladjusted". Morrissey just looked up at the sky and rubbed his forehead and just kept on singing. There were no stage jumpers however, at this concert whenever Morrissey came close to the audience you where squashed to death and were unable to move. Security helped the people get out from the front and watch comfortably in the back. Overall it wasn’t bad. The one at the Hammerstein Ballroom was much better. You had more room and (To me anyway) Morrissey seemed a lot more "happy" to be there.

Summary by Emily Sistek

I went to the show on the 17th, and it was honestly the best night of my life. I got there around 3:00 and managed to get front row. My friend stood on line while I went around to watch the soundcheck, but Morrissey wasn’t out yet. A minute later he came out, and I was screaming "MORRISSEY" but he couldn’t hear me. So when he turned around I waved, and the second time, he waved back! I wasn’t sure, so I did it again, and so did he. It was beautiful. Well, once he came out, everyone threw their flowers and he’d throw them back or kick them away. Mine somehow stayed... and during "Roy’s Keen" he first kindly stepped over them, and then he lied down right on them and licked his fingers... it was wonderful. I did also touch his hand, and he sang a few words of "Paint A Vulgar Picture" to me, but it was impossible to get up on stage. One person tried and failed. Although it only lasted 50 minutes, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be so lucky. I know I didn’t meet him, but what did happen was much more than I’d ever dreamed. It was wonderful. He sounded great, and as always, he was "so bona to vada!"

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photo: David Tseng


last modified: 06 Jan 1998 11:07 PM

All rights reserved. Copyright © 1997 by David Tseng