by Colin

Oct. 04, 1997

I attended three shows this tour – the opener in Toronto, Vancouver and Seattle – and though all three really were superb the best show of the three – by a longshot – was Vancouver. In Toronto I had second row tickets and managed to shake Morrissey’s hand (lingeringly) twice. The band was excellent, his voice was superb, he showed interest in some audience members, but he seemed exhausted before the show even began and remained somewhat aloof. I preferred the Toronto set list – "Sunny", "Nobody Loves Us", "Satan Rejected my Soul", "Dagenham Dave" (instead of substitutes "Teachers", "Reader Meet Author") and I had several excellent opportunities to get on stage in Toronto, but decided not to compromise my excellent position right in front of Alain. Several around me tried for the stage and one succeeded. I was happy for him.

In Vancouver I started in Row 16, but leapt over several rows and past several security guards (well, there was a single lady by herself trying to turn back a tide of 50 or 60– The Orpheum was not prepared for Morrissey in any discernible way) and watched the show from Row 4, again directly in front of Alain.

From the beginning, it was obvious he was going to deliver a first-rate performance. He paid more attention to his fans, he swiveled and oscillated more wildly and his voice was as good as in Toronto – which is saying something; I can think of few vocalists who sound half as good as he does live.

I was – from what I am told by my friends – the last person to hug him before the so-called pandemonium ensued (I say "so-called" because I had already been escorted – gently, mind you, outside the Stage Door and was waiting by the tour bus at this point). (Anyone remember a pink shirt open collar over a black blazer? That was me.). When I made the jump over the rows he still had his shirt on. After I had cleared the stage and was jogging towards him, I realized he was topless. Fully expecting to be removed and abused by security I hugged him quickly then began to walk away. When I realized no one was grabbing me, I reached back and hugged him again. Did this annoy him? No, he winked and he smiled. Keep in mind that he did invite stagecrashers up. Keep in mind that this does fuel his live performances.

My friends reached me waiting in line for his tour bus after the show had ended. Guess what they had? ¾ of his shirt which we divided up between six of us. I got a sleeve minus the cuff. The shirt is a Katherine Hammett? Hammond? (How can you tell I didn’t get the label).

Saw Moz board the tour bus. He smiled once and then was whisked away.

Security at the Seattle show was fierce and ornery. Nobody got on stage. We were near the front of the first balcony. The show was general admission and the mood was quite intense. I was actually happy for the security presence. The set list was the same. Morrissey began in fine form and was, perhaps, even more animated to begin with than he had been in Vancouver. The sound was a bit spotty. I couldn’t make out most of what he said. The only thing that was lacking was a stage invasion – at least a person or two. To those who say it ruins the show, I say that is a possibility, but it usually enhances it. Seattle was a good example. The show was brilliant. Yet It felt somehow as though Morrissey seemed almost disappointed that no one could crack security. I was just happy to be there that night.