Morrissey Descends Upon Hammerstein Ballroom

Really wish we had legs that felt fully recovered from CMJ, but you know, these things take time. That hasn’t stopped fellow Moz-freaks from making the trip uptown (for us) to Hammerstein Ballroom (or as Morrissey’s been calling it, “Frankenstein Ballroom”). It’s a five night run, of which two are in the can. NY Post was there for night one:

Monday’s gig at the Hammerstein Ballroom was a 90-minute set of greatest hits. The night’s selections – everything from ?You Have Killed Me” from his latest solo record to the Smiths classic ?Death of a Disco Dancer” – were plugged into themes of violence and lawlessness. The melodies of the songs either rocked or floated prettily, and they stood in contrast to the dark lyrics.

Morrissey sounded great for a man who’s had his share of medically related singing problems – his June concerts here were cancelled because of a sore voice box. His baritone was clear and supple in both bass and falsetto.

Surprisingly, night one wasn’t sold out. Which means if you haven’t seen him yet, you gotta get tix ASAP. Ace photog and CMJ correspondent Abbey went on opening night and snapped this sweetness…

A few more of Abbey’s pics and video of “How Soon Is Now” after the jump.

More night one pics here. Ear Farm made the second night, indulging himself in some blasphemy and a setlist compare/contrast for those multi-night attenders…

As the band blazed through the first four songs a crazy thought occurred to me. I nearly hated myself for even thinking it, but there I stood thinking “if The Smiths DID reform and tour, they honestly might have a hard time delivering the same kind of punch that Morrissey’s current band does.” Blasphemy! But I’m serious. This current lineup, and tour setlist, really flat-out rocks. There’s barely any jingle jangle in the guitar work, even when they play songs by The Smiths. Not that that’s necessarily good or bad, just worth noting.

In all, the band played six new songs not heard during the first night (with “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”, “Disappointed”, and “Dear God, Please Help Me” making up the remaining replacement songs), a clear sign that Morrissey and crew are well aware of the fact that many in the audience were likely present both nights. In response, the crowd exuded appreciation and joy and wonder and love; and, unlike night number one, a few of them displayed these emotions by – you guessed it – invading the stage.

Two down, three to go. Here’s what’s been on tap so far…

01 “Stop Me If You Think You?ve Heard This One Before”
02 “Tomorrow”
03 “Sister, I?m A Poet / London”
04 “The Loop”
05 “That?s How People Grow Up”
06 “Jack The Ripper”
07 “I Like You”
08 “Why Don?t You Find Out For Yourself?”
09 “I Stretch Out And Wait”
10 “The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores”
11 “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me”
12 “Billy Budd”
13 “All You Need Is Me”
14 “Death Of A Disco Dancer”
15 “Irish Blood, English Heart”
16 “Shoplifters Of The World Unite”
17 “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell”
18 “You Have Killed Me”
19 “How Soon Is Now?”
20 “First Of The Gang To Die”

SETLIST: NIGHT TWO (10/23) (via EF)
01 “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”
02 “Billy Budd”
03 “All You Need Is Me”
04 “Irish Blood, English Heart”
05 “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”
06 “Human Being”
07 “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris”
08 “Tomorrow”
09 “That’s How People Grow Up”
10 “Jack The Ripper”
11 “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell”
12 “The Loop”
13 “Sister, I’m A Poet”
14 “Stretch Out And Wait”
15 “The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores”
16 “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”
17 “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself?”
18 “Death Of A Disco Dancer”
19 “Disappointed”
20 “Dear God, Please Help Me”
21 “How Soon Is Now?”

22 “First Of The Gang To Die”