When taking the stage for the first night of his new Las Vegas residency, Morrissey opened with a surprise: ‘Never Had No One Ever’ from The Smith’s 1986 album The Queen is Dead. The song had not made a live appearance from any Smiths member since the song’s original release.
Ever the malcontent, the only sure thing about going to a Morrissey show is that he’s going to not play one of your favourite songs, whether it’s ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ or ‘Suedehead’. He will, however, bust out a strange collection of covers that alternate between delightfully odd to utterly puzzling.
For his new run at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Moz took on Laura Nyro’s ‘Wedding Bell Blues’, Jobriath’s ‘Morning Starship’, Garry Puckett’s ‘Lady Willpower’, and The Pretenders’ ‘Back on the Chain Gang’. He also satiated some of the more restless fans by diving into what had become one of two go-to Smiths song, ‘Shoplifters of the World Unite’. (The other, ‘How Soon Is Now?’ was the set opener the following night).
For the first two shows of the residency, Morrissey focused mainly on his solo career, with setlist stalwarts like ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’ and ‘Jack the Ripper’ finding their familiar spots. But perhaps inspired by the novelty of the residency, the singer unpacked a few surprises as well.
‘Tomorrow’, the third single from 1992’s Your Arsenal, was played for the first time since 2008. Morrissey appears to only be including a handful of Smiths songs for his residency, but the picks are inspired: ‘Half a Person’, which made its first appearance in Morrissey’s concerts last year, and ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’, a fan favourite that was performed live for the first time at the kickoff performance. He might still hold back on playing ‘This Charming Man’, but Moz is happy to dig up some hidden gems.
Check out the performance of ‘Never Had No One Ever’ down below.