Johnny Marr: History.
If you aren't familiar with Johnny Marr, let me help you out.
Known best as the guitarist and co-songwriter of The Smiths, Marr should be considered a national treasure. After his departure from The Smiths, Marr went on to work with The Pretenders. After just a year, he joined The The while also forming Electronic.
Marr has also been involved with session work for bands like Pet Shop Boys, Talking Heads, and Beck. In recent years, he has even worked with Hans Zimmer and Noel Gallagher (formerly of Oasis).
There is more to Marr than just song writing. He is also an accomplished producer. Marr has worked with Modest Mouse and John Frusciante (formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers).
Marr released his debut album The Messenger in 2013, which was followed up a year later with Playland. His most recent solo album, Call the Comet, was released in 2018. It was this record that would be taking center stage on the guitarist's most recent tour.
Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas was filled with people of all ages who had come out to see the legend. I was slightly surprised at the amount of younger people in the crowd. Nonetheless, the venue was packed.
The show kicked off with "The Tracers" off of Call the Comet. This is one that you can absolutely dance to. Marr's vocals cooed over the crowd, accompanied by the perfect lighting effects of spotlights and blues.
Marr and his band took the crowd on a journey of the musician's catalog. Peppered in to his solo works were songs by The Smiths as well as Electronic. Seeing an entire crowd dance to "Getting Away With It" and "This Charming Man" were highlights.
Marr interacted with the crowd, often leaning close to those in the front row, his Fender Jaguar hung low.
I have to say that one of the coolest things about seeing Marr live was being able to see how the hell he shapes his chords. Marr is known for his jangly sound, and knowing he's a Fender guy makes it even better.
As the night drew to a close, the lighting turned to a purple, illuminating the disco ball above the Brooklyn Bowl crowd. "How Soon Is Now?" began playing through the speakers. The crowd sang and dance together to the classic, but it was a saddening moment, defining the beginning of the end.
After a brief break, Marr returned to the stage for the encores, which included a cover of Depeche Mode's "I Feel You". Dare I say I enjoy it more than the original?
The evening ended with two final songs by The Smiths.
Marr closed out the show with thanks to the crowd, and a hint of a return with, "See you soon, if you know what I mean..."
If you were there, you know the magnitude of the energy in the room. But if you weren't, then you missed a hell of a show.
Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths)
Day In Day Out
The Headmaster Ritual (The Smiths)
Walk Into the Sea
Getting Away With It (Electronic)
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (The Smiths)
This Charming Man (The Smiths)
Get the Message (Electronic)
Boys Get Straight
How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths)
I Feel You (Depeche Mode)
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)
You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby (The Smiths)
ZRockR On Johnny Marr's Music:
If you aren't familiar with Marr's previous work with The Smiths, check out my Top 10 Songs HERE !
Check out what Johnny Marr was listening to during his tour and keep up with his tour dates HERE :
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Hayward for ZRockR Magazine, All Rights Reserved