In an alternate universe somewhere, the arrival of Johnny Marr would’ve been covered by hovering helicopters and satellite news trucks. I mean, how often does one of the greatest guitarists the world has ever known and the founding member of one of the most influential bands in the history of music come to your town?
While the public at large may have been blissfully unaware, the assembled crowd at the Granada Theater Saturday night knew exactly how special this show was.
It’s one thing to see Morrissey sing Smiths songs, but it’s another thing entirely to see Johnny Marr play them. The man is not only a brilliant musician, he’s finally taken to this rock star thing. For years, his stage presence as a sideman was detached and demure, but his budding confidence as a frontman injects those familiar songs with amazing new life.
And for those who’ve chuckled or cringed at his vocal prowess in the past, Johnny doesn’t give a shit. Now he sings without reservation, and his complete lack of self consciousness might almost help you forget about Moz.
The set featured a generous helping of classics mixed amongst virutally all of The Messenger — a definite grower that gains impact and clarity live. For posterity, I only captured the blissful moments of the Godlike genius serenading me with The Smiths (and Electronic). I tried not to sing loud enough to mess up the recordings. Enjoy!
“Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”
“Bigmouth Strikes Again”
“How Soon Is Now?”
(apologies for the aspect ratio shift in the solo)
“Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” (end)
“Getting Away With It”
“There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”