Johnny Marr Concert Recap

Photos: Mark Peterson

Lower Greenville came alive on Tuesday night to the tune of The Belle Game. The crush pop band, from Vancouver, B.C, opened in front of a packed house at Granada Theater with an ethereal sound. The combination of fog machines and rotational lighting created an otherworldly atmosphere as Andrea Lo induced the crowd with her spiritually soothing voice. Meanwhile, Katrina Jones, keyboardist and backup-vocalist, dared to ask, “Who’s ready to see Johnny Marr?” The crowd hooped and hollered. Displeased with the lack of enthusiasm, she asked again, “Who’s ready to see Johnny f*cking Marr?” The crowd erupted and the band capped off their performance with the songs “Yuh” and “I Want Nothing” off of their 2017 album, Fear Nothing.

Photos: Mark Peterson

        The multigenerational crowd roared as the English guitar wizard calmly strolled out of the fog and onto center stage. Johnny is best known for his dynamic style on the guitar that helped to shape The Smiths from ‘82-’87, but he is now touring to promote his third solo album, Call the Comet. Without saying a word, Johnny and his band rolled straight into their single, “Tracers”, off of their new album. Subsequently, Johnny took the audience back in time with “Bigmouth Strikes Again”, which he penned during his reign with The Smiths. After wrapping up their intro with “Jeopardy”, another 2018 single, Johnny greeted the “fellas and darlings” in the crowd and admitted that he “occasionally forget[s] to ask how everyone is doing”. He reasoned that, “I think you all came here to listen to music and not to hear me talk”, and that is exactly what he did by playing nearly his entire new album.

Johnny’s voice encapsulates the iconic indie rock grit of the 80’s, and it has been enhanced by new instrumental machines that make Call The Comet feel like a near psychedelic journey into a new universe. Halfway through the set, the band covered the English disco song, “Getting Away With It”, which not only got the audience energized, but also Johnny himself. He pointed into the crowd at someone who was texting and exclaimed, “You better be texting the words ‘that was fucking awesome’, because it was!” Later, he even asked for song requests and after listening to random shouts from the crowd he began playing “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”. However, he stopped after singing two lines and said “You know what? This is the best I’ve felt all day, and that’s saying something. So I’m going to do something like this!” He proceeded to perform “Easy Money”, which is by far his most popular song off of his 2014 album, Playland.

Photos: Mark Peterson

Afterwards, the band left the stage causing the crowd to start chanting for Johnny’s encore. The curtains then peeled back as the band emerged and jammed out the four songs “Rise”, “Newtown Velocity”, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” and “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby”. Naturally, the fans sent the band off with a raucous applause as Johnny and his group thanked the audience multiple times. Call the Comet is available on all streaming outlets, so be sure to check out Johnny Marr’s new sounds!

Mark Peterson