Words and Photos: Jordan Nicholson
“We played here last night,” said Johnny Marr at his second sold-out show at Teragram Ballroom on Wednesday, “It was shit.”
He plucks a string and smiles, delivering a hypnotic riff, heading right into the storm that is Bigmouth Strikes Again. Smiths and Marr fans alike couldn’t help but sway, arms raised, to the classic Smiths tunes, as well as to Marr’s solo numbers, which are infused with his classic “Marr” bright guitar sound; the reason fans love him.
He kicked off the night with The Tracers, a dancey new track off his upcoming third solo album Call the Comet, out June 15. He sailed through the night with a clear sense of ease, peppering his set with solo hits like Hi Hello and Bug while interacting with fans and filling the space with colorful, spacey riffs. By the time Headmaster Ritual came around the show was in full swing, everyone vibing out in a happy daze. At one point during the show Marr jokingly took requests from the audience, with one fan yelling Steve Miller Band of all things. “We come out here, what is it 2018? From Manchester, England, the dude who invented indie rock and you shout Steve Miller Band?” He smiles. Safe to say it was a hard pass.
“Normally when we play here in California, we just smell pot – I was getting so paranoid over there” joked Marr before heading into How Soon Is Now?, a true crowd pleaser, bringing the energy in the room to its peak and reminding us why Marr is still one of the greats, with his ability to deliver those softer cosmic pop sounds while intertwining harder rock melodies. It was truly a whimsical walk down memory lane.