Date: November 12th, 2014
Opening Act: Meredith Sheldon
I’m a big Smiths fan but never had the chance of seeing Johnny Marr before. I’ve seen Morrissey before though. You’re more likely to see pigs flying than see those two playing on stage together again. Although anything is possible I suppose. Anyway, Johnny just came out with his second solo album, Playland. It’s just as good as the previous album, if not better! Johnny’s latest tour stopped at a sold out Gramercy Theatre in New York City last night. I wasn’t sure if I was going to this concert or not but glad it all worked out in the end!
Meredith Sheldon was the opening act and she had a sweet singing voice and was impressive playing the guitar. The crowd was quite taken with her and kept shouting out that she was beautiful, pretty, etc. I didn’t know her music at all but she did play an awesome cover of The Replacements’ “Answering Machine.” Which made me bummed that I missed them when they played in Queens in September. Oh well.
Johnny Marr and his band took the stage at 10pm and played the title track “Playland” of his new album first. As a photographer, it was treat to shoot Johnny Marr because he rocks out at the edge of the stage, in front of the photographers. For playing guitar in The Smiths and Modest Mouse for many years, I think Marr makes an excellent frontman too! He’s one of my favorite guitarists and hearing some Smiths songs live is always a treat. After the first song, He went into “Panic” which got a great response from the crowd.
After that, he played “The Right Thing Right” and then went into the infectious “Easy Money.” At first I didn’t like “Easy Money” but I just ended up listening to it a lot and now I love it. I was bummed he didn’t play “Upstarts” though. I saw he was playing it at other shows but not the NYC one. That’s my favorite song off his previous album. He ended up playing “25 Hours” from the new album in its place.
Other highlights of the night include Johnny playing “New Town Velocity,” “Headmaster Ritual,” “Back in the Box,” and “Bigmouth Strikes Again.” The last song of the set was of course, “How Soon Is Now?” As soon as that opening strum/riff came on, I got goosebumps. I heard Morrissey play that once but it’s another when Johnny Marr is playing guitar for it.
Marr came back for an encore and played a few more songs. He started things off with another Smiths song, “Still Ill” and then went into his new single “Dynamo.” Both songs sounded excellent of course. I had to make the train so I miss the rest of the encore but based on his setlist, I believe he played a cover of Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” and finished the night off with The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.” I would have loved to have heard both of them. Perhaps another time!
I didn’t know if I was going to this show but happy I got to finally see the genius guitarist that is Johnny fucking Marr! Even if you might not be a huge fan of his solo material, it’s great to see him live just to hear some of the Smiths songs live in concert. In my opinion, his solo stuff is pretty damn good too.
Here’s some photos from the show. All of the photos will be posted on SkaPunkPhotos.com later on.