As I sit here, writing a long overdue review of the Johnny Marr concert at the Culture Room, I am reminded of a show that really captured the essence of concert going. We’re talking about Johnny “fucking” Marr, not just some fellow with one hit, but co-writer and member of the legendary and controversial 80’s alternative band, The Smiths. What made them controversial wasn’t their existence, but their break-up and subsequently, their disappearance from the music scene altogether. Out of The Smiths, Morrissey was born. You heard very little about Johnny Marr, but if you continued to keep up with him, you would have known that he was a “player” in so many bands, (Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs) ultimately landing firmly on his feet with a solo gig. There’s so much history behind this musician that’s rarely been discussed, as Morrissey has always grabbed the headlines and robbed the spotlight from this talented musician.
Fast-forward to Tuesday, November 26, 2013, The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Hundreds of Gen-X’s milling about, anticipating the arrival of legendary Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr. Sprinkled about the scene were younger fans that were either introduced to The Smiths from aunts/uncles/parents or other grown-up figures that cared to share the importance of attending a show with Johnny Marr. The audience was eager, but what could they expect? Would Johnny Marr portray the “stuck-up, better-than-all-get-out” persona that Morrissey tends to emote when he performs live? The answer is a resounding, “NO”.
Performing at his last gig on The Messenger Tour, Ft. Lauderdale fans would get the most genuine and gracious host to perform, for what seemed like, a private concert. Even more appealing was the fact that he would fulfill every Smiths’ fans’ dream of hearing all their favorite songs. Denial for Marr was not an option. It seems that Marr was committed to making sure everyone would walk away happy. They’d walk away happy to hear the tried and true tunes, ultimately laying the foundation for presenting his new tracks off his latest album, The Messenger.
Performing not just one Smiths tune, but six, he gave the kids what they were hoping for. Furthermore, he did so happily and with an extremely tight band backing him up. He even threw in one of this author’s favorites from Electronic, ‘Getting Away with It’. Every song was something you wanted to hear. Some of his solo effort highlights included, ‘The Crack Up,’ ‘The Messenger’ and ‘Generate! Generate!’. All these tracks seriously highlight the immense talent that lays in Marr’s path. We should only be so lucky to have him return to South Florida again.
So, you ask, was it a good show? Sincerely and truly, yes.
Check out an additional review of the show by our good friend, David Von Bader, right here.