To finally get a chance to see Johnny Marr live was beyond exciting, and I was not alone.
This was a show filled with fans who knew what they were in for, and and could not wait for the lights to go down and for the show to start! The show opened up with Johnny and the band performing the song "Tracers", a single off his third solo album Call the Comet, and really set the tone for what the night was going to be all about.
The Smiths classic "Bigmouth Strikes Again" elicited cheers from the packed venue - after all Johnny was the guitarist and co-songwriter of the Smiths so this crowd wanted to hear Smith songs! But we also got to hear great music off his solo albums, and he played his newest single "Armatopia", a synth sounding song about the state of our ecology.
After a couple more of Johhny's solo released songs it was once again a classic Smith song titled "The Headmaster Ritual", a song that has one of the coolest guitar riffs from the Smiths era. We were treated to the danceable song "Getting Away With It", one of my favs, and was amazing to hear live, and "This Charming Man" and "Get The Message" (from Electronic formed by Bernard Sumner of New Order and Johnny Marr) showed more classic Johnny Marr guitar playing.
We were down to the last song of the set before the encore, and the crowd was abuzz as the opening chords to the song many of us came to hear was finally about to be played! As Johnny started playing the tremolo effect on his guitar it signaled it was time for the song "How Soon Is Now", and the crowd went wild for classic Smiths at it’s finest. It was beyond amazing and sounded better than you could imagine. With that the band exited the stage under deep blue lighting with a thick heavy smoke from the fog machines, but with the crowd screaming for more the band appeared shortly and picked back up with the song "Rise", followed by a surprise cover of Depeche Mode’s "I Feel You".
Johnny and the band closed out the show with two more Smiths songs, "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" , which turned into a crowd sing along that had Johnny smiling. He told the crowd that everyone was invited to the Flamingo Hotel after the show to his hotel room - which he gave out a number - and they would all hang out, if security asks just to tell them that Johnny from Manchester said it was Ok! The show finally closed with "You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby"., and after thanking the crowd Johnny told them that this was fun and we needed to do this again really soon.
JOHNNY MARR SETLIST LAS VEGAS:
Bigmouth Strikes Again
Day In Day Out
The Headmaster Ritual
Walk Into the Sea
Getting Away With It
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
This Charming Man
Get the Message
Boys Get Straight
How Soon Is Now?
I Feel You
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby