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Starting with a sold-out 8-city tour of Europe and Scandinavia, Johnny Marr brought his nearly month-long Call The Comet mini-tour to an end on Tuesday night in LA (a second, and final night, was added late). Only Toronto, New York City and San Francisco were visited during these exclusive North American albums launch shows. What's great about them is that when Johnny Marr comes to town, there is a palpable sense of excitement and clarity that comes along with him. The assumption is you're going to get a pre-soundcheck autograph session, the Smiths faithful, head-turning VIP sightings, a solid set of memorable hits along with hip-shakin' new music….and Johnny Marr delivered.

A plan to arrive early paid off as there were only a dozen or so fans had posted up on the sidewalk outside the Teragram. With their spots saved another 15-20 had corralled around the back of the venue, waiting for Johnny to arrive. When the line out front became a bit deserted, I found myself curiously drawn to the gated parking area. Not surprising, I found Marr out back wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses, brandishing a Sharpie, and signing any and all memorabilia (even a motorcycle helmet) put before him. Gladly taking selfies and chatting loosely with the polite crowd, Johnny seemed relaxed, unrushed and happy to greet all of his fans. It was a refreshing Rockstar moment I had not seen for some time.

Entering the venue and gathering my spot a couple steps from the stage, the show started promptly as billed. With no opener on this night, the house lights dimmed and the band walked onstage to a bathing blue light.  Returning on this tour are long time collaborators James Doviak on guitar and keyboards, and ex-Mutineers rhythm section Iwan Gronow on bass and Jack Mitchell on drums. A couple of chord strikes, a tap on the foot pedals for a bit of coerced feedback, and off they launch into "The Tracer", the first release from Johnny’s latest release, Call The Comet. The feel and lush landscapes of Marr's new music seemed to blend seamlessly into his overall body of work. Other new cuts played Tuesday included "Hi Hello", "Walk Into The Sea", and my personal favorite "Actor Attractor". Marr’s new songs infused perfectly with the half dozen Smiths classics played in his 19-song setlist . These included classics such as "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "Headmaster Ritual", and the flowing and hypnotic "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me".

At different points throughout the evening, I took time to close my eyes and found myself immediately transported back to the 80’s.  It was a simpler time and place back then and music like that of The Smiths (in their heyday I might add) laid the groundwork for what I now consider the soundtrack of my life. Johnny Marr’s guitar and vocals took me to this place on Tuesday, and it’s a place I rarely get back to.  Simply put, Marr’s latest songs are new, fresh and timeless.

After the main set and a brief intermission, Marr and Co. returned to a wildly rousing encore. First up was a classics Smiths hit, "How Soon is Now", followed up by "New Town Velocity" from the 2013’s The Messenger.  And if that wasn’t enough, Marr blasted the Teragram with "Rise", the first track from yet fully released masterpiece, Call The Comet. Having teased and the satiated the crowd all night, the band finished them off with a plucky and aptly -timed song entitled, "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby".  Even the upstairs VIP area (which typically more subdued at shows like this), rose up with elation of hearing the unmistakable strains of Marr’s familiar, irresistible chords.

With another triumphant show over and his message delivered, Johnny Marr thanked his adoring fans for coming and waved as he headed off the Teragram stage. As the lights came up, the sweaty and smiling faces spilled out into the cool downtown LA night, rejoicing in what turned out for many to be a show for the ages. It definitely was for me.  Until next time,


To learn more about Johnny Marr and his upcoming release, Call The Comet, on New Voodoo Records, Click HERE

Set List:

  • The Tracers
  • Bigmouth
  • Jeopardy
  • Day In
  • New Dominions
  • Hi Hello
  • Headmaster Ritual
  • Walk Into The Sea
  • Getting Away With it
  • Bug
  • Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me
  • Easy Money
  • Boy Gets Straight
  • There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
  • Actor Attractor


  • How Soon Is Now
  • New Town Velocity
  • Rise
  • You Just Haven’t Earned It yet baby

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