I had another assignment last year when Johnny Marr came through D.C. touring behind his brilliant 2013 album The Messenger, which was a damn shame because he was amazing when I saw him at Coachella that year. The Messenger has stayed in heavy rotation on all my music streaming devices and Marr’s new album Playland is slowly working its hooks into me as well. So I was obviously excited about shooting this show.
I was really impressed with Marr’s set. He was just ripping through songs, one after another, commanding the stage to a degree I didn’t know he was capable of. His 16-song set drew equally from his two solo albums and The Smiths, with an Electronic song and an Iggy Pop cover thrown is for good measure. And after hearing Morrissey’s band murder songs like “How Soon Is Now,” “Still Ill,” and “The Headmaster Ritual” for years, it was such a thrill to hear them played properly. “Still Ill” came during the encore and it was perfect. But surprisingly, the best fretwork of the night was from “Generate Generate,” a more recent tune. This show will definitely be in my Top 10 shows of the year. It was that good.
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