Johnny Marr, the common denominator between The Smiths, Modest Mouse, and Talking Heads, among others, played in Portland on Tuesday night to celebrate his first official solo record, The Messenger. It was a homecoming show, in a way, as Marr lived in Portland for five years during the time he worked with Modest Mouse.
The Aladdin Theater was packed with attendees of all ages, a number of them certainly hoping for (and promptly receiving) a handful of Smiths songs. However magical it was to hear such classics as, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” and "Bigmouth Strikes Again," the highlight was watching Marr dominate the spotlight, performing vibrant new songs that stood strongly on their own. Disco-tinged title track, “The Messenger” and the recognizably Smiths-esque song, “Generate! Generate!” shone brilliantly, and Marr’s more delicately toned tracks, such as “New Town Velocity” were flawless live.
His energy and appreciation of the crowd was extra apparent at The Aladdin, where the audience got close enough to catch the sweat dripping down Marr’s face. He eventually took off his wool blazer and told his fans, “I’m gonna stay for a while.” The set ran just about an hour long, with Marr returning to the stage for an epic encore, including a cover of The Clash’s “I Fought the Law” and The Smiths' “How Soon Is Now."
Tagged: live review