Arguably one of Britain’s most influential guitarists, Johnny Marr returned to Los Angeles over the weekend performing before a sold out audience at the El Rey. The impromptu tour titled ‘California Jam’ featured six stops along the state that pushed ninety minutes of high caliber entertainment. The night began with ‘Back In The Box, ’ a faced past guitar hook melody off his second studio album. People adapted quickly to the coarse energy in the room, constantly shifting back and forth thought the venue and establishing a contagious dance first mentality.
Fans didn’t wait very long for Marr to divulge some Smiths material, quickly transitioning into ‘Still Ill’, an appropriate description to the crowds dedicated response. Between verses, Marr displayed his shred-like abilities on guitar and exposed a glam rock fusion with rockabilly guitar riffs that melted the audience away. Marr managed to make the evening an independent experience, adding a healthy dose of material from his debut solo album while incorporating a few gems that have solidified his extensive body of work. ‘Easy Money’ displayed his versatility and range by blending a somber topic with upbeat high driven synthesizers.
Marr’s amicable personality was displayed on stage numerous times. While pausing amid songs, he took it upon himself to weigh in on the country’s political circus race while adding colorful comments about the republican frontrunner Donald Trump. Comparing Trumps choice of hairstyle to an omelet received some adequate laughs. Outside of color commentary, Marr reflected his humble and poised attitude towards the audience by posing with his guitar in the air, receiving and endless stream of flash photos from the crowd. Towards the latter portion of the show, ‘Bigmouth Strike Again’ made it’s way onto the set list, receiving a series of constant loud cheers and a vivid display of onstage life.
‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ received an incredible response. The hopeless romantic attitude carried the night into an unforgettable encore appearance with a cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘I Feel You’ before concluding with ‘How Soon Is Now?’ Johnny Marr still can still deliver high quality performances and excitement. Marr heads to the UK in April for a string of performances with Grammy award winning composer Hans Zimmer.
Photos by: JACOB GAITAN