Marr has always been a musical genius, gifted songwriter, and regarded among many the best guitar player of his generation. With his recent solo work it is now obvious, he didn't need anybody else, he just liked working with others. Its hard to imagine Jimmy Page or Eddie Van Halen even attempting to do what Marr has done, which makes it that much more impressive that Marr actually pulls off, emerging as a fully fledged front man in his own right.
Opening Band Listening to opening act Belle Game while in the club foyer the band sounded alright, much like a rugged Cocteau Twins. Music matters, but lets be honest so does image. Some bands need a stylist. It is one thing to have a guitar player that looks like Kenny Loggins, but quite another to look like Kenny Loggins as guest star on 1986 episode of Miami Vice. The Raffi look went out of style and it isn't coming back. Vocalist Andrea Lo has a pretty good voice, but drenched in too much effects obscure this. While very animated onstage, it doesn't suit the music.When she was singing in unison with keyboardist Katrina Jones is was interesting. The band has a bit of an interesting sound but nothing as far as songs stood out.
Marr is known as a guitarist but what makes him great is even on solos he is always in the service of the song. The chiming solo of "Hi Hello" Marr does with just a few notes that most couldn't accomplished with dozens.
Twice he played songs during his time in Electronic. While "Get the Message" fared well. "Getting away with it" was disappointing. Johnny introduced it as a "Disco song from Manchester" but the songs signature groove seemed sluggish, and the lilting chiming guitar seemed mare ham fisted than heavenly, more klanky than celestial. With the Smiths track "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me" Marr caught the epic feel of the song as he did on"How Soon is Now" which was well received by the crowd Marr has a pleasing voice, while not as distinctive as celebrated vocalist he has worked with,he is a good singer, brimming with enthusiasm. Even on the Smiths songs he carries it off quite well.
The crowd was singing at full volume already before Johnny traded off vocals with the crowd. Marr closed the set with a bouncy charged rendition of "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby". One thing is for sure Johnny Marr whether working with others or not. He HAS earned it, and is still as on his game as he ever was.