By DONNA BALANCIA
Johnny Marr is a charismatic showman and master musician who gives the fans what they want. In his first of two sold-out shows at the Teragram Ballroom, Marr showed the crowd he is a genuine rock star.
Marr captivates his audience not with loud riffs and overdone dramatics, but instead with all the humility and grace of a king enjoying a stroll in the common man’s clothes.
On Tuesday night, Marr moved about the stage humbly smiling and showing off his guitar collection to an audience anxious to hear the classic songs as well as his new songs off the album Call The Comet. Many of the people in the audience were familiar with the tunes off Marr’s June 15 release. The songs on Call The Comet have already struck a chord with music lovers.
‘Call The Comet’ Drops June 15
Some in attendance were hoping that there would by some slim chance be something on the merch table to take home. But there wasn’t any new material — or any merch at all for that matter — as the Teragram lobby was void of any T-shirts, vinyl, cassettes or totes typically sold by bands today.
But this is not any typical band. This is Johnny Marr whose lengthy career most notably as the songwriter for The Smiths has brought him to this juncture. He doesn’t need to sell merch to stay soluble, he is one of the many fortunate musicians of the previous generation who actually made a living off music.
Marr Engages Audience with Smiles
But he is energetic and clearly loves his life. Marr continues to tour and put out records and after the final night of the summer at Teragram, he will launch his fall tour on Sept. 15 in Nashville.
He asks the audience for requests and moves about the stage smiling and showing what a genuine rock star does. His continual eye contact and warm smiles kept the fans on their best behavior as most swooned at or recorded his every move.
‘A Different Gun’ Pays Homage to Victims
On Wednesday, Marr again engaged the fans, taking questions from the audience on an entertainment website live feed, telling the fans some tidbits: He’s got “70 or 80” guitars in his collection and he has a new signature guitar coming out soon. He also told viewers he paid tribute to the victims of European gun violence with the song “A Different Gun” off Call The Comet.
Beautiful Songs, Good Looks, Great Attitude
If only other musicians could take Marr’s approach to celebrity and career. He is comfortable and not haughty and, at least to observers, fans and the people paying for the tickets, he acts naturally and welcoming.
But most of all, the guy can write beautiful and memorable songs and after all these years in a tough business, he is a rare breed. Marr has kept his not only his youthful look and his great voice, but most of all, his kind demeanor.