Updated: Feb 5
Former lead guitarist of illustrious band The Smiths, otherwise known as Johnny Marr, took centre stage of the 02 Academy in Newcastle, leaving what would be a memorable mark on the miraculous venue’s legacy. Fortuitously, I was able to witness the awe-inspiring illuminations that detonated from Marr’s guitar on the 14th of November, and hope to relive the refreshingly spirited atmosphere in the near future. A night that is in no rush to be forgotten and a tour, which much like its felicitous title, was out of this world.
The all-eminent performance was launched by the electrifying support group ‘Crewel Intentions’ and as the crowd prepared for liftoff, the sublime new group failed to disappoint. After not knowing much about the support band, I was hesitant to what the flashy new bunch would bring to the table, but to my utmost indulgence, the group were sensationally epic with fabulous front man Chilli Jesson sporting a very 90's Cobain style haircut which was flown fiercely across his face as the music erupted and left the audience passionately poised in a state of bewilderment. It was inspirational and left a great promise for Johnny’s set.
The crowd acted as a volcano as they anticipated Marr’s arrival but once the jet-black locks were in eyeshot, the fan-filled volcano erupted into a frenzy, as the astonishing single ‘The Tracers’ roared out, as if it were a hungry lion and Newcastle was its prey. Marr vitalised the performance with his lustrous placid blue Fender Jaguar which amplified the stage like a booming bomb and lifted the fans like jolted jelly or a choppy sea. The atmosphere was immense. To everyone’s amusement, Johnny played a series of legendary Smiths tracks which incorporated titles of ‘Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me’, ‘The Headmaster's Ritual’ and the distinguished ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’, which was without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the night. He even teased the crowd with a snippet of ‘This Charming Man’, playing the opening chords as the room gushed into commotion.
However, his performance of ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ became my favourite of the night as not only is it a renowned ‘Queen Is Dead’ track but is also an impressive tune played live. Songs from fresh, new album ‘Call The Comet’ were just as spectacular, my favourites being ‘Hey Angel, ‘Bug’ and ‘Day In Day Out’ making an essential appearance. To say the talent was exemplary would be an understatement, as it was a step above genius at the least.
Johnny made some humorous comments regarding some witty politics quips and even pretended to play some Oasis tracks which entertained the crowd wildly. I believe Marr is a popular artist due to his alluring personality which nourishes the audience with a sense of almost acceptance from the admired superstar. When he performs, he makes his presence known through considerable acts of provocative dancing and unblemished singing that can energize any crowd at any given time. He did an encore where ‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby’ drew the glorious gig to a close and this being where, for one last time, the room broke out into gleeful hysteria and left only a spirited atmosphere to the foreground.
Overall, the show was phenomenal. Johnny Marr will forever be someone I dearly admire and will forever obtain his position as an excellent performer. I knew I was not going to be disappointed but was not expecting to be as flabbergasted as I was. The venue was packed full of adored fans and this added a voluminous dash to the sparkly ambience that the night so greatly consisted of. An unforgettable evening that will in no way leave the stunned crowd from this day on. The tour is appearing to be a success in numerous countries with plenty of shows sold out. Thus proving, that Marr is still a prominent idol in people’s hearts and an accomplished artist who still maintains his respectable profile as one of the most iconic musicians of generations gone and to come.
Article by H.T