Manchester’s Johnny Marr (Liam Gallagher with a guitar,) rolled into town on Friday night to open for Vegas lads, The Killers. Random trivia fact: Johnny Marr’s bass player, Iwan Gronow and drummer Jack Mitchell, used to play in another British band, Haven. Haven toured the US back in the early noughties with Atlanta-band The Hiss. Here endeth the lesson.
Known to many from his days in the Smiths, JM is still one of the coolest guitar players. The set featured a mix of tracks from his days in the Smiths, his “Electronic” collaboration with Bernard Butler of New Order and his solo stuff, but nothing off his record with the Healers. Full Johnny Marr set list here
I thought The Killers would have amped the crowd up more in between sets had the music been more upbeat in the intermission so it took a minute to get the engine fired up once they hit the stage but by the time they hit ‘When You Were Young” and “Jenny Was a Friend Of Mine” early into the set, the crowd was in full voice.
Obviously, the set list drew from a selection of their best-known hits but nothing from Brandon Flowers solo stuff – What really stood out as well was the massive screen behind the band with brilliant visuals. The Killers songs are made for festival and arena crowds. To me, one of the best things about seeing a band live is their ability to play the song the way it was meant to be. Not the album version. Or, for it to take on a life of its own like ‘All These Things That I Have Done’ where the crowd took over “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” – good times Mr. Brightside.
The encore saw fan-boy Brandon Flowers bring Johnny Marr back out for another Smith’s cover “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” before launching into Mr Brightside for the finale.
It started out with a kiss. It was only a kiss.