PICS: Johnny Marr at House of Blues

'This charming man': Johnny Marr, legendary guitarist/founding member of the Smiths, delighted a packed House of Blues crowd recently.

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Fatima Kelley
The iconic guitarist and co-founding member of '80s pop-rock group the Smiths was on tour supporting his third (and latest) solo studio album "Call the Comet" (which dropped on June 15, 2018).
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The 19-city tour, which stopped in San Diego on May 20, wrapped up the very next night at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in LA.
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Fatima Kelley
Marr, whose distinct "jangly pop guitar" style propelled the Smiths to worldwide fame (along with frontman Morrissey's unique croon) nearly 40 years ago, has also been a member of the Pretenders, the The, Electronic, Modest Mouse and the Cribs (among others).
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During his time in the Smiths, Marr has stated that his goal was to "pare down" his style and avoid rock guitar cliches. He forbade himself from using power chords, distortion, lengthy solos, or "big rock chord changes," instead relying on arpeggios to create his signature chiming guitar work.
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Despite being an in-demand session musician and working with all the aforementioned bands, Marr finally released his debut solo record titled "The Messenger" in 2013, which he followed with "Playland" the very next year.
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The demure guitarist is no stranger to accolade. In 2013, NME honored him with its "Godlike Genius" Award, stating: "Not content with rewriting the history of music with one of the world's greatest ever bands, the Smiths, he's continued to push boundaries and evolve throughout his career, working with some of the best and most exciting artists on the planet."
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As even more evidence of his six-string wizardry, Fender issued the official Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar in 2012, which features several modifications and color options made to Marr's specifications.
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Marr and his band performed an incredible 21-song set list on May 20, featuring songs from his solo records, the Smiths, Electronic and even Depeche Mode. The show started off with "The Tracers," "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (the Smiths), "Armatopia," "Day In Day Out," "New Dominions"...
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Along with "Hi Hello," "The Headmaster Ritual" (the Smiths), "Walk Into the Sea," "Getting Away With It" (Electronic), "Hey Angel," "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" (the Smiths)...
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Followed by "Spiral Cities," "This Charming Man" (the Smiths), "Get the Message" (Electronic), "Easy Money," "Boys Get Straight" and "How Soon Is Now?" (the Smiths).
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He also performed a four-song encore, which consisted of "Rise," "I Feel You" (Depeche Mode), and two more Smiths songs -- "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby." What a wonderful show; come back soon, Johnny!
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