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Watch Johnny Marr perform classic Smiths tracks onstage with The Killers

Brandon Flowers of The Killers performing with Johnny Marr at Glastonbury 2019
Brandon Flowers of The Killers performing with Johnny Marr at Glastonbury 2019 (Image credit: Matt Cardy / Getty)

Johnny Marr jumped onstage during The Killers headline set this weekend to perform a short run of Smiths tunes with the Las Vegas band.

Marr is currently supporting Dave Keuning and co on their North American run, and appeared during their shows at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Friday (August 19) and Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday (August 20).

Fan-shot footage from the Vancouver gig shows the indie guitar icon arriving onstage before Killers frontman Brandon Flowers asks, ‘Do you wanna hear a couple of songs?’ 

Marr and the band performed Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before and There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

The following night’s performance in Seattle saw Marr join the band during their encore, once again performing There Is A Light…, alongside Smiths tune What She Said and The Killer’s knee-sliding mega-anthem Mr Brightside

Setlist.fm (opens in new tab) also lists Marr as performing during the encore of The Killers’ Portland show last night (August 21). Fan-shot footage has since materialised of all three shows (though audio quality is not great, sadly).

The recent North American shows are not the first time Marr and The Killers have teamed-up. Way back in the halcyon days of June 2019, the guitarist joined the band onstage in the UK during their Glastonbury Festival performance to play The Smiths’  This Charming Man.

The Killers are clearly relishing their chance to get back on the road and play (both with and) in front of people. 

Last month, they invited Phoebe Bridgers onstage for the first live performance of their song Runaway Horses, which was released during the pandemic on 2021’s Pressure Machine

The album saw the return of Keuning on guitar. Speaking to Guitar World in 2021, Keuning admitted that the pressure of constant touring made him reconsider his position, and ultimately take some time out.

“It’s exhausting – especially if you have children or family back home,” he said. “But even if you don’t have children or family back home, you’re never home… or you’re barely home and then you’re planning to leave again. I was burnt out from traveling more than anything. Because 80 per cent of the time, you’re not home. A little more balance would have been nice.”

Dave Keuning

Dave Keuning with his Gibson Explorer (Image credit: Future)

Keuning says he missed playing shows but ultimately did not regret sitting out the tours. Once he was back onboard he co-wrote two tracks for Pressure Machine, including the title-track, which came together with him playing some chord changes on acoustic guitar while Flowers improvised vocals.

“I really like that one,” said Keuning. “That was one [where] I was on acoustic, and kind of the same process – I was playing acoustic in the room, he started singing scratch vocal lyrics, and it came about pretty nicely. There was a bridge I had for it that we never needed. And that melody, he came up with right on the spot. So, nice and natural on that one.”

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.