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Watch Michael Shannon (?!) Cover Two Smiths Songs at ‘Queen Is Dead’ Tribute Show

Michael Shannon, The Smiths

Michael Shannon is the Oscar-nominated actor best known for his brittle, hardened character work, playing villains in movies like Premium Rush and Man of Steel and a cop-turned-bootlegger in HBO’s gangster drama Boardwalk Empire. Shannon played a very different kind of grouch over the weekend, fronting a band of indie vets (including members of Superchunk and Poi Dog Pondering) in a full-LP tribute performance of The Smiths’ classic 1986 album The Queen Is Dead, held at the SPACE venue in Evanston, Illinois on Saturday night.

Two fan videos are available from the event, of the band running through the album-opening title track, and also a bonus encore of ’87 single “Shoplifters of the World Unite,” the latter even featuring Morrissey’s own drummer Matt Walker on skins. No gladiolas or Moz-style sashaying for Shannon, though he does have the singer’s lean down pretty well, he plays a mean tambourine, and his “I never even knew what drugs were!” squawking is impressive. Watch “Queen” above, and “Shoplifters” below.