As a pop music artist, John Mayer is an impressive triple threat. Not only is he one of today's top guitarists, he is also one of our more impressive vocalists (good enough to win 2 vocal Grammy Awards this year), and, increasingly, a songwriter of great gifts. In concert, he effortlessly brings all of these talents together to create an evening of stellar musicianship tempered by Mayer's easy-going, good-natured relationship to his audience.
In a packed house of approximately 7,000, it did not take John Mayer long to warm up the audience. From the hit single "Why Georgia," the third song of the set, the crowd was mostly on their feet, and, more often than not, turning the event into a mass singalong.
While the stage patter was sparse, Mayer pays the audience back for its approval with encouragements to sing, signing autographs before leaving the stage, and even responding to the homemade signs in the audience. Watching the tall, lanky John Mayer onstage with engaging style, it's easy to imagine him in stand-up comedy mode, another of his many talents.
The Deepening of John Mayer's Music
Between Heavier Things and John Mayer's current album Continuum, he indulged in a side blues trio to revisit some of the inspiration for American pop and rock. The result is a deepening of the resonance of the material from Continuum. While "No Such Thing," John Mayer's first, and unabashedly pop, hit single, was delivered with energy, it came off as almost a bit perfunctory. Instead, while delivering new material such as "Gravity" and "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)," Mayer came fully to life. Lyrical guitar solos emerged from his nimble fingers as he sent the audience into blues-rock bliss.
Opening Act Mat Kearney
Warming up the crowd for John Mayer, Christian pop singer-songwriter Mat Kearney delivered a pleasing, but ultimately rather samey set. His closing song, the current top 40 hit single "Nothing Left to Lose," fully engaged the audience, but it came after a lulling string of songs that rarely caught fire. Mat Kearney will have the opportunity to entertain even more mainstream adult pop fans when he kicks off the VH1 You Oughta Know Concert Tour in March co-headlining with British band the Feeling.
John Mayer In Concert Is the Full Picture of His Artistry
While John Mayer's music contains abundant pleasures on record, it is in concert that he truly blossoms. Guitar solos can be extended, and the songs are reshuffled into a program that makes sense for Mayer the artist. The crack backup band adds punch with live horns and a 3 guitar, including Mayer, lineup. For the size of arena, sound quality and the balance in the sound mix was outstanding. The Continuum Concert Tour continues on through the end of February in the U.S. before heading to Canada. It is one of the top current tickets in live pop music.