Concert Reviews

Last Night: John Mayer at American Airlines Center

John Mayer
American Airlines Center
March 9, 2010

Better than:
reading Mayer's now-infamous Playboy interview.

There was definitely, um, an expected crowded American Airlines last night. And, unlike most shows at a sit-down venue, the audience actually got to sit down throughout Mayer's performance.

Don't read that wrong--the audience wasn't falling asleep. It's just not one of those shows. You just can't really jump up and down to "Gravity." And crowd-surfing to "Who Says" wouldn't necessarily be "cool."

The clear canopy surrounding the stage served as the projector screen for the countdown to Mayer's stage arrival, and that, mixed with the intro to "Heartbreak Warfare," lead the pathway to a phenomenal show.

You hear about Mayer's talent, you see him win Grammys for his work, but you don't really know how talented he really is until you watch him shred live: How are his fingers moving like that? Why isn't he looking down at his guitar?

He's just a talented guy, folks. And a funny one. When he took a look at the handmade signs in the crowd, he found the "John, please lick me" sign to be "So sweet."

That, though, was just part of his amazing two-hour set, filled with songs he wanted to play, songs that his so-called real fans would know. He didn't play "Your Body is a Wonderland" and he didn't play "Daughters." Rather, he played stuff like "Neon" and "My Stupid Mouth" from Room for Squares and "Vultures" and "Stop This Train" from Continuum. Of course, "Who Says" from his recent Battle Studies was part of the encore--but an artist pimping out his new material is to be expected.

But if there was one song that made the show, it was Mayer's "Free Fallin'" cover. I don't want to say it was better than the original--it wasn't--but let's just say that it was really, really good.

Mayer described his new goal to the crowd, too, saying, "If you're having a bad day at work or with your personal life and I can be that two hours of happiness, then that's all I want." He also thanked the fans having to use binoculars and watch the big screen just to see the show--because, he said, those are "the real fans."

"Gravity" brought awe to everyone's faces--not only because they liked the song, but also because Mayer ended the night with a unique outro, setting the guitar on the ground to shred his final solo instead of keeping it strapped around his neck.

Needless to say, the connection between Mayer and his band was flawless throughout the two-hour set. And the fans, young or old, spent their night appreciating genuinely good music.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
Mayer's been around for a while now. And I don't know what it is, but he's got it. A lot of people don't respect his personality, but I think of it as... well, I'm never gonna meet the guy, and I don't care what he's like, but he makes good music.

Random Note: For all the single guys out there, you missed your opportunity to hit on thousands of ladies last night. Seriously though, if you're looking for a girlfriend, go to a Mayer show. Attractive guys that can sing always have tons of girl fans.

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Stephanie Daniels