Ep.327 – John Mayer @ Sommet Center – Nashville, TN
Feb 12th, 2010
Category: John Mayer, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sommet Center, Uncategorized, Video Concert Reviews
I felt like I needed to see John Mayer. His music isn’t necessarily my style, but I’ve been going through Sommet withdrawals and was in the mood for some quasi-mellow Wednesday entertainment. Much like Dave Matthews Band, Mayer is so adored that I started to wonder if I had been missing out on some huge secret concert experience that would blow my mind.
From what I had seen on TMZ, he seems to be a decent guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously, so I thought his humor might spice up the show. I was also curious to see if he could retain the audience’s attention in a large venue. He seems very “Ryman Auditorium” to me.
I prepared for the show, listening to random Mayer songs throughout the day – only to catch up on his recent publicity fail while his tune “My Stupid Mouth” played in the background. How relevant. Now, I was damn determined to see him.
I met our YTC sponsor of the night, Will, outside the venue. Will drove all the way from a snowy Ohio to see Mayer perform. He got some form of fan club deal – sweet floor seats and paperless tickets.
What the hell are “paperless tickets?” Well, it’s just like the self check-in kiosk at the airport. You hand the doorman the card you used to purchase the ticket. She/He runs the card through a card swiping fanny pack machine – and out print your tickets. It helps keep the scalpers from buying up all the tickets, and I’m sure it saves on paper, fees, bunk tickets, etc. I was captivated by that little machine.
On to the concert we go…Michael Franti & Spearhead opened. His docile body-moving, reggae hip/hop rock was the perfect blend. He had so much life and spirit – running into the crowd and bringing kids up on stage. I wasn’t sure how Mayer would be able to compete. Franti’s show wasn’t what I was expecting. Completely different than the emotional performance he gave when featured on Faith Hill’s “A Home for the Holidays” adoption special a couple of months ago. That was beautiful too, which proves that he has a multifacted catalouge. I can’t wait to see him again at Bonnaroo in June. A festival will provide an even better setting for his style.
When John Mayer came out, I was so thankful for our seats. Like I said, I don’t know a lot of Mayer’s music, so being up close and surrounded by true fans gave me that boost I needed to get into the show.
Mayer has established a sound that is “often imitated, but never duplicated.” You know when you’re listening to a John Mayer song. His vocals are fixed in a smooth and pleasing place – but they rarely venture out. You really need to study his lyrics and guitar-playing to appreciate the man. I even talked to a fan that said, “I’m not a fan of his CDs – the way they’re produced, but he puts on a good show.”
He does put on a great show. He’s clearly a great guitarist, but after seeing Brad Paisley and Keith Urban play last year – I tend to hold people up to their ability. I’m dying to see the “Crossroads” television special with Keith Urban and John Mayer.
His band is a massive part of why that concert sounded so full and clear. His drummer, Stevie Jordan, played the best drum solo I’ve ever heard since my last Blink 182 concert, and it was my favorite part of the night. Travis Barker plays super fast and precise, but Jordan had some funky timing and patterns that dropped my jaw. He didn’t over do it either. I think John Mayer’s apology for his Playboy remarks last longer than Jordan’s solo.
Poor John. He really feels like an ass, and rightfully so. I hope he learned his lesson. The saddest part is, I bet he doesn’t even go through a dryspell for this. He’ll probably get a bunch of sympathy sex.
John said that he wasn’t going to play the media game anymore, and stick to playing the guitar. To be honest, I like his personality – and that was a major reason why I wanted to see him perform. Yet, he needs to know when enough is enough. Line crossed.
In my opinion, the best song of the show was “Perfectly Lonely.” I made it a point to check out a few songs from Section 300 (the “cheap seats”), and the set, which was simply a big video screen, didn’t cause any obstructions. The audience seemed quite content up there. All smiles, singing along, some even standing.
At the end of the show, Mayer motioned for a fan to come towards the stage. The fan came carrying a guitar which Mayer graciously signed. He then joined his band for a final bow.
When all was said and done, I left happy, and witnessed a show that was talked about in many publications the next day.