John Mayer’s Traveling Band and the Musical Sounds I Have Heard: Part One

Through the years I have seen John Mayer and his Traveling Band play musical sounds 11 times.  I would like to attempt to document all my experiences! Please refrain from judging me!!! Its just been to much good to not be documented!

Show 1: Febuary 13th, 2007. St. Paul, Minnesota.  Xcel Energy Center

The first time I caught a live show was Febuary 13th 2007.  John had just won a grammy for best male pop vocal the night before.  The “Continuum” album was still relatively fresh off a September 6th 2006 release date.  I have to admit my memories from this show are limited.  I remember very vividly when he came to the stage wearing a custom blue t-shirt with a cartoon grammy screen printed in the middle.  Uncle John was flying high that night.  He opened with Bigger than my Body.  I felt like I was flying.

It wasn’t always easy being a John fan. I had spent recent years trying to explain to friends that John was an incredible musician.  It had not been easy with tunes like “Your Body is a Wonderland” being so well exposed to the general public.  I really loved “Room for Squares” and “Heavier Things”, but they just didn’t serve up the guitar chops that I could use to convince people John was great.  “Try” was very under the radar for most and it seemed like a helpless task to get other 16 year old kids to give John a chance.  I did have “Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Tour 2005” on DVD and John ripped some solos on that to help my cause.  Still some of the other kids thought he was sappy or whiney.  One girl tried to convince to me that Simple Plan created higher quality music.  Im still bitter about that one.  Still waiting for that episode of “Where the Fuck Is Simple Plan Now?”.  Needless to say with “Continuum” being as fresh as it was and “Try” being out there it was starting to get easier to Justify my Mayer love.  While I may not remember a lot of specifics about my firs John show I remember the feeling of satisfaction that I got a full night of killer guitar work.  There was also a middle aged man who was yelling after the show ended because, “I PAID $70 DOLLARS AND THAT SON OF A BITCH DIDN’T PLAY DAUGHTERS!?!?!” That comment is still the gold standerd for me of concert goers who should just hang out on Youtube.  It was a great show and I was elated.  The set list was out of site!

September 07 John

  1. Bigger than My Body
  2. Belief
  3. Waiting on the World to Change
  4. Why Georgia
  5. Clarity
  6. The Heart of Life
  7. Vultures
  8. Good Love is on the Way
  9. No Such Thing
  10. Gravity

Encore:

  1. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
  2. Your Body is a Wonderland (Thanks John)
  3. Neon

Please enjoy this crude video I found on Youtube!

 

Show 2: March 2nd, 2010. Saint Paul, Minnesota. Xcel Energy Center

3 fucking years.  How did I wait 3 years to see John for the second time.  At this point I was in my last year of college for music production.  I was in a band playing all the time.  I had a relativly long term girlfriend who knew me well enough to buy me the “Battle Studies” record on Vinyl, but didn’t know me well enough to embrace my passions for music.  She eventually dumped me when I finally started to persue music after bailing on my friends.  I’ll leave those sour grapes righ there though.  Obviously songs like “Heartbreak Warfare”, “Perfectly Lonely”, and others from “Battle Studies” would become very relative later that year!

Show 2 was part of the “Battle Stuides” tour.  Good lord was it amazing.  I had been on a Silversun Pickups binge the last 5 months or so.  I was so ready for new John Mayer tunes when “Battle Studies” came out.  The show was incredible, however I remember John had just got in trouble with the press.  The infamous “Rolling Stone” and “Playboy” interviews were fresh.  He crushed the whole set.  I finally got to see Steve Jordan play.  He did a big solo before “Waiting on the World to Change”.  It was all sorts of epic.

John was a little beside himself.  He didn’t seem happy.  I remember him perfusley apologizing to the audience for the stupid things he had said in interviews.  “I don’t know why you all still come to these shows. Thank you all.”  Was something I distinctly remember him saying.

The vibe coming from him was sad, but I really think he used that to put on a show.  At the end of the day the thing I love about John is he will put all his vibes back into the music whether it be joy, self-hate, or heartache.  He did that in a big way! Side note this is still the coolest birthday present ever!! My sister took me! Thanks a ton Haley!

Mayer 2010

Setlist:

Full Band:

  1. Heartbreak Warfare
  2. Crossroads
  3. Why Georgia
  4. Vultures
  5. Perfectly Lonely
  6. Assassin

Acoustic Set:

  1. In your Atmosphere
  2. Somethings Missing (Outro from In Your Atmosphere)
  3. Free Falling (Tom Petty Cover)
  4. St. Patricks Day (thats right Whelan)

Full Band:

  1. Waiting on the World to Change
  2. Edge of Desire
  3. Belief
  4. Half of my Heart
  5. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
  6. Gravity

Encore:

  1. Who Says
  2. No Such Thing

Please enjoy this another video that has been lingering on Youtube for years!

 

Show 3: July 6th, 2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marcus Amplitheter. (Summerfest)

In 2013 I had been living in the cities.  I was had just scored my first real job.  I later lost it shortly before this show.  I remember my best friend Whelan’s dad Jim talking about how they might go to Summerfest in Wisconsin to catch the John show.  I told him that I would pay for my ticket if he let me come with!! When the show came around I am pretty sure I was on unemployment feverishly looking for a job.  Either that or I had just landed a replacement job.  Jim was kind enough to buy me a ticket anyway.  He paid for my lodging and food and let me ride along.  I was some kind of broke and he was kind enough to bring me along for the ride.  Between letting me live in his basement multiple times and his constant generosity I don’t really know how to thank him!  Thanks Jim! I may never be done saying thank you.  Some day maybe I’ll get there!

John was fresh off his break from music due to Granulomas that developed on his vocal chords.  He had multiple surgeries and went missing from the music scene for a few years.  I had become the die hard John Mayer fan I am today between 2010 and 2013 somewhere.  I was always a huge fan but something clicked and the obsession was in full force by the time John released “Born and Raised”.  I spent days drinking Keystones in my yard on a lawn chair listening to “Born and Raised”.  I was the trashy dude in a tank on the college campus getting slammed on unemployment Keystones.  It was a wild good time in spite of the stress that comes with not having a job!  “Wildfire” was the song of summer! In a lot of ways its been my summer jam ever since I first heard it!

John was so happy that night! His voice had not fully returned but it was back enough for him to feel alive again.  I cannot begin to describe the contrast in his mood from the 2010 show experience to 2013 experience.  Its poetic justice that a man who said things as horrible as he had lost his ability to speak for months on end.  His guilt in 2010 was obvious.  This show was him getting a second chance.  It finally clicked with him that music is what mattered most.  I am so grateful I got to watch that play out!

MJS Amp_JohnMayer_02.jpg

Setlist:

  1. Queen of California
  2. Something Like Olivia
  3. Waiting on the World to Change
  4. Paper Doll
  5. I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)
  6. Waiting on the Day
  7. I Want You (Bob Dylan)
  8. Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad (Grateful Dead)
  9. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
  10. Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty)
  11. Wildfire
  12. Half of My Heart
  13. Born and Raised
  14. Dear Marie
  15. If I Ever Get Around to Living
  16. The Age of Worry
  17. Speak for Me
  18. Gravity

Encore:

  1. Who Says
  2. A Face to Call Home

Please enjoy this video that has been hanging out on Youtube for years! (Still gives me goosebumps the way the crowd took over the song for him in the beginning!)

Show 4: November 23rd, 2013. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Target Center.

This show marked 2 monumental moments in my development as the person I am today.  It was the first time I masterdated (took myself on a date) at a concert.  It was also the first time I saw multiple dates on one concert tour! I have done both things a lot since this show.  If you ever want to see a show and you are afraid to do it alone, remember one thing.  You don’t see the show if you don’t go.  Being alone is a crappy reason to not experience the things you really want to experience.  Also, you never know when an artist wont be back or around to play music to you.

I had been very broke.  This seems to be the norm for that time period.  It still feels like the norm.  Maybe its a personal problem! John was still very happy to be playing.  Ever since his surgery I have never seen him play a show he didn’t seemed to appreciate the fuck out of.

My favorite moment of this show was his cover of “Sideways” by Citizen Cope.  It was my introduction to Cope.  That song just has a soul of its own.  Add Johns guitar playing and its heart breaking in a way I cannot really explain.  It speaks to my anxious mind in so many ways.  The worst thing about anxiety to me is realizing that I have no reason to feel the feelings I have.  “These feelings wont go away, they been knocking me sideways” cuts deep for me.  Couple that with John’s expressive melodic guitar stylings and you have one of my favorite moments of live Mayer!

JOhn target center

Setlist:

  1. Queen of California
  2. Belief
  3. Who Says
  4. Waiting on the Day
  5. Wildfire
  6. I don’t Trust Myself With Loving You
  7. Speak for Me
  8. Dear Marie
  9. Neon (Acoustic)
  10. I Will be Found (We never heard the song.  John thought the piano sounded like shit and had it taken off the stage.  He said he couldn’t put us through that. It sounded like an 80s piano like you hear on Motley Crue ballads.  Do you blame him?)
  11. Something Like Olivia
  12. You Don’t Know How it Feels (Tom Petty)
  13. Slow Dacning in a Burning Room
  14. Age of Worry
  15. If I Ever Get Around to Living
  16. Waiting on the World to Change
  17. No Such Thing
  18. Happy Birthday (Carlos Ricketts you dog you!)
  19. Half of my Heart

Encore:

  1. Sideways (Citezen Cope) FULL ON BANGER!!
  2. Gravity

Please enjoy one of my favorite videos on Youtube.  Yes its been up for a while.

To be continued: 

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