By Erin McCallon
One day, you’ll get the opportunity to see one of your favorite artists perform live in front of you. For me, it was September 13th when I got to see John Mayer perform at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Seeing John Mayer live is definitely an experience I’ll never forget, but for reasons other than just his music.
John Mayer is an incredible performer, but that goes beyond just his guitar playing or singing; the performance starts when he first gets onstage and begins speaking with the audience. There’s a great sense of humility whenever he talks, his stage presence is very welcoming. You don’t think a lot about how people talk, but whenever he talks it’s just like another one of your friends talking.
My favorite example of this from the night was a short monologue he gave about the song “Your Body Is a Wonderland” before playing it. He detailed to the audience how he wrote the song while in Georgia at the age of 21, and as he grew up he realized how absolutely ridiculous the song is (If you’ve heard the song before, you’d agree.) With lyrics like “candy lips and a bubblegum tongue,” the song just didn’t resonate with him at his new mature age, and so John Mayer began to distance himself with the song.
It wasn’t until very recently that John Mayer began playing the song live again. Even though the words are admittedly ridiculous, the song also marks a special point in his career. It really was a turning point for him at the very beginning, and it takes him back to a simpler and more innocent time in his career and in his life. And yeah, he cracked a few laughs while singing the song and made some funny side comments in between lyrics, but it really elevated the performance of such an old gem.
John Mayer is also incredible at sharing his stage with the band he tours with, always giving them moments onstage to shine and even giving them opportunities to do short solo songs. And of course, he always tears it up onstage while playing whether it’s a 10 minute long version of “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” or the hilarious videos that go along with songs like “Who Says.”
But at the end of the night, I think my favorite moment wasn’t watching John Mayer play the guitar, but watching him play the piano! His first encore song of the night was “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” (which I had not heard before the concert actually), and I thought that it was really cool to watch him play piano for his own song. I thought he would definitely have an idea of how to play piano based on all his knowledge of basic theory, but it never occured to me that I’d go to one of his concerts to see him play piano!
Anyways, I would highly recommend seeing John Mayer next time around he tours, you’re guaranteed a great show.