Live in Concert: John Mayer at Red Rocks

4 Sep

I’m completely unsure of how many times I’ve seen John Mayer live, but September 1st’s show at Red Rocks was my latest Mayer adventure. The Battle Studies tour consisted of a winter American tour, which included the Pepsi Center show in March. The set list for the March show had a much more layered feeling, while this Red Rocks show consisted of a lot of older hits that amateur Mayer fans would certainly be familiar with. These songs, “No Such Thing,” “Your Body is A Wonderland,” and “Why Georgia,” could have easily been replaced with more recent songs either from Continuum or Battle Studies. Some songs I would have loved to have heard are “Assassin,” “Friends, Lovers, or Nothing,” “I’m Gonna Find Another You,” and the ever-elusive but personal all-time favorite “St. Patrick’s Day.”

The set list from the other night consisted of these songs:

Chest Fever > Vultures
No Such Thing
Beast of Burden > Perfectly Lonely
Ain’t No Sunshine
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Bigger Than My Body
Love Soon > My Stupid Mouth > Comfortable > 3×5
Your Body is a Wonderland
Heartbreak Warfare
Voodoo Child
Who Says
Gravity
Do You Know Me
Why Georgia
Half of My Heart > Don’t Stop Believing

Encore:

Edge of Desire

I honestly think that playing only one song for an encore was a load of shit. Unless the law was forbidding that he play another song, John usually closes out with one full-band encore song and a pairing of acoustic solo songs. I’ve never seen him play ONE song at an encore. What’s up with that?

I also thought that the songs he chose to jam on were interesting, but standard. I did enjoy the “Ain’t No Sunshine” jam but could have done without “Voodoo Child”. He could have pulled out some “Covered in Rain,” but I’m sure mostly everyone in that audience would be confused by the 11 minutes of genius that would have followed.

The best part of the show was when he played what he called “rarities.” I’m not sure if I would call “Love Soon” and “Comfortable” rarities, but if you haven’t followed John since 2001 or so, you might not know any of the words, which is exactly what happened on Wednesday night. During this acoustic medley, John included “Love Soon,” and at one point, when he paused to let the crowd fill in the blank, I was literally the only person in the first ten rows or so who completed the lyric. I screamed “I’m calling it love soon,” and John raised his gorgeously tattooed left arm to point at me. “Ah!” he exclaimed, in awe of my lyrical knowledge. Thus, I was acknowledged (at least in my own crazy mind) by a rock legend in training. Even though I didn’t party on his tour bus like I did last time, this show was a welcome end to a mostly shitty summer (Is it just me or was the summer of 2010 pretty miserable?).

Overall, the Battle Studies tour was really unpredictable in terms of set list choices, but it’s also been the most solid set of performances by John’s band. John and his band are playing at a level completely off the charts. David Ryan Harris, a favorite and an original member of John’s band, joined on the summer leg, though was conspicuously absent in the winter.

John seemed especially chatty on Wednesday night, not to mention he appeared to be very grateful that anyone had shown up to hear him play at all. He thanked the crowd at length and inquired about whether we had had a good summer. Summer was a little blah this year, in my opinion. Last February, John received a lot of heat for some unsavory comments he made about Jessica Simpson and black women in Playboy. I feel as though everyone has nearly forgotten about his verbal missteps, and John’s retreat into the recesses from tabloid celebrity served him well. John is once again all about his music. His music should stand alone as a testament to his resilience as an artist. After nine years, Mayer still moves me. I can’t explain how he does it – he’s John Fucking Mayer, and that’s all I need to know.

I was lucky enough to catch John twice this year, which likely means that he’ll be doing a few special shows next year, in major cities like LA and New York. I’ll be in LA soon enough to be able to catch him if this happens. I’m also hoping for a Mayercraft Carrier 3 next year – that’s John Mayer’s 3-day cruise that consists of live acoustic shows and general hilarity. Until next time, Mr. Mayer.

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2 Responses to “Live in Concert: John Mayer at Red Rocks”

  1. Matt September 9, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

    Your site looks as bad on an iPad as it does on a Mac/pc

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