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John Mayer Concert Review – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena

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    Posted on 12/11/2013

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN (Photo by www.examiner.com)

    John Mayer returned to Nashville, TN on Wednesday December 4th, 2013 for another performance with speical guests, Philip Phillips. Although Concert Blast wasn’t invited this time to review his concert, one of our guest bloggers attended the show and was kind enough to provide Concert Blast readers with her thoughts on these performances.  Enjoy the John Mayer / Phillip Phillips concert review by guest blogger Terri Gibson.

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN (Photo by www.examiner.com)

     

     

    Written by Terri Gibson
    John Mayer is one artist who has stood the test of time, controversy, and most recently, difficulties surrounding his voice. He has been one of my favorite artists for several years. I’ve followed him since the early days of his career, starting with the album “Room for Squares”. Several years ago, he played the Ryman with Guster; a concert I regrettably did not get to see. The opportunity to check off another goal from my Bucket List came on Wednesday, December 4, the evening John Mayer played at the Bridgestone Arena. My friend and fellow music lover, Brittany Mason accompanied me to this much anticipated event.

    Phillip Phillips In Concert - Nashville, TN

    Phillip Phillips In Concert - Nashville, TN (Photo by www.examiner.com)

    The opening act was an artist I am not familiar with; Phillip Phillips. After introducing himself he assured the audience that was his real name, and proceeded to tell why his dad gave him the name. He played mostly an acoustic set complete with an electric guitar player, drums, horns, and keys. His musical style was that of Dave Matthew’s Band with a touch of John Mayer.  Phillips kept the audience entertained with a variety of his own work, as well as an Usher Cover of “Nice and Slow”, as well as the classic by Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get it On”. Phillip Phillips was clearly talented and did an excellent job. The electric guitarist stole the show on a couple of songs and sounded so much like Mayer, I thought it was him for a moment. Brittany and I agreed, however, that Phillips was not an artist we would see ourselves actively following. Phillips used a brass section in several of his songs, which was too much for our preference as we are not huge fans of the use of horns in rock music. The lighting was a bit distracting as well; strobe lights were used liberally in several of the songs. Phillips was very gracious and cordial to the fans throughout the show, and thanked them before leaving the stage.

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN (Photo by www.examiner.com)

    As John Mayer took the stage with his band, the audience went wild. He began his set with the song, “Queen of California” which comes off his “Born and Raised” album. The stage set was incredible. A large screen was flanked with scenes of a desert prairie; which changed frequently throughout the show and included images of night skies, shooting stars, northern lights, and falling flower petals (I suggest checking out several YouTube videos posted by fans). Two smaller screens were suspended on the left and right side of the stage to give people in the back a better view. Mayer then went straight into “Half of My Heart”, (sans Taylor Swift). Several fans on the floor had made signs and Mayer took note of them; in particular one from a young lady who wanted John to take a ‘selfie’ with her. He went into a monologue telling a joke about ‘selfies’ and ended by saying “Dreams come true at a John Mayer show”, which led you to believe he would fulfill her request. He was also willing to oblige other fans signs that had song titles on them by acknowledging each one and playing what the fan requested.

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN (photo by www.johnmayer.com)

    One of the highlights of the show came when Mayer began talking about his backstage ‘Meet and Greet’, where he met a married couple on this night, who were crying when they met John. Their tears were that of joy, because it was Mayer’s music that brought them together. He was fascinated by the love that seemed to “ooze” from this couple, and could tell that they were truly in love and devoted to each other. He then stated the song he was going to play was their wedding song, and then went into “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”. The video captured exactly what Mayer said, as their slow dance was featured on the smaller video screens. Even though this was a song with a slow tempo, that didn’t keep Mayer from shredding a fantastic guitar solo and showing off what he does best.

    John Mayer In Concert

    John Mayer In Concert

    After a few more songs, Mayer did a single set on stage with his acoustic, and no band. This broke the show up a bit and gave it more variety with an intimate feeling. He played a couple of songs, then went back to a full band and played a few more from his new album, “Paradise Valley”. Another highlight followed with “If I Ever Get Around to Living”. He started out playing his acoustic, and walked to an area near the drums. You couldn’t really see what he was doing until he began to play his electric that he had strapped on behind his back. Behind his back! It was an incredible display of talent. Mayer is also talented with the harmonica, as he played it during the introduction of “Born and Raised”. He thanked his audience with heartfelt sincerity several times for sticking with him through time and remaining faithful to him. Following this, he went into one last song, “Dear Marie”, and then left the stage. The encore performance included two songs, “Who Says?” and the classic “Gravity”. Before leaving the stage after the encore, he did not disappoint the fan who wanted a “selfie” with him, and asked her to toss up her phone. He strategically posed so that her image would appear behind him and took the picture. After the show, we heard the girl outside as she let out a loud scream, while looking at the souvenir on her cell. Now that’s the ultimate concert experience!

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN (Photo by www.examiner.com)

    This was my first time seeing John Mayer in concert and I was not disappointed. The length of the show was perfect; he played a generous set list and the songs weren’t abbreviated. His stage set was beyond impressive, and his band and background singers were stellar. The seven time Grammy winner wowed the audience with his extended jams while showcasing his talent as an excellent guitar player, singer and songwriter. He went above and beyond my expectations in his interactions with the audience as well as giving a special shout out to several fans. His gratitude to his fans was sincere and meant a lot to me as a longtime Mayer fan. The vocals were excellent, and Mayer sang with ease and sounded just as good as ever with no struggle or strain. The band and his backup singers rounded out the show, and they played a tight set together. His facial expressions and contortions, albeit amusing to watch, show just how much he is ‘in the zone’ when he plays. Mayer is truly dedicated to his art and making his show an enjoyable moment for all his fans. Brittany and I had discussed how his albums do not showcase all his abilities as a guitarist, and we both agree that John Mayer is much better live. His talent in a live setting is displayed with ease and he takes his time to keep his audience happy. The only thing we both felt needed improvement was the amount of time between songs. There were some gaps in between songs that were a bit long as opposed to transitions that quickly led into other songs. This could have been due to Mayer changing guitars as he did with several songs; however, in my past experience there is usually a stagehand to help with this transition to keep things running smoothly. There were a few other songs I had hoped he would perform, such as “I Will Be Found”, which displays his talent on the piano, and “Shadow Days”, a song that captures best how he has put his tough times behind him. On the Concert Blast rating scale, I will give the John Mayer show a 9.0. I would definitely pay to see him again.

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN

    John Mayer In Concert - Nashville, TN (photo by www.johnmayer.com)

    John Mayer has faced several difficulties in the past few years. He has opened up and revealed risqué details of his private life in several controversial interviews, and battled several granulomas near his vocal chords; the latter of which caused him to cancel his “Born and Raised” tour in 2012. The first surgery did not work and he had to undergo the surgery again in August 2012. Following his controversial interviews, he withdrew from public life. This, combined with the throat issues, caused Mayer to rethink his life and the direction he was heading. He recently moved to Montana and has since seemed to be more focused on his music and less on the gory details of his personal life. I received an email when his current tour was announced a few months ago, after the release of his “Paradise Valley” album. The catchphrase that was used in the announcement, and which was later displayed on some of his merchandise simply stated “Mayer is Back”. I totally agree.
    Written by Terri Gibson

    Set List:

    *Queen of California
    *Half of my Heart
    *I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)
    *Paper Doll
    *Speak for Me
    *Why Georgia?
    *Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
    *You Don’t Know How it Feels (Tom Petty cover)
    Acoustic Set:
    *Stop This Train
    *Neon
    Back to Full Band:
    *Wildfire
    *Waiting on the Day
    *Belief
    *If I Ever Get Around to Living
    *Born and Raised
    *Waiting on the World to Change
    *Dear Marie
    Encore:
    *Who Says
    *Gravity


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      4 comments

      4 Replies

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        [Reply]

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