John Mayer enchanted audiences at Talking Stick Resort Arena on September 10 with a sprinkling of new and old music from his discography. Mayer opened up the show with his 2006 song “Belief” which included the first, and not the last, guitar solo of the evening. The charming and quirky musician appeared on the simple stage in baggy charcoal dress pants, a grey blazer and T-shirt.
It’s hard not to adore Mayer’s little quips and commentary throughout the evening. While introducing “Clarity” he declared he was “horrendously hungover” while writing the track, yet he “gets songs from [his]crazy.” He also questioned why a PayPal ad was hanging on the arena ceiling, commenting that he didn’t believe anyone in the arena didn’t know what PayPal is.
The audience was clearly split with new and old fans who bonded over his notorious tracks such as “Why Georgia” and “Who Says.” Due to the nature of Mayer’s romantic, bluesy music, there was no shortage of adoring couples showing an appropriate, yet consistent amount of public displays of affection in the audience.
He ended the first half of the show with “Carry Me Away.” The songwriter wrote this brand new track while on a break for his summer 2019 tour.
After “Carry Me Away,” Mayer declared he would take a short break and would be back shortly to finish the show. He left the audience confused and a bit stunned because Mayer had only been performing for 50 minutes. He returned to the anxious fans 30 minutes later. Being a late weekday evening, fans became a bit restless after 20 minutes of the intermission.
Mayer finally returned to the stage without his band to play solo for a couple tracks. He declared before playing “Your Body is a Wonderland” that he enjoys the uncomfortable looks of the men in the audience when he plays that piece.
When the band returned to the stage a couple songs later, they let loose and showcased a full range of talent. Although Mayer’s show was a solo tour with no accompanying performers, his band was a notable performance in itself.
Each musician was highly equipped in their instrument. Backup singer Tiffany Palmer stunned audiences with the vocals on “Half of My Heart” as well as various other songs. Guitarist David Ryan Harris was incredibly precise and had various solos. Harris also sang in jaw dropping falsetto to open “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.”
The staging was minimal except for the screen behind the performers that featured artistic nature scenery and live video from the show.The finale for the evening was John Mayer’s most recognizable song “Gravity.” He returned promptly after for an encore. He then played “Born and Raised” and the groovy 2018 song “New Light” with the quirky music video playing behind the band. “New Light” was a wonderful closing to the show. Everyone was moving and grooving, washed in the tour’s signature purple colored lighting while the confetti cannons ended the show.
Between Mayer and his band, there is no shortage of talent on the John Mayer Summer 2019 tour. The various songs satisfied all new and old fans while showcasing his evolution and range of style. Although the intermission could have been shorter, the talent was nothing short of fabulous.