Music fans were out in full force in Dallas on a Saturday night. There were good bands all over town, but the hottest ticket was for John Mayer on The Search For Everything Tour.
Fans arrived at the American Airlines Center early so as not to miss a single note of the seven-time Grammy Award winner. Some were excited for the Blues Trio part of the show, some for the full band set and some for the acoustic portion, but all of them were excited.
A video played on the background screen of Mayer giving thanks for all the fans making him one of the top entertainers in the industry right now. He then showed the guitar skills that he is known for on “Helpless,” the first song of the night. The audience almost drowned out his acoustic playing as they sang every word to “Why Georgia.” It received a huge hand, as would all of his music that night.
An R&B beat led into “Moving On And Getting Over” and demonstrated how tight his band has become. Mayer made a difficult solo look easy with his relaxed method. He continued his dynamic stage presence on the soulful ”Love On The Weekend” which drew a tremendous crowd reaction.
Steve Jordan pounded an engaging drum intro to “Waiting On The World To Change.” It could have been a 70s rock song and Mayer’s solo contained a bit of “People Get Ready.” That finished the full band set.
A sign flashed Chapter Two – Acoustic and Mayer came out in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt to play “In Your Atmosphere.” Women swooned when his voice rose an octave on the passionate song.
Mayer said he got out of the shower to write “Daughters” in 2004. The women in the audience were conflicted to think of him writing the song while naked and also thinking of their dads at the same time. The Daddy’s Girls gave it a tremendous ovation no matter direction their thoughts drifted. Everyone jumped at the first notes of “Free Fallin’” as he played the Tom Petty song to a slower beat. John was in great voice to finish the acoustic portion of his show.
Most of the crowd had been waiting for the power trio set and it delivered in a big way. Jordan continued to shine and Pino Palladino played an aggressive bass on “I Got A Woman.” Young women in short skirts danced to the heavy chords of “Good Love Is On The Way,” adding to the excitement.
Mayer bent the strings hard to get the heavy sound he wanted for the blues beat of “Vultures.” It ended with a jam that continued into “Crossroads.” The throbbing drum and pulsating bass combined with Mayer’s precise riffs to end the set with an outrageous jam.
The full band returned and John had fun playing up to the crowd. He picked individual notes before ending with a jam on “Queen Of California.” Saying he’s ready to groove, he made the strings scream while running all over the stage for “Rosie.” Larry Goldings on keys and Isaiah Sharkey on guitar matched his enthusiasm brilliantly.
From the new album, Mayer played the acoustic on the love ballad “In The Blood.” David Ryan Harris began the guitar intro to “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” while couples danced in the aisles. The entire arena sang the refrain while Mayer’s solo showed why he is considered a master on the fretboard.
The crowd cheered when John put on the harmonica brace and combined the mouth harp with the acoustic for “Dear Marie.” Sharkey and the band picked up the tempo and pounded a harder beat for the set-ending song as cell phones lit up the venue for the singalong song.
They left, but returned shortly for the ballad “Born And Raised.” The lyric-driven tune captured hearts and souls throughout the arena. Emotion was the one-word description for the final song “Gravity.” A group of fans had been yelling for it all night and the blues song featured several solos and harmonious singing before ending with a jam session that left the hard-core fans spent.
As people began to leave, the stage crew rolled a piano to center stage where Mayer sat down to end the night with a stunning rendition of “You’re Gonna Live In Me Forever.” It was emotional and heartfelt, yet musically satisfying at the same time. He then left through a secret door in the white wall for a scintillating effect on his fans.
Mayer said he plays so many styles and genres that it is difficult for him to maintain his individual voice. Expanding one’s repertoire has always exposed artists to criticism, but his endearing fans love the way he has made it work. He sells out every show and has sold an estimated 30-35 million albums in his relatively short career. All seven studio albums have reached Top 10 status, with six of them reaching No.1 or No. 2. That consistency happens for definite reasons.
Catch The Search For Everything Tour as it continues through September 3rd. It’s a night of entertainment not to be missed.
Joe Guzman of Infrared Magazine was on hand to capture the event.