The musically acclaimed John Mayer kicked off his latest tour at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY on March 31, 2017. This tour is in support of his recently released studio album entitled The Search For Everything.
The format of his concert included five chapters to help guide the audience through the show, which featured songs from his entire repertoire of music. The sets consisted of a digital backdrop that projected different scenes for each song. Mayer began by playing a set with his full band stretching as far back as his 2006 Continuum era to open the show with “Belief” and later playing “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You).” During this first chapter, in addition to live debuting “Helpless,” Mayer stepped away from his sidekick guitar with a microphone in hand to engage with his audience during “Moving On and Getting Over.” He decided to play the hook back multiple times varying the speed and melody while breaking out unusual dance moves rarely seen in his live performances.
Not only is John Mayer a brilliant lyricist with a distinguishable voice, but he is also an incredibly talented guitarist. The second chapter of his show was composed of three well-known songs and referred to as the ‘acoustic’ set, allowing him to display his mesmerizing guitar skills. In this chapter specifically, the crowd could be caught singing along to every word of “Daughters” and his infamous cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” where he was accompanied by band-mate and fellow guitarist David Ryan Harris.
Every concert on this tour also features songs from John Mayer Trio (JM3) during which Mayer excitedly invites the legendary bass player Pino Paladino and drummer Steve Jordan to perform alongside him. The trio reunited on stage to play both original JM3 songs and covers from the greats such as Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix. Each show on this tour features well-known, new and obscure tracks from Mayer’s vast musical library.
Some highlight performances from the fourth chapter were songs from his earlier record “Why Georgia.” Mayer also reminisced on the making of Paradise Valley before playing the light-hearted “Dear Marie.” After leaving the stage and returning for his full band encore, playing songs like the anticipated “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” Mayer exited the stage for what the audience thought was the last time, only to return a few minutes later to booming applause from the audience.
For this final chapter, the entire stage set was transformed into a blank white page except for the word ‘Epilogue’ which flashed on the screen. Mayer appeared alone on stage sitting at a white piano which he used to accompany himself for the final song, “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me.” At the conclusion of the song, he walked through a stage door in the middle of the white screen that was not visible to the audience, leaving one to wonder if his passage through this door is meant to symbolize his continual Search for Everything.
Excitement amongst long-time fans started buzzing from the moment Mayer announced his tour. His opening show exceeded my expectations as the emphasis was placed upon the music with a tasteful amount of production elements. I personally can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve for future shows and encourage all who have the opportunity to see him on this tour.
Setlist: (Full Band): Belief, Helpless, I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You), Love on the Weekend, Moving On and Getting Over (Acoustic): Daughters, In Your Atmosphere, Free Fallin’ (Trio): Who Did You Think I Was, Promised Land, Wait Until Tomorrow (Full Band Reprise): Blues Run the Game, Queen of California, Edge of Desire, Dear Marie, Why Georgia, In Repair