John Mayer Practices at the Mod Club

John Mayer
Mod Club
August 27, 2006
The fact that I attended the John Mayer show at the Mod Club on August 27 makes it impossible to dispute the fact that I'm a Mayer fan because if you weren't one chances are you couldn't get tickets to this pretty exclusive show.

Dubbed a pre-tour show, Mayer backed by a full band, did a bit of a practice show for his tour with Sheryl Crow this fall. To ensure a crop of true fans filled the 600 capacity venue on that Monday night tickets were made available only to members of Mayer's fan club Local-83 and contest winners from different radio stations in the city and as far away as Nova Scotia.

He started the set off with the familiar tinklings of "Clarity" the second single from his 2003 effort Heavier Things to welcome the crowd to the packed to capacity venue, but didn't linger on his old material long. Well aware that you wouldn't likely find a first time Mayer concert goer in the crowd, the lanky singer-songwriter's set drew heavily on his upcoming record Continuum which is set to hit stores on September 12.

This knowledge combined with the intimate venue gave Mayer an easy rapport with the crowd joking sporadically with a male fan in the audience who had taken to yelling random comments at the singer like, "John Mayer I want to have your babies," to which Mayer responded that it wouldn't happen for two reasons, the first, that it was clearly impossible, and the second being that he didn't want to!

Focusing on a more bluesy sound on his upcoming record Mayer's lyrics drew slightly more worldly observations. Tunes like "Vultures" also featured on the John Mayer Trio live disc Try!, "Some of us we're hardly even here/the rest of us were born to disappear/how do I stop myself from being just a number/how will I hold my head to keep from going under," or his first single "Waiting on the World to Change" talking about his generation's feeling of helplessness about the affairs of the world, came out like a bit like mini-commentary signaling a maturing for the 28 year old songwriter.

But it was the more introspective tunes like "Heart of Life"; "no it won't all go the way it should but I know the heart of life is good," or the poignant melancholy "In Repair", that ended with the audience singing him back "I'm in repair, I'm not together but I'm getting there," that were quicker to capture the eager crowd's affections, and most likely to become fan favourites in the future.

The songs from past records Mayer sprinkled into the set list were all old concert mainstays like "Something's Missing", "My Stupid Mouth" and his Grammy award winning song of the year in 2005 "Daughters".

Having the luxury of knowing that every member of his audience was already a fan Mayer was able to work out the kinks for the much larger venues he'd be playing in the fall. But his consistently impressive antics on the guitar combined with his ever growing repertoire of equally catchy and introspective tunes gave fans no reason to think that they were getting gypped because it was a 'practice' show.

John Mayer is currently touring with Sheryl Crow this fall and is currently set to make one Canadian stop in Vancouver on September 22.

Writer: Michelle Garcia

Photo:Michelle Garcia

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