No one walked away from the Air Canada Centre last night singing the blues, as John Mayer picked and strummed the packed arena into a state of awe. Mayer wasted no time at all getting into his hour and a half set riddled with tunes from all three of his studio albums, including his latest Continuum, the basis for the world tour.
The set began with an introductory breakdown leading into the lyrically inspirational "Belief" from the album. From there, Mayer backtracked to "No Such Thing" from his second studio release Heavier Things and then went on to a song he popularized with the John Mayer Trio on the Try! album, "Good Love Is On the Way."
Mayer continued this eclectic set list throughout the night, mixing his pop driven acoustic tunes with his more recent blues and funk infused songs that show off his incredibly skillful guitar playing.
The band went into a few breakdowns that got the crowd going but it was the catchy lyrics of Mayer's past that made the masses of adoring fans rise up and sing along for tunes like "Why Georgia" and "Bigger Than My Body."
The crowd popped as soon as the distinctive drum intro for Mayer's lyrically conscious first single off Contiuum began. "Waiting On The World To Change" marked a point in the show where crowd appreciation climaxed.
The funky and groovy beat of "Vultures" got the crowd to its feet once again, clapping and aiding Mayer in singing the chorus, but it was his last two songs that spoke to the crowd in a way that got them all pumped for the encore.
Before Mayer began playing his hit "Clarity," he talked about the song being inspired by "that moment when you wake up, and for five seconds everything's perfect. I believe that we can take that five seconds, and extend it to at least five minutes." This statement and the acoustic intro to "Clarity" were met with one of the hugest cheers of the night.
Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, Mayer finished off his initial set with the soulful blues ballad "Gravity," accented with a saxophone solo and Mayer's lengthiest and most intense guitar solo of the night that had everyone swaying and grooving.
At that point, Mayer and his band left the stage but they weren't getting away that easily. Screaming fans rose to their feet and demanded more and those screams only got louder when Mayer emerged from the dark back onto the stage all by his lonesome and picked up an acoustic guitar to move into the unforgettable encore.
Mayer stood alone in the spotlight singing one of Continuum's most emotional tunes, "Stop This Train," to an adoring applause. Before bringing back the whole band, Mayer brought out just his other leading man on electric guitar and began playing one of the songs that he started his career with, catapulting him to the forefront of pop/rock. Naturally, "Your Body Is A Wonderland" caused every female Mayer fan in the joint to explode out of their seats screaming and singing back the lyrics that showcase Mayer's sensitive singer/songwriter side. Finally, the very catchy yet very blues driven "I'm Gonna Find Another You" from Continuum capped the night off in a big way with call and return guitar solos between Mayer and his other lead and a very climactic final breakdown that definitely sent the audience off on a high note.
Whether he's lyricizing about looking for love and strumming away on an acoustic guitar, or giving rebirth to the blues with furious fretting on a Fender, John Mayer is the total package.
Mayer's next stop is at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario this Sunday April 22.
Writer: Joe Chammas