Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 6, 2017
According to John Mayer, the songs he writes are simply the "suspended animation of feelings in a moment of time." Over the years, Mayer has lived through many such moments with an impressive list of lovers, which has led to the expression of a wide range of his feelings. One thing has become crystal-clear: John Mayer is one of the most skillful storytellers of his generation.
The guitar hero hit the stage in The Woodlands on Sunday night wearing a bandanna around his head and a smile on his face. He began his set with the track "Belief" from his hit 2006 album Continuum. It was a strong and impressive beginning to a long night of hits, new and old.
Mayer is a talented vocalist, like Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke, but also a master of his instrument much like John Legend. That combination makes him special, a performer with the heart of a casanova and the soul of a bluesman.
The opening suite of songs ended with the track "Helpless" from his newest album, The Search For Everything. "If I'm helpless, tell me now!" he demands in the chorus. The album holds a more cinematic feeling than his previous efforts, more introspective and thoughtful, and still supremely entertaining.
The night was split into several acts, shifting from Mayer's full band to a solo acoustic set, and then to the John Mayer Trio. The trio performed fan favorite "Vultures" and an impromptu addition of "Crossroads" that caught bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan by surprise. They definitely accomplished their mission, which was to sound bigger than a trio should and have a great time doing it.
At many instances throughout the show, I couldn't help but close my eyes and embrace the sound of Mayer's sweet, sweet guitar. He ended the night with a round of gratitude, thanking the crowd for coming and for "keeping this music alive when I'm not here with you."
The encore of "Waiting On the World to Change" and "Gravity" sent us on our way, Mayer's songs pushing the crowd to create our own moments and capture the feelings as we search for love, life and everything.
Personal Bias: Most people probably list the classic Rick James skits or the Prince episodes as their favorite clips from Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central. My favorite will forever be the "Electric Guitar, Drums, or Electric Piano" bits with John Mayer. Take a peek:
The Crowd: A full house of diverse music fans, with a few surprises thrown in...
A fight broke out shortly before Mayer hit the stage, and a couple of dudes were escorted out of the venue. Too bad they missed what turned out to be an awesome show. I wonder what they were fighting about...
Later in the set, a young lady in Section 103 fainted in the aisle. In her defense, by this time Mayer's charming levels were pushing 1,000 percent, but dehydration and alcohol may have also played a factor. We sincerely hope she was okay, and praise the Pavilion staff for their quick response to the situation.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I love you, John! I wanna have your babies!"
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Random Notebook Dump: I once learned to play "Gravity" on guitar to impress a girl. Although I'm not a very talented guitar player, the gesture was well received. Thank you, John Mayer!