I’ve been lucky to cover many Live On Letterman performances over the years, both for this blog and other outlets. I’ll never forget sitting second row while watching Adele sing the poignant track “Someone Like You” and getting goosebumps on my arms during her powerful performance, or seeing my favorite Jersey boys Gaslight Anthem rock the stage with some of my former college newspaper colleagues (who also became some of my best friends). It’s these shows that I’ve been able to see some of my favorite artists up-close and in a setting like no other.
Last night was one of those nights. I highly doubt I’ll ever get to stand sidestage for a John Mayer concert ever again so you bet I cherished every minute of his set! If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time over the past five years you know my love for Mayer and to be able to experience him live in concert is always an enjoyable time. Below is an excerpt of my review for Radio.com. Read the complete review here.
On the eve of the release of his new album, Paradise Valley, it was clear John Mayer was heading in a new direction. He no longer donned that wide-brimmed hat but instead embraced a headscarf. Questionable headwear choice maybe, but his fashion never outshines his music and besides a few thank you’s and a brief explanation of his new song “Dear Marie,” it was his music that was the main attraction.
“It’s weird to have a technology reference in a song. Everyone goes looking online for their first love . . . to see what they look like now,” he said of the new track. “We still look back and that’s what this song is about.”
Mayer headed to the Ed Sullivan Theater Monday night (Aug. 19) for a 70-minute Live on Letterman performance of material old and new. As he walked onto the famous stage in his blue jeans and peace-signed blue jacket, fans were greeted by the familiar chords of “Queen of California,” the opening track to his last release, 2012’s Born and Raised.
While he played several tracks off the new album, several songs from Born and Raised, Continuum fan favorite “Slow Dancing In a Burning Room” also appeared in the set. Having to cancel his 2012 Born and Raised Tour after being put on mandatory vocal rest due to granulomas in his throat, this was the first time many in attendance heard the songs live. Tracks like the bluesy “Something Like Olivia” showed off Mayer as a guitar virtuoso while “The Age of Worry,” also off Born and Raised, showcased the more country-leaning side of the singer with pedal steel and mandolin features.