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July 20, 2007

John Mayer: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston MA 7.17.07


I lost enough respect for John Mayer when he started (and continued) dating Jessica Simpson, but he lost several more points when his people turned down Billboard’s press request for me. And when I tried to see him on tour last summer, he conveniently had laryngitis the night I drove two hours to see his show. Apparently John and I just weren’t meant to be, but I wasn’t going to give up this time. I’ve been going to Mayer shows since 2003, but the last time I saw him, which was at the Austin City Limits Festival in Texas last year, was one of the most amazing live performances I’ve been to in my entire life. It was one of those ‘religious experience’ type of concerts, where I just stood there in awe of what I was hearing. I hadn’t seen him since then, so I was determined to get into his show this past Tuesday at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. After refusing to pay the $60+fees face value price for tickets, I mingled among the scalpers for awhile to see what I could get. I was lucky enough to come across a group of people who actually gave me their extras for free (thanks!), so I was pumped.

Ben Folds and his piano rock trio were the opening act, although I missed most of his performance because I had been outside for so long. I got to my seat during the middle of “Not the Same,” a song telling the true story of a guy at a party who climbed a tree while on drugs and came back down as a born-again Christian. It’s a slower song, but at the end there is a chorus that sounds like church music, and Ben conducted the audience like a choir to sing along. “Not the Same” evolved into a crazy, piano-based cover of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights,” during which Ben was energetically playing a keyboard like it was a guitar. His final song was “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces,” with the unforgettable chorus: “If you really want to see me/Check the papers and the TV/Look who’s telling who what to do/Yeah - kiss my ass/Goodbye.” He ended the performance by slamming his chair on his piano, thanking the crowd, and hurrying offstage. Ben’s geeky liveliness, quirky lyrics, and crazy piano playing set the energy bar high to get the crowd excited for John Mayer.


John Mayer and his 5-piece (sometimes 7-piece) band soon came to the stage and got right down to business with his first single from “Continuum,” “Waiting on the World to Change.” This was followed by his first single ever, “No Such Thing,” which he introduced by noting that it was “written at 150 Mass Ave.” (Berklee College of Music in Boston for all you non-Bostonians). It’s pretty cool to think that I live 10 minutes away from where one of today’s most talented musicians used to practice. Most of the rest of the set went as follows:

“I Don’t Trust Myself (with Loving You)”
“Dreaming with a Broken Heart”
“Bigger than My Body”
“I Don’t Need No Doctor”
“Why Georgia”

The encore began with a solo-acoustic medley of his much older material, including “Lifelines,” “Man on the Side,” “Love Soon,” and “Comfortable,” which was exciting because I’ve never heard any of these songs live in the 4 years I’ve been going to John Mayer shows. The medley really focused on his vocals, whereas most of the rest of the show put his guitar solos and band jam sessions in the spotlight. The final song was “I’m Gonna Find Another You.”

With most bands, I find that I always with they’d play more of ‘the old stuff’ in concert, because many artists tend to play a set predominantly made up of their most recent and popular songs. However, I was really excited that John played mostly songs from his newer “Continuum” album, because it gave him a chance to showcase his guitar playing in a way that wouldn’t be possible with most of his older, poppier songs. His new music, especially songs like “Vultures” and “Gravity,” is blues-based, giving John and his band the opportunity to add long, dynamic guitar and other instrumental solos into the songs. The audience clearly enjoyed all the music, as everyone sung along with his older songs and applauded wildly for all of the jam sessions. He really took the time to get personal with the crowd, showing his sense of humor in making fun of a few signs in the audience and repeatedly mentioning how much he feels at home in Boston. John pointed out that he “knows what it’s like to live in Boston – you’re all going to crowd out onto the streets and drink your asses off” after the show, so he thanked us for “stopping by on the way.”

I’ve never been disappointed by a John Mayer show, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by this one. He is an amazingly talented guitarist, and although it’s not always obvious on his recorded material, he always proves his abilities in concert. Everyone should see him in concert at least once in their lifetime, even if it’s only to witness the ridiculously distorted ‘guitar faces’ he makes while playing throughout the entire show.

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As much as I love love love John Mayer, I just saw that you're at the Hanson concert and I can NOT wait to read your blog about it. Hahahaha. I totally wish I was there with you... and if you ever get the chance to see Aaron Carter, you better take it and write a ridiculous blog on him. I expect nothing less! Keep up the good work :)


I didn't realize you had gotten into this show. I'm glad you did and for free no less - nice job! I saw John in Amherst in Feb. it was amazing! I didn't have enough cash to get to see him in Manchester this past week but I'm glad to read that everyone is loving him!

I can't WAIT to read the Hanson review and see how you thought the night went.


its awesome that you got your tickets for free, you are lucky! The pictures look good by the way.


wow. a whole night of mayer. waiting on the world to change. good stuff. nice work melissa!


mayer is the f****** man! wow. I've never been to a john mayer show before, but after reading this it really feels like i have been!


dam melissa, i've been following your work for quite some time, and this is top of the line! keep it up!


nice photos of my main man mayer. and what a line up he played that night! good stuff!


Can tell you definitely had fun at this one. Good job!


you can tell you were excited for this show! nice pictures, he def went in the direction to jam to his new cd when i look at that play list.


sweet pic!


i remember seeing john mayer w/you, but you have reminded me just how amazing he is live. you are one dedicated fan and those people who gave you tickets must have known that.

George L. Mulletson

WOW- I have always wanted to go to a John Mayer concert. What a great blog post.. I'm so jealous of your concert experiences! You're a great writer.


Love your writing!! Are you into journalism??? I've been dying to see JM tried to get tickets but it was sold out nice to see you finagled your way in!!


free ticket lucky!! awesome pictures consideing this time you had no pass!! Keep it up!!


are you a journalism major cause if not you should be!! you should write for rolling stone!!


you're so lucky to get free tix!


this was prob a good show to go to. awesome job on your review.


John Mayer is great live! You got in for free thats awesome!!


got to catch him next time


got to catch him next time


I still have yet to see mayer live.


huge mayor fan, sick show


Not into Ska but sweet pics


john mayer is supertalented awesome you got in for free!


Glad to hear that you finally got to see him again. Will have to watch for the next tour.

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