John Mayer is a mushroom. Between eye-fucking everyone in the front row, wailing on his guitar and quoting ’80s movies, his charisma, talent and humor prove that he truly is a very fungi. (Fun guy … get it?)
Mayer embodies the inexplicable connection between sex and guitar, with a certain attractive charm that just seems to ooze out of him while performing. I don’t fall for guitar-carrying men like most of my female counterparts tend to, but I won’t lie – he winked at me while I was taking his picture up front, and I pretty much melted. Sigh.
His appeal never overshadows his sheer talent, though Mayer’s guitarist swagger and near laughable “O face” help to enhance, not undermine his performance.
Throughout the Continuum-heavy show, I was surprised by how Mayer’s actual voice sounds exactly like his recordings. It seems like a modern marvel, considering that technological advances have turned everyone from Paris Hilton to Ashlee Simpson into a “singer.”
I unfortunately cannot speak of the Simpson clan without mentioning my self-appointed mission at the show – I, admittedly and pathetically, was on the lookout for Her. And, apparently, the rest of Section 112 was too, because when a few girls down the row from me erupted with pointed fingers and camera flashes, I knew she had officially been spotted. Chomping on gum with her newly-dyed brown hair pulled back in a bun, leaning against a box-like object in the middle of the sound equipment area stood She – Jessica Simpson – grooving along while lightly mouthing along the words to “Waiting on the World to Change.”
Regardless of what lady-friend he was singing to, Mayer put on a fantastic show, which was complemented by a highly energetic audience. Standing below a backdrop of LED squares reminiscent of his first album’s cover art, he crooned out the jazzy ballad “I’m Gonna Find Another You,” while “Belief” highlighted the camaraderie between the Mayer and the seven members of his backup band. “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)” caused a man behind me to exclaim, “That’s babymakin’ music right there!” The slow, smooth “Gravity” seemed to lose the musically uneducated, pop-loving sector of the audience’s attention, though they refocused for a fabulous, jaw-dropping, one-handed guitar solo at the song’s end.
Mayer’s sheer talent proves him to be deserving of the “Guitar God” status recently placed upon him by Rolling Stone, but his comedic nature deserves recognition also. In true Back To The Future form, he quoted, “This is an oldie … well, it’s an oldie where I come from. Your kids are gonna love it,” to introduce his first single, “No Such Thing.” Between recommending that kids be told “Your Body is a Wonderland” is about “rocket ships and football” and shouting out responses to each poster a fan held up, he joked around while proving that he’s more than a guitarist – he’s a bona fide character.
Mayer seems to have found the happy medium between rock/pop idol and serious jazz musician, though his live performance proves how at the end of the day, he’s just a dude who truly loves to play his guitar. What a mushroom.