The great Train, a headliner, in their own right, opened for Mayer with an incredible 50 minute set that completely blew every other John Mayer opener in previous years away. Train is the kind of commercial rock band that I wish I didn't like but they're irresistable..
...particularly because of frontman and songwriter Pat Monahan who is one of the best live singers I have ever heard. His voice gives me chills when I least expect it and although it's slightly difficult to get past his showy stage demeanor and strange Ed Hardy-ish style, his music and specifically unusual lyrical phrasing, really makes it worth it.
This is my third and final time seeing part of John Mayer's summer tour and while I didn't think he could get better than his Jones Beach concert on July 21, this topped it by far. Consistently Mayer surprised the audience with his candid honesty and silly behavior (trading bracelets with a girl in the audience and telling the crowd how much he loves to sleep alone).
Wearing a black headband, fully buttoned plaid shirt, and rolled up khaki pants, Mayer didn't necessarily look the part of a rock star guitarist but during the always astounding cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", his skills were front and center.
It's no surprise to anyone who has seen Mayer live before that he makes absurd faces.
And he looked a little high...
But managed to bring a new spin to every song he performed. Standouts included a gorgeous rendition of "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)", "Clarity", and "Heartbreak Warfare".
For the underappreciated final track on "Battle Studies" entitled "Do You Know Me?", Mayer brought out the harmonica and teased the audience with a small sampling of the hit "Say" near the end.
Another classic Mayer technique: ending the show with some guitar playing on the ground. People go completely nuts and as you can see, run up to the stage and block my view. It's one of the most incredible things I've seen at a concert though. Anyone who says John Mayer is talentless has clearly not seen him play live.
Mayer's playfulness on stage definitely helps to make the audience feel a connection to him as not just a musician but a friend in some way. After seeing him over 30 times in the past nine years, I can tell you that his banter only enhances the concert experience.
More incredible guitar playing (if you're still unfamiliar with his style, check out the unbelievable "Gravity" as evidence of his genius).
John Mayer will probably be on tour for the next three months at least so make sure you check him out. Lawn seats are cheap!
John Mayer Setlist - August 3, 2010
Chest Fever -> Bigger Than My Body
No Such Thing
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Ain’t No Sunshine
Waiting on the World to Change
War Of My Life
Do You Know Me
The Boys of Summer (w/ Patrick Monahan)
Half of My Heart
Edge of Desire
All photographs courtesy of ME.