On August 11, 2019, welcoming John Mayer back to his musical home town was a virtually sold-out show at State Farm Arena. Atlanta gathered together on a Sunday evening to witness one of Atlanta’s most near and dear singer/songwriters. Mayer graced the city with a powerful performance packed with stories of his time spent trying to make it work as an up and coming young musician.
As I arrived at my seat at the venue, Mayer went into his second song “Love on the Weekend.” I looked up and noticed how incredibly close I was to the stage. The 41-year-old musician has undoubtedly maintained his boyish charisma and he remains a talented artist, both musically and lyrically,. He gives off an aura of a humble and comfortable performer and a timelessly handsome man. At that moment I wondered, “What more could I want?”
However, Mayer proved throughout the night that he could do so much more. From the stage Meyer stated, “ I have to impress you tonight- you are a very important city.” The heart and emotion behind each song that he wrote in Atlanta was palpable. The connection between Mayer and the crowd was evident when words such as “Peachtree Street” came tumbling from Mayers mouth.
Several times John stopped to mention how much he appreciated the Atlanta crowd. He got his musical start playing in Atlanta. He told small anecdotes throughout the evening about where he was when he wrote specific songs or why he wrote a song like 3X5.
Mayer told of the times he longed for the attention of his seemingly uninterested audience at The Tin Roof Cantina. He made a point to write a song that would sound good in that particular venue while also creating a larger sound than just one man and a guitar. “Think locally, not globally,” he said.
Mayer accomplished this by not only playing an acoustic song, but by playing an acoustic bass line at the same time on the same guitar. The song is titled “Neon.” You can view a clip of his telling of the story and have a listen to the live performance here.
The song was a visual and audible pleasure.
Besides the anecdotal details of the show and the constant reminding of how important it was for him to impress the Atlanta crowd, Mayer and his band put on one of the best live performances I have seen in a while.
John Mayer never seems to play the same set-list twice. Each show is specifically curated for his destination.
The personal touches made his stop in Atlanta even more special. He performed some goodies, some oldies, but most of all, he pulled out the now seldom played “Half of My Heart.” You can listen to the set-list played on this particular evening by logging on to Bullet Music’s Spotify.
Photos by Marina Delaine-Siegel for Bullet Music