“We’ve had the best week here!” he carried on, “It’s really kind of blown me away ‘cause it’ feels like home! Usually when I’m away, I count the clock ticks towards the next place and the next place, but in Sydney, I’m not counting.”
Bless him! John Mayer could have counted 12,000 faces in the crowd at Sydney Entertainment Centre tonight, if the neon lights hadn’t been shining in his eyes. As he brushed a mass of crazy curls away from his face and turned to the spotlights, he cradled one of the seven guitars he had on stage with him in his arms like a danced-out lover. Oh, to be that guitar!!
I wasn’t alone. The girls in the front row shrieked like a pack of rabid chimpanzees, wishing no doubt that they too could feel his fingers on their bodies (ahem), but Mayer looked straight at them, grinned and said:
“I don’t think these girls will ever be as excited in their lives, as they are right now. I think you should take that energy, put it in a box and bury it in your gardens, ‘cause you’re gonna need that in 15 years time, trust me!”
Mayer’s definitely got the showmanship down these days, but as such, his AMAZING talent for guitar playing sometimes plays second fiddle to those insightful lyrics and husky vocals that make his albums fly off the shelves. This is a man who needs to be appreciated live. Not only has he mastered playing with the guitar over his shoulders, but at one point, the instrument was flat on the ground and Mayer was practically doing a shoulder-stand on a patterned rug as he performed a solo. Sounds impossible when you write it… but trust me, it happened. You could hardly hear the notes for the screaming and god forbid anyone had epilepsy down near the stage – there were more flashing lights than a rave on a spaceship whenever a song ended.
Looking at Mayer live on stage, in plain black trousers, a t-shirt and white trainers reflecting the yellow stage lights, it’s easy to believe this guy really does just want to play his guitar, above all else. The money, the fame, the fortune, they’re all just bonus products he’s attracted, just by following his dream. As the camera flashes and mobile phone screens glistened in the crowds like fireflies where cigarette lighters would have been waving 20 years ago, I couldn’t help but think back to when I first heard John Mayer’s songs, in New York City, almost ten years ago. Hardly anyone had heard of him then. Everyone’s heard of him now.
He didn’t forget to credit his support act too – the lovely Orianthi (Michael Jackson’s ex guitarist, no less):
“Sometimes you meet some bad musicians who are bad people, and that’s just BAD. But then you meet awesome musicians who are just awesome people and then you know they’re on a skyrocket to wherever they wanna go. Orianthi is one of those people, give it up for her, and shout so she can hear you!” His orders were followed.
“Thank you for giving me Australia,” Mayer said, not once, but twice after he’d finished his final set of songs, including the gorgeous “Perfectly Lonely” from new album Battle Studies, and “Who Says”, to which a group of guys in front of us delighted in echoing every “Who says I can’t get stoned” line as loudly as they could, while waving their beers about enthusiastically.
“I feel like you’ve given me a key to this country and now I can come back here and play little shows for you whenever I want!” His Sydney PRs are gonna love that.
More rapturous applause confirmed that yes, John Mayer is welcome in Sydney any time he wants to drop in, though he confirmed he’s off to Japan with his crew first thing in the morning. He also admitted to taking a moonlit jog through Luna Park the other night with a member of his band, when the rest of the world was sleeping. Such a shame I didn’t know that in advance…
Mayer and his act bowed in a line at the end, like a troupe of circus performers, which was quite fitting in a way, as Mayer’s an act like no other. He plays the clown, he acts the fool and then he blows your little brain away with a show so amazing you feel different, just from being in the audience.
When, oh WHEN will you notice me, John? *sniff