(Photos by Marley Hein)
In the world of live music, few experiences can rival the excitement of attending a sold-out concert by a legendary artist like John Mayer. And when Mayer’s solo tour kicked off at Madison Square Garden in New York, it became evident that it was going to be a musical journey to remember in Charm City!
What made this tour even more special was the inclusion of an opening act, JP Saxe, who had been warming up the audience for Mayer’s extraordinary performances. On one unforgettable Friday night in Baltimore, Saxe’s show carried extra significance, as he had a special guest in the stands—his father. Saxe had previously shared that his dad was not always the most enthusiastic supporter of his music, which made this moment even more heartwarming. It was a touching realization of a musical dream to have his father witness his talent on the grand stage.
Saxe’s set included a carefully selected seven songs, among which a standout was “The Few Things,” a love song that held a unique backstory. The song was penned by an ex-girlfriend who had since moved on, married, and started a family. Saxe humorously suggested it could be a great wedding song, given that he had not heard of anyone getting divorced after playing it at their wedding. This personal anecdote added an intimate touch to his performance.
As the night progressed, it was John Mayer’s turn to mesmerize the audience. Having already played two sold-out nights in New York, Mayer brought his magic to Baltimore. The evening began with his iconic opening song, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”. Midway through the show, Mayer took a moment to express his gratitude to the audience. He acknowledged the challenges of performing solo in large arenas, where he could not play every fan’s favorite song. However, he wanted to ensure that everyone knew how thankful he was for their unwavering support.
Mayer treated the audience to a selection of his fan favorites, including “Why Georgia,” “In Your Atmosphere,” “Neon,” and, of course, “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” The latter song was made even more special with a video montage of the audience. The video crew pinpointed certain audience members, highlighting those in relationships or those enjoying the concert solo, adding a humorous and heartwarming touch to the evening. Mayer, ever the performer, even made a lighthearted comment about his affinity for looking at the men in the audience while performing the hit song.
However, as with any concert experience, not everyone’s favorite songs can make the setlist. As one fan noted, there was a pang of disappointment for not hearing some beloved tracks like “Daughters,” “Half of My Heart,” and “Perfectly Lonely.” Mayer’s extensive catalog of hits poses the challenge of creating the perfect setlist for every fan, and sometimes, a few favorites might be left out.
John Mayer’s solo tour is an exquisite musical journey that lasts approximately two hours and features about twenty-two songs. Whether it is the virtuosity of his guitar skills, his heartfelt lyrics, or the genuine connection he creates with his audience, Mayer’s performances are unforgettable. This tour is not just about the music; it is about the shared experience of music lovers, and the memories created during a night in the presence of a true musical icon.
FINAL GRADE: A