John Mayer Chooses Rock Over Drama at Madison Square Garden

March 1st, 2010 by Erica Futterman Leave a reply »

Photo: Coppola/Getty

John Mayer the musician has been carefully cultivating John Mayer the brand over the last 10 years. He’s merged his acoustic singer-songwriter persona with his blues-virtuoso alter-ego, developed the logos on his tour T-shirts and spat out streams of 140-character tweets that broadcast his most off-the-cuff musings. But though he clearly knows how to get results on his own terms, sometimes the terms aren’t his to define — and as his recent Playboy misadventure demonstrated, even Mayer can hit a painfully wrong note. But at a pair of packed shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden late last week, Mayer proved sometimes he’s able to just let his music do the talking.

John Mayer Uncensored: photos of his most outrageous moments.

“You’re looking at the clean me,” Mayer announced midway through Thursday night’s set. Then he launched into a solo acoustic medley of “My Stupid Mouth,” “Daughters” and “3X5″ that was immediately followed by a groovy cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” on electric guitar. It was an impressive display of his sharp guitar playing, appealing sing-alongs and personable wit, and the audience responded generously. Mayer was clearly grateful for the crowd’s warmth. “It means the world to me you’re here,” he said on Friday. “I mean it from the bottom of my dumb heart.”

Mayer was less concerned with sending messages via his song selection than picking tracks that showed off his evolution as an artist: the acoustic (”Why Georgia”), the bluesy (”Crossroads”), the groovy (”Vultures”), the heartbroken (”Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”) and the hopeful (”Perfectly Lonely”). Mayer also acknowledged his ins...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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