On Monday night, the California Mid-State Fair welcomed seven time Grammy Award winning recording artist John Mayer back for his third concert in recent memory. Mayer grew to stardom in the early 2000s when he was nominated for the Grammy for best new artist, mostly for his song “Your Body is a Wonderland,” in 2003 and won song of the year for “Daughters” in 2005.
Mayer took the stage around 8:30 p.m. to a chorus of screaming fans as “John, I love you!” calls came raining down from the bleachers that border the stage on either side. To which Mayer, never one to ignore swooning from adoring fans, quickly responded, “I love you too, thank you.”
Mayer began filling the brisk night air with beautiful bluesy guitar riffs, and the aisles began to fill with girls in sundresses dancing away their inhibitions. Mayer played his hit song “Waiting on the World to Change,” as his second song, and the crowd was hypnotized from then on.
Mayer has recently struggled with issues with his voice, and it was obvious that he was more focused on playing great music than he was serenading us, which brought a smile to my face since I am not an avid John Mayer fan, but I can certainly appreciate an excellent axe man.
After many of his songs concluded, Mayer and the band would continue to play until the song ended with an eventual center stage solo. The video screens would zoom in on him as he was strumming away at lightspeed with his hands so low on the guitar that they were almost touching. They say the true mark of true greatness is making something extraordinarily difficult look very easy and that is what he did over and over again, solo after solo.
Depending on which song was coming on next, he would switch from an acoustic guitar to an electric guitar with the ease of someone switching from pen to pencil. Monday was a great night to attend the fair in general. Mayers solos rang throughout the entire Mid-State Fair grounds for all to enjoy.
Mayer joked while on stage that he was enjoying the concert for a multitude of reasons, but chief among them was the plethora of smells that were constantly wafting past him as he played.
Seemingly every person I talked to in the past week (that I mentioned to that I was seeing Mayer perform) had a very strong opinion on him and more directly an opinion on his controversial song “Your Body is a Wonderland.” Mayer has been labeled a womanizer in the past and for years stopped playing his hit song in concerts — I can only speculate as to why, but I imagine to avoid controversy. Monday night, in a moment of pure honesty and vulnerability, Mayer addressed the song saying that he, “At first, loved it [the song], then hated it, and now loves it again.” Mayer said all of his music, but especially this song, acts as a time capsule and reminds him of certain times in his life. He mentioned that he hated the song for a long time, but now that it isn’t hurting anyone anymore, he loves it again. Then he began to play the opening melody, and the crowd began to dance once again.