Inspiring Conversations

Mayer Mania

  • SumoMe

by Shahirah Mohamed Ansari
Contributor for Penny’s Daybook

Shahirah is a postgrad journalism student in Sydney, pursuing her childhood dream of being a writer. She’s currently addicted to chocolate, ’90s sitcoms, buying books faster than she can read them and listening to live music.

I had been greatly looking forward to the Australian leg of John Mayer’s Battle Studies tour since buying the tickets in February. Having been a fan of his music (though not always his personality) for many years now, I was curious as to whether the experience would match up to the audiovisual phantasmagoria that was the Lady GaGa concert I attended a month ago. I mean, how do you beat pyrotechnic lingerie?

Well, turns out John Mayer can hold his own against flaming boobies.

Against a sparse set, maestro Mayer belted out pitch-perfect tunes and awed the audience with his guitar prowess. Much to the delight of long-time fans, his set list comprised a good melange of songs from all of his four albums.

New songs from the Battle Studies album like “Heartbreak Warfare” and “Perfectly Lonely” were interspersed with perennial favourites like the Grammy award-winning “Your Body is a Wonderland”, as well as several tracks from his acclaimed third album Continuum. Within the span of the two-hour concert, he also covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”.

Between songs, John charmed the audience with his stream-of-consciousness musings and extensive vocabulary, describing the impeccable guitar-playing skills of his opening act, Orianthi, as “esoteric”. Nevertheless, there was a palpable reticence in his light-hearted chatter, honouring his promise to “quit the media game”; a promise made in response to the considerable backlash he faced over a controversial, no-holds-barred interview with Playboy magazine.

Attending this concert affirmed my affection for John Mayer’s wonderful music. Despite the tabloid-fuelled consensus of his ‘douche-y’ personality and reputation as a Lothario, watching John perform live strips away all these extraneous layers and you see him simply the way he wishes to be seen: as an amazingly talented musician

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