Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Long Night in Motor City

Artist: John Mayer

City: Auburn Hills, MI

Date: 2/12/10

Grade: A

At the end of his set at the Palace of Auburn Hills, John Mayer crooned "It's been a long night in Motor City" - exchanging Detroit's nickname for NYC in the lyrics to "Who Says." A long night it had been indeed. Two and half hours long, to be exact.

In between playing hits from all four of his studio albums, Mayer exchanged pleasantries with the crowd. As he took the stage, opening with current single "Heartbreak Warfare," Mayer enthusiastically asked, “How are you doing, Detroit?”

Cue screaming women. 12,000 screaming women.

Although the male/female ratio was not as imbalanced as a Jonas Brothers concert, the crowd was dominantly female. After a deafening response to a request to hear the ladies in crowd, Mayer asked the men to make some noise. “You are fewer in number, but LOWER IN TIMBRE,” he quipped.

Mayer spent the evening making fun of everything from the current state of the music industry to the Sylvester Stallone movie Over The Top. He even made fun of himself a bit before playing early single “No Such Thing.” Alone on the stage with just an acoustic guitar, he joked “This is how I used to play shows at coffee houses … there were less people.”

The banter took a softer turn, when Mayer thanked his fans for coming to the show. He commented about how great it felt to know someone in this room might have had a bad day, looked at their concert ticket, and said, “Well, at least I’ve got Friday night.” Although it was unspoken by Mayer himself, many in the crowd remarked that Mayer had probably said the same thing earlier in the week.

You see, John Mayer has been in the news a lot lately. He said something about comparing sex with Jessica Simpson to a drug and letting a racial slur slip. Yeah, you heard that as well?

I’m not here to tell you my opinion on the issue. It’s not my job to tell you how to feel. But I am going to encourage each and every one of you to read the entire interview.

Twitter. It’s a beautiful thing. I tweet. Alena tweets. John Mayer tweets. Twitter has opened the door for communication between fans and musicians. Whether an artist is holding a spontaneous boredom induced Q&A session or asking for an opinion about what kind of sandwich he should have for lunch, musicians and fans are now interacting on an hourly basis.

Mayer owes a lot to Twitter. His 3,061,771 followers aren’t all dedicated fans of his music. In fact, I would be willing to bet that the majority don’t know many songs beyond “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Waiting on the World to Change.” Through his poop jokes and occasional profound 4 AM thoughts, Mayer has gained new fans, increased his celebrity, and been placed at the forefront of a communication revolution. Mayer even comments on his Twitter use in his now infamous Playboy interview: “With Twitter, I can show my real voice. Here’s me thinking about stuff: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could download food?’ It has been important for me to keep communicating.”

Interesting how no one is talking about that sentence.

In the last week, Twitter has killed Mayer. His controversial statements spread like wildfire on the microblogging site. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Twitter, it is made up of short statements of 140 characters or less posted by users. Mayer’s Playboy interview in its entirety has a length of 33,401 characters.

I am asking you to please read the entire interview. Not because I’m sick of your “John Mayer is a douche” status (but honestly – it’s been a week), but instead because I’m a bit worried about our generation. The world is a scary place when the average person is willing to look at only .004% of a final product and take it as fact. What if we only take .004% of laws into consideration? What if we only answer .004% of 911 calls? What if senators only read .004% of the Healthcare Bill?

“Now you kids get off my lawn!”

I realize I sound like a crotchety old man. This is a music blog, and you come here to read about music, not to listen to my rants about the fate of our society. So, let’s talk about John Mayer’s music.

The dude can play guitar.




Heartbreak Warfare



Bigger Than My Body

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

Perfectly Lonely


War Of My Life

No Such Thing

Waiting on the World to Change

Half of My Heart

Message in a Bottle

Why Georgia



Who Says


Photos by Emily Williams.

1 comment:

  1. as a long time mayer fan, i have to agree with your post. john mayer is being harassed for taking his privacy wall down for fans in interviews, when all we ask is for celebrities to give us an inside look at their personal lives. no one is mentioning the beautiful things john mayer has said because we only find controversial things interesting. great article. great site. you guys have got a new reader!