I knew it was going to be a good night when comedian Dave Chappelle came into my section and started pouring drinks into red Solo Cups for his posse.
The excitement of the comedian being among the crowd came to a halt as the lights went down and John Mayer took the stage at the Schottenstein Center on Wednesday night.
The much-awaited tour, “The Search For Everything,” comes three long years after his last tour wrapped. The concert was broken up into different chapters, indicative to the fact that Mayer is indeed on the search for everything and is trying to find it through various music styles.
Mayer opened Chapter One with his full band, and the crowd — filled with mostly adults and the occasional child, who likely wasn’t born when his debut album released — was instantly singing louder than him. The energy level started incredibly high as he played tracks from his newest album such as “Love on the Weekend” and old favorites such as “Why Georgia.” And the energy only rose throughout the night.
I have never seen so many grown men dance with such reckless abandon. Every ounce of Mayer was in every note of each song, yet he played every moment effortlessly.
In Chapter Two, titled “Acoustic,” Mayer took the stage solo and played older songs such as “Comfortable” a highly-requested song which he said he sometimes forgets how to play. He said he’s lucky to have fans who have given him the opportunity to make enough records to forget a song.
He also poked fun at his smash hit, “Body is a Wonderland,” saying he wants to embrace the innocence he had in thinking no one would make fun of him when he first wrote it. He hoped the crowd could be taken back to what they used to be and embrace their innocence, too.
The John Mayer Trio, a band featuring Mayer, bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan reunited on stage and showcased their bluesy rhythms and instrumental runs in Chapter Three. This soulful, heavier sound speaks to Mayer’s versatility; the guy isn’t just a one-trick pony. He is a well-versed musician who has a grasp on various genres of music.
Not to mention, he switched guitars after almost every song he performed. If Dave Chappelle had to take a drink every time Mayer switched instruments, he would’ve gone through his bottle of liquor much faster.
Chapter Four was a reprise of the full band in which Mayer would often stand back to let different band members take the spotlight. His humility as a performer shone as he glided across stage, dancing to the sound of his bands’ solos.
Mayer paid tribute to Ohio through his song “Dear Marie,” singing “from time to time I’ll go looking for your photograph online, but some county judge from Ohio is all I ever find.” With Columbus being the only city he’s played it in, Mayer closed his set by having a heartfelt moment with the crowd. He said there is nothing phenomenal about what he does, rather the fans are the phenomenon.
Mayer told the crowd not to call this tour a comeback, but then flashed a coy smile, saying “actually, call it a comeback.” I think so too, John. Keep searching, whatever you’re doing is working.