I'm just going to get this out of the way – John Mayer is an incredible guitar player. I've heard all the singles, I've followed him throughout the years, but, jeeze, if seeing him going to town shredding on stage doesn't show him in a whole new light. The Search For Everything Tour hit South Florida at the BB&T Center this past Saturday, right in the middle of the tour's second North American leg. The Search For Everything Tour was meant to tell the story of Mayer's career, from his early singles, to his work with the John Mayer Trio; this tour had something for every fan. Each show on this tour is special, though, as the setlist is ever-changing – so you never know what songs you're gonna hear.
Chapter 1: Full Band
John Mayer and his band took the stage kicking into “Helpless” off his most recent release The Search For Everything. “Helpless” has a danceable bluesy beat with a classic catchy Mayer chorus which got the crowd right onto their feet and swaying with him. The majority of this chapter focused on the recently released album, including the newest single “Love on the Weekend.” Mayer paused after the performance and with a smirk stated he “loves playing 'Love on the Weekend' on the weekend.” The only older song during the first chapter of Mayer's story was a mashup of “Why Georgia” and “No Such Thing.”
Chapter 2: Acoustic
The acoustic chapter was truly a stripped down version of John Mayer, musically, but candidly as well. Mayer talked about how he had spent the entire previous day off sucked into his phone catching up on social media (insert adorably geeky Mayer “man becoming more phone than man” caveman joke here) when he came across a request from someone that would be attending the show for Mayer to play “3x5.” Which he did, after expressing his joy at using the Twitterverse as a request line. It was at the first strummed chord of “Daughters” that I realized these setlists really were random, as it hadn't been played frequently on this tour and I had already accepted not hearing it this go around. The entire pavillion sang along with Mayer as the screen behind him displayed crowd shots of daughters and their parents throughout the song. As if the room wasn't at an emotional all-time high of the night already, Mayer then broke into his cover of Tom Petty's “Free Fallin'” to finish out the acoustic set.
Chatper 3: Trio
The screen on stage displayed a quick intro video discussing how the Trio came to be. Mayer expressed his worry that he would always be considered a “pop artist” and not taken seriously in other genres. While the Trio was considered a “rare” performance, he was thrilled to finally have them on the road and bringing the Trio to the masses. The band kicked off into a cover of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" and the crowd was instantly on their feet and jamming along. The stark contrast from the acoustic chapter to the Trio was a perfect pick me up as even people new to the trio's music were having a great time. And how can you not when John Mayer is on stage with two equally talented musicians and is laying down incredible solos that you weren't expecting? During both "Good Love is on the Way" and "Vultures" my jaw was left dropped as Mayer performed exceptional extended solos. It was a totally different side of the "Bigger Than my Body" kid we all knew in the 2000's.
Chapter 4: Full Band (Reprise)
The band returned to the stage with Mayer to finish off the final chunk of the set. The crowd erupted when they kicked into “Who Says” and got even rowdier when Mayer sang out “It’s been a long night in Fort Lauderdale – ya know, I like the sound of that.” Mayer made note that so many of the songs played this tour are being performed for the first time with the original band it was recorded with ten years ago! When the band broke out into “Gravity” the crowd was once again on their feet and shouting along every word. Mayer closed the night out returning to a bright white stage and sitting down to his piano to play “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.” It was a gorgeous ending to a carefully crafted evening. The ending credits rolled naming everyone from the band to production to crew. And suddenly through the crowd – “Did he seriously not play “Your Body is A Wonderland?!”
I headed out towards the exit and caught a view of the merch. Front and center #9 white tee with pink writing $35 dollars with Fort Lauderdale across it. The pink writing? “He didn’t play everything I wanted to hear, but I wanted to hear everything he played.” Well played, John Mayer.
Full Band 1. Helpless
2. Moving On and Getting Over
3. Love on the Weekend
4. Why Georgia / No Such Thing
6. Emoji of A Wave
9. Free Fallin' (Tom Petty cover)
10. Crossroads (Robert Johnson cover)
11. Good Love is on the Way
Full Band (Reprise)
13. Queen of California
14. Who Says
15. In the Blood
16. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
17. Dear Marie
Encore: Edge of Desire
You're Gonna Live Forever in Me