This begins with my college roommate, Ashton. She is a long-time fan of John Mayer. Her admiration sparked our interest in attending JM’s “The Search for Everything World Tour.” It was a first for both of us.
We arrive at Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia just in time to find a spot on the crowded lawn: patches of grass can be seen infrequently among the masses. The rain is holding off in time for the show: relief is held in unison by ticket holders.
John Mayer takes the stage. The sky darkens in contrast to the stage lights.
The funky bass of “Helpless” ushers in the magic. By the conclusion of the song Ashton is shaking and exclaiming what a dream he is, the sound is, the night is. John warns that he is catching a cold but vows to perform with all of the passion he can bring to the table: and he does just that.
“Moving On and Getting Over” foreshadows that slow jams will own the night. The lights dim, when the stage becomes illuminated again John is sporting a headband, looking starkly similar to Johnny Depp. Ashton and I squeal and peer back at the stage in expectancy.
John begins the acoustic portion of the set. “Your Body is A Wonderland” does not always make the setlist on this tour but tonight it does. The crowd welcomes the beloved 2001 hit with a roar- more like some “ow! ow!”s. John humors the attendees by telling how frequently men at his shows stand with their arms crossed during YBIAW and in turn he loves to look them in the eyes and sing the lyrics “we got the afternoon, you got this room for two, one thing I’ve left to do, discover me, discovering you” ever so passionately.
“Free Fallin'” and “Neon” proceed.
The John Mayer Trio rock the following moments, slow jams are put on hold during “Crossroads,” “I Got a Woman,” and “Vultures.”
This is where my present-tense narrative must break. During the latter half of the concert, I was so present and mesmerized by John Mayer’s ability as a guitarist coupled with his unique voice, most of it is a blur in my memory. His show had a way of making me lose sight of the other 18,000+ people surrounding, only to become focused on his music. The latter half of the set included songs such as: “In the Blood,” “Something Like Olivia,” “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” and “Why Georgia.”
John prepares for the encore as the stage fades into black. The crowd invites him back by their cheering. As “Gravity” begins, so does a warm, drizzling rain. I look to my left: the man next to me has his eyes closed, enjoying the power of the moment. Lighters are raised in spite of the rain.
Those near us stand in mutual awe of John Mayer’s performance.
At the conclusion of John’s gratitude to the crowd, the show ends.
We trek back to the parking lot as the rain pours. Once we find dry refuge in the car we decide that it will not be appropriate to listen to anything but JM. Without the luxury of an auxiliary cord this agreement means playing JM from Ashton’s iPhone on the dash. We discuss the magic of the night- this continues intermittently for the entire four hour travel back home.