Monday, July 12, 2004

John Mayer

"Guitar face" is an Erotic Dare
White River Amphitheatre, Auburn, WA

A sunny day and an outdoor venue can turn any structured songwriter into a noodling jam-bandy narcissist. But more on that later.

Remember before when we were talking about branding? So John Mayer's guitarist has his own solo act as well, and he was playing on a side stage before the main show started. He said his name was David Ryan Harris. Fine. But THEN he proceeds to tell people all the other names that his name gets confused with, like David Lee Roth and David Alan Grier. And he jokingly introduces himself a couple of times with these names: "Hi, I'm David Hyde Pierce." By the middle of the show, no one remembered what the HELL this guy's name was! People were even calling out "WHO ARE YOU??" from the lawn.

Regardless, the crowd gave David Whatshisface their full attention exactly from sobriety through beer number two, then they drifted a bit and started chatting with each other. Since the side stage was located in the beer garden, the teens were kept out. At one point I looked through the fence and saw 15 identical girls with shoulder-length brown hair and tank tops hanging over the security barricade to try and decide if David was omg so cute or not.

I completely missed DJ Logic and Switchfoot (who may be a secrectly-Christian band). They were there. At least one person bought a CD.

The crowd was mixed, if only in footwear and age. It was nice to feel such unabashed love for John Mayer in every corner of the venue. By the time John took the stage, much of the crowd was tipsy, sun-strokey, or all-crushed-outy. But poor John looked SO tired - like he had been on tour for three months, and not two weeks (that's all! I checked!). He was definitely phoning it in for the first half of the show.

No matter to the girls. Audience drama occurred after two girls who were standing in the aisle blocking the view of a bunch of people were shoo'd away. They went up to some seats a few rows behind us, but then a few songs later the people who ACTUALLY had those seats returned, threw a fit, and the girls were banished to the upper lawn. People around us cheered.

People also cheered when John said the word "shit" on stage, when the scrim behind the musicians got all sparkly, and when John attempted but failed to drop in a bit of a Lyle Lovett song.

As the evening progressed, the guitar solos got longer and the band started to noodle more. This made me wonder: is John Mayer the new Dave Matthews? I bet you would say "yes" if you were witness to the encore.

Watching the facial contortions of JM during his solos prompted my friend to comment "he gives good guitar face." My first thought was that every gal that's ever made it into his hotel room must yearn to be the cause of those facial contortions. I bet he's had more than one girl compete with his guitar. My other friend said that John grosses her out because he looks like he's a wet kisser.

The pure sincerity of the crowd won me over here. They sang along (I love the singing along), snuggled up to each other during the sweet songs, and screamed at the end of every tune. It was all about the love. And guitar face.

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