The One Man Show That Actually Leaves You Satisfied: John Mayer's 2023 Solo Tour
On Saturday night, kicking off his 2023 Solo Tour in Newark, NJ, John Mayer proved he is just like a ripe avocado; in his prime.
Photo Credits: John Mayer
He first took the stage playing acoustic favorites and cult classics like "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" from his 2006 Continuum and "Queen of California" from his 2012 Born and Raised. Mayer spoke to the audience, explaining he "never thought more about any one tour" than he has about this one. Still, he's "not usually nostalgic" about his past work but finally came around to wanting to celebrate them. He continued our walk down memory lane, playing a clip of himself from 2001, promoting his Room for Squares record, performing that record's hits like "Neon" and "Why Georgia."
As a John Mayer fan, you get all the deep cuts, like, "Home Life" and "Split Screen Sadness," but as a music enthusiast, you get other cool things. Like Mayer looping his baby grand piano before *finally* picking up his Silver Sky PRS to shred a solo on top. After, he explained a rule he made for himself for this tour was "no guitar loops," but he felt "looping the piano isn't against the rules!" But as all rules are meant to be broken, Mayer busted out a show-stopping custom acoustic double-neck Martin, looping the six strings as he played on the upper twelve. From letting us hear inside his psyche from his humorous anecdotes to debuting his new track "Drifitn'," the entire show felt more intimate than an arena show. Especially being the first stop on tour, Mayer certainly appeared to be still getting in the groove, still trying to recall the lyrics of some of his older tunes.
Historically one of everyone's biggest gripes with John Mayer is his narcissistic persona. During his previous Sob Rock run, he thanked the crowd for coming out because he couldn't "believe people still want to watch me play these songs." And on the first night of his Solo run, he shares a similar sentiment, showing his vulnerability as e recalls a conversation with his friend Andy Cohen, worrying if anyone would even like the show, seeming to be a fully recovered ego addict now.
He played covers like his staple, Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'," and added a homage to his other band, Dead & Company, with The Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil." But he steers clear of other more obvious choices that fans were surely waiting for, like "Daughters" and "Waiting on the World to Change." Although, if you were missing those tracks, you could stop by almost any suburban supermarket to get your fix.
LONG STORY SHORT: John Mayer captivated the crowd all by himself, from his witty anecdotes to dipping into nostalgia and performing with more emotion than ever before. New music feels closer than ever as he returns to the sounds of his roots on this tour. This is also his first-ever solo acoustic run and his first not signed to a label, proving to be his most authentic concert yet. If you're a die-hard John Mayer fan or a music aficionado, you'll leave this tour satisfied.
John Mayer Solo Tour Set List Newark NJ 3/11/2023
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Queen of California
Shouldn't Matter but It Does
In the Blood
Split Screen Sadness
Your Body Is a Wonderland
Stop This Train
You're Gonna Live Forever in Me
Changing with loop outro
The Age of Worry
Free Fallin' - Tom Petty Cover
Waitin' on the Day
In Your Atmosphere
Friend of the Devil - Grateful Dead Cover
If I Ever Get Around to Living
Edge of Desire
Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967
Born and Raised