Last weekend was a musical double header for me. On Sunday night, I caught John Mayer's "The Search for Everything" tour and Monday night, I headed back to the Forum to see the Counting Crows/Matchbox Twenty's "A Brief History of Everything" tour.
They always say you need to know where you've been to know where you're going, so maybe I should have checked out "History" before beginning my "Search," but alas- I digress.
John Mayer's "The Search for Everything World Tour"
I have spent the last decade drowning in John Mayer's albums. He has provided the perfect soundtrack for this twenty-something, particularly during his Heartbreak Warfare album cycle. If I wailed "Perfectly Lonely" once, I murdered it 1,000 times alone in my car.
So when he announced the 2017 tour, my first phone call was to my best friend Rachel (pictured below from a 2010 JM concert), a fellow Mayer addict. We flew to Philadelphia to catch a show on the first leg of the tour and then scooped up tickets to his Los Angeles show soon thereafter.
But this was no normal show. We were going to get to meet John Mayer. Oh, and sit front row. We imagined all the things that could go wrong before the show- one of us could get hit by a bus, come down with the flu or her flight could get cancelled due to weather/flocks of birds in the engine.
Luck was on our side, though, and we rode to the Forum in an Uber singing rewritten lyrics, "It's a Sunday, we finally made it, we can't believe we get to see your face," presumably to the invisible Mayer seated between us.
A blurry two hours later, there he was, standing in front of us in the softest sweatshirt imaginable. We were alone with him, besides a photographer and a couple of tour personnel - they have other Meet & Greet fans stand outside the room to allow for a little more privacy- and he was....incredibly sweet.
For a career musician who is arguably one of the most respected guitarists and lyricists in music today, his demeanor was gracious and genuine, with not a trace of arrogance or aloofness.
So after chatting with John Mayer about Stranger Things (casual, I know), we headed to our front row dead center seats to begin the best musical experience of my life.
John Mayer left it all on stage for nearly two hours, dividing up the night between full band, acoustic and the Trio. He kicked off the set with "Helpless," segueing into fan favorite "Why Georgia." The set was peppered with "classic" John Mayer, like "Slow Dancing," "Vultures," and "Gravity," alongside songs off the new Search for Everything record.
Post Malone and Tommy Lee even made a surprise appearance for a collaboration on Post's "Congratulations," which has officially made its way onto my summer playlist.
Whether it's his time on the road with Dead & Company or simply the benefit of growing older, he seems more comfortable than ever showing off his roots as a blues guitarist. For the duration of the show, I became a little kid at Disney World, with eyes big as saucers and my heart strings played by the electric guitar. It's one thing to listen to John Mayer, but it takes it to another level to watch up close as he shred on the guitar.
I floated home that night, pretty sure that my search for everything may never be over, but it was nights like Sunday night that make the journey pretty damn worth it.