One of the most gifted singer-songwriters of his generation arrived in the Queen City this past Tuesday as John Mayer brought his “The Search For Everything” Tour to the PNC Music Pavilion. John is not only a talented songwriter but a truly amazing guitarist and has a busy schedule touring solo as well as with Dead and Company and The John Mayer Trio. Mayer is a unique entity in today’s cookie cutter world of pop music and is a bit James Taylor meets Eric Clapton with a hint of Jimi Hendrix thrown in for good measure. His soulful music cuts across genres encompassing rock, pop, folk, country, and the blues touching audiences around the world.

Emotions were running high on this hot and humid Charlotte evening as a crowd of more than 20,000 fans streamed into the PNC Music Pavilion awaiting a night of musical magic as only Mayer can provide. The violence that had erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia and the political aftermath was on the minds of many with Mayer himself taking to Twitter earlier in the day to express his dismay. Shouts of “Bring the healing John” and “Heal us John” could be heard as the venue lights went down and Mayer took the stage. His set opened with his full band and “Helpless” from his latest album “The Search For Everything” as the audience let the music take over. John asked the crowd to give him a minute as he would be playing songs from seven albums and four different styles and even threw in a snippet of James Taylor’s “Carolina In My Mind” and a cover of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock
of the Bay. Mayer’s talent is something that must be witnessed in a live setting to be truly appreciated and his band is top notch. The next part of the evening was an acoustic set which ended with what is probably his most well known song ‘Your Body
Is a Wonderland.” Mayer even stopped halfway through the song to address the guys in Grateful Dead t-shirts in the audience jokingly telling them that he knows the song is more popular with the women and to hang in there, it’s almost over. Before
transitioning from the acoustic portion of the evening, John took a very brief moment to address the political issues of the day simply stating “This has all been a lot,” and keeping it at that.

It was time for more music and the John Mayer Trio portion of the evening was on kicking off with some blues and a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads.” During the evening, Mayer was changing guitars so fast that it was impossible to keep up.
He also segues into some serious solos at various points with a memorable solo during “Vultures.” Vocally he was in top form despite the heat and humidity. After closing out the Trio set with “Who Did You Think I Was,” it was time to go back to a
full band setting. Highlights of this segment were “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” during which many couples were dancing and swaying along to the music. Mayer chose to close out this session with the poignant “Waiting on the World to Change” which
was an appropriate ending considering earlier events of the day. After a brief break , John and the band returned for a two song encore that had the crowd on their feet not wanting the night to be over.

It was an incredible evening and break from real life living in the moment with Mayer’s music. Alas, all good things must come to an end and this evening was no exception. After a roller coaster of musical emotions and highs and lows, the magic was over leaving fans to cherish the memories until next time.

 

Set List:

Full Band:

Helpless

Moving On and Getting Over

Something Like Olivia

Who Says

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding cover)

Why Georgia/No Such Thing

 

Acoustic:

 

Emoji of a Wave

Dreaming with a Broken Heart/Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1969

Your Body Is a Wonderland

 

Trio:

 

Crossroads (Robert Johnson cover)

Vultures

Who Did You Think I Was

 

Full Band Reprise:

 

Queen of California

Rosie

In The Blood

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

Waiting On The World To Change

 

Encore:

 

Stop This Train

Gravity

 

Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Kim Shiver form Livenation for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978. My top five live shows ever are: 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome. 2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours. 3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 - The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked! 4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live. 5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.