Monday, August 06, 2007

John Mayer + Ben Folds

Once again rose from my cave and ventured out into world to take in some live music. Sunday night's performance? John Mayer with Ben Folds and James Morrison.

I should point out that prior to this show, I was a much bigger Ben Folds fan than I was a John Mayer fan. Nothing against John Mayer, as I have all his albums, but the only live recording I had of him was in support of his first record and didn't show off a lot of guitar work. Ben Folds, on the other hand, I'd already seen twice and both times were treated to an incredibly talented performer with a lot of personality and a great sense of humor. After seeing the show, I will do my best to see John Mayer whenever he comes to town as not only is he an incredibly talented performer with a lot of personality and a great sense of humor, but that dude can play the hell out of a guitar. Holy shit, can he lay it down.

James Morrison had a great voice and a tight band, but alas I spent most of his set trying to get a t-shirt in the right size, so I can't comment on him. He seemed pretty good and he's sold like 2 million record in Europe, so obviously he's doing something right.

I feel somewhat bad for Ben Folds because, as the opening band, he wasn't awarded the same attention and interest that the headliner gets. This is a shame, because he did a great set with lots of material covering his work with the Ben Folds 5 and his solo stuff. Oddly enough, he toured with only a drummer and a bassist, which is the exact makeup of the BF5, but they weren't the BF5. They only sounded exactly like the BF5. Whatever. It was a good time, and I did my best to represent and sing along and such, but it's hard to do so when most of the people around you aren't paying any fucking attention.

Thankfully, with the exception of the text message addict next to me, people gave John Mayer their full attention. His set list was mostly from his latest two solo albums, which makes sense as they're better tuned for displaying his mad guitar chops. He could have had some stuff from his Trio album, but as I don't have that album, I have no idea. There was a nice range of material and the crowd loved every minute of it.

This was probably one of the best produced shows I've ever been to. The lighting was awesome, which is saying something because I usually don't notice stuff like that. There were 3 screens behind the band, made to look like windows, that they used to show the band members, or JM's face, or his guitar work. They weren't big, jumbotron screens, so you didn't get the feeling that they were there to help out those in the cheap seats, more that they were part of the set. It was all done really well. His touring band is quite talented and everyone got a chance to show off.

Having never ventured to that part of downtown for a show, I was hesitant about being able to find parking, however by being willing to walk 10 minutes to the venue, I was able to save 10 bucks. This also gave me the opportunity to walk through Olympic Centennial Park at night, which is quite a sight. Unfortunately, it's easier to get into the park at 11:15 PM than it is to get out of it, so I had to do some creative fence hopping to escape. Then I was treated to the sight of my fellow parking lot customers tearing down the gate blocking exit from the lot when it dropped and locked into place inexplicably. Atlanta residents are many things, but patient is not one of them.

This now makes 5 shows that I've gone and seen since moving to Atlanta, which is more than I ever saw in 5 years of living in VA, if memory serves. While I still prefer to go with other people, I'm learning to enjoy going by myself, and take the opportunity to stoke the bitter flames of resentment that I feel whenever I'm surrounded by other people, all of whom are arguably beneath me. I mean, for fuck's sake, turn your goddamned phone off for 2 hours. It's a fucking rock show.


Here are some crappy pictures to commemorate the event.

This is James Morrison's set. He's there, somewhere. I think he had a guitar.

After Morrison's set, as they were setting up for Ben Folds. It's just a reference shot to show where I was. The seat was pretty good, as it should have been as one ticket was like 72 bucks. Stupid fucking convenience fees.

Ben Folds's set. He's on the left, in front of the piano. Yes, there's a piano there. Jesus, my phone's camera sucks.

John Mayer, singing the first few lines to "Why Georgia, Why?"

John Mayer and the band in full swing. John is in front of that super nova in the center of the stage. You can somewhat see the screens I was talking about. Somewhat. I'm such a shitty photographer.


Bones said...

It's scary how similar your music taste is to my wife's. She was bummed yesterday because she got a last minute invite from her sister to go to the show and couldn't. Last minute invites not giving people ample time to clear days off from work and such. Quite the genious my sister-in-law is.

Booster MPS said...

I love Ben as well as John. John is clearly one of the most amazing guitar players of his he Derek Trucks, nah, but talented just the same. Now if there were not so many screaming teenage girls you could actually hear the music

Greg said...

I used to like the song "3x5", but I think I've decided that this is my new favorite John Mayer bit.