Our theatre guru, David Thomas took a break from the West End last week to enjoy a night of all-American country-rock at The O2 with John Mayer. Here’s what he made of the performance…
Weaving a musical path from Hendrix-like guitar solos to Country and Western Ballads, this boy can play, sing, strut and play a very soulful harmonica –and still remain engagingly shy.
“I don’t do speaking” (links between songs) he announced early on, and frankly he should have stuck to his guns. His first foray into audience interaction fell rather flat, even for his very dedicated fans. The second attempt revolved around a banner in the crowd which confused him so much that he momentarily broke from his song and the band had to cover for him.
“I usually get banners saying ‘I want to have your baby,’ but this one confuses the Hell out of me. What is it saying..? ‘There’s a great… player here guitar you John????’ I guess English is probably not your first language, but I thank you for your message”.
No one minded, especially the true fans (who seemed to be aged from eighteen to fifty-eight). They had come to see a very gifted musician, not a Stand-Up. They had filled The O2 on a Monday night, and had contributed to one particularly beautiful number with the accompaniment of swaying cell-phones that made the arena appear like a magically candle-lit Majorcan cave.
My guests, all connoisseurs, were treated to a really first class performance (and first class service from our O2 Host Leroy). My daughter and her friends (all wannabe rock stars) were very impressed –not an easy thing to achieve let me tell you. As for me, I’d had a pig of a day up to that point, but Mayer and his band soon put that behind me
There were a LOT of smiling faces as we strolled back towards the station, and then a fair bit of laughter as the guy with the “confusing” banner posed for photographs. Unfurled, the banner read:
“There’s A Great Guitar Player Coming Here After You John”.
Which for all I know may have been true. Bu would they be able to deliver as great night out as John Mayer? Unlikely, I think.