Mayer pleases fans at Indy performance

Photo/Chris Shaw, LiveNationPhoto/Chris Shaw, LiveNation
Maggie Nixon
Staff Writer

Ten musicians took the stage for three hours. But it was one man who captivated his nearly sold-out audience in Indianapolis as John Mayer was able to prove why his fans adore him and why he’s been a success in the industry for more than 20 years. The Grammy-award winning Mayer has embarked on a 27-stop solo summer tour that will see him in several areas throughout the Midwest in coming days and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse was one of those stops Monday.

He was a man of few words – outside the songs he was singing accompanying his guitar mastery - for the first 10 songs. Mayer kicked off the night with Helpless from his ninth studio album, 2017’s The Search for Everything. Vultures, from his 2006 Continuum album, was next with his well-known 2001 hit, No Such Thing to follow.

Mayer, who addressed his fans after a handful of other songs (Who Says; Love on the Weekend; Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey and Paper Dolls), said if he talked less during a concert, it leaves more time for songs, “So this song is next,” he laughed as his people roared and sang along to I Don’t Trust Myself.

While Mayer is well-known for his emotional, coffee-shop vibe and songs to swell the heart, he and his concert band really rocked out at times. Queen of California led to Edge of Desire before a short intermission. It was evident from the get-go that Mayer was all about the music, stripped down to a minimal stage with a colorful and video-filled background, many times showing the singer/songwriter and his band.

Ten songs in, Mayer’s break gave fans enough time to refill their drinks and stretch their legs before he put on a marathon two-hour show of non-stop musical goodness. He delighted fans with Daughters and Waiting on the World to Change, but his version of Tom Petty’s Free Falling was a sing-along of epic proportions. He followed with Rosie, Moving On and Getting Over, Dreaming With a Broken Heart and In the Blood before speaking again between songs.

“They say you have building years,” Mayer said. “They can’t all be building years. Some of them have to be ‘enjoy yourself years’ too. Are you enjoying yourselves?”

“This is my note to self,” he said, as he started If I Ever Get Around to Living.

Mayer, who doubles as the Grateful Dead’s lead in Dead & Company and just finished a 19-date tour, again addressed his fans by stating he hasn’t been angry at someone for 20 years. “Don’t let anxiety enter other realities,” he said, as he briefly covered Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open the Door. He transitioned into The Age of Worry, emphasizing, “this part is important,” to the lyrics: “Give your heart then change your mind, You're allowed to do it, 'Cause God knows it's been done to you, And somehow you got through it.”

Mayer’s powerful guitar playing was complimented by a backing band who at times, took center stage. Mayer’s guitarist Isaiah Sharkey jammed a crowd-pleasing solo and Mayer’s Gravity performance lasted almost double album-time as he and his band continued to rock through to the end of the concert. His backing singers added powerful personal touches, before an encore of Born and Raised and New Light.

Mayer let everyone in Indy know, “Because of you guys, this (tour) is the best it’s ever felt. It means the world to me.”