Review by: Hannah Vaccaro | Photos by: Conner Schuh | April 8, 2023 | Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA
John Mayer began his SOLO tour in the middle of March 2023. After announcing his spring tour dates, he later announced his fall tour dates starting in October as an expansion and acknowledgement of the high demand. The success from his Sob Rock tour last year helped kickstart this special tour that die-hard fans have been waiting for.
Joining John for six of his shows was Alec Benjamin. Alec immediately showcased his charm and genuine personality as he introduced himself and thanked John for this opportunity. Alec shared a story in the middle of his set about how his favorite teacher took him to go see John Mayer years ago, and now a dream for him has become a reality, a theme that is woven throughout the concert.
With over 16 million monthly listeners on Spotify and an impressive storytelling talent, Alec was made for opening such an artist as John Mayer. With an acoustic guitar, a piano, and his friend, Dylan, on the electric guitar, Alec played his hit songs, including “Let Me Down Slowly,” “Water Fountain,” and “Devil Doesn’t Bargain.” His wit and silly sense of humor while introducing the songs had the audience beaming.
As the tour is appropriately named, Mayer went full force into performing his own top hits as a one-man band for this laid back tour. Even with being the only one on stage, Mayer fulfilled and satisfied the sold-out audience with his talent and array of instruments that kept fans on their toes.
Mayer set the chill tone right off the bat. After coming on stage in the blackout lights, he made himself comfortable on a cushioned seat and opened his set with his hit “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.” Fans caught on to the relaxed state of mind as everyone mimicked John’s mellowness while sitting back and admiring the smooth vocals.
John’s stripped back, acoustic set was full of 25 songs, switching from hit to hit among his albums from over the years. Between each song was a short lighting transition as he traded instruments – an acoustic guitar to adding a harmonica to going to the piano to the impressive double-headed acoustic. John made sure to check in with the audience and feed them comedic lines and sarcasm.
A special element to this show was the interview clips added in the first and second half of the show. The first was from January 16th, 2002 in his “Room for Squares” interview, where fans immediately are enveloped with a nostalgic feeling as they listen to young John daydreaming of having a tour where he would simply sing through his hits back-to-back. The second clip was of an interview for his 2006 album “Continuum," provoking the same nostalgic feeling. As we see, his dream became reality.
John’s impressive guitar solos and modulated voice pleased the fans. John made it rather easy for the audience to admire his talent, hard-work, and ultimate dream for what he wanted this tour to be: a comfortable, safe place to enjoy good music, almost imitating a cozy living room. John’s charisma and charm never failed to make the audience laugh and sing along. You can view his full setlist below.
SET LIST FOR GOLDEN 1
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Love on the Weekend
I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)
Shouldn’t Matter but It Does
No Such Thing
The Age of Worry
Driftin’ (new song)
In Your Atmosphere
You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me
Stop this Train
Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey
Your Body is a Wonderland
Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967
In the Blood
(Double Neck Acoustic)
Ooh La La (Faces cover)
If I Ever Get Around to Living
Edge of Desire
All I Want Is to Be With You
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)