Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles
3.5 out of 5 stars
Release Date: July 1, 2008
You either hate him or love him. That has pretty much been the public motto with John Mayer over the course of his relatively short but accomplished musical career. If there was ever one musical statement that might sway more haters towards the middle, it is his latest double-live album Where the Light Is.
If you can give John Mayer credit for one thing it is how he has handled his career. His career is in pretty damn good shape. He has managed to sell a million-plus copies of every album he has released and has continued to challenge himself musically — taking on various musical projects, delving into other genres and continually surrounding himself with accomplished musicians of the older brass. Where the Light Is is a testament to smart career management.
Recorded on December 9, 2007 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, the concert was released as a double-album CD and also on DVD and Blueray. Where the Light Is offers the listener three separate concerts (or sets) in one. The concert features Mayer’s three recent musical incarnations: solo acoustic, The John Mayer Trio and the full eight-piece Continuum tour band.
The first five songs of the concert feature Mayer solo acoustic with guitarist Robbie MacIntosh (Pretenders, Paul McCartney) lending a hand. Highlights include an extended solo version of “Neon” and a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin.’”
The second eight-song portion of the concert is the all-out blues portion of the night featuring The John Mayer Trio. Consisting of Mayer, drummer Steve Jordan (Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton) and bassist Pino Palladino (Genesis, D’Angelo), the trio powers through a variety of Mayer originals including “Vultures,” “Good Love Is on The Way” and the 10-minute blues jam “Out of My Mind.” The majority of their set, however, is rooted in the classics including two Jimi Hendrix covers “Wait Until Tomorrow” and “Bold As Love,” as well as a cover of the Elmore James classic “Everyday I Have The Blues.”
For the third portion of the concert Mayer brings out his 8-piece Continuum tour band. During this portion the band runs though Mayer’s hits catalog including “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” “Why Georgia,” and the 9-minute “Gravity.”
With 22 tracks and three different bands, there has got to be at least one song that Mayer-haters will enjoy. After all, I was able to find more than a few.