Thursday, July 05, 2007

John Mayer is poop

First off, Happy 4th of July to my U.S.-based readers!

It was a hot one here in Chicago today, but my friends and I braved the sweltering sun and made our way back to the Taste of Chicago for yet another concert - John Mayer. I highly doubted that he would top Kenny Rogers' performance from last Saturday - and I was right.

I should state upfront that I don't like John Mayer - I never understood what all the fuss was about with him. "Your Body is a Wonderland" is a good (albeit cheesy) song, but I haven't liked anything else he's done. I do not think he is good-looking, and he is obviously dumb since he dated Jessica Simpson. People who know more about music than I do have assured me that he is a really good guitar player (evidenced by the fact that Buddy Guy came out to play "Sweet Home Chicago" with him during the encore), so I guess that's more than some other popular singers can say.

So why go to the concert? The short answer is - to continue to avoid errands and tasks that I didn't want to do on my random day off of work in the middle of the week. I just wanted to relax, and since I don't DESPISE John Mayer, I figured it would be a good way to pass some time. Plus, then I could get another deep dish slice of pizza at the Taste (it's like a siren's call to me - beckoning me back for more).

I arrived at the Taste alone and needed to find some friends who set up a spot on the lawn there hours earlier. When I stepped foot on the grounds, I immediately knew I was dealing with a whole different scene than I'd been a part of last weekend. It was PACKED. And I mean the kind of crowdedness where you just can't even move, and people start getting crabby because they're hot and sweating all over each other, and somebody's trying to push a baby stroller through the crowd, and some idiot brought his poor dog and everyone shakes their heads at him, and someone's blowing cigarette smoke in your face, and your feet get stepped on and your heels get clipped and you start wondering why you left your house - that kind of crowded.

By the time I found my friends, I was pouring down sweat (and I don't sweat easily - which is not some weird badge of honor - just a fact). There was no way to avoid the sun, and I was immensely thankful that I had thought to grab my hat and sunscreen before heading out. But the sun was so strong that I kept feeling like I was getting burned, so by the end of the concert a few hours later, I looked like Casper the Ghost's sister - I had piled so much thick sunscreen on. At one point late in the concert, everyone started cheering, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized that everyone was whooping it up because THE SUN WENT BEHIND A CLOUD. *That's* how hot it was.

So back to the concert... the first opening act, two guitarists with a Spanish flair who go by Rodrigo Y Gabriela, were actually the highlight of the night. They were already jamming away by the time I got there - and I'm usually not a fan of music without lyrics (shallow, I realize, but true) - and even I thought it was good. The second opening act was Robert Randolph & The Family Band, who I was familiar with because of their single "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With That," which I like. Their set was pretty upbeat and sounded good, but I was in a heat coma at that point and just sat there, still, trying to will myself to feel cooler.

John Mayer finally came on, dressed in cargo pants, a white t-shirt and sporting aviator shades. I will say that he looks much better now that his hair is shorter (and he's also better-looking with his sunglasses ON). He kicked off his set with that "I want to run through the halls of my high school... I want to scream at the TOP OF MY LUNGS!" song - so I thought perhaps the rest of his performance would be promising. But alas, it got much worse - what followed were a lot of slow songs that all sounded the same and just brought the mood of the entire crowd down. Way to kill the celebratory vibe, man!

I also realized very quickly that I don't know many John Mayer songs, because I only recognized that one he started off with, "Waiting on the World to Change," and "Dreaming with a Broken Heart" (and that last one is only because it way played on the radio during a recent cab ride).

What's that, you say? He didn't play "Your Body is a Wonderland?"

No, he didn't!??! What's up with that? He's probably embarrassed by that song now, especially since everyone thinks he wrote it about ex-girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt (though he didn't - he wrote it years before they started dating). Whatever the reason, it was lame that he didn't play it - I hate when artists try to deny the songs that made them popular. Back in the day when the Dave Matthews Band became big, they wouldn't play "What Would You Say" at concerts - apparently out of protest because it had been played on the radio so much. Guess what, guys? That's why you're famous - play the damn songs people want to hear!!!

At least I didn't pay for the John Mayer concert - God Bless America!

- e


Wanders said...

Thank you for giving me the courage, e, to dislike John Mayer.

Erika (aka "e") said...

Wanders -

And thank YOU for clueing me in to the "title" vs "alt" tag in HTML - I use a Mac as well (recently made the switch from PC) so I was very frustrated that I could no longer see the picture captions since as you know, I am quite proud of them. ; )

- e

maikib said...

agreed. he sucks. i saw him perform at bryant park in nyc with dido a couple of years ago. he was dismal... couldn't sing a note and was so obviously in love with his guitar, was completely oblivious of the audience. plus, it poured rain, so he cut his show short (emmm... he was under a cover... we were the ones standing soaked in the rain...). no fun.