Taken from Vancouver Free Press (Apr 02, 2010)
John Mayer's Vancouver fans get their money's worth at GM Place
At GM Place on Thursday, April 1
by Sarah Rowland
Judging by the crowdâ€™s initial apathy at GM Place on Thursday, catching Michael Franti & Spearheadâ€™s opening set was little more than an afterthought for most John Mayer fans. But they didnâ€™t know what was in store for them. For the first 10 minutes or so, the nearly sold-out crowd seemed a little nonplussed with the folk fest favouritesâ€”despite the fact Franti and friends were busting out some funky-assed, reggae-infused Brazilian beats on stage. They wouldnâ€™t jump when asked to jump nor would they bother to lift a limb when asked to raise their arms in the air and wave â€™em like they just didnâ€™t care. It was almost as though the only reason ticketholders got there early was to get all settled in their seats before Mayer hit the stage.
But Michael Franti would have none of it. Barefoot and boundless, he won over every Garage attendee one fan at a time. After a few thankless songs, he leapt off the stage and sang most of the remaining set side by side with anyone and everyone in the crowd. And weâ€™re not talking about simply high-fiving VIPs in the front row. He was up in the stands, circling the floor and sharing vocal duties with some unlikely participants, including a few of the more conservative soft rock fans that Mayer tends to drawâ€”which was certainly entertaining to watch. One minute theyâ€™re checking their watches in anticipation of hearing â€śYour Body is a Wonderlandâ€ť and other pseudo-sensual Mayer hits, and the next the minute theyâ€™re dancing arm in arm with a dreaded, barefoot, infectiously happy hippy. It was awesome!
Itâ€™s hard to beat that kind of egoless, free-spirited energy. And to his credit, Mayer tried. And the women who â€śheart JMâ€ť (we know this because they wear â€śI heart JMâ€ť T-shirts) certainly appreciated his efforts. If all their swooning, swaying, and starry-eyed adoration were any indication, these ladies were in blue-eyed blues heaven.
One woman held up a sign stating how she travelled several thousand miles â€śjust for a kiss.â€ť I wanted to give girlfriend the headâ€™s up about Mayerâ€™s tendency to kiss and tell. But it turns out, I didnâ€™t have to. He shut her down, citing conversion confusion: â€śSorry, ladies, Iâ€™m gonna need that in kilometres.â€ť Yes, the Playboy blabbermouth can still crack the occasional funnyâ€”Iâ€™ll give him that.
Anyway, good for them. Save for the fact he didnâ€™t do â€śYour Body is a Wonderlandâ€ť, itâ€™s safe to say his devoted female fans got their moneyâ€™s worth. And good for Mayer, too. These ladies are, after all, his bread and butter.
Bad for the rest us, though. We were crashing hard from our Franti high. Mayerâ€™s â€ślong and large musical excursionsâ€ť were a bit of comedown after our high-energy lovefest with Spearhead. Sure, Mayer treated his fans to plenty of hits (â€śHeartbreak Warfareâ€ť, â€śWaiting on the World to Changeâ€ť etc., etc.), but once youâ€™ve experienced the unabashed joy of Frantiâ€™s first and only hit, â€śSay Hey (I Love You)â€ť live, everything else seems kind of pretentious in comparison.
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