Release Date: 11.19.02
Record label: Sony Music (Video)
by: john reed
Since most of us didn't know that John Mayer even existed about a year ago, some may argue that a live DVD is a tad premature.
A live performance captured a year and a day after the WTC/Pentagon disasters on 09/12/02 at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL show the 2003 Grammy winning wunderkind in top form.
His appeal as a singer/songwriter is pretty easy to understand as Mayer delvers strong melodies and does not fall into the mostly inevitable doldrums that haunt those who primarily have an acoustic affixed to their torso.
Mayer has a sort of introspective energy that resonates well into his genre of music and he is much more compelling live than his earlier videos portray. His passion as a live performer is fairly uncommon in this day of many just "mailing in" (or pre-audio taping) their live performances.
By playing his biggest hit " No Such Thing" so early on in the set (it was his third number) seemed like it could have been a mistake, but he does round out his repertoire quite nicely and even bangs out a cover of the classic Police tune "Message in a Bottle" with a fervor that Sting wishes he still had in him (and if you caught The Police reunion at the Rock Hall of Fame a few weeks back, you witness first hand that he has mellowed beyond recognition when compared to his glory days).
Mayer is much more adept at his instrument than was previously known, but that fact is more than evident on a solo performance of "Man on the Side," which is drenched in guitar noodlings ala, Hendrix & Stevie Ray Vaughan.
So, putting out a DVD so early in his career was a tidy move and more than demonstrates to the non-faithful that Mayer is no fluke. 11-Apr-2003 1:16 PM