LIVE: John Mayer @ Times Union Center, 3/31/17

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Obviously, John Mayer has a kind of soft spot for Albany’s Times Union Center. It’s where he launched his membership in the latest Grateful Dead/Not Grateful Dead spin-off/knock-off in 2015. And it’s not only where he chose to kick off his current The Search for Everything Tour, but he also rolled into town early, spending a week rehearsing at the TUC.

He was, of course, surrounded by a five-piece band of A-list players, who probably didn’t need a whole lot of rehearsal time, including keyboardist Larry Goldings, bassist Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan behind the drum kit.

But Mayer didn’t overly rely on his all-star band, and he mixed up the opening evening of his tour with a smorgasbord of sounds – opening with a five-song volley with the full band (including a pair of backing vocalists) before paring back for an acoustic break (highlighted by a rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” accompanied by guitarist David Ryan Harris).

Palladino and Jordan joined him for a three-song brace of trio tunes – featuring “Promised Land,” a tribute to the recently departed rock pioneer Chuck Berry – before returning to the full-band format for a six-song run to close the show. And he capped off the night with a final encore of “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” at the piano all by himself.

NOTE: And, yes, John Mayer will be back in the saddle with Dead & Co. again when they return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, June 20.

Steve Jordan (drums)
Pino Palladino (bass)
David Ryan Harris (guitar)
Isaiah Sharkey (guitar)
Larry Goldings (keyboards)
Tiffany Palmer (vocals)
Carlos Ricketts (vocals)

(Full Band)
I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)
Love on the Weekend
Moving On and Getting Over
Daughters (with Steve Jordan)
In Your Atmosphere (solo)
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty) (with David Ryan Harris)
(John Mayer Trio)
Who Did You Think I Was
Promised Land (Chuck Berry)
Wait Until Tomorrow (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
(Full Band)
Blues Run the Game (Jackson C. Frank)
Queen of California
Edge of Desire
Dear Marie
Why Georgia
In Repair
Stitched Up (Herbie Hancock)
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me (solo)

David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette
Bryan Lasky’s review and photographs at We All Want Someone to Shout For
Sammy Steiner’s review @ NYS Music
Peter R. Barber’s photographs at The Daily Gazette

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