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Any Given Thursday (Live in Birmingham)

John Mayer

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Album Review

Room for Squares was released in summer 2001, and John Mayer toured in support of it for more than a year after. The live Any Given Thursday, then, filled the gap until Mayer's proper follow-up could be recorded; it also capitalized on his tumbleweed of stardom, which was still rolling through 2003 due to a Grammy win and strong word of mouth between campuses about his live show. Any Given Thursday was recorded at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL, on September 12, 2002. In addition to Mayer's guitar and vocals, it features bassist David LaBruyere, drummer Stephen Chopek, and guitarist/keyboardist Michael Chaves. No matter how great it was when it happened, a live document always has the potential for disaster when released for public consumption. Thursday succeeds, but it does so because Mayer's music is an unthreatening mixture of college rock and wide-eyed adolescent lyricism. Like Dave Matthews, Mayer makes music that appeals to everyone, goes great with beer, and can be played with relative ease by any college-town cover band. He's handsome, and his lyrics say everything that real boyfriends never will. Live, each vocal trill and guitar flourish is greeted with Beatlesque screaming from his largely female following. Singalong moments during "Love Song for No One," "Why Georgia," and the sticky bubblegum love pop of "Your Body Is a Wonderland" prove this; during each, the "B-ham choir" (as Mayer characterizes the crowd) sounds like a thousand pretty birds harmonizing on his words.

Biography

Born: 16 October 1977 in Bridgeport, CT

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After making his introduction as a sensitive, acoustic-styled songwriter on 2001's Room for Squares, John Mayer steadily widened his approach over the subsequent years, encompassing everything from blues-rock to adult contemporary in the process. Arriving during the tail end of teen pop's heyday, he crafted pop music for a more discerning audience, spiking his songcraft with jazz chords and literate turns of phrase. The combination proved to be quite popular, as Room for Squares went triple platinum...
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Any Given Thursday (Live in Birmingham), John Mayer
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