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Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los Angeles

John Mayer

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Album Review

Recorded at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California, Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles finds singer/songwriter and guitarist John Mayer performing in three different band settings: acoustic trio, electric trio, and large ensemble. As such, the evening works as a nice representation of Mayer's work beginning with the 2003 album Heavier Things and continuing through his creative reinvention as a modern electric blues artist with 2005's Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert and finally his smash Grammy-winning 2006 effort, Continuum. Essentially, the concert is designed to showcase Mayer's ability to move from melodic soft rock and pop to folky solo numbers and rockin' blues. Generally, the conceit works and the concert does shine a light, so to speak, on Mayer's virtuosic musical chops. However, segmenting this concert into such specific aesthetic sounds loses some of the diverse flow a Mayer concert usually has. It should be noted that the concert is also available on DVD and Blu-ray, where you get see each band and appreciate the diversity among the ensembles. That said, for fans of Mayer the songwriter, you really can't lose, as the guy is hard-pressed to come up with a bad song, and tracks like the fan favorite "Daughters" and the bittersweet "Stop This Train" really benefit from the acoustic reading Mayer gives them here. Similarly, by putting "'Who Do You Think I Was," "Vultures," and his inspired take on Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love" in the middle electric trio section, Mayer builds the energy of the concert, perfectly setting up the pop/blues cornucopia of the final large ensemble set. Beginning with the hit "'Waiting on the World to Change," Mayer's last set (on disc two) is really the set most fans will gravitate toward, as it finds Mayer and his backing group of stellar sideman diving headlong into such soulful numbers as "Why Georgia" and "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)," while also making room for such bluesy nuggets as his Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired reworking of the Ray Charles hit "I Don't Need No Doctor" (a number heard on John Scofield's That's What I Say with Mayer as guest). Admittedly sprawling and ambitious, Where the Light Is is nonetheless a dynamic showcase for Mayer, who never fails to shine.

Customer Reviews

Wow

I wasn't a jm fan until I downloaded this recording about four days ago on kind of a whim. Didn't think I liked him at all actually, but a friend whose musical opinions I trust challenged me to give this live record a try.
The sounds he can coax out of a guitar are amazing. I play and am decent, but wow... This man can rock.
Also, the sound quality of this recording is fantastic...
I am completely shocked at what I'm hearing here... How could I have been so blind??? Lol.
Anyway, jm has a new fan...
I can't imagine any other way to experience this musical style other than live. I will be attending a show ASAP too... Me and his 10-billion-strong teenage girl fan base. Geez. Seriously though, GET THIS RECORD.

A great combination

In this album you get all the sides of John Mayer. The Singer/songwriter (Acoustic Set), The Rock/Blues trio (John Mayer Trio Set) and the guitar player with the whole-band set.

Mayer sounds good live, and with his incredible guitar skills and the well-written songs it's just perfect.

Favorites: Free Fallin' (Awesome cover), In Your Atmosphere (New song!), Good Love Is On The Way (One of his best songs ever. have no idea why it's not one of his "offical"songs), Heart Of Life, Gravity and I'm Gonna Find Another You.

Incredible.

This is John Mayer's greatest live album. You get this awesome combination of his heartfelt lyrics and incredible bluesy guitar riffs. I've been a fan since the day I was born and there is nothing better than seeing Mayer perform live. I've teared up at every concert of his that I've attended. If you really appreciate his music like I do, you'd understand. It's overwhelming and there are not many artists that do that to me. There are so many people that only hear his pop songs and the oh-so-sappy "Your Body Is A Wonderland" and just assume that his music is for teenage girls who drool over him. Not even close. Mayer is a musicial genius and one of the best guitar player and most sincere lyricists of our time.

Biography

Born: October 16, 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...
Full Bio