On the eve of the release of his new album, Paradise Valley, it was clear John Mayer was heading in a new direction. He no longer donned that wide-brimmed hat but instead embraced a headscarf. Questionable headwear choice maybe, but his fashion never outshines his music and besides a few thank you’s and a brief explanation of his new song “Dear Marie,” it was his music that was the main attraction.
Mayer headed to the Ed Sullivan Theater Monday night (Aug. 19) for a 70-minute Live on Letterman performance of material old and new. As he walked onto the famous stage in his blue jeans and peace-signed blue jacket, fans were greeted by the familiar chords of “Queen of California,” the opening track to his last release, 2012’s Born and Raised.
While he played several tracks off the new album, several songs from Born and Raised, Continuum fan favorite “Slow Dancing In a Burning Room” also appeared in the set. Having to cancel his 2012 Born and Raised Tour after being put on mandatory vocal rest due to granulomas in his throat, this was the first time many in attendance heard the songs live. Tracks like the bluesy “Something Like Olivia” showed off Mayer as a guitar virtuoso while “The Age of Worry,” also off Born and Raised, showcased the more country-leaning side of the singer with pedal steel and mandolin features.
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