Review and Photo by Rob GrabowskiLooking like he just rolled out of bed, the 23 year old John Mayer made his presence known at the House of Blues for two sold out shows last weekend. The atmosphere resembled that of a college keg party. Cool, casual and with plenty of beer flowin.' Mayer, with his boyish charm and youthful good looks, laid out the groundwork for an evening filled with soulful blues guitar licks and funky hooks from his CD Room for Squares.
He has an effervescent, yet subdued stage presence like that of a Chris Isaak or Dave Matthews, the latter of whom his sound and lyrics are most often compared. The radio hit "No Such Thing" created the biggest sing-along of the evening as well as the deeper cuts like "Love Song For No One" and "Back To You." While playing his acoustic guitar he showed the soul that was needed to bring the song's essence into fruition. After switching to an electric Stratocaster, his chops suddenly transformed into cultivated blues notes that would make any journeyman blues player take notice. His lack of experience, however, had the songs run together in a near monotonous tone. Chicago loves Mayer, but the rest of the country has yet to be as receptive.
With the obvious influence of Dave Matthews, it is no wonder he has come this far. Yet the test of time will tell whether this newcomer can find his own sound and groove to sustain him in this age of disposable rock stars.
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