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John Mayer - PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh (A Concert Review)

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

John Mayer – PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA – May 5, 2022

Although this performance was a rescheduled date from back in February, the seats were filled to the nosebleeds at PPG Paints Arena. The stage goes pitch black as the interluding music fades and roars fill the entire stadium and start to crescendo to an intense level in anticipation for the guitar hero of this generation and 2000s heartthrob, John Mayer and his most recent tour return after a three-year break and a four-year interlude without a new album. The concert opens with a prolonged instrumental lead into “Last Train Home” the single off of Mayer’s newest album Sob Rock, and as the stage bursts into very aesthetically 1980’s pastelle lighting illuminating the front man and his band, Mayer stands front with his signature Gray PRS Silver Sky in hand, the crowd follows with an eruption of cheers and screams.

The stage design and backlighting were absolutely astounding. The backdrop was made up of two screens, one longer and more slanted than the other, which in the opening projected to neon outlined boxes. Using this screen layout, it allowed the graphic designer to create a realistic 3D background with literal depth. While playing “Till The Right One Comes,” the screens, once again using neon outlining, showed a simplistic corner of a room which featured a picture commemorating Mayer’s late friend, comedian Bob Saget, on the wall next to window curtains. Later in the show the screens were used to show a close up of John Mayer’s well-known emotive stage faces and unbelievably fast hands on the guitar.

John Mayer’s fans did not disappoint as an audience. Mayer told the crowd how an audience like this made him love his songs so much more when he can see the appreciation for his art. A beautiful moment followed when Mayer started playing his hit song “Gravity,” flashlights filled the stadium like stars and were accompanied by the echo of the crowd singing the lyrics along with the famous guitarist and these moments are why we as audience members go to concerts.

As to be expected by an artist on the level of John Mayer, he gave local yinzers and fans who drove hours to see him quite the show of dazzling lights and projected scenery, unbelievable guitar mastery, moments to let his bandmates shine as the truly talented musicians they all are through his wonderful discography of Folk, Blues, Country, Pop, RnB and of course, his witty stage banter with his adoring fans. Mayer marvelously has reinvigorated new life into his nearly 20-year-old music and let his brand-new work shine. If you ever get the chance to see John in concert, don’t brush it off thinking you’re just going to see the guy who wrote “Your Body is A Wonderland.” Do yourself a favor and go experience this truly fantastic music that has accumulated since 1999 and see one of the greatest guitarists of the past two decades.

Megan Cramer

Copyright ©2022 All rights reserved. Posted: May 7, 2022.

Photos by George Seth Wagner © 2022


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