Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Twice as much ain't twice as good

Back when I was a groupie -- we'll pretend I'm not now -- I used to write what I called the "obligatory concert post" (see 1, 2, and 3) after a John Mayer concert. Maybe this is it. Maybe not.

Well. I guess it is.

In a way, this was the least exciting concert yet. coughcoughmoreconcertstocomecoughcough That is not to say anything negative at all about the experience. Part of it is that I hadn't had the chance to psych myself up for it. I was more concerned with safely making the 400-mile trip to Muncie, IN. With that finally behind me, it was less than twenty-four hours until show time, and it still hadn't sunk in.

The other factor contributing to this lessened sense of excitement, I think, is a sheer sense of maturity. Holly and I have individually done a heck of a lot of maturing over the past two years since we dropped off the tour circuit. Of course, John Mayer had dropped off the tour circuit, too, to do himself some maturing, which is so incredibly evident -- through his musical finesse and his lyrical explorations -- in the new album that went on-sale today. Like he says in the improvisational introduction to "Something's Missing" on the John Mayer Trio album, "It's only music now." If you need concrete evidence, he's played fourteen shows thus far on the tour and not once has "Your Body is a Wonderland" appeared on a setlist.

I think he's trying to say something. And I like what he's saying, too.

Anyway, the show was beautiful. And I'm not going to pretend that I didn't scream like a twelve year old -- or a trashy forty-year-old woman with rose tattoos, alternatively -- every time he went into jam-mode or announced a set change. But this was the first time I wasn't holding a camera in front of my face throughout the whole show. (Though I would have if I could have. And Holly did the picture-taking this time, anyway.) I just held onto my twelve-dollar beer with one hand and tapped the beat out on my chest with the other as I sang along.

He didn't play one of my favorite songs, though, one he has played on every show of the tour except ours -- "Gravity." (It just made a very poignant appearance on the wonderful show House, by the way.) When that track started playing this afternoon after I bought the record, even though I've heard it a hundred times, I had cold chills. It's that powerful, and I was quite disappointed when he neglected to play it. However, he did dazzle us -- and redeem himself -- in the encore with surprise performances of the throwback tunes "Victoria" and "Love Soon," albeit a fragmented jumble of forgotten lyrics.

There are two types of love. The one that fades in the event of prolonged absence, and upon rekindling, there is no hope because the flame has gone for good. Then there's the one that endures separation, and when one returns to the ashes, the flames jump up and dance just as wildly and even a little bit more brightly, as if no time had passed at all.

Call me crazy for likening the last one to music. That's okay.

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