Photo Credit: Frank W. Ockenfels
On Saturday night, March 11, John Mayer kicked off his Solo Acoustic tour at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. During the stacked performances, the celebrated guitarist treated his audience to a bust out of “Home Life,” last played nearly 17 years ago. The show also boasted a debut of “Driftin’” and a selection of favorable covers, including the Grateful Dead’s classic number, “Friend of the Devil,” and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
Mayer’s time in The Garden State commenced with a barn burner, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” off his 2006 studio album, Continuum. After establishing the evening’s tempo, the musician tapped into his Born and Raised archive and followed up on his first number with “Queen of California.” “Shouldn’t Matter but It Does” arrived prior to the delivery of “In the Blood.”
Video of a Jan. 16, 2002 interview for Mayer’s debut release, Room for Squares, was projected on venue screens and served as an introduction to “Neon.” Then, “Why Georgia” fused with “Split Screen Sadness” before a run-through of fan favorite “Who Says.” A high point of the night occurred next, as Mayer performed “Home Life” for the first time in front of an audience since a Dec. 22, 2005 gig at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Ga.
The aforementioned tune merged with “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” which was cut with a snippet of Lu Ann Simms’ “I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You.” “Stop This Train” rolled in next and brought a taste of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.” Then, Mayer moved to the piano from acoustic guitar and offered the first verse and chorus of “New Light” before coalescing into “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me.”
Mayer cut through “Changing” with looped piano and an electric guitar outro before kicking it back to acoustic on “The Age of Worry.” A cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” came before a live debut of “Driftin’.” Following up on another memorable moment, the billed musician added “Waitin’ on the Day” and “In Your Atmosphere” to the setlist ahead of picking up his double-neck acoustic guitar for a rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil.”
“If I Ever Get Around to Living” and “Edge of Desire” represented the final songs of Mayer’s main frame. Then, after wrapping the final Battle Studies tune, the night shifted to the artist’s encore, which began with “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967,” followed by the title track off Mayer’s 2012 studio release, Born and Raised.
After Mayer’s tour kick-off, he will proceed to his next stop at TD Garden in Boston tonight, March 13. Visit Mayer’s official website to learn more about the artist’s upcoming tour.
Scroll down to view the complete setlist from Saturday’s show.
Prudential Center – Newark, N.J.
March 11, 2023
Set I [Acoustic]: Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, Queen of California, Shouldn’t Matter But It Does, In the Blood+, Neon, Why Georgia > Split Screen Sadness, Who Says, Home Life*, Your Body Is a Wonderland&, Stop This Train%
[Piano]: New [email protected], You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me, Changing
[Acoustic]: The Age of Worry, Free Fallin’, Driftin’$, Waitin’ on the Day, In Your Atmosphere
[Double-Neck Acoustic]: Friend of the Devil, If I Ever Get Around to Living, Edge of Desire
Enc.: Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967, Born and Raised
+ Projected video from Jan. 16, 2002 “Room for Squares” Interview
* Bust out, last played in 2005
& With a snippet of “I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You,” by Lu Ann Simms
% With a snippet of “Homeward Bound,” by Simon & Garfunkel
@ First verse and chorus only
$ Performed for the first time, live debut
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