Photo Credit: Danny Clinch
Last night, Thursday, September 29, John Mayer landed on a solo debut of the Grateful Dead’s “Terrapin Station” start, known as “Lady With a Fan.” The first time performance took place at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla., taking the eighth slot during the initial acoustic frame, which also featured a cover of the Bruce Springsteen original “Im On Fire.”
After hitting his stride on Room for Squares cut “Neon,” the gentle, recognizable acoustic chords of “Lady With a Fan” enveloped the Sunshine State venue as the lone musician worked through the brief instrumentals that unfold into the first verse: “Let my inspiration flow/ In token lines suggesting rhythm/ That will not forsake me/ ‘Til my tale is told and done.”
The stripped-down cover was a far cry from the jammed-out iterations played by the musician during his Dead & Company tenure. Rather than supply the number with a pulsating backbeat, electric solos and fast keys, Mayer remained faithful to the intent of his solo acoustic tour, allowing his most powerful tool to excel in the trajectory of the Robert Hunter-penned story: his voice.
Rather than transition into the whole “Terrapin Station Suite,” Mayer focused on the first part of the 1977 epic, playing with the carefully crafted lyrics while accentuating missing instrumentals with playful harmonies crooned in a mimicry fashion. Seamlessly, the musician transitioned the Dead cover into “The Age of Worry” off his 2012 album Born and Raised. Scroll down to watch last night’s “Lady With a Fan” cover.