Today I'll attempt to explain why John Mayer is so important to me. He's the first 'proper' musician I loved when I was 14 thanks to the inclusion of No Such Thing on a mix CD that my best friend made for me. The next year I was unable to see him when he came to Brisbane because he played at the Tivoli and it was an over 18 show, but when he came out the next year in 2003 and it was general admission seating, I went with a bunch of friends and we lined up at 10am in the morning and managed to get fifth row centre.
I've been terribly spoilt having John Mayer as my first proper gigs because he changes his setlist every show and his crowd banter is great. I really didn't understand why all bands and singers didn't change their setlist every night. It's also why I don't understand why people would go and see P!nk multiple times when her setlist is exactly the same. John Mayer plays the same base songs, but will always change them up. He also dropped his now famous cover of Beyonce's XO at the Adelaide show I went to, so we got to witness it from the front row.
He's such a great lyricist. He understand the way people feel and is able to express that so beautifully in a couple of lines of lyrics. I don't understand how he can make the idea that guys like someone, and then back off, then like them again, and then back off again sound romantic, but he does in I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You).
I also literally grew up with his music. For the first few weeks after Heavier Things came out, I had to listen to Split Screen Sadness and then Wheel on my discman (yes, discman!) in the dark, just before I went to sleep. John singing "I believe that my life's gonna see, the love I give returned to me" without any backing music was the last thing I heard before I went to sleep. Wheel is my favourite John Mayer song. I've already told everyone near and dear to me that it must be played at my funeral.
John Mayer also gave me one of my best friends. We met via a JM message board back in high school and she lives in Sydney. So every time John comes out on tour we visit each other, as well and going to see John together. So far, we've been to Glastonbury, New York, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide together and I'm so glad I met her!
So that's just some sort of attempt at getting out in writing why John Mayer is so important to me. Have you got a JM equivalent? I'd love to hear your story! I think everyone has someone or something that's helped shape them as a person that they'll never give up on.
(All photos are mine taken at various John shows over the last 11 years.)