On this day five years ago, I saw John Mayer play at the Royal Albert Hall, his second of a two night stint at the venue. At the time, it was my third time seeing him live, and even now after nineteen shows, this still remains as my favourite ever concert of his.
I had attended the first RAH show on the 17th, and though it was a great gig, I personally thought this performance on the 18th outshone the first by far. Firstly, the atmosphere was miles better - the crowd seemed more invested in the gig, everyone was up on their feet singing along, and just generally more into the music than the first night. I was lucky enough to be third row centre on the 18th, so being this close to the action would inevitably make for an amazing crowd atmosphere as well.
However, it was the setlist and overall musicianship of Mayer and his live band that made this such a unique performance. As Continuum had been released the previous year, Mayer's tours around this time were based mainly around the album, and this show was no exception. 'Belief' and 'I'm Gonna Find Another You' were among my favourites to be heard from Continuum that evening, but as I listen back to the recording now, I realise what a fantastic version of 'I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)' he played. Thanks to the sublime extended intros and addition of Bob Reynolds on sax, this track grew to become one of my favourites to hear live on the Continuum tours, and the version from this show is a fine example of this.
Despite this being a Continuum centric concert, Mayer did play a good mix of tracks from Room For Squares and Heavier Things. At the time, his European setlists were not as adventurous as his American shows, which seemed to feature more album tracks and rare songs from earlier in his career. I was pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of 'Your Body Is A Wonderland', which although a big hit, was (and still is!) hard to come by on a European setlist.
"This is a song about waking up feeling beautiful" Mayer said just before he played 'Clarity'. As my all time favourite Mayer track, this was my highlight of the evening, and at only three songs into the performance, it set the scene for what was a truly memorable show.
'Waiting On The World To Change'
'I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)'
'Good Love Is On The Way'
'The Heart Of Life'
'I Don't Need No Doctor'
'Your Body Is A Wonderland'
'Bigger Than My Body'
'I'm Gonna Find Another You'