Mayer opened the two-hour set with 'Wildfire', followed by 'Half Of My Heart', the latter of which progressed into an impressively soulful middle eight breakdown featuring call-and-response vocals. However, it was the unmistakable extended intro that led into a nine-minute 'I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)', that really got the gig underway, and was without doubt, my favourite track of the evening. Of the other songs played from Continuum, 'Slow Dancing In A Burning Room' and 'Belief' were also key moments of the set, and went down a treat with the crowd.
Much of the new material, in particular, 'Paper Doll' and 'If I Ever Get Around To Living', translated fantastically in a live setting, more so than I expected. Even if I haven't quite taken to the most recent albums in the same way as his earlier work, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing these new songs played in an atmospheric venue. Mayer's band demonstrated great musicianship throughout, but sounded most tight on 'Queen Of California' - probably the most solid track of the evening, and one that gave me a new appreciation for the studio version that appears on Born And Raised. Equally as impressive were Mayer's vocals, which were on fine form, and didn't show any sign of strain throughout the gig - a clear indication he has recovered well from his throat surgery. His range was particularly impressive on a cover of 'Can't Find My Way Home', in which he sang the majority of the track falsetto. His vocals were further complimented by backing vocalists Carlos Ricketts Jr. and Tiffany Palmer, whose rich harmonies added a further warmth to the songs. This was most apparent on 'Something Like Olivia', though the main vocal highlight was final encore track 'Gravity', which featured an interlude of Otis Redding's 'I've Got Dreams To Remember'.
Reflecting on the gig, it is evident that the setlist perhaps, wasn't as spontaneous as in previous years, with no real surprise tracks or rarities emerging. While I was thrilled with the selection of songs played from Continuum, it was slightly disappointing that Mayer barely touched upon his first two releases, with just one track - 'Why Georgia' - from 2001 debut Room For Squares, appearing in the set. However, considering he is currently into his sixth studio album, and this tour was inevitably centred around both Born And Raised and Paradise Valley, I feel he delivered a well balanced setlist that engaged both the casual and long-time fan. It was brilliant to hear the new material in a live setting, along with favourites from Continuum. Mayer has a talent for playing songs with a uniqueness that sets them apart from the versions that appear on his records, and this gig was no exception.
'Half Of My Heart'
'I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)'
'Something Like Olivia'
'Going Down The Road Feeling Bad'
'Slow Dancing In A Burning Room'
'Blues Run The Game'
'Queen Of California'
'If I Ever Get Around To Living'
'Waiting On The World To Change'
'The Age Of Worry'
'Can't Find My Way Home'