Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los Angeles [DVD] review by John Mayer

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  • Released: Jul 1, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (27 votes)
John Mayer: Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los Angeles [DVD]
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Sound — 8
The near-flawless guitar playing and vocals of John Mayer have been skilfully supplemented by his live band, David Ryan Harris and Robbie McIntosh providing the perfect amount of backing and rhythm guitar to embolden the soft licks and melodies that Mayer often improvises over his songs. While the first acoustic set is quite minimal, the second with the John Mayer Trio quite brash and dynamic, and the third more melodic and softer blues-rock, which gives the entire concert the air of a shifting dynamic that further accentuates the near-perfect set list.

Content — 9
Mayer has creatively divided the concert into three distinct sets: the first, an acoustic, chilled out session, starting with the older concert staple 'Neon' after some improv, before going into the Continuum-track 'Stop This Train'. After a beautifully played 'In Your Atmosphere', Mayer gets his guitarists out for 'Daughters', before finishing the set with a fantastic cover of Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin'. Then out comes the John Mayer Trio, with Steve Jordan's bold drums and Pino Palladino's intricate bass lines bringing forth the massive blues songs 'Everyday I Have the Blues', 'Wait Until Tomorrow', 'Who Did You Think I Was', 'Come When I Call' and 'Good Love Is On the Way'. He then slows it down with 'Out of My Mind' and 'Vultures', before ending the Mayer Trio set with an epic 'Bold As Love', including a heart-to-heart with the audience before tearing into another Hendrix-inspired solo. Then out come the big guns - Mayer's most recent album at this recording, Continuum - opening with 'Waiting on the World to Change' before a heavily improvised 'Slow Dancing in a Burning Room' and then an acoustic 'Why Georgia', playing heavily on the involvement of the screaming crowd. After another chilled out number, 'Heart of Life', Mayer roars back to the blues-rock, with a cover of Ray Charles' 'I Don't Need No Doctor', before a massive rendition of 'Gravity', incorporating some of Otis Redding's 'I've Got Dreams to Remember' in the improvised intro. This truly is the climax of the show, he allows the audience to calm with 'I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)' and 'Belief', before ending on a high with the epic 'I'm Gonna Find Another You'. Even those who aren't stringent Mayer fans will find something to their taste in this eclectic mix of acoustic chillout, heavier blues and calm John Mayer Strat mastery.

Production Quality — 7
The concert itself is well recorded, and it is easy to discern the plethora of instruments Mayer takes advantage of in his live shows. The other benefit to the sound engineers is the well-pitched voice of Mayer himself.

Overall Impression — 9
Where the Light Is encompasses everything that is good about John Mayer - his early days working with Clay Cook and playing the acoustic-pop, his days with the John Mayer Trio and Try!, and on to the blues-rock Continuum. While some of the songs do drag on, the epic Gravity is one of the best modern live performances I have seen in a while. So buy it, whether on CD or DVD, and enjoy Mayer to the fullest. Regardless of what you think of him as a person, he can put on a damn good show.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    h4rsheys
    Parts of the concert were rearranged to coincide with those specified 'three sets' I think. But overall still a good representation of Mayer's style and persona as a real artist and musician. And on a side note it's stupid how people judge Mayer's music based on how they perceive him to be as a person. "Regardless what you think of him as a person..." is correct. His music does him more justice than an explanation ever will, and nobody can't blame John for being human.
    Battery Chicken
    One of the best live DVD's around. John is a hell of a musician, however his internalising can get a little overbearing from time to time. Sometimes I think it prevents him from creating really great art, instead he's just writing for maximum exposure. Still it's a fantastic show.
    h4rsheys
    Parts of the concert were rearranged to coincide with those specified 'three sets' I think. But overall still a good representation of Mayer's style and persona as a real artist and musician. And on a side note it's stupid how people judge Mayer's music based on how they perceive him to be as a person. "Regardless what you think of him as a person..." is correct. His music does him more justice than an explanation ever will, and nobody can blame John for being human.
    carlyroxmysox
    For the content section, why did you subtract a point? I don't know if you could stuff anything better onto two CDs. You sure as hell get your money's worth on this album!
    tomlawrie
    Haha true. The set list is nearly flawless. I just think it drags on a little towards the end of the second set? So I gave it a 9.
    jelleman
    This is probably the best live concert in the last decade. Hardly seen anybody who is so skilled over so many genre's. Probably the best talent around for the last 10 years.. I mean look at what is popular now!
    dave_dve
    worth the price. what's doen with neon were great,so does 'im gonna find another you'.
    MarcFlink
    The other review honestly didnt do the dvd justice, so i wrote one myself. Hope you like it when it comes up.