Lincoln crowd loves both sides of John Mayer: guitar king, pop idol - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
John Mayer played nearly a two-hour show at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena but skipped several of his hits.


REVIEW

Lincoln crowd loves both sides of John Mayer: guitar king, pop idol
By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald bureau


LINCOLN — John Mayer's first guitar solo came less than five minutes into Friday night's concert.

Partway through “Queen of California,” he took his first journey down the fretboard during the show at Pinnacle Bank Arena. It would be the first time of at least a dozen and on the second guitar of at least seven. He ended up playing so hard that midconcert, he had to put some super-glue on his finger where he was wearing a hole in it.

That's the way Mayer played it all night. His pop songs — easy on everyone's stomach — were an excuse for him to get to the fun parts.

While Mayer played for nearly two hours Friday night, he touched on career moments such as “Half of My Heart” and “Waiting on the World to Change,” but also skipped over songs including “Daughters,” “No Such Thing” and “Your Body Is a Wonderland.”

Multiple fans — men and women — screamed “I love you” at the pop star, and they cheered when he finally said it back to them about an hour into the show.

Those guitar solos came early and often. Sometimes, Mayer traded an acoustic guitar for an electric right in the middle of a song to get to a solo. Once, he strummed an acoustic during the verses and, during the choruses, he put his hands behind him to wail on a Telecaster slung on his back.

Luckily, all those soulful solos didn't feel like the kind of mindless noodling of jam bands and hair metal groups. They felt like a necessary element, especially considering most of Mayer's music feels like the kind of stuff they'll play at shopping malls the world over sometime in the future. It's familiar without being intrusive.

Mayer has the talent to be more than just easy listening.

His show often feels like two people fighting: Mayer the guitar player and Mayer the pop singer. Guitar John likes his battle-worn, faded sunburst Fender Stratocaster and fiddling with his effects pedals to get the sound of his coming solo just right. Pop John just wants to run through the halls of his high school and doesn't trust himself with loving you.

One is sincere — even soulful — and the other is simply kinda cheesy.

Fans loved him for all of it. They sang the words to “Wildfire,” danced during the upbeat “Who Says” and waved their arms during Mayer's funky country version of Tom Petty's “You Don't Know How It Feels.”

Mayer did skip some of the hits, but it would have been hard to fit them in a packed set list of songs such as “Paper Doll” and “Dear Marie” from his new album, “Paradise Valley,” as well as “Stop This Train,” which he played solo.

Mayer finished the concert by picking up his seventh guitar — a well-played, much-≠worn black Strat — and playing a very bluesy version of “Gravity” while fans lit up the arena with their cellphone flashlights.

As most of the songs did, “Gravity” ended with the fans singing along and Mayer diving head-first into a guitar solo.

“I wanna thank y'all so much for coming out to see us tonight after so much time not being here,” Mayer said. “I hope you guys had a wonderful time tonight.”

Contact the writer: Kevin Coffey

kevin.coffey@owh.com    |   402-444-1557    |  

Kevin covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally covers other entertainment, including video games and comic books.

Read more stories by Kevin


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site
Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site

Twenty-five years after "The Field of Dreams" debuted in movie theaters, the Iowa farm where it was filmed remains at the center of simmering debates.


What to watch: Can 'Game of Thrones' top last week's 'purple wedding'?
What to watch: Can 'Game of Thrones' top last week's 'purple wedding'?

Tywin offers to work for the common good with a presumed enemy while Tyrion wonders if anyone in his family will help him out of his current predicament.


The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film
The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film

With the release of “Transcendence,” the story of a computer science genius whose mind is merged with a sentient system, Hollywood has once again probed the vagaries of artificial intelligence.


Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes
Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes

At Homer's Music in the Old Market, the first person in line arrived at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.


Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast
Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast

Rock Candy correspondents Joel Henriksen and Keith Finn check in from Indio to review Friday's top sets from the godfather of indie rock festivals.


Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet
Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet

August concert promises to pack Stinson Park with indie rock fans.


A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour

The downtown staple recently introduced a happy hour. And its menu's pretty amazing.


Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita

Chef Jose Dionicio has wisely refocused Taita on sushi, and the well-crafted small bites of fresh fish I tasted from his one-man sushi bar are delectable.


New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week

Fusion BBQ, at 7024 Maple St., focuses on American style barbecue cooking melded with international cuisines.


Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing
Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing

The Nebraska Beef Council announced the winner of its Nebraska's Best Burger contest.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved