Filmed in black-and-white, the fans inside the arena cheer. A reel counts down from nine to two. John Mayer steps onto the stage, his shadow filling the screen. The curtain splits as he begins to play. Cameras flash and people begin to film with their cell phones. He stares down at his guitar.

He approaches the microphone to start the first verse, waving his hand over the strings. His keyboardist rocks his shoulders to the music, paying attention to Mayer.  A young woman in the audience sings along. The background singers move their arms to the music, waiting for their cue. A guy. holding his soda, sings. A photographer in the front row changes his film.

As he continues to play, the spotlight shines on him. A man in the front row takes a picture. He steps away from the microphone and concentrates on playing the notes. A woman shakes her hair as she listens. After he finishes the section, he approaches the microphone again.

The spotlight turns on again. The background singers put their hands up to their chests and sing.

Mayer bounces up and down a little by the microphone. A young woman sings in the audience. A man shakes his head as a response to his friend’s comment.

He continues to play the rest of the song. The audience cheers again. Another woman takes a picture with her camera. He puts both his arms out in thanks, then claps.

Rating: 4/5

A methodical performer, John Mayer ensures he plays the chords correctly from the beginning. The guitar is a second skin to him. He waves his hand in front, barely feeling the scrapes against his palm and looks to the audience.

Meanwhile, his band relies on him , in case something happens mid-way through and have to change course. The background singers do their arm moves. They’ve sung this song about a million times. It’s only notes and measures to them now, something to study before the show.

For John Mayer and his band, the concert is a 8 1/2 hour shift, with breaks in between and speaking with managers about improvements.

Director: N/A Year: 2009