Pretend VIP

I’ve already recounted how I got the ticket to tonight’s John Mayer show, so let’s just jump right to it, shall we?

I snuck away for a “late lunch” at about 3:45 to pick up my ticket…which was at the CBS office building a block from my apartment. But back to Chelsea and my office I went to count down the two hours till I could leave and get in line for the show!

Figuring I’d already be late, I zipped up Broadway and asked the first person in a CBS shirt which line to be in. She asked if I had a general admission ticket, I said yes, and she pointed toward a crowd under the marquee. “Just get in that line,” she said.

“That line” was already making its way inside, so I tagged on the end and made my way towards the door. Another person asked if I had my wristband yet. Nope. No wristband. It wasn’t until I was inside waiting with my fellow line members that I realized what the wristband said: Citi Private Pass.

Yep, I’d just unwittingly tagged myself on to the VIP line.

No one seemed to care, and I figured if they did I’d play dumb (I was!) and go get a seat elsewhere. I didn’t care where I sat – all that mattered was I was there! We stood and stood for forty-five minutes, all while more and more people flowed into the doors in front of us. I was starting to wonder just where this VIP hook-up would land me after all.

Finally, we made our way in – they filed us into seats in the order we were queued, I imagine so as to avoid an all out mob rushing to the best seats. It just so happened I landed in the last row, center orchestra. The mic stand was directly in front of me, just 10 rows away. Not bad.

I wish the people around me had been more into it than they were – it took a few songs before a few of them even started moving to the music. But I’ve long since decided to have no shame in my love for Mayer and his music, so I was dancing (appropriately) and singing along with every song. And oh my gosh, the songs. I was worried an hour set would feel super short when his tour shows are at least 2; but in such an intimate setting, it was perfect.

He started off with Queen of California, and went right into Olivia. But it was Paper Doll tonight that did me in; I haven’t been in love with that one (probably because I always think of Taylor Swift when I hear it), but his treatment of the bridge (cut the cord and pull some string/and make yourself some angel wings/and if those angel wings don’t fly/someone’s gonna paint you another sky) just killed me. Totally taken with the moment. I knew the lines were coming, knew I loved them and considered having my camera ready. But I kept my phone down; I’ll have to reply that memory in my mind’s eye, not from Instagram.

I always swoon when he kicks off Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, and tonight was no exception. He didn’t do much from Continuum (and nothing older than that album), but this one is a killer standby. Amazing solo. I clapped along with Wildfire, the best song of the summer (Blurred Lines, what?), but I think the sweetest moment of the show came before Dear Marie. And I’m not sure if the audience in house (or online) caught it.

He thanked the audience online for watching, then started to say the song he was about to play wasn’t influence by the internet. Then he caught himself and said, no, actually, it does make a reference to the internet, to looking up first loves (and I knew right away it was Dear Marie!). That riffed onto talking about how we all look up first loves, to see what they look like now, to be sure we didn’t want to go with Door Number 1 after all. “Maybe it was the General Lee,” he said, a throwback to Let’s Make a Deal. And then, as if he knew a certain someone would be watching, he said, “No, I’ve got the General Lee. I’ve got the General Lee.” Super, super sweet. I might’ve giggled/clapped excitedly. What can I say? I like them together.

Moving on…

The rest of the set was as good as the first half; On The Way Home was just lovely, and I’m so glad to have been there the first time they played it live. I seriously love the way it bookends Paradise Valley, Wildfire kicking it off, this one wrapping it up. Continuum has always been my rainy-day album; I have a feeling Paradise Valley will be my summer soundtrack going forward. I hung out after If I Ever Get Around to Living ended, wondering if he’d come back and do a random, acoustic Comfortable for us…but as they started tearing down the set, I knew we were done for the night. Which is fine – at that point, any more would’ve just been greedy.

Other random/fun moments:

  • Realized in watching the encore broadcast that it’s totally him doing his own intro, then walking out the doors at the back of the theater. Which means, yes, for a split second he was four feet from me. No, I didn’t faint.
  • At one point, someone shouts “It’s going great, John!” and he laughs. That’s where he responds with “That’s my caddy!” Pretty funny moment.
  • The woman next to me had a copy of Paradise Valley she was reading the whole time – clearly reading along with the lyrics. I had to stifle a giggle when he’d start a song obviously not on that album and she’d go shuffling through the liner notes trying to find it. Took all my energy to keep from whispering “It’s not there, it’s on…[insert album here].” I resisted.
  • Funny as it was, I was SO JEALOUS she had a copy in her hands! How’d she get that? For the first time, I’d only pre-ordered the album on iTunes rather than pick up a physical copy of it. Imagine my delight when they handed me a copy as I left the theater!
  • I bumped into the woman I’d met while we were picking up our tickets as I left the theater – she was clearly glowing. I asked her if it’d been worth the drive down from Albany. “Oh, of course!” she gushed.