Throughout a career that now spans two decades, John Mayer has shown that he can not only bring his own flair to an affair, but uplift the level of whatever, wherever, and whenever he is. In truth, the one-time student at the Berklee School of Music has long been a master of delivery, with his guitar, his voice, and his presence—equal parts confident, self-effacing, and light-hearted with his interstitial musings.

To that end, Mayer soft-launched his 2022 Sob Rock tour in strong form on a warm L.A. Wednesday in February as part of SiriusXM and Pandora‘s “Small Stage Series”. In front of a crowded house at the 4,000-capacity Hollywood Palladium, and with many more listening and watching at home courtesy of SiriusXM and Pandora, John and his band—10 pieces in total—worked through songs old and new, with plenty of style and spirit to spare.

As expected, the setlist was heavy on 2021’s Sob Rock. From a “Last Train Home” opener to an encore of “All I Want Is to Be With You” and “New Light”, with several in between, John and company playfully pulled from from the ’80s throwback collection the hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last year.

Even with those delightful draws from his latest release—including the country-infused “Shouldn’t Matter But It Does” and the contemplative “All I Want Is To Be With You”—John had ample time to amp up his fans with the classics from his ever-growing catalog. No, there was no mention or nod to his “original sin” of “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” Instead, there came a string of hit tunes that have long been and will always be true to who John is as a singer and songwriter, precisely because they manage to ring true through the years.

The nod to botanical intoxication in “Who Says” got as many honest woos as it ever has per capita. The same went for “Waiting on the World to Change”, with more anxiety and exhaustion behind it than ever before. In many ways, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” feels like a painfully apt description of how life is so often lived in this pandemic era.

John and his band, though, never finished that last song. Toward the end of the jam, a fan had to be taken off in a wheelchair. John stopped the show once he saw people pointing to the incident, alerted everyone in the building to send for a medic, and then stepped off stage with his band while the fan was tended to.

That incident aside, every piece of the show ultimately served as a palette for John to paint upon. Wherever the performance went within his repertoire, his brought his axe to bear, often wailing along with his solos, as is his wont to do. Had the house lights gone up after “Gravity” ended the main set, no one would’ve gone home disappointed.

But the highlight of the night didn’t come from John’s instrument. Instead, the honor went to new bandmate Greg Phillinganes, of Toto fame, who traded in his keyboard for a funky, crunchy keytar that he wielded ably in a rock battle with John during “Helpless”, from 2017’s The Search For Everything.

Truth be told, it’s that artistic range, along with impeccable skill, that made him such an exciting prospect and, ultimately, a strong to step in as the frontman of Dead & Company alongside Bob Weir years ago.

Those factors, though, have long been part of John Mayer. They’re what shot him to stardom to begin with, and they’re what John, quite apparently, still has in ample supply as he prepares to head out what we all hope will be a safe ten weeks in arenas across the country. For a full list of John Mayer Sob Rock tour dates, head here.

Hosted by TV personality Andy Cohen, the John Mayer concert at the Hollywood Palladium aired live on SiriusXM’s The Spectrum channel, with multiple rebroadcasts throughout the week. The concert will also air on Andy Cohen’s Kiki Lounge channel on Friday, February 11th at 8 pm ET.

In addition to the live show, the special SiriusXM/Pandora John Mayer “Small Stage Series” event featured an interview segment hosted by Cohen. Topics of conversation included Mayer’s brotherly relationship with the late Bob Saget, his complicated relationship with prom photos, and whether or not he listens to his own music while making love.

Click below to watch a few clips of the conversation below via SiriusXM. Scroll down to check out a gallery of photos of John Mayer and company from the Palladium show courtesy of photographer Matthew Rea.

John Mayer and Andy Cohen Remember Bob Saget

John Mayer on Listening to Your Own Music While You Make Love

John Mayer on Prom

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The entire concert, as well as additional content not seen during the Hollywood Palladium show, will air as part of the virtual Pandora LIVE series this Saturday, February 12th at 9:00 p.m. ET. RSVP for free here.

John Mayer’s concert, in its entirety with additional content not seen during the Hollywood Palladium show will air as part of the virtual Pandora LIVE series this Saturday, February 12 at 9pm ET /6pm PT. Anyone can RSVP for free here.