Going into Lollapalooza there were certain acts that I considered “must see”. Being a fan of Mayer Hawthorne’s for a couple of years now and never having seen him live, he was pretty much at the top of the list. Part of the appeal of Mr. Hawthorne is his retro sound that channels Motown soul and reminds me of all the music I used to listen to with my parents as a kid. Just as his sound is a refreshing throwback, so is his live performance. The sound was crisp and the set was amazing. Certain songs were altered from their recorded version so as to let the musicians in his band, The County, to have extended solos and show off their chops. “Green Eyed Love” had some sick guitar soloing, “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” had an awesome extended intro, and the keyboardist was able to get funky with LFO manipulations on multiple songs.
Not only was the musicianship excellent, the showmanship was amazing as well. Mayer was able to get the crowd involved and keep them engaged throughout the entire set. One highlight was right after he performed “I Wish that it Would Rain”. During the song he had the crowd do a simple raining motion dance during the hook and right after he was done singing he got everyone to do it one more time as he snapped a picture of it for his Twitter account. He also taught the crowd how to do the Errol Flynn dance, which I will definitely be bringing to Sea Isle City this weekend. It’s a bit like the John Wall, but you can use both hands!!!!
Mayer also did an interesting thing regarding photography. At one point in the show he posed for everyone who had cameras, which was reminiscent of Edge and Christian’s “Five Second Pose for the benefit of those with flash photography”. After he made me think about wrestling, he had everyone put their cameras away for the rest of the show so they would just focus on the music. I haven’t seen that done before, but I loved it.
Another thing to love about the performance were the cover songs, as there were a decent amount of those. Included were Snoop Dogg and Pharell’s “Beautiful”, the Isley Brothers’ “Work to Do”, and, my personal favorite, a perfect rendition of the Hall & Oates classic “You Make my Dreams Come True.” He also played a new song off of his upcoming album that has me even more excited about that release (set for October as of this posting) than I initially was, and that’s saying something.
Overall the sound was great, the energy was up, and the times were good. I think I smiled throughout the entire set as I was extremely happy throughout. That’s the mark of an amazing performance. If you have a chance to see Mayer Hawthorne perform live you cannot pass it up. Enjoy the music.
Here are 3 songs that were performed during the set:
Check out the video for “A Long Time” and visit either Stonesthrow Records or come back here for updates on the release of “How do you Do?”.
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