Think of the CD version as the version for the visually impaired. It’s the sister of the excellent DVD version and is the same audio as the concert, minus the extras and interviews/vignettes.
Unless your car has a DVD player, why buy this version. Well, it’s the same concert, same songs, the only difference being the CD case fits in your coat more easily. The quality of the night is still there.
Anywho I was pretty pleased to get the opportunity to listen to this guy in a bit more detail. OK I have no previous with the bloke, but the first impression was good, scratch that, he's damn good. A young bloke, who plays guitar with the maturity well beyond his young (30) years. He's going to be huge. Apparently he already is.
Mayer is definitely, part Clapton, part Stevie Ray Vaughan, part BB King. Mayer is no mug either, even though he's good on his own, he has surrounded himself with some excellent musicians for his different projects (Robbie McIntosh - ex Pretenders/Paul McCartney Band, session player for everyone!), (Steve Jordan - drummed for the best, The Stones, Clapton, Cray, Springsteen and The Blues Brothers), (Pino Palladino - bass for Clapton, Genesis, the Who).
The songs are captivating, giving Mayer the opportunity to play his music in three very different environments. It's almost like watching three different bands.
The acoustic set sets the tone, just John and his guitar (mainly) playing to an attentive audience. Its nice to hear the performance as it should be heard. 'Stop This Train' and 'Free Fallin' ' the highlights of this short set. More artistes should offer this kind of experience, a chance to aire their songs differently. Especially when you think of the crap I've seen over the years playing support slots.
The John Mayer Trio is a rarity in itself. Without his success the trio would probably never have happened. Its harks back to a time when trios led the way. But is this case they're a blues/rock power trio. Still in their infancy they don’t get the chance to play live very often, but should do! I admire the bloke for keeping the Blues alive and playing it for a mainstream audience. Mayer throws in two Hendrix songs 'Wait Until Tomorrow', and 'Bold As Love', even playing his upside down Strat for 'Everyday I Have The Blues'. There's a good interplay between the trio, looking as if they're all out to impress and outdo each other. It makes for a great performance.
The concert builds to the full-on band set and my favourite Mayer song 'Slow dancing in a burning room' a modern classic and coming to a wedding near you. The band version is more tighter, more relaxed as you can see it's his preferred bread and butter gig. Tight as a gnats chuff, the textures unfold from the band members.
If I had to choose then Id go for the DVD only because of being able to see the performance, as it shows the guy in his element, but if youre already a fan, I recommend you buy the CD also, or if you can still get your mitts on it, then buy the special edition DVD which comes with the cd. Heck, just buy the lot!