John Mayer briefly paused his concert mid-song Wednesday at the Hollywood Palladium, his first since the beginning of the pandemic, to call for medical assistance after noticing a fan who appeared to be unconscious.
“Stop for a second,” Mayer told his band halfway through a performance of his song “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.” He called for medics and left the stage for a few minutes as the fan received treatment and was escorted out through the audience.
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“Anyone in the crowd who’s worried, I’m told she’s up and she waved goodbye,” Mayer said when he returned. “The system works.”
The incident occurred about an hour into the performance, which was part of the Small Stage Series presented by Sirius XM and Pandora and hosted by Andy Cohen. The show saw Mayer performing a range of hits, as well as songs from his latest album, “Sob Rock,” which was released in July.
After Mayer returned to the stage, he launched into an upbeat performance of his Grammy-winning song “Waiting on the World to Change,” framed by sunset-colored lighting. The packed house appeared unfazed by the short medical diversion.
Performers have generally been more on the alert for fans in distress since the disastrous Astroworld World last November, which saw Travis Scott’s headlining set continuing unabated even as hundreds were injured, with 10 fans ultimately dying from their injuries. Mayer’s mid-set pause follows a similar one at a Billie Eilish concert in Atlanta Saturday, when she stopped the show to help a distressed fan get an inhaler.
The seven-time Grammy winner’s talents were on full display during the show, with nearly every song featuring his acclaimed guitar skills, from a killer shred added to his song “Shot in the Dark” to his riff-off with legendary keyboardist Greg Phillinganes on the keytar.
At one point, Mayer asked the crowd who was attending a concert for the first time since the pandemic, which was met with a moderate response. The crowd was mostly unmasked and took full advantage of the venue’s multiple bars and photo opportunities, including a giant football helmet (presented by StateFarm) and a yellow balloon-filled setup (presented by Lays).
At the end of the show, Mayer left the stage and returned yet again for an encore, closing the show with his 2018 single “New Light,” which finished off with an explosion of white confetti.
The concert served as a preview of Mayer’s upcoming “Sob Rock” tour, which kicks off in Albany, New York on Feb. 17. He’ll be joined by the same band he performed with on Wednesday, which includes Lenny Castro on percussion, Steve Ferrone on drums, David Ryan Harris on guitar and vocals, Jamie Muhoberac on keys, Pino Palladino on bass, Tiffany Palmer on vocals, Phillinganes on keys and vocals, Carlos Ricketts on vocals and Isaiah Sharkey on guitar. Mayer will also be joined on select dates by singer-songwriters Alexander 23 and Yebba, who recently released a cover of Mayer’s “Age of Worry.”
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