"I feel like in the arena, there's more room for the soundwaves to kind of bloom and float ... and here, it's a bit like the gloves are off," Mayer tells Billboard before his show at 500-capacity Echoplex venue.
With John Mayer shifting from playing for 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden on his Search for Everything Tour to performing at Los Angeles' 500-capacity Echoplex on Wednesday night for the Bud Light Dive Bar Tour, you might expect him to go a little more intimate and acoustic for the occasion. But he actually told Billboard before the show that he had the exact opposite instinct.
"I have a lot to draw from now that I've made so many different kinds of records," Mayer said about his approach to the gig. "At first, I wasn't sure why I was doing it -- it's a little scary in the moment. But then you look back and go, 'Oh, I can pull a lot of different feels' -- feels of music, not feels like feelings -- different music feels. Well... also feels like feelings. And so it just makes sense for a night like tonight that you pull out your barrelhouse blues, rock 'n' roll guitar-solo stuff, the groove-heavy stuff.
"If it were the coffeehouse tour," he added, "then I would be doing a different thing. I'd be going a little deeper into the acoustic side, the lyrical thing. But I think tonight's about the way that drums and electric guitar and bass sound in a club."