John Mayer sets Colonial Center on fire

New looks at familiar songs, wild audience make for superb show

Chaos, confusion, excitement, beer and nachos surrounded the lobby of the Colonial Center Thursday night as groups of eager fans hurried to the door, waiting for John Mayer to change their world.

A group of girls paused for a picture-perfect moment, holding out a large sign with “I love you John” written in bubbly, red letters.

When the opening act, Soul Mind, came on stage, only sparse crowds scattered the large arena. The six-member band mixed blues riffs with jam band sounds, but was unable to get the crowd on its feet. Soul Mind sounded like James Brown without the soul, and after a 45-minute set, the crowd was begging in a deafening roar for Mayer to come onstage.

When Mayer nonchalantly walked into the spotlight, the echoes of screams from the now-filled seats rose several decibels. “Belief” reverberated through the large venue, and a blue light danced across the audience. People couldn’t help but sing along. Every face in the crowd belted out the lyrics in unison. Mayer’s performance was polished and smooth – he sounded like he was playing along to one of his own compact discs.

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By Liz White, Daily Gamecock staff writer

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