Dead & Company: ATL Gifts John Mayer to America’s Rock Band​

Published by Alex Schumacher on

Dead & Company: ATL Gifts John Mayer to America's Rock Band

Atlanta fosters some of the greatest artists in the world, who go out and share their art with #ATL on their minds. Rock genius John Mayer became part of Atlanta’s list of legends when he won multiple awards for his vocal skills in the early 2000’s. 

His gift, however, is his distinguished ability to melt a face or two with his guitar. And though unnoticed by the likes of Hollywood, his talents impressed America’s rock band: the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead hit fame in the 60’s, during the infamous Woodstock music festival. People who experienced their music live considered the members of the band to be hyper talented and musically-inclined visionaries. This belief persisted for decades, and dedicated fans morphed into a cultish following known as “dead heads.” 

In hot anticipation, dead heads and John Mayer fans crowded the Lakewood Amphitheater stage.
Alex Schumacher | Avant-Youth

Dead & Company stopped by Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheater this past Saturday and filled the city with wonder. There’s something about being back in one’s home city that brings out the best in John Mayer. 

Dead heads and John Mayer fans alike from all over the country filled the enormous venue. Mayer played popular, psychedelic songs by the Grateful Dead, which fans sang and danced along. He emulated rhythmic styles similar to that of the late lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia.

Once the forefront of the band, Jerry Garcia raised the bar for guitarists. Dead heads considered Garcia to be a god-like musician because of how skilled and level-headed he was on stage. He played with the speed and precision of a hummingbird, and he knew how to strum the sounds that connected with listeners on an intimate level. 

No other guitar player could do what Garcia could, and when he died in 1995 from drug-related health issues, it became hard to imagine the band without him. But in 2015, surviving band members reassembled to continue their goal of sharing their musical stories with the world. They did so with the help of John Mayer.   

Saturday night’s show confirmed Mayer’s place. Mayer wailed on the guitar to the songs of the Grateful Dead while adding his own spice to each melody. His work epitomized a “home team advantage,” in which the familiar feeling of playing in your hometown enhances your performance because, well, you’re home.

John Mayer

Mayer’s extensive knowledge of music and powerful intuition of the soul lead him to withdraw from Berklee College of Music after a year. He took off for Atlanta, where he knew there was opportunity to prove his vocation. Mayer has a history of playing alongside the greats as he started his career in Atlanta with Clay Cook from the Zac Brown Band. Mayer truly has much to be grateful for, for his city.

Following his performance, Mayer showed his gratitude for his fans and the city that birthed his career. “Atlanta… always a profound full-circle moment to return to the city I started my live music career in. A very special show indeed. We’re in beautiful uncharted terrain now…” he said, remembering where he came from. 

The sea of fans watching Dead & Company. No matter how far one was, one could readily enjoy.
Alex Schumacher | Avant-Youth


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on linkedin
Share on pocket
Share on print

Support local journalism. Support independent journalism. Support Avant-Youth.


What are political parties’ platforms – and do they matter?

Political parties’ platforms – their statements of where they stand on issues – get little respect. President Donald Trump mused recently that he might shrink his party’s platform from 66 pages in 2016 to a single page in 2020. Even as far back as 1996, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole claimed he had never read his party’s platform. Nor do Democratic Party platforms – such as the draft released July 22 – usually make the best-seller list.

The Election – Gamified

Being an informed voter is much more than knowing who’s a Democrat and who’s a Republican. It’s much more than just doing a cursory internet search on the policies that your party and their chosen candidate has put forward. On top of an already insane year, although anything election-related might be giving you hives, Avant-Youth presents a different point of view. The election – gamified.

Why you should attend a silent disco

Silence Activations and their “silent headphones” definitely cater to any and all age groups. You can use them for your birthday party, wedding or small get-togethers.


Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.