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‘The Search for Everything’ brings John Mayer beyond gooey pop hits

John Mayer will bring his tour, the Search for Everything, to Kansas City’s Sprint Center on Friday. He performed a show for the tour at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
John Mayer will bring his tour, the Search for Everything, to Kansas City’s Sprint Center on Friday. He performed a show for the tour at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post

The rambling Grateful Dead anthem “Truckin’” and John Mayer’s gooey pop hit “Your Body Is a Wonderland” seem entirely incompatible. Yet Mayer has repeatedly proved that he’s equally adept at dispatching the wildly divergent songs. To paraphrase Walt Whitman: Mayer’s art is large, his music contains multitudes.

When songs from his 2001 debut album, including “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” made him a fledgling star, Mayer seemed like little more than an oversexed update of the light-rock heavyweight James Taylor. He’s since proved that he’s also a fine blues guitarist, a reliable purveyor of gauzy R&B and — perhaps most surprisingly — an estimable ringer in a prominent jam band.

Mayer joined Grateful Dead alumni on a Dead & Company tour in 2016. He thrived in the unlikely setting. Mayer’s immersion in the world of tie-dye T-shirts and noodle-dancing helped him get his mojo back. His career as a pop artist had been in an artistic slump. Potent new songs including the gentle soul groove “Still Feel Like Your Man” and the delirious trifle “Love on the Weekend” signal a gratifying return to form.

The Search for Everything tour is designed to appease his vastly different constituencies. Mayer will play a solo set, front a full band, and jam with bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan in a trio format at the Sprint Center on Friday.

Tickets to Friday’s Sprint Center concert are $36 to $96 in advance at sprintcenter.com.

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