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John Mayer hits his groove on the road

The singer-songwriter is touring with Maroon5. His last album was ‘Heavier Things.’
/ Source: Billboard

John Mayer will head out soon on his fourth headlining tour in a year. But he says he’s just getting warmed up.

“I’m the first person to throw up my hat and hang out at home. But the fun part of playing music is, you keep drilling for oil,” Mayer says. “I want to hit that, and I don’t think I have yet.”

Despite grossing about $32 million for 86 shows reported to Billboard, Mayer believes he has only recently discovered his performance groove.

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“I had to find the right style of being onstage. There was a lot of energy wasted,” he says. “I didn’t know if the fans would just let me let loose and have fun. Now I don’t have to pretend or make sure I’m cool-looking. Now I can get on my knees and play a guitar — that will be such a liberating thing.”

Mayer and special guest Maroon5 will wind through a 42-date shed outing starting July 2 at the Marcus Amphitheater in Milwaukee. Most tickets for the summer tour, priced at $35-$45, went on sale the weekend of April 17.

He will return to many of the major-market sheds he played last summer with the Counting Crows. Mayer further honed his act last November in a number of small U.S. cities. He followed that in February and March with a secondary-market arena run.

Boosting Mayer’s fan base are his Aware/Columbia releases, “Room for Squares” and “Heavier Things.” They have sold 3.5 million and 1.5 million copies, respectively, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The fear that people may forget about him sometimes creeps into his head, Mayer admits.

“You grow insecure. And then you go somewhere ...  and see the crowd when the lights go up, and say, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I still have this,”’ Mayer says. “The fact that I do means so much to me.”

The fortuitous timing of Maroon5’s breakout this year is also a boon to the package. Maroon5’s  “This Love” sits at No. 6 on The Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

“If that doesn’t go to No. 1 — I’ll eat their CD, and put mustard on it,” Mayer says.