Mayer Hawthorne: Mo-Town with a side of Detroit Hustle
Last Sunday, Mayer Hawthorne and The County brought Mo-Town to H-Town, with a side of Detroit Hustle. My buddy Brian, a Detroit native who stays in Houston, tipped me off to the show while we were at iFest. He sent me the video to “Maybe So, Maybe No” and I totally dug it but beyond that, I didn’t have the chance to listen to more of their music. I’m almost glad I didn’t because I really had no idea what I was walking into. And I ended up being blown away by what I heard. I had no idea that a band like this was out there making such fun, catchy music. And here I am, nearly a week later finding every chance I can to play their cd! Mayer is a true entertainer in the sense that he knows how to connect with an audience. Their music got us moving side to side and he really knew how to keep the energy up all night long without being cheesy about it. It was clear that a large majority of the audience had followed them since their first album and they were there to party.
Most of Mayer’s songs tend to be on the romantic side, which works out well with the genre he’s chosen to create a musical project out of. That doesn’t mean he’s not a Detroit Hustla though. In between songs, he brought out his Detroit swag through looks, lines and presence, regardless if he was wearing a suit and bow tie or a bright red suit jacket. His most recent album, “How Do You Do,” features a song with Snoop Dogg. The collaboration shows the best of both artists. Who would have ever put Snoop Dogg with Mo-Town? Mayer would. He has also played with The Roots, been remixed by Jazzy Jeff, played with Daryl Hall and collaborated with Nottz. And that’s definitely the short list.
For a blogger, it’s practically impossible for me to go to a show and not take pictures, live tweet, post to Facebook, post to instagram, etc. About halfway through the show, Mayer took a moment to let us know that he knew we wanted to take pictures. His band played a cutesy, be-bobby tune behind him while he, the guitarist and the bassist ran around the stage in classic concert picture poses: playing back-to-back, leaning out into the audience singing, pointing to the crowd…and more. It was one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen at a live show. And at the end, he told us picture time was over; for those of that were tweeting out the pictures to our friends that didn’t make the show, those people are just gonna miss out cause “they fucked up.” Then of course, laughed a little and said, “Ok, let’s see how long it takes you guys to pull your phones back out.” For me, it was perfect. I didn’t feel like I was going to miss that picture that someone else was going to capture. I just let myself actually enjoy the show. I danced, I sang, I laughed with my friends and didn’t worry about twitter (Shock! I know!). So, for those of you that follow my twitter account, if you’re wondering why all of a sudden I just dropped off…that’s why, right there.
During the encore, Mayer brought out a bottle of Hennessy and Ginger ale and poured three glasses. He passed one to a fan in the left side of the audience, another to a fan in the right side of the audience, raised his glass to them and the audience and then took a swig. After each chorus he poured more glasses and kept passing them out. He taught us the words to the chorus and the whole crowd sang in unison….”it never fails….henny and ginger ale…..i’ve got my cup….and i’m fillin it up…i can’t get enough.” I felt like at every turn possible, he and his band did something new and fun; t was definitely a show I didn’t want to end.
I was lucky enough to meet each member of the band and tell each of them how much I enjoyed their sound and what they were doing. I wish them continued success and next time they are in Houston, or when they come to your city, I encourage you to go experience them live. For a Sunday night, Fitzgerald’s was packed to the rafters! I can’t wait to see them play Warehouse Live or House of Blues next time they come through Houston. They can definitely pull that big of a crowd.
Check out the full Lauren Ignited photo coverage on flickr. Crowd picture with Mayer, courtesy of Mayer Hawthorne. Connect with Mayer and the boys via their facebook, twitter at @MayerHawthorne and website.