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John Mayer returns to stage for Montana benefit concert

January 19, 2013|By Mikael Wood
  • On Wednesday, John Mayer played a benefit concert in Montana, his first public performance in nearly two years.
On Wednesday, John Mayer played a benefit concert in Montana, his first… (Facebook )

Singing in public for the first time in nearly two years, John Mayer performed Wednesday night in Bozeman, Mont., near where the singer has a home. The benefit concert, which also featured Zac Brown, raised more than $100,000 for firefighters involved in battling a wildfire last summer in Montana's Paradise Valley, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Prior to Wednesday's show, Mayer hadn't sung onstage since April 2011. That year he underwent surgery to remove a growth, known as a granuloma, on his vocal cords, then canceled a 2012 tour in support of his album "Born and Raised" after the granuloma returned. (Mayer didn't keep offstage entirely: In September he played guitar with Frank Ocean on "Saturday Night Live," and last month he appeared with the Rolling Stones at New Jersey's Prudential Center.)

"My voice sounded like my body was a radio dial and someone had knocked it, and it was, like, half off the station," Mayer said in a video clip from Wednesday's show posted on YouTube. "It's been a crazy couple of years: thinking that I got it, finding out that I didn't, thinking that I got it, finding out I didn't, going on voice rest, going a little mad and sometimes genius, but only for a night and then no one's there to see it."

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In an interview with the Bozeman newspaper Mayer said his throat injuries had healed completely but that he was still recovering from Botox injections he'd received as part of his treatment. "It's like my cast isn't off, but my bone is healed," he said, adding that he's slowly regaining the use of his full vocal range. "Every couple of weeks there's another note."

According to a post on his website, Mayer's set included three cuts from "Born and Raised" -- including "Speak for Me," "Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey" and "If I Ever Get Around to Living" -- as well as "Who Says," from 2009's "Battle Studies." He also played his song "Queen of California" as a duet with Brown.

Mayer fans who missed out on Wednesday's show won't have to wait another two years to see him perform again: As Pop & Hiss reported this week, the singer is scheduled to headline the first night of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 26.


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