Questlove Was John Mayer's Drummer for One Night Only
by Anna Montagner
23 February 2022
John Mayer’s fans went wild after the singer invited The Roots frontman Questlove on the stage during his second night at Madison Square Garden on Monday, February 21.
Just moments before the show, Mayer announced on his Instagram account that his touring drummer, Steve Farrone, tested positive for COVID-19. The concert, which had powerfully kicked off thanks to Alexander 23’s musical introduction, continued without a glitch after Mayer and his band switched to a complete acoustic set. Mayer explained that his electric guitar wouldn’t sound good without someone on the drums.
Mayer performed some of his oldest tracks, reawakening memories from the early 2000s and hyping up the audience, and also played his new single New Light with an entirely acoustic arrangement.
Despite Mayer’s ability to adapt to the unexpected hiccup, Questlove’s surprising entrance carried a substantive mood change and ultimately brought the house down. Questlove, who was planning to be in the audience after performing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” got a last minute message from Mayer. “I got out my show clothes all exited & then I checked my phone: ‘Ferrone got covid, can you sit in?” Questlove wrote on Instagram.
The Roots frontman not only rescued the show, but he also left us with an important takeaway. “Last night was also a great lesson in me shedding skin and getting over anxiety,” he shared on social media, adding “EMBRACE CHAOS! there is magic there!” The duo performed "Vultures," and later gifted the crowd with a memorable performance of "Gravity," while the arena was lit up by thousands of phone flashlights.
The following day, Mayer wrote on Instagram, “Tonight’s show was special in ways that I’m still processing.” Referring to Questlove, he added “My boundless appreciation goes out to the legendary @questlove who stepped in on an hour’s notice to help end the show on such a powerful and definitive note.” Finally, he concluded “The brilliant musicians in this band stepped up in ways that I will never forget, and will bond us forever.” Certainly, an unforgettable night for MSG.
John Mayer is currently on the road on his Sob Rock Tour.
Photo via Getty/ Jeff Fusco