John Mayer Is Playing a 165 Cap Room Tonight In LA

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Photo by Gia Hughes

It was announced via John Mayer’s Instagram page at exactly 2:10pm today that he was playing an acoustic show at The Hotel Cafe tonight.

And then Joey Dosik posted this 6 minutes later.

Opening up for @johnmayer 2nite @ @thehotelcafe … Last minute booking! They just announced maybe if u click RN u can get in -> I may not even be able to get in?

A photo posted by Joey Dosik (@joeydosik) on

But alas, it was too late. The $10 tickets to the The Hotel Cafe, the singer/songwriter haven of Los Angeles, were sold out. Of course.

The Hotel Cafe hosts around 5-10 premier acts every night of the week in its main room (165 cap) and newer 2nd stage (70 cap). This is the place where Ingrid Michaelson, Joshua Radin, Cary Brothers, Katy Perry, Meiko, Jamestown Revival, Adele, The Lumineers, Fitz and the Tantrums and Sara Bareilles all got their start. Personally, I have played the room over a dozen times. It’s become my Cheers. I’m usually there a couple times a week seeing friends bands, performing or just hanging out when I’m in the area.

As one of the most respected venues in LA, it’s a place where musicians feel welcomed and cherished.

There’s never pay to play (which has all but destroyed the once legendary Sunset Strip) and the sound is always top notch (thanks to house sound engineers Joel Eckels and Nathan Devore who have some of the best mixes I’ve experienced anywhere. Period).

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The Hotel Cafe is where Chris Martin, John Mayer, Colbie Caillat and James Bay show up random nights of the week and get up and play unannounced sets. It’s the spot where Dave Chappelle decided to play two nights last minute last year. And it’s where The Roots host their annual Grammy Week jam with special guests like Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Andra Day, Leon Bridges and Lianne La Havas.

It’s where I’ve run into everyone from Lynn Grossman (president of Secret Road and Ingrid Michaelson’s manager) to nearly every music supervisor and KCRW DJ in LA. It’s where I know I will find some of the greatest musicians in LA (famous or not) any given night of the week just hanging out. It’s where the stars’ sidemen and women when home from tour are on stage playing with emerging artists. It’s where music fans know to go to find great music. In the heart of Hollywood, just down the alley, around the corner is where James, Matt, Dan and Michelle are chilling to take your 10 bucks, check your ID and welcome you to the club.

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The Hotel Cafe opened in 2000 as a coffee shop with a tiny stage. If you know the venue, the current front lobby was the entire establishment. It was originally booked by both Gary Jules and the owner Marko Shaffer (who still books many of the shows). It was where music supervisors would show up to find songs for their shows – pre YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. It’s one of the reasons Joshua Radin got his songs placed over 80 times on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, House MD and One Tree Hill. It’s where Grey’s Anatomy music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas discovered Adele and used her music on Grey’s Anatomy – before her first single broke in America.

Music supervisors would show up in the early 2000s and ask the singer/songwriters playing the spot “so, have anything new you can send me?”

The Hotel Cafe, to be clear, is neither a hotel nor a cafe. It’s a music venue with a full bar. Well, three full bars and two stages.

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The reason I continue to perform and frequent the space is the same reason so many great artists continue to choose it for their LA tour stops and secret shows: The staff respects the music. James, Matt, Dan and Michelle at the door, Joel, Nathan, John and Stacy on the board, Dan, Camila, Candice, Kaci, Janelle and Elias at the bar. And Gia making sure everything runs just right. It’s a family affair. And I’m honored that I have found this community and that these friends keep The Hotel Cafe reputation as high as ever.

Unfortunately not many will be able to see John Mayer’s show tonight at the Hotel Cafe, but if you’re hanging around any night of the week in LA and unsure where to be, well, now you know.

4 Responses

  1. ME

    How old am I? Why does everyone look the same? The last thing I thought I saw was the time of – aha – the age is definitely there, cos’ the memory has failed … starts with a c – like constant, or – maybe I should look it up. Whatever, the point is – it was way back in like 07 or something. Is that him? HE LOOKS THE SAME!

  2. ME

    oh no … I take that back! He looks YOUNGER.

    How old am I?!!

    Continuum is the album … cd. (technicalities)