Watch John Mayer and Alexander 23 cover Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World

John Mayer wound-up his mammoth Sob Rock tour at Boston’s TD Garden last week (May 10) and celebrated by joining support act Alexander 23 for a cover of Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

In a lesson to any gig goers who skip the support bands, Mayer appeared onstage with Alexander 23 to close the latter’s opening set – before his own appearance later that night. Fortunately, one of the 23 team filmed the event for posterity (and anyone who was still at the bar).

“We actually have one more member tonight playing guitar with us,” Alexander 23 says in the footage. “A warm welcome to my friend, John Mayer.”

Mayer appeared with his pink Jackson Soloist, a fan-favourite that has been in and out of his regular line-up since it saw heavy use promoting Thinking Out Loud, back in 2015. 

The instrument also likely inspired the pink finish of the pink PRS Silver Sky that has become synonymous with Mayer’s 80s-inspired Sob Rock material

The cover is relatively faithful to the UK synth-pop giants’ original, full of popping palm-mutes and top-y, distorted lead work, but the band still find time to stretch at its edges with a few tasteful exchanges, mostly courtesy of Mayer.

The duo must have done something right as even Tears For Fears themselves have applauded the cover, commenting on the YouTube clip: “Yes!! Honoured to have you both perform this. Incredible job.”

Alexander 23 also later commented on the cover over on Instagram, saying. “Many moments in my life (music related and otherwise) i have thought to myself ‘I wonder what John would say about this?’ I’m grateful to now have that answer just a text away. Tears For Fears on the Sob Rock tour. A fitting end to something I never wanted to end.”

Now Mayer has officially put the Sob Rock US tour to bed (the last four dates having been rescheduled from March, due to Covid), he’s free to focus on the Dead And Company summer tour, which kicks off next month in LA...

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.