Ian in Your Ear: John Mayer’s Surprise Gig!

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Life isn't all mending a broken heart and romping in Vegas for John Mayer these days: Despite some open-hearted stories and a few lamentations in the last issue of Rolling Stone, the modern-day troubadour has been busy funneling his emotions into work as usual by readying yet another tour in support of his cathartic No. 1 CD, Battle Studies.

Despite the disc's melancholy material, the single man was hardly alone after he decided to surprise fans on the University of South Carolina campus (where has been deep in rehearsals for the Battle Studies World Tour since Jan. 27) Tuesday night by inviting 200 student fans who had been huddling around the rehearsal space inside to enjoy his final practice sessions.

"USC students: come watch us run the show tonight. Free," he announced via Twitter at 6 P.M, just a few hours before the fans picked up free tickets at the Russell House student union.

Mayer blasted out such hits as "Heartreak Warfare" and Gravity" and made tweaks throughout the free, two-hour gig that kicked off at 8 P.M. And not many fans were left out: 500 students ended up being let inside the session, getting a surprise sneak peak into what the world will see for the next two years when the bluesman heads out on the road. "Thank you for helping us out," he said. "This is the way you should rehearse a show."

Mayer's tour kicks off this Thursday in Sunrise, Fla. For tour dates, visit JohnMayer.com.

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