Review: Mraz at the Boston Orpheum, October 17, 2008

Mraz at the OrpheumI just got back from my quickie trip to Boston where I was catching up with friends, visiting my favorite sites and, of course, seeing Mraz. This was my first show of the fall tour, which I am now calling “More Planter, Less Banter 2008”. More on that later.

First, here’s the set list, for those of you who are curious:

1. Make it Mine
2. Common Pleasure
3. Music to Watch Girls By (I think Jason and Toca are channeling Jan & Dean, and maybe a few of the Beach Boys)
4. If It Kills Me
5. Life is Wonderful
6. Details in the Fabric
7. Unfold
8. Live High
9. Only Human
10. Dynamo of Volition
11. I’m Yours -> Three Little Birds
12. Lucky (with Lisa Hannagan)
13. The Remedy (mashed up with “Wonderwall”)
14. No Stopping Us (mashed up with a bit about his invisible gum, then a takeoff of “Copacabana”)
15. Butterfly
16. A Beautiful Mess

Some notes on the evening:

  • Jason sounded wonderful. I was a little afraid that by this point in the tour he might be getting worn out, but there was no problem at all with his energy level. He looks great, all glowing and healthy, and now I’m thinking maybe the raw food diet is worth a try. Chocolate, is raw, right? And Ben & Jerry’s? 🙂
  • It just felt good. The whole show. It’s hard to describe exactly, and to save you from reading all 300+ entries on this blog to figure it out, I’ll take you back to where it all began and see if that helps.A couple of years ago, my friend, Chris, and I went to the Saratoga show that wound up as the second half of Selections for Friends. After the show we were basking in the Mraz afterglow, comparing it to other Mraz shows and shows by other artists, and what we came up with is that Mraz doesn’t just put on a concert, he creates a gathering, a movement, a sort of soulful revival that pulls in every person in every seat and makes them part of the joy and happiness and love that’s coming out of him.Yes, I do know just how cheesy that sounds. But I can’t think of any other way to say it.Don’t think that I’m naturally one of those perky people who goes around talking about my feelings. My friends are all snarky, clever people who live firmly in reality. I don’t think any of them consider themselves to be overly spiritual or touchy-feely, but when we’re at a Mraz show, suddenly we’re all a little softer and cuddlier.We get how connected we are to everyone else in the room, including the jerks behind us who had to hoot and yodel every time there was a quiet lull just to hear the sounds of their own voices. I hate those guys. No amount of Mraz love will make me stop wanting to punch them in the nose. Can I love people in general but still hate the really obnoxious ones?*Deep breath… Practicing kindness… And moving on…*We get a look at the bigger picture. We stop worrying about silly things. We feel like everything really will be fine. We come out feeling like we had our souls scrubbed clean and shiny and happy. It’s really very addictive, that kind of hope and optimism tinged with humor and sex and dancing and all the things that other people say you should feel guilty about, but which are actually very liberating.
  • I appreciated hearing the older songs. I know a large chunk of the audience would have been happy if he’d played “I’m Yours” 12 times in a row just like they do on their pink iPods, but many of us were happy to hear “Common Pleasure” and “Unfold” for the first time in ages.
Mraz is for Lovers

Mraz is for Lovers

  • During the show, there was a marriage proposal in the audience. Not to Jason, but involving a real couple. I don’t know if he knew about it ahead of time, but Jason was quick to celebrate with the newly fiancée-d, had us sing to them and wish them well. It was a pretty sharing moment.
  • The Difference Between Jason Mraz and Other Acts: Other acts start a song with, “I wrote this song for a friend of mine.” Jason starts with a story, or a question, or with something that sounds like casual chatting but then turns into an “ah ha!” moment. It’s all part of the ride that gets us from our separate seats into the collective hive mind. (I blame the use of “hive mind” on a co-worker who was talking about some sci-fi stuff earlier. I don’t usually talk geek. Except when I do.)
  • Does anything feel better than hearing hundreds of voices chanting “Every little thing’s gonna be alright”? As we all sang, I could feel the weight of the last eight years start to lift off of our collective shoulders. Change is only a few days away.
  • If Jason ever gives up singing, it’s good to know he can get into choreography. Good God, get ’em up way high…

Next stop on my tour: Halloween show in San Diego. See you there!

Heck is for the people not believing in gosh,


5 responses to “Review: Mraz at the Boston Orpheum, October 17, 2008

  • Jen


    I stumbled upon your blog this morning. I really love it! I was at Mraz’s show last friday at the Orpheum. Can’t wait to read your review. I’m glad to see someone else has an appreciation for both Jason Mraz and David Tennant. Speaking of which, I have a video that I made a few months back that combines these two fantastic guys. Let me know what you think!

  • Alicia

    Dear Lisa,

    Some time ago you asked me to write a review about a Jason Mraz concert in Cologne, Germany. And I did not. The reason is, that I was ashamed and disappointed. That night Jason hardly talked to the audience, just played his songs, did his job and couldn’t wait to get on the bus. A week after that show he wrote in his Blog that he was totally exhausted and even went to see a doctor. Not really a surprise…

    Two weeks ago Jason was back in Germany again. The show was super good and a felicitous compensation for what happened a couple of months earlier. He brought Ingrid Michaelson, a blower-trio and his band with him and did his best to entertain the crowd.

    The set list:

    The boy is gone (solo)
    Make it mine
    Common pleasure
    If it kills me
    Live high
    Beautiful mess
    You and I both
    Sleeping to dream
    Bella luna
    Not so usual
    Only human Dynamo of volition
    I’m yours – Three little birds

    Lucky (with Ingrid Michaelson)
    No stopping us
    Song for a friend (solo)

    You need to know that things have changed for Jason in Europe in the past year. He first came here in the summer of 2007. Did a lot of cute little living room shows, played in stuffy bars and at some festivals and for the first time hung out with his European fans. “I’m yours” became that super summer song everyone knew to sing along and all of a sudden listening to Jason Mraz is a “cool” thing to do… I was very happy that he decided to play some more of the older songs this time and in my opinion the set list was pretty well chosen. The show I went to, in Frankfurt, was his biggest in Germany. Maybe that’s why he picked up his guitar again after the whole band had already left the stage and sang the most wonderful version of “Song for a friend” I have ever heard. Jason definitely left us wanting more, wanting, wanting some more 😉


  • Teri

    Seeing my first show in Berkeley Nov 2nd. Can you say giddy with excitement? I’m already sad it will have to end and we’re not even close to the beginning yet. Live in the moment, be in the now, ommmmm…

  • Teri

    Too short, it was too short and it went by too too fast! All day I was wishing I’d bought tix for Davis too. I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to the addictiveness of the hope and optimism and the feeling that every little thing really is gonna be alright. I wonder if I can convince my non-Mraz listening boyfriend to move to San Diego with me when Mraz retires so that I can just stalk him in coffeehouses for the rest of our lives… Anyway my bookmark with my Thousand Things book says Fond of Cats – did yours say anything different?

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