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Jason Mraz at the Great American Music Hall, May 3, 2014: Set List

Jason Mraz and Raining Jane joined Wavy Gravy at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco last weekend for a benefit concert hosted by Seva, a non-profit foundation that partners with groups worldwide to create self-sustaining programs that preserve and restore sight.

Not a bad mission, right?

I only found out about this show from a Facebook ad. It was never listed on Jason’s website, tour schedule or anywhere else. I was actually a little nervous that the whole thing was a scam and they were using his photo and name to promote a show and he might not actually be there. But there he was.

Along with being a benefit, this was also a birthday party, which made for the strangest freaking show I’ve ever been to. I had a balcony seat at the Hall, which was just a chair put alongside the balcony. I purchased a seat because I assumed the general admission tickets would be standing room on the floor, like the other shows I’ve been to at this place, and it’s just too hard being a short chick in a crowd. But instead the floor was full of small tables, where I guess people had dinner for the birthday guy, Larry, before the concert. So I don’t know where the general admission people were, maybe hanging out in back by the bar?

The weird part was that because most of these people were here for the party, I don’t think they were all that interested in Mraz. Or even knew who he was. The average age on the floor was maybe 60, and a good number of them left before Jason and Jane even got on stage. A few more left during his show, and some of those who stayed were just walking around, standing in groups talking and laughing and not really paying attention to him at all.

It was like being at a wedding where no one likes the band who’s playing. Except for those of us in the balcony who actually came to see Jason, of course.

So the show started with Jason signing Happy Birthday to some guy named Larry and all of us upstairs were saying, “Who? Is this some rich guy who hired Jason for the night? What’s going on down there? Is this not just a concert?”

Luckily Jason enlightened us during the show, explaining how he met Larry Brilliant on the trip he and Mona took to Antarctica last year. You know, the one that Al Gore invited him on. This one. He was inspired by the work Larry was doing (as was Time magazine, who named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world) and was already familiar with Seva because his manager used to make donations in Mraz’ name to Seva on gift-giving occasions.

Ok, so now it’s all making a little more sense.

Mraz for his part put on a fantastic, if low-key, show. He didn’t seem to mind that some of these people had no idea who he was, even commenting at one point, “This is a new song, although they might all be new to some of you.” And Wavy Gravy seemed to really enjoy the whole thing, so that was lovely.

Here’s what all got played (I marked songs that haven’t been on an album yet as “NEW”, although they did get played on the last little Jason and Jane tour, so they might not be new to you anymore):

  • Happy Birthday, but not the regular version – a totally new Mrazy song
  • NEW – When You Love Someone
  • Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth (a George Harrison cover – thanks to the comment below for pointing this out)
  • 93 Million Miles
  • Only Human (with sitar intro)
  • Ripple (Grateful Dead song with Dead guitarist Bob Weir joining Mraz on stage)
  • I’m Yours -> Three Little Birds
  • NEW – Back to the Earth
  • Frank D. Fixer
  • NEW – Three Little Things
  • You Can Rely On Me
  • Lucky, with all four Janes and the Guns and Roses “Sweet Child o’Mine” guitar solo, the one that Jason says is the only classic guitar riff he knows
  • The Woman I Love
  • Amazing Grace -> I Won’t Give Up

Also during the show, Jason said he had an album coming out in a couple of weeks. Whaaa?

Breathtaking,
Lisa


The Beauty in My Ugly So-Called Life

With my free time and super fast Internet connection at work I’ve been able to watch Jason’s “The Beauty In Ugly” video several times a day. Well, mostly I listen to it while I stare intently at a spreadsheet or Word document, for the benefit of passersby, but then I click over for the good bits when there’s no one around. I still haven’t quite figured out why Jason is dressed like a longshoreman, but I dig the hat.

I’m sure anybody would be happy to be in a Mraz video, but then again, if someone said they wanted me to represent the beauty in ugly, I think I might be just a little hurt. Blasphemy, I know.

Useless classic tv connection: If you’re as old as I am you probably remember My So-Called Life, a lovely little show about Claire Danes as an awkward, unhappy, angsty teen trying to find her way in the world while hooking up with what’s-his-name, the Live From Mars Volta in 30 Seconds guy. He’ll always be Jordan Catalano to me.

In the episode “The Zit” Claire is asked to be in this mother-daughter fashion show and she refuses because she doesn’t want all those people to stare at her and think about how uncool she is (or see The Zit), so her little sister does it instead, and loves it, and at the end of the show as Claire watches everyone walk the runway she voices-over:

“Sometimes it seems like we’re all living in some kind of prison, and the crime is how much we hate ourselves. It’s good to get really dressed up once in a while, and admit the truth — that when you really look closely, people are so strange and so complicated that they’re actually beautiful. Possibly even me.”

And then she does some of the most sincere, quiet crying I’ve ever seen on prime time. Put a little lump in my throat she did.

Now¬†Ugly Betty is a new awkward idol for a new generation of Mraztastic geeks, and I’m all for it. Besides, Christopher Gorham is way hotter than Jordan Catalano, and he has Buffy street cred. I can’t believe Jake 2.0 got canceled.

Just an ordinary humble girl,
Lisa